Polish Land Forces Updates & Discussion

CheeZe

Active Member
I couldn't find a thread on the Polish Land Forces. So I thought I'd create one since I also had some news which I recently found.

It seems that Germany and France have decided to exclude Poland from partaking in the next-generation MBT which they are jointly developing.
Link here

As a result, Poland decided to licence produce 800 Korean K2 Black Panthers. Production is slated to begin in 2023.

I'm not sure I understand the decision-making behind the Polish exclusion. It seems to be a poor decision since Poland is a major part of the current NATO defence plan and they seem interested in a large order. But I'm also not caught up on European politics.

I'm also curious as to the decision-making process which led Poland to quickly decide on the K2. I haven't been able to find any English language sources and I can't read Polish. If anyone can help me there, that'd be appreciated. The K2 is a respectable platform and I mean it no disrespect by questioning the decision-making process. I am more curious as to the criteria which Poland used to make the decision. For example, why not the M1A2 Abrams?
 

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I couldn't find a thread on the Polish Land Forces. So I thought I'd create one since I also had some news which I recently found.

It seems that Germany and France have decided to exclude Poland from partaking in the next-generation MBT which they are jointly developing.

Link here
There is *nothing* in the linked article suggesting that the Polish hae been excluded from anything, just a report that they will work with Hyundai to develop a new tank for their own Army.

Do you have a link to a report giving the background for this assertion? For the sake of completeness, it should also be quoted.

oldsig

(edit: typos)
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The link doesn’t show a French-German rejection on Polish participation that I can see. Furthermore, my understanding is the next generation tank proposed by France and Germany is still early days. If Poland requires new tanks in a 1-3 year timeframe then a SK purchase makes sense, probably cost competitive, a decent design, and good delivery. Leopards and Abrams are good choices as well but SK may have a significant price and delivery advantage.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
There is *nothing* in the linked article suggesting that the Polish hae been excluded from anything, just a report that they will work with Hyundai to develop a new tank for their own Army.

Do you have a link to a report giving the background for this assertion? For the sake of completeness, it should also be quoted.

oldsig

(edit: typos)
Beat me on the link issue, nothing on Polish rejection.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'm also curious as to the decision-making process which led Poland to quickly decide on the K2. I haven't been able to find any English language sources and I can't read Polish. If anyone can help me there, that'd be appreciated. The K2 is a respectable platform and I mean it no disrespect by questioning the decision-making process. I am more curious as to the criteria which Poland used to make the decision. For example, why not the M1A2 Abrams?
It appears to be an excellent modern tank with great potential. And being such a major partner, they can get a high degree of localization, as well as a heavily modified variant to suit their needs. They're currently still running around with T-72Ms. I honestly don't think they should wait for the Franco-German 4th gen. Consider that they're also getting Korean chassis for their SP howitzers. It appears that they're happy with their RoK partners.
 

CheeZe

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Sorry, I think I pasted the wrong link

I don't know how reliable this source is but it's the only English language one I could find.

Edit: I tried looking for the Die Welt article referenced but I can't find it. If I do, I'll add a post with the link

Edit 2: I did find this blog post which seems more credible as an academic source.
 
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Big_Zucchini

Active Member
The K2 is really a top notch tank, but its protection is relatively light, particularly on the sides and top. It only makes sense that a reinforced armor would put it in the 60-ton category.

I think a K2PL buy would be a good idea, but if they're going for 800 units, they might want to look for potential buyers as some tanks may have to be withdrawn ~25 years into their service.
That, or invest in climate controlled hangars to keep them in long term storage for an emergency.
 

CheeZe

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I also foresee problems with keeping to a NATO standard if the Poles go with the K2PL. If the new main gun for NATO tanks is the Rh130, Poland would be stuck using the older (and relatively less effective) 120mm rounds. I don't know how much of an issue that is for NATO planners, however given how much they've tried to streamline logistics, I find it strange that Poland isn't being included in these discussions.

