South Korea To Export K-9 Howitzers to Poland

SEOUL — South Korea will export 120 self-propelled howitzers developed by Samsung Techwin to Poland, officials from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and Techwin said on Tuesday.

Samsung Techwin will sign a contract on Wednesday here with Poland’s state-funded defense manufacturer HSW. The contract is valued at roughly US $320 million, according to the officials.

It is the second export of the K-9 Thunder self-propelled 155mm howitzer after a deal with Turkey in 2001. Under the $1 billion license agreement, the first eight K-9s were produced in South Korea, while the remaining batch of more than 300 units was built in Turkey. The Turkish variant is called the T-155 Firtina.

Samsung Techwin will sign the same type of license agreement with Poland, according to a DAPA spokesman. “Samsung Techwin will produce the first 24 units here before 2018, and after that, HSW is to build the remaining 96 units,” the spokesman said.

The K-9 was developed in 1998 as a replacement for the K55 self-propelled howitzer, a variant of the M109. Fitted with an automatic fire-control system, the artillery has a maximum rate of fire of 6 rounds per minute and is capable of multiple-round simultaneous-impact firing. It has a firing range of 40 kilometers.

The vehicle is powered by a German MTU MT 881 Ka-500 diesel engine, developing 1,000 horsepower. The latest K-9 deal comes after a merger and acquisition agreement over Samsung Techwin.

Last month, Samsung Group agreed to sell a 32.4 percent stake in Samsung Techwin for $765 million to Hanwha Corp., a defense business arm of Hanwha Group. Hanwha also gained managing rights over Samsung Thales, an electronics weapon maker jointly funded by the French Thales Group as Techwin owns a 50 percent stake in Samsung Thales. ■



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