European orders extend South-Korean K9 self-propelled howitzer production


The ROK Army is estimated to have already exceeded 1,150 units of the K9 155mm self-propelled howitzers. This figure doesn’t mean the end of the production, as two European countries have signed contracts to equip their forces with the K9, renamed according to their own specifications.


European orders extend South Korean K9 Thunder self propelled howitzer production
The South-Korean K9 155 mm/L52 SPG will receive "Thunder" (Moukari) as nickname in the Finnish army, "Krab" in Poland, and another one in Norway (Picture source: Army Recognition)


Poland's original Krab self-propelled howitzer prototypes mounted the British AS90 turret on an indigenously developed hull. However, in September 2013, Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) signed a letter of intent with the Turkish manufacturer MKEK, or Mechanical and Chemical Industries Corporation, for Turkish TUSpH Storm (T-155 Firtina) hulls.

In December 2014, South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and Samsung Techwin reportedly signed a contract with Poland for the purchase and licensed production of 120 K9 systems for the Polish army. Thus, it now appears that Poland will go straight to the K9 prime contractor for the K9 Thunder. Under the terms of the contract, Hanwha Techwin is building the initial 24 K9 systems, with delivery to the Polish army expected by the end of 2018. After that, HSW will assume licensed production of the remaining 96 K9 systems. On December 14, 2016, the Polish Ministry of National Defense signed a contract worth $1.1 billion with Huta Stalowa Wola for 96 Krab self-propelled howitzers of the K9 Thunder design.

On December 20, 2017, Norway awarded Hanwha a contract of unspecified value for the procurement of 24 K9 systems, with an option for an additional 24 units. Under the terms of the contract, deliveries are to begin in 2019 and run through 2021.

The K9 Thunder is a South Korean Self-Propelled 155 mm Howitzer (SPH) developed by Samsung Techwin. The development program of this 155 mm/52-caliber self-propelled howitzer has been underway since 1989. In 1996 the first prototype of this new artillery system was tested.

The main armament of the K9 Thunder consists of a 155 mm/52 caliber ordnance with a maximum firing range of 40 km. A total of 48 projectiles and their associated charges are carried for ready use.


 

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