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K9 Thunder  
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1999
Total Production: 692
Also Known As: Firtina, KH-179, T-155 K/M Obus, Vajra-T and XK9
Origin: South Korea
Corporations: Hanwha Techwin*, Larsen and Toubro Ltd. and World Industries Ace (WIA)   (*) lead contractor
Parent System: K9 Thunder
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1999
Total Production: 1,384
Family Members: K10 ARV
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Description: The K9 Thunder is a NATO-compliant 155mm self-propelled howitzer designed to provide high rates of fire, high mobility and survivability, and rapid shoot and scoot tactics. Its primary armament is a 155mm 52-caliber gun capable of firing conventional, rocket assisted (RAP) and Base-Bleed (BB) shells with 48 projectiles onboard. Firing M107 high explosive (HE) projectile the K9 has a range of 18 km, 30 km using five-zone RAP or 40 km using six-zone K307 projectile with a chamber pressure of 52,000 psi and a muzzle velocity of 928 mps. The K9 Thunder is able to fire on targets at 40 km employing up to three K307 projectiles within 15 seconds and delivering sustained rates of fire of two/three rounds per minute. Besides, the weapon system is capable of Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI). Its steel armor plates provide protection against land mines, up to 14.5mm machine gun fire and artillery shells. The air purification system provides protection against NBC (Nuclear, Bacteriological and Chemical) agents.

The Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) is the main operator of this weapon system which was procured as the replacement for the outdated United Defense M109A2 39-caliber self-propelled howitzer. Its development started in 1989, the first prototypes were delivered in 1994 and the first K9 was inducted into service in 1999. The RoKA procured 1,040 M109A2 howitzers being produced domestically by Samsung TechWin. Over 250 K9 Thunder howitzers were fielded with the RoKA by the end of 2005. Turkey ordered the K9 Thunder under the Firtina or T-155 K/M Obus designation in 2001. Eight units were delivered in 2004 while the Turkish Army plans call for the procurement of up to 300 systems produced locally in Turkey. The Firtina variant features a MTU 881 series diesel engine developing 1,000 hp coupled to an Allison X1100-5A3 fully automatic transmission. The K9 Vajra-T is a variant designed for the Indian Army featuring improvements for desert operations. Up to 100 Vajra-T howitzers will be build in India by Larsen and Toubro Ltd.

A single RoKA artillery battalion consists of 18 K9 Thunder weapon systems plus 18 K10 ARV re-supply vehicles. The K9 Thunder features an automatic loading system which reduces the crew to four-man: gunner, gunner assistant, driver and commander.

K9 Thunder Specifications

Ammunition Load: 48
Caliber Multiple: 52
Crew: 4
Ground Clearance: 0.41 meter
Height: 3.50 meter
Length: 12 meter
Main Gun Caliber: 155 millimeter
Width: 3.40 meter
Gradient: 60 %
Side Slope: 30 %
Ditch Crossing Ability: 2.80 meter
Fording Depth: 1.50 meter
Main Gun Max Range: 18 kilometer (11.2 mile)
Max Range: 360 kilometer
Max Range firing RAP: 40 kilometer
Step Climbing Ability: 0.75 meter
Power: 1,000 shp (746 kW)
Gun Chamber Pressure: 52,000 psi
Max Rate of Fire: 8 roundperminute
Sustained Rate of Fire: 3 roundperminute
Muzzle Velocity: 928 mps
Top Speed: 67 kph (18.6 mps)
SetUp Time: 30 second (0.01 hour)
Combat Weight: 46 ton
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m)   Kilometers (km)   Nautic Miles (nm)   Inch (in)   Yard (yd)   Foot (ft)   Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb)   Kilogram (kg)   kN (KiloNewton)   Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps)   Kilometers per Hour (kph)   Knot (kt)   Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l)   Galon (gl)
Year (yr)   Minutes (min)   Second (sec)
Shaft-Horse-Power (shp)

K9 Thunder News

There are 8 news between
10 Feb 2017 and 30 Dec 2019
Monday, December 30, 2019India's ATAGS 155mm 52-Caliber Towed Howitzer Achieves Five Rounds per Minute Mark
Tuesday, November 5, 2019Turkish T-155 Howitzer Obliterated by Metis-M Anti-Tank Missile in Syria
Sunday, October 20, 2019Indian Army Deploys Precision-Guided Excalibur Artillery Shells
Tuesday, October 9, 2018Excalibur Shaped Trajectory Artillery Projectile Completes Development
Thursday, December 21, 2017Norway to Buy 24 K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzers
Friday, April 21, 2017Indian Army to Buy 100 K9 Vajra-T Self-Propelled Howitzers
Saturday, February 18, 2017Finland to Buy 48 K9 Thunder 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzers from South Korea
Friday, February 10, 2017Estonia and Finland to Buy K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzers from South Korean Army

Operators & Related Equipment

ex-Korean Army howitzers (12) ordered in 2017
ex-Korean Army howitzers (48) ordered in 2017
Howitzers (24) ordered in December 2017
South Korea250

Grand Total 7528
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