South Korean contractor wins USD 1 billion contract to supply Romania with self-propelled howitzers

South Korean contractor wins USD 1 billion contract to supply Romania with self-propelled howitzers

South Korea’s defense company Hanwha Aerospace said in a recent press release that it won a USD 1 billion order from Romania to supply self-propelled howitzers. The deal is Romania’s largest arms acquisition in seven years and includes 54 K9 howitzers, ammunition, and 36 K10 resupply vehicles. 

The South Korean arms procurement agency, Defense Acquisition Program Administration, confirmed the details of the deal in a separate statement.

Hanwha Aerospace said the contract lasts until July 2029. The company is South Korea’s largest defense contractor by revenue. It has been thriving since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, with backlogged orders from countries trying to boost their defense capabilities. As a result, Hanwha Aerospace shares rose more than 5% to a record high in early morning trade. 

According to data by NH Investment & Securities cited by Reuters, Hanwha now has a more than 50% share of the global market for howitzer exports.

Romania is the sixth K9 user nation among NATO members, following Türkiye, Poland, Norway, Finland, and Estonia.

Following Norway and Australia, Romania will also be the third global operator of the K10, which enables a fully automated re-supplying capability to maximize the efficiency of artillery forces. 

“This is a remarkable deal that can further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries,” said Jaeil Son, President and CEO of Hanwha Aerospace.

“This contract involves not only artillery vehicles but also supporting vehicles and ammunition, representing Hanwha Aerospace’s capability to provide a total package of advanced defense solutions based on its high level of technological expertise and world-leading production capacity,” he added. 

Under the contract, Hanwha will deliver the vehicles in stages over the next five years, with the first delivery expected to be made by early 2027. Most of the vehicles will be manufactured in Romania with extensive involvement of local suppliers. 

“Hanwha Aerospace is committed to maximizing benefits to the Romanian defense industry through various types of localization programs, which include local production of defense equipment, local employment, technology transfer, and the establishment of a Center of Excellence for MRO operations in a new greenfield facility in Romania,” said Peter Bae, Vice President of Hanwha Aerospace Europe.

“The inclusion of the Romanian industry in Hanwha Aerospace’s broad global supply chains is one of the potential benefits Romania could take from the collaboration. Through this partnership, alongside other future projects, Romania would become a hub of Hanwha Aerospace’s land business in Europe,” he added.

Founded in 1977, Hanwha Aerospace is a global aerospace and defense company offering a broad portfolio of world-class products and services. These include land combat vehicles such as the K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer, Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle, and K239 Chunmoo Multiple Rocket Launcher System.

The company also produces precision-guided munitions and engines for air, space, and sea platforms and is the systems integrator of South Korea’s space launch vehicles.

radu@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Hanwha Aerospace on Facebook)