Hanwha Defence is eyeing export opportunities of its sophisticated land defence systems including the including the K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) and the Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). A modified variant of the classic K9 SPH, the K9A1 are on display at the ongoing show.
Upgrades for the K9A2 variant are in full swing, as the newer version is envisaged to feature a fully automated loading system instead of the semi auto-loader for the existing variants. The automatic turret will allow for fully autonomous firing with a rate of fire of nine+ rounds per minute, as well as reducing the number of crew from five to three soldiers. The possibility of introducing composite rubber tracks is also under examination to improve mobility, a company official says.
According to the official, the 155mm/52-calibre K9 Thunder is the world’s best-selling SPH, as nearly 1,700 K9 variants are in service in seven nations including South Korea, Turkey, Poland, Finland, Norway, India, Estonia. Australia would be the eighth customer for the K9 SPH solution with negotiations underway.
Hanwha Defence also plans to offer the latest variant of the K9, dubbed K9A2, for the British Army’s Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) program. Meanwhile, following the bid for Australia’s LAND 400 Phase 3 armored vehicle modernization program and LAND 8116’s acquisition of the AS9 Self-Propelled Howitzer and AS10 fully automated Armored Ammunition Resupply Vehicle, Hanwha Defence has signed an agreement with Oshkosh Defence for the digital design phase of the US Army’s next-generation combat vehicle programme.
The Oshkosh-Hanwha team has been selected as one of the five contenders for the Concept Design Phase of the US Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program tasked to replace some 3,500 M2 Bradley vehicles that have been service since 1981.The OMFV second phase award was announced on July 23 by the US Army Contracting Command – Detroit Arsenal (ACC-DTA), paving the way for a 15-month-long program of work by selected contenders to make digital concept designs for the OMFV.
The OMFV programme takes a five-phased approach to design, prototype, test and produce the vehicle with the aim of producing a transformational infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) that will dominate maneuver in multi-domain operations. Following the second phase contracts, the selected consortiums are set to take part in another open competition in the second quarter of fiscal year 2022 for the next phases of detailed design and prototype, with a contract announcement for the winning bidder due in late 2027.
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