Saturday, April 20, 2024

Hanwha begins assembly of first Australian Huntsman howitzer

Hanwha Aerospace has officially begun assembly of Australia’s first AS9 self-propelled howitzer (SPH) and AS10 armored ammunition resupply vehicle at the company’s facility in Changwon, South Korea.

The howitzer, designated Huntsman, began its “mate” process, where the major components are joined to form the full combat vehicle on March 28 at Hanwha Aerospace’s Plant 3, according to the company statement.

A ceremony held at the production line marked the commencement of production, with key figures including production managers and engineers from Hanwha Aerospace and Hanwha Defence Australia (HDA), as well as representatives from the Australian Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) in attendance.

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The AS9 and AS10, based on the Australian variant of the K9 Thunder, represent a cutting-edge addition to the ADF’s arsenal. These tracked self-propelled howitzers boast enhanced armored protection and firing capability, positioning them among the most modernized artillery systems in the world.

Image credit: Hanwha Aerospace

Under the Land 8116 phase 1 contract signed in 2021, the ADF is slated to deploy 30 AS9 ‘Huntsman’ SPHs and 15 AS10 Armoured Ammunition Resupply Vehicles. The commencement of production marks a crucial step towards fulfilling this contract and bolstering Australia’s defense capabilities.

Initial production of 2 AS9s and 1 AS10 at the Changwon facility will pave the way for further manufacturing at the Hanwha Armoured Vehicle Center of Excellence (H-ACE) in Geelong, Victoria. This strategic move not only contributes to meeting the ADF’s operational requirements but also serves to stimulate economic and industrial growth in the region.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Gu Min Chul
Gu Min Chul
Gu Min Chul is a defense reporter who covers the Korean defense industry and all related issues.

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