The South Korean Army plans to resume use of its K-9 howitzer for training "in stages" following a report that a mechanical flaw trigged an explosion of the artillery system in August which left three soldiers dead and four others wounded.
A press release from the South Korean Army published in the local media mentioned mechanical flaw as the likely cause of the abrupt explosion without giving any details. It ruled out human error as the cause of the incident.
The K-9 Thunder is a self-propelled howitzer system made by Hanwha Land systems, an affiliate of Hanwha Techwin.
The howitzer blew up abruptly while in use at a shooting range in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province. The Army has since suspended the operation of K9s for training, although it remains operational for combat duty.
The detonator ignited by itself and some components functioned abnormally, the Army said after an investigation by some 113 government and military officials besides civilian experts.
The Army plans to resume the use of K9s at training sites "in stages" and take additional safety measures for troops operating K9s, plus a better maintenance system, Yonhap News reported.
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