The Ministry of National Defense in Poland has approved the procurement of 152 Krab self-propelled howitzers, with the officially approved contract valued at around PLN 10 billion ($2.5 billion) on December 8.
During a press conference, Minister Mariusz Błaszczak underscored the significance of the contract, emphasizing its role in strengthening the country's defense capabilities. The purchase includes 152 Krab howitzers along with associated vehicles such as ammunition vehicles, technical inspection vehicles, and command vehicles for individual units.
The Ministry of National Defense said it has secured the necessary funds for the contract within its budget, utilizing the production capacity of the Polish arms industry to its full extent.
The Krab self-propelled howitzer, equipped with a 155mm barrel and a 52-caliber barrel, serves as a fundamental artillery piece for the brigade and division-level fire support within the Polish Army. Capable of effective fire from covered positions up to 40 km or direct fire within the target's visibility range, the Krab is adapted for modern long-range and special ammunition.
The divisional fire module of the 155 mm KRAB self-propelled howitzer is intended to provide fire support at the brigade and division levels. One REGINA DMO includes 24 155 mm KRAB self-propelled howitzers and 18 command and logistics vehicles (2 command and staff vehicles, 9 command vehicles, 6 ammunition vehicles, and 1 weapons and electronics repair workshop).
This procurement follows closely on the heels of Poland's recent deal with South Korea's Hanwha Defense for six K9A1 and 146 K9PL howitzers, with a total value of approximately $2.6 billion. The Ministry's armament agency disclosed that the Krab howitzers will be supplied with accompanying vehicles, gear, and a comprehensive training and logistics package. The delivery schedule remains undisclosed, as this contract initiates a multi-stage process for further howitzer acquisitions.
Political discourse surrounding the purchases has emerged, with criticism from opposition parties in Poland, questioning the preference for foreign acquisitions over domestic manufacturing. Minister Błaszczak defended the decisions, citing the need for timely collaboration with foreign suppliers and expressing confidence in the development of a joint Polish-Korean howitzer in the years to come.
“I am convinced that in a few years the new version of the gun howitzer will be a joint Polish-Korean gun howitzer. Everything is on the right track to make this process happen,” he said.