K9 Howitzers Fitted with Polish Topaz System: Integration Expected in January
Contrary to a number of worrying reports, the first 24 K9 Thunder howitzers unloaded in Poland this week are expected to be equipped with the ZZKO Topaz automated fire control suite over a few weeks.
Piotr Wojciechowski, President at the WB Group, the manufacturer of the Topaz system, the integration of 24 K9 Thunders with the WB Group's solution would happen domestically. The WB Group would complete this effort in collaboration with the manufacturer of the howitzer, the Hanwha company. The process would happen in line with a memorandum on the K9PL system, concluded in September this year, by and between the WB Group and Hanwha.
Further K9 howitzers delivered to Poland are expected to be ready for setup, thus the Topaz integration process should be far more efficient.
This would not be the only contract that WB and Hanwha sign. Another agreement is in the final stages of the negotiation process, and it concerns K239 Chunmoo-Topaz integration.
The WB Group will probably be involved in the manufacturing of command vehicles for further K9s. Some of the new howitzers would inherit the command vehicles that have become available once Poland sent its Krab howitzers to Ukraine.
At the same time, we have found out that the integration of Polish communications systems originally designed for the T-72M1R MBTs, on the K2 Black Panther MBTs would be a bit more challenging, than the effort related to the K9 platform. However, the process is expected to go smoothly. As Wojciechowski said: "we have all the approvals, credentials, and full access to these main battle tanks".