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
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.
Hanwha Defense subsequently said a new K11 fire-control vehicle would also be developed for Egypt, which will receive an initial batch of howitzers made in South Korea from 2024, with the rest being locally produced.
The Australian company Bisalloy Steel expects Hanwha Defense to place an order for the armour for the Egyptian K9 programme later this year. It has teamed with the South Korean company to supply the armour for the Australian version of the K9 and the Redback infantry fighting vehicle.