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Hanwha begins production of Huntsman vehicles for Australian Army

Hanwha has started production of the AS9 155 mm self-propelled howitzers and AS10 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles for the Australian Army. The above picture shows an AS9 from an Indian Army exercise in November 2022. The AS9 is known as K-9 Vajra T in India. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) has started production of the AS9 and AS10 Huntsman family of vehicles for the Australian Army under the country's Land 8116 Phase 1 programme, the company told Janes on 26 June.

Under this programme, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) signed a contract worth AUD1 billion (USD667 million) with HDA to supply 30 AS9 155 mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) and 15 AS10 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles (AARVs).

A spokesperson from HDA said production of the first three vehicles – two AS9s and one AS10 – to be delivered to the Australian Army is under way at Hanwha's production plant in Changwon, South Korea.

The spokesperson added that the production of the remaining 28 AS9s and 14 AS10s – which need to be manufactured in Australia – under the contract will start in 2024.

“Production of the Australian-made vehicles will begin next year. The construction of the Hanwha Armoured Vehicle Centre of Excellence (H-ACE) in Geelong where the Huntsman vehicles will be built is currently ahead of schedule and will [be] complete next year,” the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson also indicated that the schedule to deliver the vehicles has been accelerated through an agreed new timeline. However, the spokesperson did not elaborate.

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