Poland will buy 48 South Korean-made light combat aircraft to strengthen its military due to the war in Ukraine, giving Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) its first sale to a NATO member.
The FA-50 fighter jets are part of a package that includes 180 K2 Black Panther tanks and howitzers from South Korea, Poland’s defence minister said on Friday.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised security fears among many former eastern bloc countries, and Poland has vowed to boost defence spending to 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) and more than double the size of its army to deter any attacks.
“This year, the first units will be delivered and in total there will be 180 tanks in the first order; ultimately, these tanks will be produced in Poland,” Mariusz Blaszczak said in an interview with the conservative weekly Sieci.
Blaszczak said Poland would also buy the FA-50 light fighters. “We are interested in purchasing three squadrons, that is 48 aircraft,” Blaszczak said. “The first aircraft would be delivered to Poland next year.”
The K2 Black Panther tank is made by Hyundai Rotem.
Slovakia, another NATO member, last year expressed interest in the FA-50.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell