Six countries of K9 self-propelled howitzer User Group meet in Helsinki

Representatives from six countries employing the Hanwha Aerospace K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer are meeting in Finland for the annual K9 User Club meeting, sharing experiences and operational know-how.

The meeting is the third iteration of the K9 User Club, and consists of 50 military delegates from South Korea, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Poland and Australia. The United States is attending as an observer.

The meeting also includes industry representatives from Millog, Kongsberg, HSW, Van Haltern and Soucy.

In a snapshot of the first day’s proceedings, a Hanwha Aerospace spokesperson explained that member nations shared experience, knowledge, and know-how of the operation, maintenance and training of the K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer.

South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration also explained their plans to develop the next-generation K9A2 and K9A3 variants

The K9A2 is expected to feature an automated turret to deliver enhanced lethality, survivability, and digitisation. The K9A3 is also projected to feature extended range through a 58-calibre barrel as well as further automation and AI to enable human-machine teaming.

The company has also pledged to open a K9 spare parts centre in Europe, enhancing logistics support for local K9 users.

“Hanwha Aerospace prioritizes delivering proper solutions to K9 user nations to ensure stable operation and maintenance of the K9 SPH. In that regard, we are fully committed to offering the most effective logistics support to our customers,” vice president Cho Sang-hwan, head of Hanwha Aerospace’s MRO Business group said.

Over the coming days, K9 users are expected to also discuss maintenance, tactics and training for the platform, as well as taking part in industry and military tours.

The users’ meetings were previously held in Norway and South Korea.

The K9 now accounts for 50 percent of the global market share of artillery self-propelled Howitzer platforms, with 1,800 units in service.

It boasts consistent, accurate and rapid effects at ranges of more than 40 kilometers.

India and Turkiye also operate the K9 though are not in attendance, while Australia and Egypt preparing to field the weapons systems.

In December 2021, Hanwha Defense Australia officially signed a contract with the Commonwealth for the supply of Huntsman AS9 self-propelled artillery systems to the Australian Army as part of the LAND 8116 Phase 1 program — a $900 million-$1.3 billion procurement of 30 self-propelled artillery systems and 15 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles.

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