Hanwha Defense rolls out 24 K9PL self-propelled howitzers for Polish army
An initial batch of 24 K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzers (SPHs) was rolled out on October 19 to be sent to Poland as part of the first executive contract signed in mid-August. The roll-out ceremony was held at Hanwha Defense’s Factory 1 in Changwon, some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul. This roll-out of 24 K9PL howitzers took place less than two months after signing the executive contract to provide hundreds of K9 SPHs by 2026. Under the Framework Contract, hundreds of K9 SPHs will also be manufactured in Poland for years from 2026.
During the event, all the 24 K9PL vehicles were lined up on the site, while a K9PL led the parade of advanced combat vehicles, built by Hanwha Defense, including the K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicle; K77 Fire Direction Center Vehicle; K21 Infantry Fighting Vehicle; Korean Amphibious Assault Vehicle; and Arion-SMET Unmanned Ground Vehicle. “Today’s rollout of K9PL Self-Propelled Howitzers represents our firm commitment to satisfying the needs of Poland,” said Lee Boo-hwan, Executive Vice President of Hanwha Defense’s Overseas Business Division.“.
The 155mm/52-calibre K9 Thunder is the world’s most popular tracked self-propelled howitzer with over 1,700 units already in service in 9 countries. It can deliver consistent, accurate, rapid effects at a +40km range with high rates and volumes of fire. In particular, the K9 is optimized for the “Shoot-and-Scoot” capability to fire multiple rounds and immediately move to a different location to avoid potential counter-fire.
The K9PL is based on the K9A1 variant that features improvements such as automatic fire control, driver night vision periscopes, and auxiliary power units. Hanwha plans to upgrade the K9A1 to A2 version equipped with a fully automatic ammunition handling system. The autoloading K9A2 can fire over nine rounds per minute, with just three crewmembers.