Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Norway is buying 24 self-propelled guns, combined with designated ammunition resupply vehicles, from Hanwha Land Systems of South Korea.
The $215 million contract for the 155mm K9 Thunder systems was signed earlier this week and includes an option for another two dozen systems, the Norwegian Defense Material Agency, or Forsvarsmateriell, reported.
"It has been essential for us to find the right artillery system with the highest degree of performance capabilities consistent with minimizing the lowest possible risk," said the head of Norwegian Defense Materiel Agency's Land Systems Division, Brig. Gen. Morten Eggen. "Hanwha Land Systems was the competitor with the greatest degree of compliance with the Norwegian Army's requirements.
"The artillery system will become an important contribution to the Armed Forces' operational ability."
Hanwha and Norway signed a contract for logistic support during the useful life of the material, with a contract to create a Center of Excellence at Norway's Bjerkvik Technical Workshop.
A pre-series of the artillery system will be delivered for initial trials in 2019, with main deliveries beginning in 2020.