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Poland to buy jets, tanks and howitzers from South Korea, says minister

·1-min read
Polish Defence Minister Blaszczak attends a meeting with Ukraine's President Zelenskiy in Kyiv

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland will buy 48 FA-50 fighter jets, a first instalment of 180 K2 Black Panther tanks and howitzers from South Korea, Warsaw's defence minister was quoted as saying on Friday, as the country strengthens its army because of the war in Ukraine.

The Feb. 24 invasion, which Moscow calls a "special military operation" has raised security fears among many former eastern bloc countries, and NATO member 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 (K2 Black Panther) tanks in the first order; ultimately, these tanks will be produced in Poland," Mariusz Blaszczak said in an extract from an interview with conservative weekly Sieci published online.

Blaszczak said Poland would also buy howitzers and FA-50 fighter jets from South Korea.

"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. The FA-50 fighter jet is produced by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI).

(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Anna Koper; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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