Hanwha Defense is engaged in talks with UK partners as it prepares to participate in the UK’s Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) programme.
The company has proposed an advanced version of its K9 self-propelled howitzer for the British Army to help enhance its artillery capabilities. The discussions with UK suppliers are intended to arrange a ‘Made in the UK’ K9 variant.
The UK K9 version will be equipped with advanced technologies, such as an unmanned turret, mine protection kits and composite rubber tracks.
The K9 Thunder is a 155mm / 52 calibre self-propelled howitzer developed by Samsung Techwin, which was acquired by Hanwha in 2017.
Hanwha Defense is already in talks with Lockheed Martin UK, Pearson Engineering, Horstman Defence Systems and Soucy Defense, alongside other UK defence industry partners.
Hanwha Defense International vice-president Oh Kyea hwan said: “Building on the developing relationship between the UK and South Korea we are delighted to invite the UK to join the K9 global family.
“By working together with nations around the world Hanwha is able to offer a cost effective and modular approach. Ultimately this makes us all more resilient and allows us to integrate more easily when it matters most.”
“We are looking forward to engaging with the UK Mobile Fires Platform team to explore how we can bring the maximum amount of industrial benefit to the UK.”
The newest version of K9 is known as the ‘K9A2’. Currently, tests and other evaluations are being paced up to increase the key capabilities of the artillery.
Hanwha Defense stated that the request for proposal (RFP) for MFP is due to be released next year.
The company will confirm its team for this programme at Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) and other shows.
Currently, K9 is operational with the Republic of Korea and other global armies, including India, Norway, Finland and Estonia.
In September last year, the Australian Army selected the K9 as its preferred solution for the Protected Mobile Fires project in its LAND 8116 programme. A final contract with respect to this project is due to be awarded early next year.