In a latest announcement, Hanwha Company has revealed that another batch of those howitzers are being shipped to Poland.

Poland is currently South Korea’s largest export customer with huge arms contracts including main battle tanks and self-propelled artillery. In a framework agreement in July 2022, 672 K9A1 and K9PL guns were signed, and in December 2022, 24 K9A1 guns were delivered. In a latest announcement, Hanwha Company has revealed that another batch of those howitzers are being shipped to Poland.

According to Hanwha Aerospace, the third batch of 12 howitzers is being shipped to Poland. This means that the second batch, also up to 12 guns, is on its way to Poland. All howitzers will be equipped with Polish communication system and Topaz Automated Fire Control Kit, which is intended for operating with Polish command vehicles.

Today, the K9 represents 50% of the global tracked howitzer military market. According to Hanwha Defense, the K9 was developed and designed based on the latest South Korean defense technologies, and today, the K9 Thunder is the world’s most advanced self-propelled howitzer. it is equipped with a Modular Azimuth Position System, an automatic fire-control system, a powered gun elevation and a turret traverse system.

(L to R) Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, Minister of South Korea’s state arms procurement agency Eom Donghwan and Polish President Andrzej Duda look at tanks during the acceptance of the first South Korean K2 battle tanks and South Korean K9 howitzers for Poland in December 6, 2022 at the Baltic Container Terminal in Gdynia. – The Polish Army is strengthening its potential with the use of South Korean defense technologies. In July this year an agreement was concluded with Hyundai Rotem for the acquisition of a total of 1,000 K2 tanks with accompanying vehicles. (Photo by MATEUSZ SLODKOWSKI / AFP)

The K9 is armed with one 155mm gun which has a burst rate of fire of three rounds per 15 seconds and a maximum rate of fire of six to eight rounds per minute during three minutes. The gun’s firing is controlled by onboard fire-control equipment. The information can be transmitted through a data digital radio link or voice communications. The automatic loading system places the projectiles onto the ammunition tray ready for the fire. The K9 Thunder can open fire within 30 seconds at stand-out position or within 60 seconds during movement.

The K9 is able to fire all the standard 155mm ammunition with a maximum firing range of 30 km and can destroy land targets at a maximum range of 40 km using extended range ammunition. The K9 Thunder has an all-welded steel hull and turret with a maximum thickness of 19 mm. It provides protection from the firing of small arms and artillery shell fragments.

Hanwha defense continues to develop and modernize the K9 with now the A1 and A2 versions. The K9A1 has many improvements including an automatic fire control system, driver’s night periscope, and auxiliary power system for enhanced efficiency. The improved K9A1 provides increased range, fast fire rate, and higher mobility during day and night times. The K9A2, which is an advanced version of the K9 specially designed for the British army Mobile Fire Platform program to replace the old AS90 155mm howitzer that was first deployed by the British Army in 1993.

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