Tuesday, July 23, 2024

South Korea eyes purchase of Polish drones

South Korea’s military is actively considering the acquisition of Polish-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), according to government officials.

Officials revealed that Korea’s defense authorities plan to dispatch a delegation to Poland in the near future. The purpose of the visit will be to inspect Poland’s drones and assess their suitability for deployment on the Korean Peninsula.

The interest in Polish drones is reportedly linked to a request made by Warsaw during Defense Minister Shin Won-sik’s recent visit to Poland. During the visit, Poland expressed interest in selling its indigenous weapons systems to Korea.

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A defense ministry official stated, “As Poland’s drones are currently used in actual combat, we will review whether there are areas that can be utilized by our military.” This reference is likely to the Polish “Warmate” suicide drone, which has been operationally deployed by Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.

This potential acquisition aligns with Korea’s broader strategy to enhance its unmanned combat capabilities. Last year, Korea established the Drone Operations Command to oversee the integration and deployment of UAVs within its military framework.

Poland and Korea have been developing significant defense industry cooperation. In 2022, Poland signed extensive contracts with Korean defense firms to procure various advanced weapon systems, including FA-50 fighter jets, K2 tanks, K9 self-propelled howitzers, and Chunmoo rocket artillery systems.

A government official noted, “Demand for small-sized unmanned aerial vehicles in our military has grown, and Poland has bought a lot of our weapons. If there is an aircraft type that our military wants, then it would be a good match.”

The growing importance of UAVs in modern combat scenarios has driven this interest. The operational experience and combat effectiveness of Polish drones present a potentially valuable addition to Korea’s military capabilities.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Gu Min Chul
Gu Min Chul
Gu Min Chul is a defense reporter who covers the Korean defense industry and all related issues.

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