Ukraine could obtain more 155mm howitzers — this time from Italy — as Kyiv seeks to tip the artillery balance against Russia.
Team Thunder expands with Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin UK has joined the Hanwha Defense-led Team Thunder, which is proposing the K9A2 self-propelled howitzer (SPH) as a UK-manufactured solution for the British Army’s Mobile Fires Platform requirement to replace the AS90 tracked 155mm system.
Team Thunder also comprises Horstman Defence Systems, Leonardo UK, Pearson Engineering and Soucy Defense.
‘The advanced version will be an upgrade of the existing 155mm/52-calibre K9A1 Self-Propelled Howitzer, as it is to feature improved lethality, mobility and survivability,’ Hanwha Defense noted in a statement.
Team Thunder is likely to face competition, for example from Rheinmetall with a 155mm SPH based on its new RMMV HX3 10x10 chassis. Other possibilities include BAE Systems with an Archer SPH mounted on a Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles HX2 8x8 truck chassis; and a wheeled SPH from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann mounted on a Boxer 8x8 armoured vehicle chassis.
Of the main contenders for MFP, only Hanwha has put its faith in a tracked solution with a high level of automation that cuts the crew requirement from five to three people.
Under MFP, the British Army aims to acquire 116 SPHs. An RfP is expected to be issued this year with a contract award anticipated in 2025.
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