Norway orders more South Korean-made Thunder howitzers
The Norwegian Defense Material Agency (NDMA) has ordered four more South-Korean K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers.
According to a recent service statement, South Korean conglomerate Hanwha systems signed a contract to supply Norway with four more K9 howitzers and eight other K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicles (ARVs) for the delivery over the next two years.
The option being exercised falls within an original 1.8 billion kroner ($180 million) contract struck between the two parties in 2017 and increases Oslo’s full K9 order to 28 systems. Similarly, procurement of K10, the supporting automated robotic unit of the K9, will rise to a total of 14 vehicles.
The K9 Thunder platform is made of all-welded steel armour protection material. The design incorporates a Modular Azimuth Position System (MAPS), an automatic fire-control system (AFCS), a powered gun elevation / depression and a turret traverse system. The hydro-pneumatic suspension system provides high-ground clearance and mobility across different terrains.
The main weapon is the 155mm / 52 calibre gun. It has a burst rate of fire of three rounds per 15 seconds and a maximum rate of fire of six to eight rounds a minute for three minutes.
The K9 is now, one of the most popular self-propelled artillery howitzers in the world. Since 2001, the K9 has been ordered by eight countries including Turkey, India, Poland, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Australia and Egypt.