Finland improves long-range fire capabilities with extra Korean howitzers
The Minister of Defence of Finland approved a decision to procure an additional 38 155mm K9 armoured howitzers last Friday.
This move was previously agreed to in a procurement contract from 2017 with KOTRA, the trade promotion agency of the Republic of Korea, for around €134 million before taxes.
The contract includes an option to procure a total of 48 howitzers from the Asian nation’s surplus, of which ten have been delivered.
The Finnish Army stated that the howitzers will significantly improve firepower, combining it with better mobility and force protection.
Finland initially launched its Operational Artillery programme in 2014 to replace equipment that will be decommissioned. The new system is expected to remain in service until the 2050s.
According to Shephard Defence Insight, 1,178 K9 Thunders were built by Hanwha Defense for Korea between 1999 and 2019, of which 67 surplus have been ordered by Estonia and Finland.
A K9A2 variant is currently under development for the ROK Army, which will feature an uncrewed turret and automated ammunition handling.
This news follows the announcement earlier this month that Norway will also acquire four K9 howitzers, although these will be new production vehicles.
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