K55 A1 self-propelled howitzers of Hanwha Defense/Courtesy of Hanwha Defense

South Korea’s business bellwether signs new contract

Hanwha Defense, a leading defense manufacturer in South Korea, has signed a deal to provide the Army with the fifth batch of K55 A1 self-propelled howitzers, the company said on Jan. 1.

Valued 137.4 billion won ($118 million), the contract was signed between Hanwha Defense and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

The delivery of the artillery guns is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 30, 2022, under the contract.

The K55A1 is an up-to-date version of the K55 self-propelled howitzer, a South Korean variant of the U.S. military’s M109 Paladin.

The vehicle is crewed by six personnel, and primary armament is a155mm main gun of 30 caliber length.

The Army has fielded over a thousand of the artillery systems to counter North Korea’s possible attacks near the heavily fortified border.

Earlier, Hanwha Defense, a defense business arm of Hanwha Aerospace, signed a contract with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) to supply lithium-ion batteries to be installed on the Navy’s newer KSS-III attack submarines under development.

The contract is worth some $107 million.