Hanwha Defense USA to Display K9 155mm Howitzer at AUSA's 2023 Annual Meeting & Exhibition

According to a statement published on October 8, 2023, by Hanwha Defense USA, Hanwha Aerospace and its US subsidiary, Hanwha Defense USA will exhibit its K9 155mm self-propelled howitzer at the upcoming AUSA Association of the U.S. Army's Annual Meeting & Exhibition, taking place from October 9 to 11, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
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South Korean Soldiers from the 231st Field Artillery Battalion, 26th Mechanized Infantry Division Artillery, coordinate fires on May 10, 2016, with K9 howitzers during a joint artillery exercise with U.S. Soldiers. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

In response to the increased demand for artillery driven by the Ukraine War, South Korean Company Hanwha Defense will present adaptive and dependable ordnance and munitions intended to provide the United States Army and Canadian Army with critical cutting-edge capability in support of NATO's effort to stabilize the global arms supply chain.

The K9 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) is the most widely used SPH in the world due to its firepower, high mobility, and survivability. It can engage targets at a range of 40 kilometers with currently available conventional ammunition and has demonstrated a range of 50+ kilometers with new rocket-assisted projectiles. Over 1,800 K9 vehicles, including localized variants, are in service with eight nations, including Poland, Norway, Finland, and Estonia. Australia and Egypt are planning to produce and operate hundreds of additional K9s in the next several years.

South Korea's defense industry has witnessed significant growth and transformation over the past few decades. Initially reliant on imports for its defense needs, South Korea has transitioned to becoming one of the world's top defense exporters. This transformation can be attributed to the country's strategic investments in research and development, as well as its focus on indigenous defense production capabilities.

Several conglomerates, known as chaebols, such as Hyundai, Samsung, and Hanwha, have defense divisions that play a pivotal role in the country's defense production. These companies have developed a wide range of products, from small arms to advanced fighter jets, naval vessels, and missile systems. The K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer and the K2 Black Panther main battle tank are notable examples of South Korea's indigenous defense products that have garnered international attention.

Furthermore, South Korea's defense exports have expanded to various regions, including Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and even Europe. The country's emphasis on quality and competitive pricing has made its defense products attractive to many international buyers.

In conclusion, South Korea's defense industry has evolved from being import-dependent to a significant player in the global defense market. With continuous investments in technology and innovation, it is poised to further strengthen its position in the coming years.

Defense News October 2023