Hanwha Defense announced that the company has formed ‘Team Thunder’ alongside British defence businesses to deliver a British-made howitzer as part of the UK Mobile Fires Platform Programme.
Hanwha Defense has announced that the company has partnered with British defence businesses to design and develop a British-made howitzer, the K9 Thunder, for the British Army’s Mobile Fires Platform Programme.
The partnership between the prime and British defence businesses has been dubbed “Team Thunder”.
Hanwha Defense is expected to sign several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with other members of Team Thunder at DSEI 2021 between 14 and 17 September, with Leonardo UK, Pearson Engineering, Hostman Defence Systems, and Soucy Defence of the Soucy Group among some of the expected partners.
According to Hanwha Defense, the prime is also in talks with Lockheed Martin UK to join the bid.
Oh Kyehwan, vice president of Hanwha Defense’s overseas business division, said the company seeks to partner with UK businesses to benefit British industry while providing enhanced capabilities to the British military.
“Team Thunder will be a key pillar of Hanwha Defense’s bid for the Mobile Fires Platform Programme, and the formation of Team Thunder demonstrates a firm commitment to bringing the maximum benefit to the UK industry through a robust partnership with local suppliers,” he said.
“We believe the combination of UK industrial expertise and South Korean technology will generate an incredible level of synergy.”
According to a statement by the company, a “substantial part of the manufacturing will take place in the UK”, with Hanwha Defense establishing additional training programs to support the British workforce.
Hanwha Defense has recently undertaken partnerships for the development of K9 vehicles alongside local defence businesses in Poland and India, in addition to the company’s support for Australian industry during the LAND 8116 program. There are currently nearly 1,700 K0 variants in use across seven countries.
It is hoped that the UK will become a regional export hub for the K9.
The K9A2 – the K9 155 mm/52-calibre Self-Propelled Howitzer – is equipped with an automated turret, enabling the users to fire nine rounds per minute. Hanwha Defense outlined that these operational enhancements have enabled the number of crew using the equipment to drop from five to three.