Korea Artillery programs

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S.Korea's Hanwha to Build 30 K9 155mm Howitzers for Australian Army

K9 self-propelled howitzer
The Australian Ministry of Defence will soon acquire 30 K9 self-propelled howitzers from Hanwha Defence Australia.
The defence ministry said today a Request for Tender will be released to the company to build and maintain 30 self-propelled howitzers and 15 K10 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles, and their supporting systems.
The self-propelled howitzers will be built in the Geelong region, with ongoing deep maintenance conducted in the same Australian facility to support the systems throughout their service life,” said Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds.
The Request for Tender will progress this first phase of the Protected Mobile Fires capability.
S.Korea's Hanwha to Build 30 K9 155mm Howitzers for Australian Army



Together with the subsequent phases announced in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, it will ensure a long-term future for industry’s involvement in the delivery of this critical capability for the ADF. LAND 8116 Phase 2, announced in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, is anticipated to commence in the late 2020s, delivering additional Protected Mobile Fires capability, and LAND 8116 Phase 3 is anticipated to commence in the mid-2030s, delivering a mid-life upgrade that will provide an opportunity to incorporate emerging technologies.

K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzer

K9 Thunder South Korean self-propelled 155 mm howitzer is designed and developed by the Agency for Defense Development and Samsung Aerospace Industries for the Republic of Korea Armed Forces, and is now manufactured by Hanwha. K9 howitzers operate in groups with the K10 automatic ammunition resupply vehicle variant. Development of K9A2 variant is currently in process.

The K9 can fire its first round within 30 seconds from the moment it first receives firing information from the Fire Direction Center (FDC) while in emplaced situation. 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.

 

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South Korea will begin series production of a locally developed 120 mm self-propelled mortar system that has been integrated into an M113-type tracked armoured personnel carrier (APC).

The country’s Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) announced in a 9 September statement that the Defense Project Promotion Committee has decided to award in the fourth quarter of 2020 a five-year KRW770 billion (USD648.5 million) contract for the mass production of the systems, the first units of which are expected to enter service with the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) from next year.

South Korea has decided to mass-produce a newly developed 120-mm self-propelled mortar system under a five-year KRW770 billion (USD648.5 million) contract set to be awarded later this year. (Hanwha Defense)

South Korea has decided to mass-produce a newly developed 120-mm self-propelled mortar system under a five-year KRW770 billion (USD648.5 million) contract set to be awarded later this year.


Developed by several South Korean companies, including Hanwha Defense and S&T Dynamics, for KRW41.3 billion, the integrated mortar system, which can rotate 360°, is stated to have a strike range greater than that of the ageing M30 107 mm rifled mortar it is expected to replace.

DAPA had previously revealed that the new weapon, development of which began in March 2014 and was completed in June 2019, is equipped with an automated fire-control and a semi-automatic loading system.

According to S&T Dynamics, the mortar, which weighs less than 1,400 kg, has a maximum rate of fire of 10 rounds per minute for 3 minutes, a sustained rate of fire of 3 rounds per minute, and a firing range of 8 km for high-explosive rounds and of 13 km for rocket-assisted projectiles. The reaction time for the first round is stated to be 30 seconds.

The self-propelled system appears to be based on a variant of South Korea’s K200A1 tracked APC.

 

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Hanwha Defense delivers third batch of K56 ammunition supply vehicles to RoKA​

by Gabriel Dominguez & Dae Young Kim



South Korean company Hanwha Defense has completed delivery of a third batch of K56 automatic ammunition supply vehicles to the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA), according to a 23 February announcement by the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

DAPA announced on 23 February that the RoKA has received a third batch of K56 automatic ammunition supply vehicles made by Hanwha Defense. (Hanwha Defense)

DAPA announced on 23 February that the RoKA has received a third batch of K56 automatic ammunition supply vehicles made by Hanwha Defense. (Hanwha Defense)
Delivery of the latest batch of these tracked vehicles, which supply the RoKA’s 155 mm K55A1 tracked self-propelled howitzers (SPHs), was completed in December 2020, with the platforms now being deployed with self-propelled artillery units in the western region.

The army is expected to receive two more K56 batches by 2025. A KRW383 billion (USD345.5 million) contract for the fourth batch was announced in June 2020.

That said, the number of vehicles comprising each batch has not been revealed.

Development of the K56 was completed in October 2011 and the vehicle is believed to have entered service by 2015.

The DAPA announcement comes after Hanwha Defense secured a KRW137.4 billion (USD124 million) contract in December 2019 for the production of the fifth batch of K55A1s. The SPH is the upgraded version of the K55, which is the South Korean variant of the US-made M109A2.

