Finland buys 38 used K9 self-propelled howitzers
Finland is buying 38 used K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers from South Korea, which received the Finnish name Moukari.
Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen has approved the proposal of the Defense Forces to purchase artillery systems. The Finance Committee of the Government at the meeting on November 17, 2022 also supported this purchase.
The purchase also includes packages of equipment and spare parts for self-propelled howitzers.
The total value of the acquisition is approximately €134 million.
“I am satisfied that the opportunity specified in the purchase agreement to purchase these howitzers will now be fully implemented. Thanks to this acquisition, we will significantly strengthen the strike potential of our ground forces,” Minister Kaikkonen said.
Finland first purchased Moukari howitzers in 2017, as part of an agreement with South Korea’s KOTRA state-funded trade and investment promotion organization.
The purchase of 48 K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers from the South Korean army also included an additional option for another 48 such howitzers. Five additional ACS under the option were purchased in 2021 and another five earlier this year.
Thus, the total number of K9 Thunder (Moukari) howitzers of the Finnish armed forces will be 96 units.
According to the Ministry of Defense of Finland, K9 howitzers significantly improve the firepower of the army.
“Armored howitzers have proven themselves to be reliable in Finland, excellent experience has been gained from them both in the training of conscripts and in shooting,” says the press release of the Finnish Ministry of Defense.
K9 Thunder is a modern 155mm self-propelled artillery system manufactured in South Korea and is in service in a number of countries that have purchased the installation or manufactured it under license. The turret and howitzer body are made of sheets of rolled steel armor. The control compartment and the motor-transmission compartment are located in the front part of the howitzer body, the combat compartment with the turret is accommodated in the aft part.
The range of the K9 ACS reaches approximately 40 km. The ammunition of the self-propelled guns includes 46 rounds of separate charging. The maximum speed of the combat vehicle is 67 km/h. The crew of the combat vehicle is 5 people: a commander, a mechanic-driver, a gunner and two loaders. Deployment time is 30 seconds.
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