Hanwha Defense in discussion with suppliers for Britain's self-propelled artillery program

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : June 3, 2021, 10:03 | Updated : June 3, 2021, 10:03

[Courtesy of Hanwha Defense]

SEOUL -- In an effort to bolster its winning strategy for Britain's arms procurement program, Hanwha Defense is ready to arrange for a "Made in the UK" variant of its K9 self-propelled howitzer through the transfer of technology and know-how. The South Korean company is to release a request for proposal in 2022 with K9's advanced version that can be used to strengthen combined operational capabilities with NATO allies.

K-9 is one of South Korea's best-selling ground weapons. The howitzer with a maximum firing range of 40 kilometers (25 miles) operates with armored vehicles for ammunition resupply. K-9s have been shipped to Turkey, India, Poland, Norway, Finland and Estonia. In 2020, the company was picked as the sole preferred bidder for an Australian artillery gun procurement project to supply 30 K-9s and 15 ammunition resupply vehicles.

K9's newest version, K9A2, will be proposed for Britain's Mobile Fires Program (MFP). Tests and evaluations for K9A2 are in full swing to increase key capabilities such as the maximum rate of fire and automatic ammunition loading functions. Hanwha Defense said the British version would feature an unmanned turret, mine protection kits and composite rubber tracks, along with a robotic ammunition resupply vehicle.

British partners can gain access to a global market, Hanwha Defense said, adding that talks are already underway with companies like Lockheed Martin UK, Pearson Engineering, Horstman Defence Systems and Soucy Defense. "The K9 is an innovator in the self-propelled howitzer market and we see great things ahead for an amalgamation of UK industrial expertise and South Korean technology," Oh Kyea-hwan, vice president of Hanwha Defense International, said in a statement.

The South Korean company promised to introduce specialist training and new skills for long-term development, manufacture, maintenance and support. "By working together with nations around the world Hanwha is able to offer a cost effective and modular approach. Ultimately this makes us all more resilient and allows us to integrate more easily when it matters most," Oh said.
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