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Norway will purchase South Korean K9 155mm howitzers.

| 2017

On Wednesday, December 20, 2017, Norway’s defence ministry has announced the purchase of the K9 155 artillery self-propelled howitzers designed and manufactured by the South Korean Company Hanwha Land Systems. The contract that includes also the artillery howitzer K9, ammunition and transport vehicles will reach an ammount of $383 million.

Norway will purchase South Korean K9 155mm tracked self propelled howitzers 925 001
South Korean K9 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer during trial tests in Norway (Picture source Video Print Screen Mogens Rasmus Mogensen YouTube account)

In January 2017, the K9 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer was tested in winter conditions in Finland. The contract will include the purchase of 24 K9, with an option for an additionnal order of 24 K9s. The first artillery howitzers will be delivered to the Norwegian army in 2019 and should be completed between 2020 and 2021.

This is the second Scandinav country after Finland that will purchased the South Korean K9 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer. In February 2017, the Finnish defence minister Jussi Niinistö has announced the purchase of 48 South Korean K9s artillery howitzers for a total amount of €146 million ($155 million).

In late 2001, Turkey has signed a contract with Samsung TechWin for the delivery of K9 Thunder, designated Firtina in the Turkish army. A first batch of eight Firtina howitzers was delivered to Turkey in 2004. Currently, Turkish army has a total 150 K9 artikllery howitzers in service.

The development program of the K9 nicknamed Thunder in South Korea development began in 1989, followed by a first trial tests of prototype in 1996. The final design was completed in 1998 and the mass production of the K9 started in 1999.

The K9 Thunder is based on a tracked armoured chassis with the combat turret in the middle. The main armament consists of a 155 mm/52 caliber ordnance with a maximum firing range of 40 km. The K9 Thunder has a maximum rate of fire of 6 rounds per minute and is capable of multiple-round simultaneous-impact firing.

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