June 29 (UPI) -- South Korea has developed an upgraded self-propelled 105mm howitzer and is preparing to mass produce it beginning next year.
According to the Yonhap news agency, the weapon features an advanced GPS device and automated fire control for enhanced shoot-and-scoot capability.
The number of its operating personnel is also reduced from nine soldiers to five.
The weapon, an improvement of the existing towed 105mm howitzwer, is mounted on a five-ton truck and has a range of nearly seven miles.
"It [the howitzer] was assessed as fit for combat by meeting all required operational capabilities in a recent test," the Defense Acquisition Program Administration was quoted as saying. "Accordingly, mass-production will begin in 2018 for use by our military units."
DAPA began developing the upgraded weapon in 2015 with local defense firm Hanhwa Techwin.