South Korea’s Poongsan Corporation said it has developed a 155mm projectile for the K9 self-propelled howitzer with 50 percent greater range than existing shells.
Poongsan claims that the round can strike a target 60 kilometers (37 miles) away, 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) farther than the K9’s current shell, The Korea Economic Daily reported.
It has cleared Korean defense specifications, one of the major hurdles in the state’s acquisition system, with mass production and fielding expected from 2024.
$38M Investment in Artillery Shell
Seoul last year invested $38 million to enhance the K9 shell’s range as it has reportedly been outranged by North Korea’s 170mm Koksan by 20 kilometers (12 miles).
Russia and China also have artillery shells with greater range at 70 kilometers (43 miles) and 53 kilometers (33 miles), respectively.
Moreover, enhanced range adds to K9’s export appeal, as it has already been purchased by eight foreign militaries, according to Asian Military Review.