S.Korean Hanwha Bags Another European Deal! Signs Contract With Romania For K9 & K10 Artillery Systems

  • Hanwha Aerospace signed a $1 billion contract on 9th July to provide 54 K9 Self-Propelled Howitzers and 36 K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicles to Romania under a package deal that also includes scores of wheeled support vehicles and ammunition.
  • Romania has become the 10th K9 User Club member state, growing the international user community of the 155mm/52-caliber tracked self-propelled howitzer, which accounts for over 50 percent of the global self-propelled howitzer market. 
  • Most of the Romanian K9 artillery systems will be manufactured and repaired locally with extensive involvement of local suppliers, with the aim of maximizing benefits to the Romanian economy and industry.
  • Hanwha Aerospace is offering the Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) for Romania’s armored vehicle modernization as the Redback shares a high level of commonality with the K9, which could increase the efficiency of operation, production, and maintenance when running both systems.

10th July, 2024 _ Hanwha Aerospace signed a contract with Romania over the supply of 54 K9 Self-Propelled Howitzers (SPH) and 36 K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicles (ARV). Signed on 9th July by Hanwha Aerospace and the Romanian Ministry of National Defence, the contract also includes ammunition and support vehicles both on tracks and wheels. The contract is valued about $1 billion.

Romania has become the 10th customer nation operating the 155mm/52-caliber K9 SPH. Among the NATO members, Romania is the sixth K9 user nation following Türkiye, Poland, Norway, Finland and Estonia. Following Norway and Australia, Romania will also be the third global operator of the K10, which enables a fully automated re-supplying capability to maximize the efficiency of artillery forces.

“This is a remarkable deal that can further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries,” said Mr. Jaeil Son, President and CEO of Hanwha Aerospace. “This contract involves not only artillery vehicles but also supporting vehicles and ammunition, representing Hanwha Aerospace’s capability to provide a total package of advanced defense solutions based on its high level of technological expertise and world-leading production capacity.”

Under the contract, Hanwha will deliver the vehicles in stages over the next five years, with the first delivery to be made by early 2027. Most of the vehicles are to be manufactured in Romania with an extensive involvement of local suppliers.

“Hanwha Aerospace is committed to maximizing benefits to the Romanian defense industry through various types of localization programs, which include local production of defense equipment, local employment, technology transfer, and the establishment of a Center of Excellence for MRO operations in a new greenfield facility in Romania,” said Mr. Peter Bae, Vice President of Hanwha Aerospace Europe. “Romanian industry’s inclusion in Hanwha Aerospace’s broad global supply chains is one of the potential benefits Romania could take from the collaboration. Through this partnership, alongside other future projects, Romania would become a hub of Hanwha Aerospace’s land business in Europe.”

As part of efforts to broaden its partnership with Bucharest, Hanwha Aerospace is offering the Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) for Romania’s IFV modernization program.

In 2023, the Redback was selected for Australia’s next-generation IFV under the LAND 400 Phase 3 program for the delivery of 129 vehicles, most of which are to be built at a facility in Geelong, Victoria. To win the high-profile Australian IFV contest, the Redback successfully went through the world’s most competitive IFV tests and evaluations, proving its overwhelming maneuverability and lethality compared to other armored combat vehicles.

The Redback features a range of innovative technologies, including composite rubber tracks, a hard-kill active protection system, a see-through helmet-mounted display, and a layered lethality system.

With its adaptability and growth potential, the Redback will meet the Romanian Army’s operational needs in response to emerging threats and the future battlefield environment. A high level of commonality between the K9 and Redback in terms of powertrain and chassis is expected to increase the efficiency of operation, production, and maintenance of both systems.

K9 SPH and K10 ARV

K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer

The K9 SPH was developed in 1999 in cooperation with the South Korean Agency for Defense Development. Nicknamed “Thunder,” the K9-tracked artillery system can deliver consistent, accurate, rapid effects at ranges of more than 40 kilometers. The 47-ton K9 is optimized for ‘Shoot and Scoot’ capability to fire multiple rounds and immediately moving to a different location to avoid counter-fire.

Following the modifications to the K9A1 version, the artillery system is being upgraded, featuring a fully automatic ammunition handling system. The autoloading next-generation artillery will be capable of firing over 10 rounds per minute with just three crew members.

In 2022, the K9 User Club was launched for the K9 user countries to share experience, know-how of operating the K9 systems in terms of operation, maintenance and training. Over 1,800 K9 vehicles are in service with nine countries, accounting for some 50 percent the global SPH market.

K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicle

The K10 is an automatic ammunition resupply vehicle based on the chassis of K9 howitzer, sharing most of the components and characteristics for logistics support.

The vehicle can support the K9 by carrying and resupplying 104 shells of 155mm artillery ammunition and 504 units of charges under contested conditions. The vehicle transfers ammunition at a maximum speed of 12 rounds/min and takes 37 minutes to fully load. The fully automated ammunition resupply system guarantees its efficiency in logistics support and tactical movements in any severe battlefield conditions.

Hanwha Aerospace

Founded in 1977, Hanwha Aerospace is a global aerospace and defense company offering a broad portfolio of world-class products and services. These include land combat vehicles such as the K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer, Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle, and K239 Chunmoo Multiple Rocket Launcher System. The company also produces precision-guided munitions and engines for air, space, and sea platforms.

As the systems integrator of South Korea’s space launch vehicles, Hanwha Aerospace is spearheading the country’s space projects.

By: Hanwha Press Office