The first presentation of Polish Krab SPH with Korean chassis
A week before the official presentation at the International Defence Industry Exhibition (MSPO) in Kielce in a company Huta Stalowa Wola, the Krab (Crab) artillery system with Korean Samsung Techwin K9 chassis was shown publicly for the first time.
Shortly after the MSPO in Kielce, the self-propelled howitzer will be tested. The integration of the turret with chassis is to be primarily verified. The heads of the company assume the completion of tests later this year. Already the first chassis contains some of the Polish elements such as a generator or communication system.
Until the end of 2017 there is a plan to supply the entire battalion (Regina program), consisting of 24 Krab (Crabs). All chassis for the first battalion and another 12 are to come from the Republic of Korea. The other, in the number of at least 84 units, are supposed to be built in Poland. It is not known yet which factory will take care of the production. Deliveries will be made easier as in Huta Stalowa Wola there are already few finished turrets waiting for the chassis. What is more, the Polish Army has been already using 8 Crabs as the part of the test battalion-module with the chassis from Bumar-Łabędy. In December 2014 Bumar-Łabędy was offered a production of chassis on the Korean license.
The agreement with Korean Samsung Techwin was necessary. The Army and the producer of turrets evaluated very critically current Polish chassis manufactured for the first 8 Crabs. These disadvantages include hull cracks, weak cooling system resulting in overheating of the engine, fluid leaks from the engine, leaky fuel system and exhaust system. The Polish chassis manufacturer was not able to remove the defects. The turret is also a product deriving from the West Europe because 15 years ago Poland bought the technologies of the British AS90/52 Braveheart artillery system.
By 2020 it is expected that the Polish Army will purchase 120 Crab 155 mm howitzers for five artillery battalions. The first unit that received the Crabs, with Polish chassis, was the 11th Artillery Regiment from Węgorzewo city.
photo Tomasz Kwasek