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The Australian Military has performed a live-fire check of the AS9 Huntsman self-propelled howitzer in South Korea.

The trial served as preparation for the military’s future AS9 models primarily based on the South Korean K9 Thunder 155-millimeter howitzers that will probably be delivered by weapons developer Hanwha Protection Australia.

The AS9 is a part of Australia’s Land 8116 initiative, which seeks new protected cell hearth techniques by combining locally-made 155-millimeter shells with cannons procured from accomplice nations.

As soon as deployed, the AS9s will complement the federal government’s current M777 towed artillery and related techniques.

K9 Thunder howitzer. Picture: Hanwha Protection

‘Suitable’ Weapon System

Throughout the check, the Australian Military evaluated the AS9’s efficiency and security by firing three rounds of artillery from the platform.

“Whereas we all know in isolation the K9’s cannon is protected, and in isolation the ammunition is protected, this testing makes positive they’re suitable,” Land 8116 Venture Workforce’s Maj. Brendan Kelleher said.

Additional trials will probably be carried out to gather ballistics knowledge for working the AS9 utilizing the military’s Superior Area Artillery Tactical Information Methods.

Different demonstrations will deal with the AS9’s safety from small arms hearth and shrapnel.

Sustaining Soldier Safety, Survivability

In the meantime, a parallel AS9 trial from Israel confirmed that the AS9 may additionally face up to landmines by way of a simulated cost explosion. Outcomes from the check will probably be used to make sure required troop safety and survivability.

“The suggestions we’re getting from different customers is they’re impressed by the maturity and ease of use of the platform,” Kelleher mentioned.

“It’s a massive enhance in vary and lethality from the in-service towed howitzer, made doable by the longer cannon and better charges of fireside.”

Increasing Australian Artilleries

The AS9 order was signed in December 2021 by earlier Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and South Korean President Moon Jae-in and is valued at 1 billion Australian {dollars} ($669 million).

Hanwha is performing the work for the contract in Larger Geelong, Victoria, whereas accomplice agency Elphinstone is manufacturing AS9 hulls and turrets in Burnie, Tasmania.

After the manufacturing, the corporate will ship the primary two AS9s and the corresponding AS10 armored ammunition resupply automobile by the top of 2025.

Growth of the remaining 42 autos will start in late 2024.