Egypt to acquire 200 South Korean K9 armored self-propelled guns for $1,7bn

Egypt today has, without question, the most powerful armed force in Africa and the Middle East, with an air force of 360 combat aircraft, a fleet of 8 submarines, 20 frigates and corvettes and 2 helicopter carriers, and a land force fielding more than 2000 heavy tanks and 3500 infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers. Inspired by both Soviet and American doctrines, the latter also fields powerful and modern artillery, with more than 600 self-propelled multiple rocket launchers, and a thousand armored self-propelled artillery systems, more than half of which are M109s. Americans. For several years, the country has also been invested in a vast effort to modernize its armies, with the acquisition of new planes and combat ships from France, Germany and Italy, as well as 500 heavy tanks T- 90M from Russia.

Since 2009, Cairo had been in negotiations with Seoul to acquire the 155mm K-9 armored self-propelled artillery system. The negotiations were for a time stopped by the events of the Arab Spring of 2011. But according to DAPA, the South Korean arms agency, Cairo and Seoul would have signed on February 1 an agreement for the local manufacture of 200 K-9 self-propelled guns as well as an unknown number of armored support vehicles including the K-10 armored munitions carrier, all for a total of $1,7 billion, constituting the biggest export success to date for Hanwha Defense, the designer of the K-9.

The K-10's automatic reloading system transfers 12 shells per minute to the K-9's magazine

The K-9 Thunder is a 46 ton tracked armored vehicle with a length of 12 meters (with gun) and a height of 2,73m. It is armed with a 98mm 155 caliber BN52 cannon fed by a 48-round semi-automatic loading system capable of sustaining a rate of fire of 6 to 8 rounds per minute, and carrying up to 40 km. The tank is powered by a German-Korean STX-MTU MT881Ka-500 1000 hp engine block, an Allison transmission and a hydropneumatic suspension giving it a maximum speed of 67 km/h and excellent all-terrain mobility. On the other hand, and as often for this type of vehicle, its armor is limited, with a thickness of 19mm offering protection only against shrapnel and small arms.

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