According to Hanwha Defense, the K55A1 weighs 27 tonnes, has a maximum firing range of 32 km, a rate of fire of 4 rounds per minute, features semi-automatic loading, and can carry up to 36 rounds. It features the same fire-control and navigation systems as the locally designed K9 SPH, which is also made by Hanwha. The company also produces K10 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles for the K9.

 

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K9FIN Moukari.jpg

Finnish army's K9FIN Moukari

This article translated the news reported in Korea on February 1, 2022 into English myself. Please understand that mistranslation or spelling may be wrong

On 1 February 2022, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced that Hanwha Defense signed a $1.6 billion K9 Thunder export contract at Egypt's Artillery hall, attended by Egypt's Ministry of National Defense and key officials from both countries.

The export down payment is $1.6 billion, about twice the amount of K9 Thunder exports signed with Australia last month, the largest export contract among K9 Thunder exports contracts, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration said.

The K9 Thunder, which has been in operation by the South Korean military since 2000, has a maximum range of 53 km and can shoot 6 shells per minute. The maximum speed is 67 km per hour.

The deal includes the production of K9A1s in Egypt and a technology transfer, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). The deal will make Egypt the eighth foreign country to adopt the K9 system. The other countries that have chosen the system are Turkey (Co-development), Poland (Chassis and sub-systems), India (K9 Vajra-T), Norway (K9 VIDAR), Finland (K9FIN Moukari), Estonia (K9 Kõu), and Australia (AS9 Huntsman).

Currently, more than 1,700 K9 variants are said to be in service in such countries as India. With this export, K9 Thunder achieved its first entry into the Middle East and Africa after Asia, Europe, and Oceania. As the number of countries operating K9 system around the world, including Korea, has increased to nine, including Egypt, the technology of a "excellent weapon system" is also recognized, which is expected to give momentum to exports to other countries in the future.

This export is the result of long-term negotiations over 10 years.

In particular, since last year, negotiations on export contracts have progressed rapidly as pan-governmental cooperation has been carried out by designating the Office of National Security as a "Control tower"

South Korea's Defense Minister Seo Wook explained the excellence of the K9 Thunder in a meeting with the Egyptian president when he visited Egypt in August last year, and Kang Eun-ho, head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, visited Egypt five times from last year to this year.

In addition, the South Korean Embassy in Egypt, as a negotiation support organization of the Team Korea, supported related trends, exchanges with high-ranking officials, and negotiations by sharing close information with government agencies and related companies.

Expectations for the final contract to be signed during President Moon Jae In's visit to Egypt from the 19th to the 21st of last month after export negotiations were confirmed to be underway at the Egypt Defence Expo (EDEX 2021) in November last year, but failed to reach the final contract.

As a result, some observed that there may be differences between the two sides in the last-minute negotiations.

An official from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration explained, "Even after President Moon Jae In returned to Korea, some of the company and government officials remained in Egypt to continue negotiations, and the negotiations were concluded dramatically after Egypt accepted the final contract proposed without further concessions."

Meanwhile, along with the export contract, Kang Eun-ho, head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Egyptian Minister of Defense on Korea-Egyptian defense R&D cooperation.

The head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration said that K9 Thunder is at its highest level in terms of excellent weapon systems and price-performance, and that technology cooperation, localization production cooperation, and pan-government cooperation are taking place beyond just buying and selling weapon systems. And he said the contract will serve as an opportunity for the current comprehensive cooperative partnership between South Korea and Egypt to take a leap forward.

 

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An excellent platform. The Indian Army is also planning to license manufacture an additional 200 K9s apart from the 100 which we already inducted in 2021 also built locally by L&T

DRDO is also partnering with L&T and Hanwha to use the K9 chasis and develop a light tank which can be used in the high altitude himalayan ranges of the Indo-Chinese border

https://eurasiantimes.com/indian-army-to-acquire-200-more-k9-vajra-thunder-howitzers/
 

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An excellent platform. The Indian Army is also planning to license manufacture an additional 200 K9s apart from the 100 which we already inducted in 2021 also built locally by L&T

DRDO is also partnering with L&T and Hanwha to use the K9 chasis and develop a light tank which can be used in the high altitude himalayan ranges of the Indo-Chinese border

https://eurasiantimes.com/indian-army-to-acquire-200-more-k9-vajra-thunder-howitzers/
India has already decided to produce 464 T-90MS tanks. India seems to want more weapons due to the recent deepening military conflict with China and Pakistan. I think India is definitely the biggest customer in the arms market in the world.

South Korea proposed India to develop light tanks in two ways. The first was to develop a light tank with a 105 mm or 120 mm gun using the chassis of the K21 armored vehicle, and the other was a light tank with a 105 mm gun using the chassis of the K9. Definitely K21's platform is weak in armor to use as a light tank.

