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K9 Thunder



Overview


K9 Thunder

South Korean K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer at the firing range.
Source: www.desura.com - © Copyright lies with original owner

Origin
South Korea
Type
Self-propelled howitzer
Entered service
1999
Status
In service
Development
1989 - 1996
Developer
South Korea - Samsung Techwin
Production
1998 - present
Producer
South Korea - Hanwha Techwin
Number produced
Over 1.500 produced or on order
Unit cost
$ 3.1 million for K9
Designation
Thunder (official nickname)
K9FIN Moukari (Finnish military service)
Moukari (Finnish for "sledgehammer")

Description


Introduction

The K9 is a modern self-propelled howitzer of South Korean origin. It was developed in the early 1990's as alternative for the US M109 with longer range and higher rate of fire. The K9 is also known as the "Thunder".

Layout

The K9 has a conventional layout for a tracked self-propelled howitzer with the driver and engine located in the front of the hull and a large turret located at the rear. The long 155mm ordnance has a multi-slotted muzzle brake and looks rather similar to the one used on the PzH 2000.

Firepower

The main armament is a 155mm L/52 howitzer which provides a good range and accuracy. The maximum rate of fire is 3 rounds in 15 seconds, 6 to 8 rounds per minute or about 2 rpm during sustained fire. Standard 155mm NATO rounds can be fired up to 30 km, a 42 km range is achieved with ERFB rounds and in theory rocket assisted projectiles can be fired out to 52 to 56 km range.

Protection

The K9 is well protected. The steel armor protects the crew from 14.5mm rounds over the frontal arc and small arms fire and shell splinters all around.

Mobility

The tracked chassis provides good mobility on roads and in the field. The MTU 1.000 hp diesel engine provides a maximum speed of 67 km/h on roads.

Users

The first and primary user of the K9 Thunder is South Korea. The K9 emerged as the winner of the Indian trials for a new artillery system and recently orders by European nations have been placed. Turkey produces the T-155 Firtina which uses the ordnance and a lot of subcomponents of the K9.

Variants


K9 Thunder

Left side view of South Korean K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer on display.
Source: Citizen Network - © GNU Attribution - Share Alike license

Overview of K9 variants

K9
The K9 is the original and most numerous version of this weapon system. It can be distinguished from the Turkish T-155 Firtina by the shape of its turret.
K9A1
Improved model of the K9. Features new fire control system, APU and rear view camera. Also known as K9 PIP.

Details


Facts K9 Thunder
General
Origin
South Korea
Type
Self-propelled howitzer
Crew
5 (commander, driver, gunner, 2 loaders)
Dimensions
Weight
47 t combat load
Length
12 m gun forward
7.44 m hull
Width
3.4 m
Height
2.73 m to turret roof
Main armament
Type
155mm CN98 L/52 howitzer
Mount
Main armament in turret
Ammunition
48 shells
Elevation
-2.5 to +70°, powered
Traverse
360°, powered
Firepower
Rate of fire
6 to 8 rpm for 3 minutes
2 to 3 rpm sustained
Range
40 km with K307 shell
36 km with K310 shell
30 km with M549A1 shell
18 km with M107 shell
Emplacement
1 minute
Displacement
30 seconds
Secondary armament
Type
12.7mm K6 (M2HB) heavy machine gun
Mount
Pintle mount on turret roof
Ammunition
800 rounds, 100 ready to fire
Traverse
Manual traverse and elevation
Chassis
Chassis type
Tracked chassis, 6 roadwheels
Layout
Drive sprocket front, idler rear
Suspension
Hydropneumatic
Automotive
Engine model
MTU MT 881 Ka-500
Engine type
8-cylinder water-cooled diesel
Power output
1.000 hp@ 2.700 rpm
Transmission
S&T Dynamics X1100-5A3
4 forward, 2 reverse
Mobility
Speed
67 km/h on road
Range
360 - 480 km on road
Power to weight ratio
21.3 hp/t
Obstacle crossing
Ground clearance
0.4 m
Wall
0.75 m
Trench
2.8 m
Gradient
60 %
Slope
30 %
Fording
1.5 m
Protection
Armor type
Steel
Armor thickness
Up to 19 mm
Protection level
Rated against 14.5mm rounds over frontal arc
NBC system
Yes
Smoke system
No

Related articles


K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicle

The K10 ARV was developed to resupply the K9 self-propelled howitzer in the field.

T-155 Firtina

The Turkish T-155 Firtina is based on the ordnance and automotive components of the K9 Thunder.