Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) has announced that Kongsberg Defence Australia (KDA) will be its Command, Control, Communications, and Computing (C4) Integration partner for Project Land 8116 Phase 1 (Protected Mobile Fires). This follows the government’s recent announcement that it intends to acquire a quantity of K9 Self-Propelled Howitzers and K10 Armoured Ammunition Resupply Vehicles from HDA. Kongsberg provides the proven digital architecture and Fire Control System for Hanwha’s K9 and K10. The cooperation between Hanwha and Kongsberg has already proven to be highly successful for the recent Norwegian ‘Vidar’ K9 and K10 Program, and in the delivery of K9 vehicles to Finland and Estonia.
Hanwha’s K9 is known locally as the Huntsman and it will bring improved interoperability for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with both NATO and US armed forces through Kongsberg’s integrated ODIN fire support system. Kongsberg will be responsible for integrating the Protected Mobile Fires capability into the ADF’s C4 Force Structure, including the integration of tactical communication systems and Battle Management Systems, and will also transfer hardware and software technology to Kongsberg Defence Australia to execute and support the Australian Protected Mobile Fires Program. Kongsberg Defence Australia is incredibly proud to be selected to deliver these capabilities for the Protected Mobile Fires program.
Hanwha Defense Australia has been selected as the sole tenderer for the Land 8116 program which will deliver 30 K9 SPH and 15 K10 ARV Systems to the Australian Army: there is the possibility of another tranche of systems as a follow-on order. A new K9 SPH variant, the Huntsman, has been developed for this program to incorporate lessons learned from the global K9 SPH fleet. HaDA is planning a new manufacturing facility in the Greater Geelong area in Victoria to produce its Huntsman artillery systems and the armoured resupply vehicles. Kongsberg Defence Australia will also establish a local software support and test environment that will be used by Kongsberg to support Land 8116 and other programs in Australia and the region.
K9 Thunder is Developed by South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development and Samsung Techwin in 1998. The main weapon is the 155mm, 52-caliber gun with a burst rate of fire of three rounds per 15 seconds, and a maximum rate of fire of six rounds a minute for three minutes. It has a firing range of 40 kilometers and is capable of “multiple rounds simultaneous impact” firing. It’s designed to provide effective and deep fire support across theaters. The howitzer is now manufactured by Hanwha Defense, a defense contractor of Hanwha Group that acquired Samsung Techwin in 2017. The K9 has been exported to several countries, including Turkey, Poland, India, Norway and Estonia. About 1,700 units are in service around the world.