Hanwha Defense Awarded $1.7 Billion Contract To Deliver 200 K9 Artillery System

K9 Thunder howitzers with the South Korean Army fire during a March 2011 drill. Egypt recently purchased the weapons. (Dong-a Ilbo/AFP via Getty Images)

Egypt has placed an order worth $1.65 billion for 200 K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers built by South Korean company Hanwha Defense.

According to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), this deal includes the production of K9s in Egypt and a technology transfer. The agency did not reveal how many howitzers will be delivered to Cairo

The K9 accounts for nearly 50 percent of the global self-propelled howitzer market, as it is in service with seven countries: South Korea, Turkey, Poland, India, Finland, Norway and Estonia. Australia recently signed a deal for the K9 under its Project LAND 8116 Phase 1.

Under the deal, most of the artillery and vehicles are scheduled to be locally produced at Factory 200, a state-run defense manufacturing facility just outside the Egyptian capital, while an initial batch is to be delivered by Hanwha Defense, according to the source.

According to the DAPA, the signing ceremony was held at Artillery House in Cairo. The long-awaited deal goes back to at least 2009, when Egypt expressed interest in updating its artillery systems. But efforts were postponed for nearly a decade as the country underwent a revolt — part of what was dubbed the Arab Spring, a wave of pro-democratic protests, revolutions and civil wars in the region that began in 2011.

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