SECURITY 28 March, 2024 7:30 am   
COMMENTS: Euiseong Lee

General Lee: Poland will become a K2 tank production center in Europe (INTERVIEW)

kroeański czołg K2 Black Panther tanks of this type are stationed in Braniewo. Picture by Wikipedia

“We believe that the K2PL polonized tank program in cooperation with Hyundai-Rotem will contribute to improving Poland’s security and provide great opportunities for the domestic defense industry. Thanks to this, Poland will become a production base for main battle tanks in Europe,” says gen. Euiseong Lee, Vice President of Hyundai-Rotem Defense Business in a conversation with

  • “We are offering a technology transfer and polonization of production of 500 basic tanks to the K2PL version, which will be produced by Polish factories,” General Lee promised.
  • “Hyundai-Rotem will make every effort to launch K2PL production capacity in the country as soon as possible. We are confident that Poland will become a production center for Korean tanks in Europe,” he said.
  • He notes that according to forecasts, the K2PL program will generate economic profits in Poland worth about $ 60 billion. Poland’s current government has not said it would cancel the already signed agreements, but wants to audit them. Is Hyundai-Rotem concerned that the government will terminate or reduce the existing arms contracts?

General Euiseong Lee: We are not concerned the contracts will be annulled and we respect decisions made by the Polish government. We believe that the K2PL program will contribute to the growth of Poland’s security and will provide great opportunities for the national defense industry, thanks to which Poland will be able to lead the business of basic tanks in Europe in the near future. To this end, Hyundai-Rotem will make every effort to develop and produce the best equipment in the world together with the Polish defense sector.

At the end of February, a subcommittee of the South Korean parliament adopted a draft amendment to increase the capital of the Korean Export-Import Bank (Eximbank), which is necessary to finalize the second contract for the export of weapons to Poland. Does this mean there is a green light for finalizing a loan for the purchase of weapons for Poland?

Yes. As you know, one of the main conditions of the K2PL executive contract is government funding. On February 29, Korean parliamentarians agreed to increase the capital of KOEXIM. This will promote cooperation between Poland and South Korea.

Which factories will produce K2 tanks? Do Polish factories have enough production capacity for such large orders?

According to the framework agreement, K2PL tanks will be produced at the military automotive plants in Poznań and at our factories in Korea. In order to produce the required quantity, WZM is currently preparing the production line and manpower. Other Polish companies responsible for partial production will be ready on time. Hyundai-Rotem will provide the Polish factories with the necessary technical support.

So far, no European country has decided on such a massive purchase of equipment from South Korea, but Poles have taken the first step. Does this mean that we will soon become the production center of Hyundai Rotem for the whole of Europe?

Compared to other equipment such as K9 gun-howitzers, K2 has a much shorter history in the export market. We appreciate the trust of the Polish government and society in our equipment. In accordance with the proposal and arrangements, Hyundai-Rotem will make every effort to launch K2PL production capacity in Poland as soon as possible. We are confident that Poland will become a production center for Korean tanks in Europe.

Your company takes pride in the fact that you can offer fast deliveries of large quantities of military equipment, but our plants also count on investments and technology transfer. What economic benefits will the Polish industry receive after choosing your offer as the main supplier of weapons?

The K2PL program offers technology transfer and polonization of the production of 500 K2PL basic tanks, which will be produced in Poland by local factories. The domestic industry will have great potential thanks to expanded production lines and an increased workforce. Most importantly, Polish plants will become very competitive on the European market of basic tanks.

The consulting firm Deloitte recently analyzed the benefits of the K2PL program. It is estimated that the production of a polonized version of the K2 tank will bring benefits worth a total of $ 60 billion.

Interview by Jacek Perzyński