South Korean firm Hanwha Defense will join with UK suppliers to compete for the UK’s ‘Mobile Fires Platform’ programme, the project to replace the AS90.
“Hanwha Defense has begun formal discussions with UK partners to arrange for a ‘Made in the UK’ variant of its K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer”, according to a news release.
“The K9 is operationally proven and will be put forward by Hanwha Defense for the UK’s Mobile Fires Platform programme to equip the British Army with a world-leading artillery capability.”
More than 600 units of the K9 artillery system have been sold to nations around the world. The K9 self-propelled howitzer was developed jointly with the South Korean Agency for Defense Development in 1998.
The builders say it offers the world’s highest level of performance with a maximum range of 40km and maximum speed of 67km per hour.
“The K9 Thunder is the world’s most advanced self-propelled howitzer. The K9 boasts excellent performance with a long shooting range for fire combat and a fast firing speed for real-time, quick-focused fire power. It is a unit capable of quick displacement after shooting, and has excellent maneuverability and survivability. In addition, we have developed customized self-propelled howitzer that meets the requirements of various countries as well as NATO standards. Its operational capability is excellent in a range of environments, from deserts to snowy fields, and it is being exported to overseas countries.”
According to the builders website, K9 Thunder can fire its first round within 30 seconds from the moment it first receives firing information from the Fire Direction Centre while emplaced. While moving, it can fire after 60 seconds. After firing, K9 Thunder can quickly move away from its last position in anticipation of the enemy’s counter fire, before firing its next shot.