South Korean firm Samsung (Techwin Defence Program Division) was an experienced licensed manufacturer of the US M109 (A2), producing over 1000 vehicles under the designation K55.
Samsung went on to develop a prototype that offered increased fire range and rate of fire with a greater level of mobility, which was delivered to the Republic of Korea Army in 1994. It was accepted in to service as the K9 Thunder in 1999
The Turkish T-155 Firtina 155mm Self propelled Gun Production
Turkey has been building a modified licensed K9 designated the T-155 Firtina (Storm). It contains many of the same systems, but has a different turret design and entered production around 1999-2000.
The T-155 Firtina is fitted with Turkish fire control and communication systems, which is compatible with NATO standards.
The T-155 howitzers are built in Adapazarı, 1st Maintenance Command of the Turkish Army.
The vehicle is fitted with a 155mm bore and calibre length 52 main gun, giving it a greater range over most other SPG’s on the market. It has an elevation of -2.5 to +70 degree’s and when firing the locally developed K307 HE round, it can reach targets 40km out.
The rounds are loaded automatically but the charges are manually loaded. Its maximum rate for fire is 6 to 8 rounds per minute. A sustained rate of fire is 2 to 3 rounds per minute
The vehicle is ready for action within 60 seconds! Of arriving at its firing position. Both this and the vehicles Digital Fire Control system, enables the vehicle to use an artillery technique called Time On Target. TOT is where three rounds are fired in sequence with the main gun raised to different elevations per round, so that each round takes a different amount of time from the other, but all hit the same target at the same time, causing a greater level of destruction. The vehicle can then move on AKA shoot-and-scoot.
The vehicle uses a German MTU MT 881 Ka-500 8-cylinder water-cooled diesel, which generates 1000hp. It uses hydrogas suspension, giving the vehicle a top road speed of 67km/h with an operational range of 360km.
The Turkish T-155 Firtina 155mm Self propelled Gun Operators
Azerbaijan – Order was signed for 36 vehicles in 2011. However arms embargos against the country meant MTU would not supply their engines used in the vehicle. Its believed that a Ukrainian engine was tested in 2013, but did not pass requirements. In 2014 it was reported another engine had and deliverys were scheduled for 2014.
Turkey – From 2001 to December 2008, 130 units have been delivered to the Turkish Army. An estimated total of 350 T-155 SPG’s are planned to be produced for the Turkish Army. They have used the vehicle in various battles along the Turkish/Syrian border.