First stage of Huntsman ammunition testing concludes in South Korea
Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) has completed the first stage of LAND 8116 Protected Mobile Fires (PMF) Ordnance Integration Testing.
Using a K9A1 Test Platform and Australian Defence Force (ADF) 155mm rounds from two different families of munitions, the activity wrapped up in mid-June at the Anheung Proving Ground in South Korea.
The test program involved close collaboration between HDA and parent company, Hanwha Aerospace, as well as Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) and Korean Government officials, including the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) which is similar to Australia’s own Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG).
This is the first time that the integration of ADF 155mm munitions into an artillery system has been led by the weapon system prime systems integrator.
HDA looks forward to enabling Australia Army capability through further testing taking place from August this year at Joint Proof Experimental Unit Port Wakefield in South Australia and beyond that, Yuma Proving Ground in the US.
The LAND 8116 Protected Mobile Fires Phase 1 program will deliver 30 AS9 Self Propelled Howitzers (SPH) and 15 AS10 Armoured Ammunition resupply vehicles to the Australian Defence Force.
The contract was signed in December 2021 between the Prime Minister of Australia and the President of South Korea when the relationship between the two nations was updated under a Defence Strategic Partnership, following on from a bilateral free trade agreement in 2014.
The K9 provides overwhelming firepower over range of 40km, delivering first shot in less than 60 seconds with its automated-fire control system, bursting three shots within 15 seconds, and firing at rate of 6-8 rounds per minute. The K10 loads ammunition from the ammunition depot, then moves quickly to the firing position, and resupplies the ammunition into K9.
Both systems have high levels of protection and mobility to protect the warfighter at every stage of the concept of operations.
This program has been accelerated to meet the needs of the Commonwealth, with the first 3 vehicles being built in South Korea with the remainder of the fleet to be built in Australia by HDA at their Hanwha Armoured vehicle Centre of Excellence (H-ACE) now under construction at the Avalon Airport precinct near Geelong, Victoria.
The first round of blast tests was completed in Israel earlier this year and the program is on track to meet upcoming milestones.
The K9 is the most common SPH in the world with customers in Poland, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Turkey, South Korea, India and on order for Egypt and Australia. Hanwha also hosts an annual international user group with these nations to look at improvements, upgrade options and to share lessons learned between the K9 community.