Australian Land 8116 howitzer conducts test firing
The Australian Army’s Project Land 8116 Phase 1 passed a major milestone last month with the live firing of Australian Defence Force 155mm rounds from a K9A1 self-propelled howitzer (SPH) and additional tests will take place from August.
Land 8116 Phase 1 is a A$960 million ($636 million) contract awarded to Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) in September 2020. It will provide Australia with protected mobile fires capability and, for the first time, an SPH platform to replace towed systems currently in use.
The June tests took place in Anheung Proving Ground in South Korea and involved two different types of munition. Next month’s trials will take place at the Joint Proof Experimental Unit Port Wakefield in South Australia before tests in Yuma Proving Ground in the US.
Last month’s test programme involved collaboration between HDA and parent company, Hanwha Aerospace, as well as Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group and Korean government officials, including from the Agency for Defense Development.
According to the company, 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.
Platform production is expected to begin in Australia late in 2024. A second regiment of 30 SPHs and 15 ammunition resupply vehicles is expected to be procured in the late 2020s under Project Land 8116 Phase 2, while Phase 3 will implement an upgrade programme for the SPHs in the mid-2030s.
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