South Korea’s firm Hanwha Corporation has reportedly exported a towed howitzer and grenade launchers to Pakistan early this year, Pakistan Exim Trade Info’s database shows.
Pakistan Army’s Inspectorate of Armaments imported a single KH179 155 mm towed howitzer and two 40 mm auto grenade launchers (AGL) from Hanwha in January, in addition to 155mm rounds from another South Korean firm Poongsan Corporation in March of this year, Quwa reported citing the database.
Considering the small quantities acquired, the Pakistan Army is likely to be testing these weapons. However, it is not known if there are active bids for towed howitzers and/or AGLs, the report says.
The KH179 is a 155mm/39-calibre towed howitzer. Weighing 6,890 kg, the KH179 can fire a sustained two rounds per minute (up to four per minute at maximum). With standard shells, it has a range of 30 km.
The Pakistan Army has been seeking a wheeled self-propelled howitzer (SPH) since as early as at least 2008 when it procured two SH-1 howitzers from China for evaluation purposes.
According to iHS Jane’s report in June last year, it projected that Pakistan could spend $12 billion U.S. on big-ticket weapon systems in the period of 2016 to 2024. The report said possible “opportunities exist for a self-propelled mortar, an armoured personnel carriers (APC) and a self-propelled howitzer (SPH)” at values of $1.5 billion, $1.1 billion and $844 million, respectively.