Poland Faces Maintenance Shortage for Krab and Rak Systems, How Might This Affect the Ukrainian Army?

Krab self-propelled artillery system
Krab self-propelled artillery system

The Polish military encountered an unforeseen issue: no one wants to repair the Polish 155 mm Krab self-propelled artillery systems, part of the Regina fire modules, and Rak self-propelled mortars

Poland lacks the capacity to repair Krab self-propelled howitzers and Rak self-propelled mortars. These challenges may also affect Ukraine, as the Ukrainian Armed Forces utilize both Krab and Rak systems.

This issue became evident when the 2nd Regional Logistics Base of the Polish Armed Forces had to cancel a tender due to lack of bids.

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The tender aimed to secure services for urgent repair of artillery systems from 2024 to 2026, with contractor selection based on both price and quality of work, according to the Polish media Zbiam.

Rak 120mm self-propelled mortar, Defense Express
Rak 120mm self-propelled mortar

The reasons for the lack of interest from Polish arms manufacturers are unknown. Consequently, over 100 Krab self-propelled guns in service with the Polish Armed Forces, along with 48 more ordered in 2022, will go without repairs. This also affects about 10 Rak company supplies and two more expected this year.

Though this seems like a Polish problem, it has significant implications for Ukraine. The Krab self-propelled howitzers and Rak self-propelled mortars are used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Ukraine received 18 Krab self-propelled guns as aid in 2022 and contracted 54 more in the same year. In April 2023, Warsaw announced plans to supply Ukraine with three Rak companies (8 self-propelled mortars and 4 fire control vehicles each).

While urgent maintenance of these artillery systems will likely occur in Ukraine, medium and major maintenance remains the responsibility of the manufacturer, Huta Stalowa Wola.

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