South Korea has completed the development of an upgraded 105 mm howitzer featuring increased agility and automated firing control and will start mass producing in 2018.
The self-propelled artillery system combines the existing 105 mm towed howitzer with a five-ton truck as its bed. The 105mm howitzer with a range of around 11 kilometers is known for reliability, speed and accuracy, Yonhap reported Wednesday.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), the country's arms procurement agency, launched a project in 2015 to develop the evolved 105 mm howitzer in partnership with Hanhwa Techwin, a local defense firm.
"It was assessed as fit for combat by meeting all required operational capabilities in a recent test," DAPA said. "Accordingly, mass-production will begin in 2018 for use by our military units."
It uses an automated fire control system and an advanced GPS device, enhancing the shoot-and-scoot capability.
The number of operating personnel will be reduced to five from nine for each existing 105mm towed howitzer.