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ADEX 2023: South Korea develops new extended-range shell for K9 howitzer

This infographic shows Poongsan's 155 mm shells for the K9 Howitzer. A photograph of a cutaway version of the extended range 155 mm shell appears at the bottom. (Janes/Akhil Kadidal)

The South Korean metal and munition manufacturer, Poongsan, has said that it has developed a new extended-range version of its 155 mm ammunition for the Hanwha Land Systems K9 self-propelled howitzer (SPH).

Speaking to Janes during the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX) 2023, a company representative said that the 155 mm extended range munition (ERM) represents a 50% increase in range compared with the company's earlier K307 base burn/high explosive (BB/HE) shell.

β€œThe 155 mm ERM has a range of 60 km, which was achieved by the use of a smaller TNT charge in comparison to the K307 munition and a strong solid-fuel propellant,” the representative said.

According to information provided by Poongsan during the show, the company's baseline projectile for the K9 howitzer (the KM107), has a weight of 41.86 kg and has a maximum range of 18.8 km with the powerful K677 charge. According to Janes Weapons: Ammunition, the KM107 is a licence-produced version of the US M107 HE projectile.

Poongsan's follow-on, improved projectile, the K307 has a weight of 46.4 kg and a maximum range of 41 km with the K677 charge. The company representative said that the weight, TNT quantity, and charge of the 155 mm ERM could not be disclosed because of security reasons.

While the reduction of the TNT charge in the 155 mm ERM reduces the explosive power of the new projectile, Janes understands that Poongsan could consider alternative explosives such as High Melting eXplosive (HMX) to improve the 155 mm munitions.

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