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South Korea wants to boost the notoriety of its K9 155mm self-propelled howitzer

According to information released by the Aju Business Daily website on September 15, 2020, the South Korea defense industry would like to acquire foreign original technologies for key components of its K9 Thunder 155mm self-propelled howitzer based on tracked armored chassis.
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South Korean army K9 Thunder 155mm self-propelled howitzer based on tracked armored chassis. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) would like to produce locally the German diesel engine provided by MTU Friedrichshafen of Germany. The K9 Thunder artillery system is powered by a German MTU MT 881 Ka-500 diesel engine, developing 1,000 horsepower coupled to an Allison automatic transmission X1100-5A3 with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears.

According to the DAPA, the local production of the main foreign components of the K9 Thunder will increase the notoriety of military products made in South Korea as well as the export potential.

The K9 is now, one of the most popular self-propelled artillery howitzers in the world. The K9 Thunder was designed and developed by the Agency for Defense Development and Samsung Aerospace Industries for the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and is now manufactured by South Korean Company Hanwha Defense.

The K9 Thunder is now in service with South Korea, Estonia, Finland, India, Norway, Poland using the chassis under the name of Krab, and Turkey produced under license and nicknamed Firtina.

In September 2020, Hanwha Defense was selected by Australia to build and maintain 30 self-propelled howitzers and 15 armored ammunition resupply vehicles, and their supporting systems. In April 2017, it was reported that Hanwha Techwin was in negotiations with Egypt to export its K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer. The K9 Thunder is one of the contenders for supplying Egypt with new artillery systems, other howitzers competing with the K9 include those from Russia, South Africa, and France, specifically the CAESAR self-propelled howitzer.

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