What's new

Romania Plans to Purchase 58 K9 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzers from South Korea


Apr 28, 2011
Reaction score
According to information published by the "Defense Romania" website, Romania is primed to initiate its 155 mm self-propelled howitzer armament program in the imminent future, focusing on industrial cooperation. In pursuit of this goal, Romania has been in talks with South Korean defense manufacturer, Hanwha, to produce some components of the K9 Thunder howitzers domestically.
Follow Army Recognition on Google News at this link

Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news

South Korean army K9 Thunder 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer. (Picture source South Korea Defense Media Agency via Wikimedia)


The Romanian Ministry of National Defense has already sought parliamentary approval to kick-start various armament programs, including the self-propelled howitzer project. The entire program, which encompasses the acquisition of five battalion-level 155 mm self-propelled howitzer systems, is estimated to be worth $1.923 billion.

The Defense Romania website has disclosed that Romania could acquire a total of 59 South Korean K9 155mm self-propelled howitzers, with the initial acquisition consisting of 18 howitzers.

In a recent strategic event organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Romania, Daniela Nicolescu, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship, and Tourism, confirmed talks with Hanwha regarding the production of K9 Thunder howitzers components in Romania. The South Korean company Poongsan was also involved in discussions about powder production.

Romania's National Company, Romarm, has entered two Memorandums of Understanding with South Korean firms Hanwha Aerospace and LIG Nex1, a missile manufacturer, earlier this year. The procurement of 155 mm self-propelled howitzers is expected to commence soon, with several tenders, including Hanwha's offer of K9 Thunder howitzers, anticipated.

The K9 Thunder, developed by the South Korean company Samsung Techwin, is a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer, initially introduced for the South Korean military in 1999. Boasting a 155 mm caliber, this robust piece of machinery demonstrates an impressive range. It can launch standard shells up to about 30 kilometers, while the range extends to roughly 40 kilometers when using rocket-assisted projectiles. It's equipped with a highly efficient firing system that enables a burst of 3 rounds in just 15 seconds. The sustained rate of fire is 6 rounds per minute for an initial 3 minutes, which then slows to 2 rounds per minute for an hour.

The K9 Thunder is powered by an MTU MT 881 Ka-500 8-cylinder water-cooled diesel engine, which outputs a powerful 1,000 horsepower. This power allows the 47-tonne vehicle to achieve a maximum road speed of 67 kilometers per hour. In terms of armament, besides the main 155mm/52-caliber gun, it also has a secondary K6 machine gun of 7.62mm caliber. It can cover an operational range of 480 kilometers, demonstrating its substantial endurance in various operational scenarios.

The K9 Thunder is already in service with Estonia, Finland, India, Norway, Poland, and South Korea. It has been also purchased by Australia and Egypt. The Turkish Army has also signed a contract to produce a localized version called T-155 Fırtına, replacing many components with domestically produced ones. Additionally, Finland acquired 48 used K9s from South Korea in 2017 and has integrated them into its military forces.

South Korea’s looking like the go to source for Eastern Europe’s rearmament.
K9 is not necessarily best of the best, but Koreans offer really good deals on technology transfer and licensing. It’s practically a ready made kit to produce in your country.
Top Bottom