The K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer produced by Hanwha Defense is on display during the Egypt Defense Expo 2021 at the Egypt International Exhibition Center in Cairo. Photo courtesy of Hanwha Defense

Korea’s leading defense company demonstrates competitive edge at trade fair

Hanwha Defense said on Nov. 30 that the Seoul-based company had been showcasing its sophisticated land defense system at the Egypt Defense Expo (EDEX) 2021.

Attending the second edition of the international arms fair, which runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 at Egypt International Exhibition Center in Cairo, Hanwha Defense shows off a range of next-generation equipment.

Included in the list are the K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH); a new version of the Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS); and the fifth-generation Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), according to Hanwha.

The firm said an upgraded version of the classic 155mm/52-calibre K9 SPH, the K9A1 on display, is at the center of attention during the arms exposition, as the Egyptian military is considering acquiring a package of K9 SPHs and other supporting vehicles.

The K9 is regarded as one of the most popular self-propelled howitzers in the world, with some 1,700 units of the K9 are in service with seven countries _ South Korea, Turkey, India, Poland, Finland, Norway and Estonia.

Australia is also in final negotiations to adopt an Australian version of the K9 SPH.

Hanwha Defense pointed out that the tracked artillery system meets NATO standards and can be deployed in a large range of environments, from snowy terrain and deserts.

Equipped with a rotating turret that can traverse through a full 360 degrees, the 47-ton vehicle has a firing range of 40 km and move as fast as 67km/h.

In addition, it is designed to fire its first round within 30 seconds from a stationary position and within 60 seconds while moving, with a burst rate of fire from six to eight rounds per minute.

Lightweight RCWS & Redback

Apart from the K9, a lightweight RCWS is on display. Fitted with the K6 or K4 machine gun, the new RCWS variant can be integrated into tanks, armored vehicles, and light-tactical vehicles.

Hanwha Defense said that it is the only company in South Korea to develop and produce RCWS of its own and were awarded contracts to build these for the high-speed patrol vessels and the amphibious assault vehicles operated by the South Korean Navy and Marine Corps, respectively.

The Redback is a next-generation IFV competing for the Australian Army’s LAND 400 Phase 3 program. It features a range of state-of-the-art technologies, including composite rubber tracks, the advanced In-arm Suspension Unit that dispenses with torsion barks allowing more space for effective blast mitigation, and the Iron Vision see-through helmet-mounted display technology.

“Aiming to become one of the top land systems developers in the world, Hanwha Defense puts a top priority on developing sophisticated technology to provide global-leading defense solutions,” Hanwha Defense CEO Son Jae-il said.

“Aligned with the South Korean Government’s ‘K-Defense Globalization Strategy, we will accelerate efforts to further expand the footprint of South Korea’s advanced defense equipment in the global defense market.”

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.