December 13, 2021
through Julien Kerr
A concept image of the AS9 SPH that Hanwha Defense Australia will supply to the Australian Army. The vehicle is shown fitted with an RWS. (Hanwha Defense Australia)
Australia has signed a AU$1 billion ($720 million) contract with Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) to supply 30 AS9 155mm self-propelled howitzers (SPH) and 15 armored ammunition supply vehicles (AARV) AS10, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced. December 13.
The contract with HDA, a subsidiary of South Korea’s Hanwha Group, was observed by Morrison and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Canberra. The deal also includes an undisclosed number of weapons tracking radars.
Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton said the acquisition – part of Project Land 8116 Phase 1 – would mean “a significant increase in the level of firepower and security for Australia’s artillery capability”.
The deal represents Australia’s first major defense acquisition from a regional defense prime contractor. HDA was selected as a preferred supplier in September 2020.
Construction of a facility in Geelong, southwest of Melbourne to produce the vehicles – collectively known as the Huntsman – will begin in the second quarter of 2022, HDA said. Production of the vehicles, based on Hanwha’s K9 SPH, will begin in the fourth quarter of 2024.
HDA Managing Director Richard Cho said, “With Australia’s proximity to the Republic of Korea and the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries, the Australian Hanwha facility will also become a critical secondary supply line. and important to South Korea.
Excluding South Korea, Australia will be the seventh country to buy K9 after Estonia, Finland, India, Norway, Poland and Turkey. The AS9 is based on the Norwegian K9 VIDAR variant but with additional armor and improved suspension.
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Australia has signed a 1 billion AUD (720 million USD) contract with Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) to…