Home Europe Finland exercises options for additional K9 howitzers

Finland exercises options for additional K9 howitzers

Finnish K9 howitzer
Photo: Finnish defense ministry

Finland’s defense minister Antti Kaikkonen has approved the procurement proposal for the purchase of an additional five 155 mm armored howitzers for the army in 2021.

The Defence Forces Logistics Command has also been given authorization to buy another five of the South Korean-built systems in 2022.

The new purchases are follow-on options related to the 2017 contract between Finland and KOTRA, the trade promotion agency of the Republic of Korea, for the acquisition of 48 howitzers.

In addition to the armored howitzers, the contract also includes spare parts and supplies, and has a total value of EUR 30 million, before taxes, the Finnish defense ministry said.

The procurement will enable the support of operational troops with long-range artillery equipment with good off-road and off-road mobility. It will partly replace the artillery, including the 155 GH 52 APU towed howitzer, that is becoming obsolete in the 2020s and 2030s and will be decommissioned.

In addition to Finland, the K9 is a howitzer of choice for Estonia, South Korea, Turkey, India, Finland, Norway and Australia. Poland has set up a 155 mm KRAB weapon system on the K9 chassis.

Capable of firing ammunition within 30 seconds of receiving a shooting command, the K9 155mm howitzer can fire up to 3 shots within 15 seconds and 18 consecutive shots for 3 minutes.

Hanwha Defense, the howitzer manufacturer, is also offering K9 variants for artillery programs in the UK and in the US.