I saw the news that K9 Vajra has been deployed due to a border dispute with China in India's Ladakh region. From India's point of view, it needs a means to counter China's ZTQ-15 light tanks deployed near Ladakh.
 

Zapper

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India has already decided to produce 464 T-90MS tanks. India seems to want more weapons due to the recent deepening military conflict with China and Pakistan. I think India is definitely the biggest customer in the arms market in the world.

South Korea proposed India to develop light tanks in two ways. The first was to develop a light tank with a 105 mm or 120 mm gun using the chassis of the K21 armored vehicle, and the other was a light tank with a 105 mm gun using the chassis of the K9. Definitely K21's platform is weak in armor to use as a light tank.

I saw the news that K9 Vajra has been deployed due to a border dispute with China in India's Ladakh region. From India's point of view, it needs a means to counter China's ZTQ-15 light tanks deployed near Ladakh.
While our state run factories (HVF) are building 464 T-90s and 118 Arjun Mk-1A MBTs, the heavy weight of both these tanks limits the mobility in the harsh high-altitude terrain of Ladakh. Weak armour is a compromise light tanks have to deal with which the ZTQ-15 also faces. Russia did pitch their Sprut light tank but IA was impressed by K9 which are currently deployed in Ladakh and along the LAC

This made DRDO consider the development of a light tank using K9's platform with improved armour and a modified turret. I hope this becomes a reality instead of opting Russian Spruts

K21 isn't really an option since we have indigenously developed platforms on those lines like Tata Kestrel or improvised versions of Russian BMPs developed by DRDO or some private Indian firms
 

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While our state run factories (HVF) are building 464 T-90s and 118 Arjun Mk-1A MBTs, the heavy weight of both these tanks limits the mobility in the harsh high-altitude terrain of Ladakh. Weak armour is a compromise light tanks have to deal with which the ZTQ-15 also faces. Russia did pitch their Sprut light tank but IA was impressed by K9 which are currently deployed in Ladakh and along the LAC

This made DRDO consider the development of a light tank using K9's platform with improved armour and a modified turret. I hope this becomes a reality instead of opting Russian Spruts

K21 isn't really an option since we have indigenously developed platforms on those lines like Tata Kestrel or improvised versions of Russian BMPs developed by DRDO or some private Indian firms
The K21-105, a light tank version of the K21 armored vehicle, has already been prototyped and has even been tested for performance, so if korea sign a contract with India right now, can produce it right now. If the K21-105 can be produced without additional performance improvements, it can save money and time. I think this is the best way for India and Korea to win each other. But, in order to fight against ZTQ-15, additional performance improvements will be needed for K21-105's armor
 

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The M109 of the 21st century. The Aussie variant looks very good IMO.

as9-inside.jpg
 

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Video Source: Defense Acquisition Program Administration

The K9A1, an improved version of the Korean military's main self-propelled artillery K9, is currently replacing the K9 deployed in the korean military. Hanwha Techwin, the developer of K9, is carrying out a performance improvement project for K9A2, a secondary performance improvement project with further improved performance, and aims to complete the development in 2022.

As another project, the K9A3 project, which has just begun research and development (R&D) of core technologies, aims to be fully automated by remote unmanned control in preparation for the future battlefield environment.


K9A2_Autoloader1.jpg

An automatic transport device to be applied to K9A2. Robot arms are preparing to load with rounds

Hanwha Defense is currently developing K9A2, a secondary performance improvement project for K9 self-propelled artillery. The key of the K9A2 is to increase the maximum range of rounds, speed up firing, and reduce the number of operating personnel. In particular, it plans to improve its performance through complete automation of loading.

K9A2_Autoloader2.jpg

The shells and propellants are automatically loaded by the High-response artillery automation system developed by Hanwha Defense.

In this regard, since 2016, it has been developing related core technologies such as 'High-response artillery automation system' technology. The biggest difference of the K9A2 is that the turret has been replaced with an electric motor rather than a conventional hydraulic motor. and K9A1 were able to reload rounds manually or semi-automatically, but the K9A2, redesigned as an automation system, automatically identifies the type of ammunition and automatically performs all processes, including reloading and firing.

The K9A1 can fire 6 rounds per minute, but the improved K9A2 has been redesigned to fire 9 rounds per minute. In addition, the number of operating personnel will be reduced from 5 to 3 due to remote unmanned and automation.

In addition, additional air conditioners will be installed and the existing 12.7 mm heavy machine gun will be replaced with RCWS(Remote controlled Weapon Stations), and automatic fire suppression systems will be installed for extinguish fires in case of a fire inside.
 

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