South Korea’s Hanwha Defense plans to offer the latest variant of the K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH), dubbed K9A2, for the British Army’s Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) program.
The 155mm/52-calibre K9A1 Thunder will be showcased as part of Hanwha Defense’s display at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) event in London starting September 14-17. The version offered for the UK Army is the K9A2 version which is an upgrade of the A1.
Along with the K9 Thunder, the next-generation Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), and the Multi-Purpose Unmanned Ground Vehicle (M-UGV) will also be displayed, a Hanwha release said today.
The 155mm/52-calibre K9 Thunder is in negotiation in Australia for possible sale to the Australian Army.
The K9’s U.K. version is to feature enhanced lethality, protection and mobility. Equipped with a fully automated ammunition loading system, the K9A2 is to have a nine rounds per minute rate of fire. The newer K9 variant will also be fitted with mine protection kits and composite rubber tracks.
“The United Kingdom is the first international market to which the newest variant of the K9 SPH is being offered, and we hope the UK defence industry will serve as a supply chain bases for the global K9 family of vehicles,” said Sun Wi, Director of MFP Program, Hanwha Defense.
Regarding the M-UGV at DSEI, it will be the first time that Hanwha Defense has put its UGV platform on display in the European market.
The 4x4 M-UGV was developed in 2019 as part of a South Korean government project aimed at developing unmanned robotics to support infantry troops in various combat situations. The 1.5-ton electric vehicle can move at a top speed of 30 km/h on paved roads and is operated either remotely or autonomously to carry out various missions such as surveillance, logistics transport, evacuation of casualties, and combat engagement.
The vehicle is armed with an indigenous remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) that can lock on the targets automatically using acoustic sensors to determine the source of gunfire during the confusion of combat. A newer 6x6 version dubbed the Intelligence UGV (I-UGV) is set to be unveiled later this year. The I-UGV is to feature a payload capacity of 500 kg and a cruising radius of 100 kilometers. The South Korean Army plans to trial the I-UGV in coming months in effort to help review the vehicle’s operational effectiveness.