K9A1 Thunder 155 mm/52 caliber Self-Propelled Howitzer system.
K9A1 Thunder 155 mm/52 caliber Self-Propelled Howitzer system.

Hanwha Defense announced it will present its K9A1 Thunder 155 mm/52 caliber Self-Propelled Howitzer system at the upcoming Defense Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) being held at ExCel, London, beginning September 14 to the 17th.

The display is aligned with the company’s intention of offering its advanced artillery system for the British Army’s Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) program.

MFP will replace the current AS90. The K9 is one of the most advanced artillery systems being offered with automated loading and ammunition handling, digital automated fire controls, on-board navigation and enhanced protection. The K9A2 includes composite tracks and mine blast protection. It has a rate of fire of 6-8 rounds per minute and can fire first rounds within 60 seconds of halting.

Its combat effectiveness is further facilitated by its teaming with the K10 fully-automated Ammunition Resupply Vehicle (ARV). The ARV can transfer up to 6 rounds per minute from its 104 round magazine.

The K9 is already in service in South Korea, Turkey, Poland, Finland, Norway, India, and Estonia with negotiations currently occurring with the Australia defense authorities.

The most recent British MFP requirement objectives issued in 2020 emphasize a high rate of fire, range of at least 40 km, and a rapid into-action and out-of-action times. MFP seeks to acquire 119 systems with a request for proposals to be issued in 2022 with contact award scheduled for 2025. The program budget is £800 million (US$1 billion).

by Stephen W. Miller