The Egyptian military is considering acquiring K9 self-propelled howitzers and supporting vehicles from South Korea’s Hanwha Defence, which is exhibiting the K9 at the EDEX defence show in Cairo.
Hanwha Defence is displaying its K9, a new version of its machinegun-equipped Remoted Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS); and the fifth-generation Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) at EDEX 2021, which runs from 29 November to 2 December at the Egypt International Exhibition Centre in Cairo.
“An upgraded version of the classic 155 mm/52-calibre K9 SPH, the K9A1 on display is at the centre of attention during the arms exposition, as the Egyptian military is considering acquiring a package of K9 SPHs and other supporting vehicles,” Hanwha Defence said.
Yonhap reported this could include K10 ammunition resupply vehicles, K11 fire control vehicles and technology transfer to enable local K9 production. The K9 is produced in Turkey as the T-155 Firtina.
In mid-2017, K9 and French Caesar self-propelled howitzers were seen in Egypt apparently undergoing trials. Egypt has been eyeing the K9 since 2010 when a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation was signed between the two countries. Egypt has for years expressed interest in acquiring new self-propelled howitzers, most likely to replace its M109s (Egypt has more than 170 M109A5s in service).
Around 1 700 K9 howitzers are in service around the world, including with South Korea, Turkey, India, Poland, Finland, Norway and Estonia. Australia is also in final negotiations to adopt an Australian version of the K9.
Equipped with a rotating turret that can traverse through a full 360 degrees, the 47-ton vehicle has a firing range of 40 km and a top speed of 67 km/h. It can fire its first round within 30 seconds from a stationary position and within 60 seconds while moving, with a burst rate of fire from six to eight rounds per minute.
Egypt has created its own self-propelled artillery systems by mounting the 122 mm D-30 howitzer and 130 mm M-46 howitzer on Ural 6×6 trucks. The trucks are fitted with hydraulic stabilisers for stability while the howitzers are firing. The M-46 truck appears to have a locally produced armoured cab. They were apparently bought in Russia and upgraded in Egypt – Egypt’s Abu Zaabal Engineering Industries Company produced towed D-30 and M-46 guns in the past, according to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly. The M-46 has a range of 27 kilometres, although this is increased to 37 kilometres with a rocket-assisted projectile. The D-30 has a range of 15 kilometres with a normal shell and 22 kilometres with a rocket-assisted projectile.
Egyptian artillery includes M109 tracked self-propelled howitzers, SP1H-22 tracked self-propelled howitzers, towed M-46 howitzers, M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, BM-11 multiple rocket launchers and ATS-59G tracked artillery tractors.