Egypt outlines K9 howitzer production plan

by Jeremy Binnie

A K9A1 Thunder self-propelled howitzer on display at the EDEX show held in Cairo from 29 November to 2 December 2021. (Hanwha Defense)

Egypt's production of the South Korean K9 self-propelled howitzer is expected to begin in 2023, and will eventually involve 67% of components being produced locally, Mohamed Ahmed Morsi, the country's minister of state for military production told the Al-Ahram newspaper in an interview published on 18 June.

He said the process of equipping the factory and training workers is under way as part of the first phase of an agreement that will last five years.

Egypt hopes to export K9s to Arab and African countries, as well as meet the needs of its own military. “We have already started bilateral negotiations with a number of Arab and African countries that want to get the K9 because the cannon is the latest in the world,” Morsi said.

Egypt and South Korea signed a USD1.65 billion contract during the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) held in Abu Dhabi in February 2021 covering the production of unspecified numbers of the K9A1 EGY version of the howitzer and K10 ammunition vehicle.


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Thyssenkrupp buys Wismar shipyard in Germany

by Marc Selinger

Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has acquired MV Werften's shipyard in Wismar, Germany. (TKMS)

The Marine Systems business of German industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp (TKMS) has acquired the Wismar shipyard in northern Germany to help it handle an expected order for more submarines from the German government.

TKMS purchased Wismar from insolvent cruise ship builder MV Werften for an undisclosed sum. Converting the shipyard to build submarines will require re-training the workforce and buying special machines, TKMS spokesman Eugen Witte said in a 23 June e-mail. “The employees in Wismar are all highly qualified, but they have no experience in building submarines,” he explained.

Wismar will supplement TKMS's existing submarine production in Kiel. The exact timing of the government's additional submarine order is unclear.

“With the current capacities exclusively in Kiel, production for submarines ordered now would not be able to begin until 2036,” Witte said. “This means that these boats would then be ready in the 2040s. If orders are placed quickly now, investments can be made immediately in Wismar, parallel production would be possible, and the additionally ordered submarines could be ready in 2037.”


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Safran wins contract for French robotics programme ‘Furious'

by Olivia Savage

Safran Electronics & Defense ‘eRider' (pictured) is playing an important role in the French robotics programme ‘Furious'. (Safran)

Safran Electronics & Defense has been awarded a new ‘optional tranche' contract by the French defence procurement agency (Delegation Générale de l'Armement – DGA) for the robotics programme ‘Furious', Safran announced on 20 June.

‘Furious' – part of the Scorpion modernisation programme – seeks to develop innovative robotic systems for mounted and dismounted warfighters. In 2018 the DGA awarded Safran and partner Effidence a contract to study and “lay the groundwork for the integration of land robots”, a separate Safran announcement said.

Three vehicles or demonstrators will be tested during this five-year period. The eRider unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), developed by Safran, is the largest of the three robots in the study.

This latest announcement follows successful trials of the robotic vehicles at Sissone military base – the French Army's urban combat training centre – in late 2021, Safran said.


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Australian army receives last two Chinooks

by Akhil Kadidal

A CH-47F Chinook destined for the Australian Army is unloaded from a USAF C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft at RAAF Base Townsville on 23 June 2022. (Australia Department of Defence/Corporal Lisa Sherman)

The Australian Army has taken delivery of the last two of four new CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters ordered by the government in 2021. This takes the army's Chinook fleet to 14.

In a press statement, Boeing Australia said that the two helicopters arrived at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Townsville on 23 June. The company added that the helicopters were delivered by a US Air Force (USAF) C-5 Galaxy aircraft.

The aircraft will join the Australian Army Aviation Command's fleet of 12 Chinooks, which are operated by C Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment.

The commanding officer of the 5th Aviation Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher McDougall, said that the “additional helicopters will provide defence with additional lift capacity and strengthen the army's ability to support operations globally”.

The previous two aircraft arrived in Australia a year earlier on 23 June 2021, according to Boeing. The acquisition of the four helicopters is valued at AUD595 million (USD410.2 million).


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Egypt's production of the South Korean K9 self-propelled howitzer is expected to begin in 2023, and ...

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