07 November 2014
WIA 105mm towed howitzer (photo : Defense Studies)
South Korea’s WIA, part of the Hyundai Group, is pushing for further export sales of its 105mm/ 38 calibre KH178 towed artillery system. This was developed some years ago to meet the operational requirements of the Republic of Korea Army, but has now been exported to a number of countries.
Indonesia is understood to deploy three artillery battalions equipped with the KH178, with each of these having three batteries each with six weapons.
The 105mm KH178 is essentially the US M101 105mm howitzer, which was originally developed shortly before the Second World War and built in large numbers for the US Army and Marine Corps.
Although an old design, the M101 105mm howitzer is still used by many other countries all over the world, although by today’s standards it has a very short firing range of only 11.72km.
On the upgraded KH178, the original 105mm barrel has been replaced by a new longer 105mm/ 38 calibre barrel fitted with a double-baffle muzzle brake. Firing the old M1 105mm high explosive (HE) projectile, a maximum range of 14.7km can be achieved, which can be increased to 18km with a rocket assisted projectile (RAP) or a base-bleed (BB) projectile. The upgraded KH178 also has a useful direct-fire capability of 1.5km, but this would only be used in an emergency.
As well as marketing the upgraded 105mm KH178, the company is offering an upgrade kit for the 155mm M114 towed howitzer, which has been supplied in large numbers to the ROK Army.
The original M114 has a maximum range of 14.6km firing a standard M107 HE projectile with Charge 7.
The upgraded M114 is called the KH179 and includes replacing the original barrel with a new 155mm/39 calibre barrel. Firing the 155mm M107 projectile, a maximum range of 22km can be achieved, which increases to 30km with a rocket-assisted projectile.