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Australia Signs AS9 Huntsman Contract with ROK

Australia Signs AS9 Huntsman Contract with ROK

The Australian government has officially ordered a fleet of the Hanwha’s Huntsman AS9 self-propelled artillery systems from the Republic of Korea (ROK), valued at approximately $1 billion.

Hanwha Defence Australia (HDA) has formally signed a deal with the Commonwealth to provide the Australian Army with Huntsman AS9 self-propelled artillery systems. The procurement proposal calls for the purchase of 30 self-propelled artillery systems and 15 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles between $900 million to $1.3 billion. Vehicles will be supplied between 2025 and 2027 at its factory at Geelong, Victoria,

This is Australia's first large procurement from an Asian defence prime contractor.

The agreement was signed on December 13 in Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, in ROK President Moon Jae-in and his Australian counterpart, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, as the two nations celebrated their 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Hanwha's K9 is equipped with a 155mm/52-caliber gun that has served in seven countries throughout the world: the Republic of Korea, Turkey, Poland, India, Finland, Norway, and Estonia. Approximately 1,700 K9 varieties are in use in those nations. Hanwha and the Egyptian government are currently negotiating the K9.

With standard 155mm ammo, the K9 has a range of more than 40 kilometres. The vehicle has a top speed of 67 km /h. The howitzer has an automated fire control system; it can fire within 30 seconds from a fixed position and 60 seconds while moving.

The AS9 Huntsman is an Australian variant of the self-propelled howitzer K9 from the ROK. The Australian version is based on the K9 VIDAR versions created for Norway. According to Hanwha officials, several changes were made to meet Australian standards, such as improved armour and weapon-locating radars.

In September 2020, HDA was chosen as the preferred provider.

A crew of five operates the Huntsman howitzer, including the commander, gunner, assisting gunner, loader, and driver.