Hanwha Defense Demonstrates Compatibility Between K9 Thunder SPH and US Ammunition | Defense News October 2022 Global Security Army Industry | Defense Security world news army industry year 2022

On September 14, the South Korean defense company Hanwha Defense Co. — through its American subsidiary Hanwha Defense USA — and the armament center of the United States Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM AC ) have successfully proven the compatibility of the K9 thunder Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) and K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicle (ARV) with a variety of US munitions.
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Hanwha K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) and K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicle (ARV) (Image source: US Army, Yuma Proving Ground)

Attended by more than 60 guests from the U.S. military and allied nations, the live-fire demonstration took place at Yuma Proving Ground, AZ, where Hanwha’s artillery solutions – K9A1 SPH and K10 ARV – loaded and fired various types of US ammunition, including 155mm M795 projectiles, XM1113 Rocket Assisted Projectiles (RAP), and Modular Artillery Load System (MACS) loads. The demonstration consisted of three major events – the automated resupply of US projectiles by the K10 ARV; firing M795 projectiles to demonstrate the K9A1’s capabilities in firing and scooting capabilities, burst firing, and rapid rate of fire; and finally, firing the XM1113 RAP from the K9A1 SPH.

The demonstration began with the automated loading of US ammunition into the K10 ARV, while attendees witnessed the compatibility of the M795 and XM1113 with the K10’s automated ammunition handling system, in addition to the efficient replenishment of the self-propelled gun without manual effort.

The K9A1 demonstrated its signature “Shoot-and-Scoot” capability, where it fired multiple M795 projectiles and immediately moved to another location, demonstrating the vehicle’s agility to avoid possible counterfire.

During the burst fire and rate of fire segments of the event, 155mm/52 caliber artillery, operated by a Hanwha gun crew, fired three rounds in 16 seconds and six rounds in 45 seconds, respectively , with minimal physical effort. In the final segment of the event, the K9A1 fired XM1113 RAP which achieved a range of over 50 km.

This was the first time the US military tested the XM1113 with a foreign artillery solution. This live demonstration was conducted under the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) signed in 2021 for the purpose of evaluating the feasibility, performance, and capabilities of transporting and firing U.S. ordnance by Hanwha artillery platforms.

“The demonstration successfully achieved all of its CRADA objectives, having shown the full interoperability of K9 and K10 vehicles with US ammunition and loads, in addition to extended range, firing and scooting and high rate of fire of the K9 system,” John said. Kelly, president and CEO of Hanwha Defense USA. “The collaboration with DEVCOM AC and the US Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) in Yuma has been excellent.”

The vehicles used in the demonstration will be displayed at the AUSA 2022 Annual Exhibition and Conference, in Washington DC, alongside further discussions with DEVCOM AC and the military on future cooperation opportunities.

The caliber 155 mm/52 K9 thunder is the world’s most popular tracked self-propelled howitzer with more than 1,700 units in service in nine countries around the world. The howitzer can produce rapid effects at a distance of +40 km with high rates and volumes of fire. Following the changes made to the K9A1 version, the artillery system is upgraded to the new K9A2 variant equipped with a fully automatic ammunition handling system. The self-loading K9A2 can fire more than nine rounds per minute, with only three crew members.

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The live-fire demonstration took place at Yuma Proving Ground, AZ, where Hanwha’s artillery solutions – K9A1 SPH and K10 ARV – loaded and fired various types of US munitions, including M795 155mm projectiles, XM1113 rocket assisted projectiles (RAP) and modular artillery. Charging System Charges (MACS) (Image source: US Army, Yuma Proving Ground)

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