Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi rides the K-9 Vajra. (Twitter)
The delivery of Hanwha Defense’s K-9 self-propelled guns in India with technological support from the Korean company has been made several months ahead of schedule, according to industry sources.
Hanwha Defense shipped the first batch of 10 guns to the Indian Army in November 2018 on schedule, upon which 41 guns of the K-9 Vajra -- a modified version of Hanwha Defense’s K-9 155-mm 52-caliber -- have been manufactured and supplied two to three months ahead of schedule, according to the company.
In 2017, Hanwha Defense signed a contract worth 720 billion won ($583 million) with the Indian Army to supply 100 K-9 self-propelled artillery guns. Following the delivery of the 10 K-9 Vajra guns, India’s private-sector defense contractor Larsen & Toubro has been manufacturing the remaining 90 guns in India with technical support from Hanwha Defense.
As the Ministry of Defense of India’s regulation requires foreign defense contractors to contribute more than 50 percent of technology transfer, the deal is expected to bring half of 720 billion won to Hanwha Defense.
“The fact that the Indian Army requested early delivery is a positive signal for both the K-9 and Hybrid Biho,” Hanwha official said.
In October 2018, the Korean-built missile system Hybrid Biho was the only system among other candidates to pass Indian Military’s performance test.
By Kim Byung-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org)