Finland is an active operator with the Korean K9 self-propelled howitzer.

In the latest move, Finland is buying 38 more used K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers from South Korea, known as Moukari in Finland. The purchase also includes equipment packages and spare parts for the self-propelled howitzer. The total value of the acquisition is approximately €134 million.

The addition of new self-propelled guns will greatly enhance the offensive potential of the Finnish ground forces. Finland first purchased 48 Moukari howitzers in 2017. This also included an additional option for another 48 such howitzers. 10 additional units were ordered in 2021 and 2022. Thus, the total number of K9 Thunder howitzers of the Finnish armed forces will be 96 units.

According to the Ministry of Defense of Finland, “Armored howitzers have proven themselves to be reliable in Finland, excellent experience has been gained from them both in the training of conscripts and in shooting”. K9 Thunder is a modern 155mm self-propelled artillery system manufactured in South Korea and is in service in a number of countries that have purchased the installation or manufactured it under license. The turret and howitzer body are made of sheets of rolled steel armor. The control compartment and the motor-transmission compartment are located in the front part of the howitzer body, the combat compartment with the turret is accommodated in the aft part.

The range of the K9 reaches approximately 40 km. The ammunition of the self-propelled guns includes 46 rounds of separate charging. The maximum speed of the combat vehicle is 67 km/h. The crew of the combat vehicle is 5 people: a commander, a mechanic-driver, a gunner and two loaders. Deployment time is 30 seconds.

In May 2022, Immediately after applying to join NATO, Finland moved a series of heavy weapons including the K-9 thunder self-propelled howitzers and Leopard 2A4/5 tanks near the Russian border. Images of trains transporting heavy equipment near the border were published by Russian media, and accused it of a somewhat provocative action by Finland. With an estimated cost of 10 million USD including the K-10 ammunition truck, or 6 million USD for the gun alone, the K9 is one of Korea’s most popular weapons thanks to its top-notch technical and combat features as well as its relatively reasonable price.

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