Hanwha Defense Australia which is under contract to provide thirty-two Huntsman AS-9 advanced 155mm/52 caliber self-propelled howitzers under the military’s Land 8116 modernization program.
The first systems, which will be manufactured in a Geelong, Victoria includes a motional zoom that offers superior line-of-sight stability and accuracy. The facility will see initial delivery in 2025.
Although based on the Republic of Korea Army K9, the AS-9 is to be specifically designed to meet the specific requirements of the Australian Army. In accomplishing this Hanwha is incorporating a number of enhancements and functional upgrades by drawing from configurations developed for other military customers. This has included identifying new defining subsystems with leading performance and capabilities. The recent selection by Hanwha of the Safran Electronics & Defense Australasia’s (SEDA) MINEO Direct Fire Support Systems (DFSS) to equip Huntsman is one such step.
MINEO Direct Fire Support Systems (DFSS) is integral to the AS-9 linking into both the KDAu’s ODIN fire control system and the R400 Remote Weapon Station being supplied by EOS. Together with the former, DFSS facilitates the primary howitzers assault engagement capability while it provides direct fire aiming for the later.
The compact MINEO sight combines both colour day and thermal imaging along with a laser range finder that is stabilized and offers target tracking. It uses an uncooled 8-12 µm thermal imager with a common blended IR/TV display. The colour day camera uses patented motionless colour day zoom results in a superior line-of-sight stability and firing accuracy. Patrice Provost, CEO of Safran Australasia shared that “The MINEO DFSS is already in service and is being employed in both the Indian and Norwegian K9 programs.
by Stephen W. Miller