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Indian Army orders 100 additional K9 howitzers

A K9 Vajra-T self-propelled howitzer – seen here from an Indian Army firepower exercise along the western borders with Pakistan in November 2022 – has a maximum firing range of 38 km. The Indian Army has ordered 100 additional K9s, which will be upgraded with high-altitude area application. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

The Indian Army has ordered additional 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) known as K9 Vajra-T designed by South Korea's Hanwha Aerospace, the company told Janes.

A Hanwha spokesperson told Janes that the company has received an additional order of 100 K9s from India, which is in process now.

β€œ[An order of] another 100 numbers [of K9s] is being discussed and can be closed within 2023. We [Hanwha] are already in touch with our partner Larsen & Toubro (L&T) [regarding the order],” he said.

β€œThese additional quantities under repeat order will include the K9 upgraded with high-altitude area application as well as existing [technologies on] K9s,” the spokesperson added.

The Indian Army has 100 in-service K9 Vajra-Ts, which are the Indian-manufactured variant of the K9 Thunder, with 50% of their components being manufactured in India.

According to Janes Land Warfare Platforms: Artillery & Air Defence, India's requirement for 100 NATO-compatible SPHs was issued in 1994, and initially, the country evaluated bids from mainly Western countries. By 2010, the tender had failed to arrive at a solution that met India's requirements.

In 2013, Rosoboronexport's 2S19M1-155 entered into the competition with the K9 Thunder submitted by South Korea for India's requirement of 100 SPHs. The K9 was selected in September 2015.

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