Correction: A earlier model of this story misidentified the power of the deliberate engine for the K9 howitzer. South Korea plans to develop a 1,000-horsepower model.
SEOUL — South Korea has unveiled measures to boost its protection business’s capabilities in a transfer anticipated to assist enhance the nation’s arms exports.
On Sept. 15, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, or DAPA, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy to regionally develop the engine for the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer.
“If we develop an engine for the K9 on our own, it will help pave the way for self-reliant national defense and contribute to increasing the exports of the artillery as well,” DAPA Commissioner Wang Jung-hong stated in a information launch.
The company stated it’ll make investments about $65 million over the following 5 years to develop a 1,000-horespower diesel engine to exchange the German MTU 881 Ka-500 water-cooled diesel engine, which at present powers the K9 howitzer.
The choice got here on the heels of Australia’s choice of the K9 car as the popular resolution for the primary part of the Land 8116 Protected Mobile Fires program, which is aimed toward buying 30 self-propelled howitzers and 15 different ammunition resupply automobiles.
Australia can be the seventh nation working the K9 automobiles after Turkey, Poland, Finland, India, Norway and Estonia, as soon as a deal is finalized later subsequent yr. About 1,700 K9 models are in service all over the world, in response to its producer, Hanwha Defense.
Nevertheless, the export of the K9 has been impeded by a German arms embargo on some Middle East nations, together with Saudi Arabia. In March, the German authorities endorsed an extension of its arms embargo on the dominion to final till the yr’s finish, marking the third extension to the arms export restriction, which was enacted in late 2018 following the demise of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Western intelligence companies stated the Saudi authorities murdered him, however the kingdom has denied the accusation.
“Negotiations are known to be continuing over K9′s sales to some other countries, but the German arms embargo has been the main stumbling block to finalizing deals,” a diplomatic supply advised Defense News, talking on situation of anonymity. “In this regard, the plan of localizing the K9 engine is construed as an important step to shore up the country’s arms exports.”
In addition, DAPA adopted a coverage of working export-variant weapons methods on a trial foundation, previous to potential gross sales, to confirm performances first at home.
“By operating and evaluating the latest weapons systems designed for exports for a certain period of time, the Army would be able to provide valuable feedbacks to the manufacturers,” DAPA stated in an Oct. 7 information launch.
Through these efforts, the possibility of exporting these weapons involved can be elevated when their performances may very well be confirmed and authorized to potential clients, the company added.
The beneficiaries of this program are Hanwha Defense, KOVICO and Dasan Machineries. Under the plan, the South Korean Army will take supply of the six-wheel drive armored personnel provider TIGON from Hanwha; four-wheel drive armored personnel carriers from KOVICO; and 12 varieties of small arms from Dasan.
“After pilot operation and evaluations of those weapons systems, certifications will be issued on proven records, which can be offered to potential customer nations,” the company stated.
TIGON is an export-oriented armored personnel provider first launched at a 2018 arms exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A successor to the Black Fox armored car exported to Indonesia, TIGON may be fitted with 4 several types of armament similar to a 12.7mm machine gun in addition to three varieties of remote-controlled weapon stations armed with a 12.7mm machine gun, a 30mm computerized gun and a 90mm gun.
The 21-ton car can carry two crew members up entrance and 9 troops within the rear compartment. It has a most velocity of 100 kph on the highway and eight kph in water, with a cruising vary of 800 kilometers.