Home Asia Pacific First South Korean K9 Thunder howitzers arrive in Norway

First South Korean K9 Thunder howitzers arrive in Norway

A K9 howitzer in Rena, Norway. Photo: Norwegian defense ministry

The Norwegian Army welcomed its first K9 Thunder howitzers with an official ceremony at the Rena Military Camp on December 4.

The howitzers arrived in Norway after they were officially handed over by South Korean company Hanwha Defense in September this year.

Norway will first carry out further testing of the vehicles and personnel training before they are fielded in late 2020.

K9 Thunder’s are replacing the US-developed M109, 155 mm turreted howitzers that are being retired after 50 years in service with the Norwegian Army.

With a weight of 48 tons and a stated top speed of 67 kilometers, the new systems provide the service with improved mobility and increased range. The howitzers come with an associated vehicle, dubbed K10, which carries up to a 104 shells and feeds them to the K9.

The system currently has a range of 40 kilometers and fires up to 12 rounds per minute.

Hanwha Defense will deliver a total of 24 K9 howitzers and six K10s to Norway under a contract from 2017.

Norway’s Scandinavian neighbor Finland is also buying the K9. The country announced its intention to purchase 48 vehicles in February 2017.