Depending on the K2PL's configuration and Ukraine's acquisitions, they may be able to sell some to Ukraine as second-hand. That is also assuming that Russia hasn't swallowed up Ukraine and that the Ukrainians have the money to buy modern-ish tanks.

Haven't been able to find the Die Welt article.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
I also foresee problems with keeping to a NATO standard if the Poles go with the K2PL. If the new main gun for NATO tanks is the Rh130, Poland would be stuck using the older (and relatively less effective) 120mm rounds. I don't know how much of an issue that is for NATO planners, however given how much they've tried to streamline logistics, I find it strange that Poland isn't being included in these discussions.

Depending on the K2PL's configuration and Ukraine's acquisitions, they may be able to sell some to Ukraine as second-hand. That is also assuming that Russia hasn't swallowed up Ukraine and that the Ukrainians have the money to buy modern-ish tanks.

Haven't been able to find the Die Welt article.
I don't think this is a big deal. NATO isn't really standardized on tank ammo with Poland and a few others still operating WarPac 125mm guns. And the 120mm isn't going to disappear any time soon. The franco-german project is slated to enter service in 2035. Assuming this timeline holds, France and Germany won't be phasing out their 3rd gens completely until possibly as late as 2040. Others will likely take even longer.
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
I also foresee problems with keeping to a NATO standard if the Poles go with the K2PL. If the new main gun for NATO tanks is the Rh130, Poland would be stuck using the older (and relatively less effective) 120mm rounds. I don't know how much of an issue that is for NATO planners, however given how much they've tried to streamline logistics, I find it strange that Poland isn't being included in these discussions.

Depending on the K2PL's configuration and Ukraine's acquisitions, they may be able to sell some to Ukraine as second-hand. That is also assuming that Russia hasn't swallowed up Ukraine and that the Ukrainians have the money to buy modern-ish tanks.

Haven't been able to find the Die Welt article.
The K2 is only one of several platforms South Korea is trying to push into the global market, including Europe. The K9 is a great market success, and part of that success must always include catering to the needs of the customers, the most basic of which are compatibility.
I admit I do not know if the K9 is adopted to NATO standards fully, but it only seems natural that they'll offer that with the K2.

And now I'll expand on what @Feanor said.
The 130mm still has a very long way to go, and there are 4 main factors you need to consider here:
1)Poland needs new and modern tanks now. Not 20 years from now.
2)The 130mm may not be selected after all.
3)Whichever gun is selected, it will only enter service with the next gen Franco-German tank, which shouldn't be sooner than 2035, not accounting for COVID related budget cuts.
4)Poland plans to buy that tank anyway, likely to replace the K2PL in service. In that case, no need to rush to be a launch customer.

And as a little bonus, there's nothing that really prevents a redesign of some K2 turret components to fit a 130mm gun or higher.
 

CheeZe

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CheeZe

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Couldn't find an appropriate Missile thread for this to go in so I guess I'll pop this here.

IBCS in Poland: yesterday, today, tomorrow - Defence24.com

It seems that IBCS has gone into active duty in Poland alongside the Patriot missile system. I'm not well-read up on missile systems/networking and how they cooperate so I can't speak to the pros and cons.

I do like the trends by the Poles to modernize and how seriously they are taking the effort. As a funny aside, I did some basic internet searches, I saw some pro-Russian English sites saying how all American developed missile systems were useless against modern Russian missiles and Poland was wasting its money. Not going to post the links since I didn't actually read beyond the click-bait headlines and I don't want to send readers to such nonsense. I think Defence24 is a reliable source for Polish defence news, but I can stop using them as a source if someone can demonstrate why they aren't credible.
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
Defence24, at least in its English version, is a credible source. Most likely the Polish version is just more frequently updated and written by the same people.
American IAMD are effective, but propaganda will be propaganda. Russian media, being far less objective than the professional internal debates within the Russian armed forces, like to say how their systems have a longer range and how their radars are bigger and all, but forget that their systems are just structured differently in terms of engagement tiers.
Good thing those who are relevant in their army know otherwise.
 
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