South Korea to double range of K-9 Self-Propelled howitzers - M5 Dergi
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South Korea to double range of K-9 Self-Propelled howitzers

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South Korea has embarked on a new $38-million project to upgrade its K-9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers.

The country’s Agency for Defense Development will reportedly invest in a super long-range cannon to double the shooting range of the weapon system.

The upgrade comes amid rising demand for increased shooting range due to increased artillery threats from North Korea and the rising capabilities of rival products.

The present K-9 has a maximum firing range of 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) despite undertaking several advancements in key components.

Meanwhile, the US is developing its XM1299 howitzer, which can fire up to 100 kilometers (62 miles).

Russia’s new 2S35 howitzer has reportedly achieved a range of 70 kilometers (43.5 miles), while China’s PL205 can hit targets up to 53 kilometers (32.9 miles) away.

Additionally, South Korean arch-foe Pyongyang is known to possess howitzers with a range of over 60 kilometers (37.2 miles).

Seoul has a total of 1,100 K-9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers. They will be upgraded until August 2027.

The K-9 Thunder

Developed by Hanwha Defense, the K-9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer is powered by an 8-cylinder water-cooled diesel engine that provides a top speed of 67 kilometers (41.6 miles) per hour.

It reportedly offers improved mobility, range, and rate of fire, making it suitable for challenging, fast-paced combat operations.

The system also provides increased battlefield survivability as it can quickly be brought into action, fire, and change position.

The 155-millimeter gun has a maximum rate of fire of six rounds a minute for three minutes.

The country’s Agency for Defense Development is currently developing a reloading automation system and remote operation technology that would increase the howitzer’s rate of fire to nine rounds per minute.

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