The K9 Howitzer and K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicle is featured in a promotional photo from Hanwha Aerospace. (Hanwha)

BEIRUT — Romania is buying $1 billion worth of artillery from South Korean firm Hanwha Aerospace, the company announced Wednesday.

The deal, which will cover 54 K9 Self-Propelled Howitzers and 36 K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicles, makes Romania the 10th operator of the K9 and third operator of the K10 worldwide, the firm said, as South Korea’s defense industry continues its push into the NATO market.

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

The vehicles will be mostly produced in Romania involving local companies, and deliveries are set to take place in the next five years, with the first artillery systems expected in Romania by early 2027.

“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 Center of Excellence for MRO operations in a new greenfield facility in Romania,” said Peter Bae, Vice President of Hanwha Aerospace Europe in a statement.

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He added that Romania is expected to become a hub for Hanwha Aerospace’s land department in Europe.

“Romanian industry’s inclusion in Hanwha Aerospace’s broad global supply chains is one of the potential benefits Romania could take from the collaboration,” Bae said.

Five other NATO countries — Turkey, Poland, Norway, Finland and Estonia — operate the K9, while K10 vehicles are operational in Norway and Australia.

Hanwha Aerospace is also offering Romania its Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle for a separate program in a deal similar to the one sealed with Australia in 2023.

The South Korean firm emphasized the complimentary nature of the Redback and K9, saying that the “Redback will meet the Romanian Army’s operational needs in response to the emerging threats, and future battlefield environment. A high level of commonality between the K9 and Redback in terms of powertrain and chassis is expected to increase the efficiency of operation, production and maintenance of both systems.”

Hanwha Aerospace announced the deal with Romania on the second day of the NATO summit taking place in Washington, as North Atlantic Treaty countries discuss common threats and ways to counter them during the conference.