Poland has announced an agreement to sell their Krab self-propelled tracked gun-howitzers to Ukraine for roughly 3 billion zlotych or 650 million euros.
This would cover around 60 Krab howitzers to be sent to Ukraine. This agreement represents Poland’s first selling of the NATO-compatible weapon to a buyer outside the country.
During his excursion to the Stalowa Wola Steelworks, where all the artillery guns are manufactured, the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, made the following statement: “We are signing one of the largest – if not the largest – arms export contracts of the last three decades.”
Poland will provide the 54 Krab self-propelled gun howitzers over the next few months, while the US is expected to be the country that supplies the ammunition, as reported by Polish media.
According several Polish media sources #Poland will provide AHS Krab to #Ukraine. The AHS Krab (Polish for Crab) is a 155 mm self-propelled tracked gun-howitzer. Maximum firing range 40 km – base bleed round, Crew – 5 #UkraineRussiaWar #AHSKrab #Polska #Krab pic.twitter.com/rIUaGHB0mL
— OSINTCentralEurope (@EuropeOsint) May 29, 2022
The Krab gun howitzers have a range of up to 40 kilometers and are capable of firing at a distance of that distance. PGZ, Poland’s state-owned arms manufacturer, is responsible for its production. However, South Korean chassis and German engine components are used in its construction. This is why both Seoul and Berlin had to provide their approval before Poland’s new export contract with Ukraine could go into effect.
The Krab self-propelled howitzer with a 155-millimeter caliber is currently the most powerful cannon Polish artillerymen have in their arsenal. It has a maximum range of around 40 kilometers and can fire up to six rounds per minute at a rate of up to a distance of approximately fifty tonnes.
Premier @MorawieckiM w #StalowaWola: Teraz podpisujemy jeden z największych kontraktów zbrojeniowych z ostatniego trzydziestolecia – sprzedaż broni dla Ukraińców na Ukrainę. Ta broń jest dobrze sprawdzana i już dziś wiemy, że będzie bardzo ważną bronią na polu walki. pic.twitter.com/Plw8E5qnEG
— Kancelaria Premiera (@PremierRP) June 7, 2022
It is anticipated that deliveries of the howitzers, which will be used in the eastern zone of Ukraine, where Russia’s occupying forces are now concentrated, will begin this year and continue until 2023. After that, the howitzers will be permanently stationed in the region.
According to Morawiecki, the purchase would be financed partly by money from the European Union and partly by Ukraine’s expenditure plan. He went on to say that the money earned by Poland from the deal will contribute to “enrich our production potential here.”
As part of the assistance package that Poland provides to Ukraine in the form of military equipment, 18 Krab howitzers were delivered to Ukraine last month. Additionally, Poland mentored approximately one hundred Ukrainian artillerymen.
Behind The New Weapon Sale
Poland, except Ukraine, decided to upgrade to NATO standards in the 1990s, just before it joined the alliance. They chose to license the cannon and turret and mount them on domestically produced chassis rather than acquire or license a readily available self-propelled gun.
British AS-90 turret, French 155 mm gun Nexter, Polish fire control system WB Electronics Topaz, and Korean K9 Thunder howitzer chassis from Samsung Techwin make up the AHS Krab (formerly Samsung Aerospace Industries). The howitzer version from 2011 utilized a UPG chassis and a barrel manufactured by Nexter Systems. Meanwhile, the K9 chassis and a Rheinmetall barrel were used in the 2016 production batch of the weapon. As of 2016, the massive manufacture of 120 Krabs for the Polish Army had begun, with 16 guns being produced and shipments slated to be finished by 2024.
Weaponry and Manpower
Poland is doubling their support by providing training to support Ukraine, too. They are conditioning Ukrainian troops as a mitigative solution to the unceasing incursion of Russia into Ukraine. Last April, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, revealed that Ukrainian soldiers are receiving training in Poland and the United Kingdom on how to operate the military equipment being provided to them. The Ukrainian forces were focusing on handling anti-aircraft weaponry.
The US is also using Poland as its venue to extend its aid to embattled Ukraine. American troops were actively instructing Ukrainians to fight and kill Russians for the first time since the conflict began. The statement was made by US President Joe Biden, who purported to divulge that the US is coaching Ukrainian forces in Poland. Poland has been the conduit for much of the US$1 billion in weaponry and other support to Ukraine. President Biden met with US troops stationed in the southeast last March and spoke about Western cooperation in the face of Russian abuse of power.