Shown above is the K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzer of Hanwha Defense, which the company will show off during the upcoming Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) at ExCel, London. Photo courtesy of Hanwha Defense

Korea’s business bellwether will demonstrate up-to-date defense platforms at DSEI 2021

Hanwha Defense announced on Sept. 10 that it will showcase its artillery and unmanned ground systems at a biennial defense and security trade exhibition in the United Kingdom this month.

As an event to integrate various pillars of national security and defense, the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) will take place at ExCel, London, during September 14-17.

Hanwha plans to put on display up-to-date defense platforms, including the K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH), the next-generation Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle, and the Multi-purpose Unmanned Ground Vehicle (M-UGV).

The 155mm/52-calibre K9 Thunder is one of the world’s best-selling SPHs, as nearly 1,700 K9 variants are in service in seven nations, including South Korea, Turkey, Poland, Finland, Norway, India, Estonia.

Hanwha Defense will offer the latest variant of the K9, dubbed K9A2, for the British Army’s Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) program. It will be fitted with mine protection kits and composite rubber tracks, according to the Seoul-based company.

“The U.K. is the first international market to which the newest variant of the K9 SPH is being offered, and we hope the UK defense industry will serve as a supply chain bases for the global K9 family of vehicles,” said Hanwha Director Sun Wi, who takes charge of the MFP program.

During the four-day show, Hanwha Defense is also scheduled to sign formal agreements with multiple local partners.

Leading-edge defense platforms on display

Alongside with high-class artillery and armored vehicle systems, Hanwha Defense will exhibit the M-UGV at DSEI for the first time in the European market.

The 4×4 M-UGV was developed in 2019 as part of a government project aimed at developing unmanned robotics to support infantry troops in various combat situations.

Hanwha said that the 1.5-ton electric vehicle can move at a top speed of 30 km/h on paved roads and is operated either remotely or autonomously to carry out various missions such as surveillance, logistics transport, evacuation of casualties, and combat engagement.

The vehicle is armed with an indigenous remote-controlled weapon station that can lock on the targets automatically using acoustic sensors to determine the source of gunfire during the confusion of combat.

Hanwha is poised to unveil a newer 6×6 version dubbed the Intelligence UGV (I-UGV) later this year. The I-UGV is to feature a payload capacity of 500 kg and a cruising radius of 100 kilometers. The South Korean Army plans to trial the I-UGV in the coming months in an effort to help review the vehicle’s operational effectiveness.

“Joining DSEI 2021 is a great opportunity to showcase Hanwha Defense’s sophisticated defense solutions and evolving technologies to the world,” Hanwha Defense CEO Son Jae-il said.

“With a remarkable success in the European market for the past years, in particular, we are fully committed to offering innovative and trusted defense solutions to customers in this region.”