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Poongsan from South Korea develops 155 mm extended range projectile.

| 2023

On August 29, Poongsan Corp., a prominent copper smelter and defense equipment manufacturer in South Korea, revealed a significant achievement. According to a report by Jae-Fu Kim in The Korea Economic Daily, the company successfully developed an extended-range projectile with a caliber of 155 mm. This projectile has met all the prescribed test and evaluation criteria outlined in the Korean Defense Specification.
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ROK Army K9 Thunder firing (Picture source: ROK Army)

When employed in conjunction with the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer, the newly devised 155 mm extended-range projectile showcases an impressive enhancement in its reach. This advancement results in a 50% increase in the projectile's range, elevating it from 40 km to an impressive 60 km. This expanded firing range holds paramount strategic implications for the South Korean armed forces. By effectively extending the artillery's engagement zone, it becomes feasible for the military to target deeper areas within adversary territories promptly. This development translates into heightened survivability for troops and opens up opportunities for executing a more diverse array of long-range strike operations.

Forecasts indicate that this innovative extended-range projectile is poised to galvanize the landscape of South Korea's defense capabilities. Its imminent mass production and deployment, scheduled for 2024, are anticipated to play a pivotal role in advancing K-defense. The resultant effect will substantially elevate the potency of the Korean military.

In the present configuration, the K9 Thunder employs the "standard" M107 projectile, which is a conventional hollow forged steel round filled with high-explosive TNT. Supplementary charges of TNT can be integrated into the projectiles possessing deep intrusion fuze cavities, making them adaptable for assembling proximity fuzes like the M514, M728, and M783. This M107 155 mm High Explosive (HE) projectile is universally compatible with a variety of 155 mm howitzers, including the M1A1, M126/ M126A1, M284, M185, and M199. It serves as the established HE projectile for howitzers used by the US Army and US Marine Corps. Designed for fragmentation and blast effects, the HE M107 projectile has a maximum range of 30 km when utilizing the HE rocket-assisted projectile (RAP) with a uni-charge comprising five zones.

The K9 Thunder also possesses the ability to launch a K307 projectile utilizing a modular charge encompassing six zones, thereby achieving an extended range of over 40 km.

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K307 projectile (Picture source: via The Korea Economic Daily)

Defense News August 2023

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