The K9 is by far the most popular self-propelled howitzer in the world. About 600 K-9s have been exported to Turkey, India, Poland, Norway, Finland and Estonia. Australia is in final negotiations to adopt K9's Australian version.
K-9's upgraded version, K9A1, is on display at the Egypt Defence Expo (EDEX) 2021 that runs from November 29 to December 2. Hanwha Defense said the Egyptian military is considering acquiring a package of K9s and supporting vehicles. The K9A1 howitzer boasts high-velocity firing and quick displacement for firing support and direct engagement, excellent maneuverability and the ability to concentrate its firepower on select targets.
Equipped with a rotating turret that can traverse through a full 360 degrees, the 47-ton vehicle has a firing range of 40 kilometers (25 miles) and move at a maximum speed of 67 km per hour. It can fire its first round within 30 seconds from a stationary position and within 60 seconds while moving, with a burst rate of fire from six to eight rounds per minute.
"Aligned with the South Korean government's K-defense globalization strategy, we will accelerate efforts to further expand the footprint of South Korea's advanced defense equipment in the global defense market," Hanwha Defense CEO Son Jae-il said in a statement on November 30.
Apart from the K9 howitzer, Hanwha Defense is showcasing a new light-weight version of its remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) and a next-generation Redback infantry fighting vehicle that can carry up to 11 people at a maximum speed of more than 65 km per hour.
RCWS is a remotely operated weaponized system often equipped with a fire-control system for light and medium-caliber weapons. A Redback variant called AS21 has been shortlisted as a candidate for an Australian military project to replace old armored personnel carriers.
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