The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announces that South Korean company Hanwha Defense has completed delivery of a third batch of K56 automatic ammunition supply vehicles to the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA). The army is expected to receive two more K56 batches by 2025. Delivery of the latest batch of these tracked vehicles, which supply the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA)’s 155 mm K55A1 tracked self-propelled howitzers (SPHs), was completed in December 2020, with the platforms now being deployed with self-propelled artillery units in the western region.
The K56 Ammunition Resupply Vehicle is a robot-type ammunition carrier that automatically supplies ammunition to the K55A1 Self-propelled Howitzer. The performance of the K55 self-propelled howitzer has improved with an automatic gun laying turret that has a higher shooting range/firing rate. The K56 is a robotic unit developed to automatically, quickly, and safely supply ammunition for the K55A1 self-propelled artillery. Development of the K56 was completed in October 2011 and the vehicle is believed to have entered service by 2015.
The K55A1 self-propelled howitzer is the upgraded variant of K55 self-propelled howitzer. The K55A1 has been improved to adapt to future operational environments. The self-propelled howitzer K55A1 uses the same automatic gun laying/fire control system and inertial navigation system that is in K9 and used in the K55 but improved for better continuous fire rate, reactivity and survivability. The K55 and K55A1 are South Korean variants of the American-made M109 tracked 155mm self-propelled howitzer under license by the Company Samsung Techwin (now Hanwha Defense).
South Korean Defense Company Hanwha Defense has signed a deal to provide the South Korean Army with the fifth batch of K55 A1 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers, the company said on December 30, 2019. Valued at $118 million, the contract was signed between Hanwha Defense and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. Delivery of the artillery is scheduled to be completed by October 30, 2022. A total of 1,040 K55/K55A1 tracked self-propelled howitzers of these variants were produced.