August 21, 2016:
South Korea recently agreed to partner with an Indian firm (L&T) to build a hundred of its South Korean designed K9 155mm self-propelled howitzers for the Indian Army. The K9s will cost about $7 million each and half the work will be done in South Korea while the rest will be done in India by L&T. The Indian Army wanted 100-150 more K-9s but budget problems limit the current deal to 100.
While superficially similar to the American M109 the K9 is a heaver (46 tons versus 28 for the M109), carries more ammo and has twice the range (up to 56 kilometers in part because of a barrel that is a third longer). There is more automation on the K9, so it has a crew of five versus six on the M-109. With the K9 South Korea joins Germany in their effort to build a suitable replacement for the elderly M109 design. The chief competitor for the Indian contract was Russia which offered its similar 42 ton 2S19. The K9 won on the basis of technical capabilities, field tests and a South Korean reputation for quality and reliability.
South Korea has already sold 350 K9s to Turkey and 120 to Poland.