Many countries show interest to purchase K9 155mm self-propelled howitzer
South Korean Company Hanwha Land Systems confirmed that trials of the K9 Thunder 155mm self-propelled artillery system have also been undertaken in Australia, Egypt, Malaysia, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The K9 is now in service with South Korea, Estonia, Finland, Turkey, India and in Poland using the chassis with a Polish-made turret.
South Korean army K9 Thunder 155mm self-propelled howitzer at DX Korea defense exhibition, September 2018. (Picture source Army Recognition)
The K9 Thunder is a South Korean Self-Propelled 155 mm Howitzer (SPH) developed by Samsung Techwin and now manufactured by the Company Hanwha Land Systems. 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 contract for the new K9 artillery system was awarded to Samsung Aerospace Industries (SSA) by the South Korean Government on 22 December 1998.
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. Internally an automatic loading system takes projectiles from the storage position and places them onto the ammunition tray ready for ramming.
The K9 Thunder has all-welded steel hull and turret with a maximum thickness of 19 mm. It provides protection from firing of small arms and artillery shell fragments. This self-propelled howitzer has a crew of five, consisting of commander, driver, gunner, assistant gunner, and loader.
Standard equipment of the K9 Thunder includes an CBRN protection system, heater, internal and external communications system and a manual fire suppression system. The K9 is also equipped with a Honeywell Azimuth Position System, Automatic Fire-Control System, powered gun elevation/depression and turret traverse system.