South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has awarded Hanwha Defense $119 million (137.4 billion won) for K55 A1 howitzers.
Under the deal, the company will deliver an unspecified number of howitzers to DAPA by October 2022, reports Yonhap.
K55/K55A1 (Paladin) are South Korean variants of the American M109 howitzer. Originally based on the M109A2 with additional domestic augmentations, they are being license-produced by Samsung Tech. The howitzers are fitted with NBC protection, automatic fire extinguishing system, and a modified ammunition reception module for K56 automatic ammunition resupply vehicle.
The Performance Improvement Program variant, K55A1, is a complete domestic overhaul of the K55 which is further augmented by Samsung Thales with modern digital ballistic computers, multifunctional data display and controllers, GPS navigation and target acquisition system, wireless datalink equipment, and upgraded fire control storage battery and power supply unit, to closely match the US military's modernization of the Paladin into next-generation standard.
In addition, Hanwha Systems was awarded $403.5 million (468.5 billion won) to supply equipment for the Korean military's tactical information communication network. The tactical information communication network is designed to support high-speed digital data transmission in both wireless and fixed lines for the military, and is critical in building the military systems for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence.