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Self-Propelled Gun

South Korea | 1985

"The K55 is set to be replaced by the newer K9 Thunder self-propelled gun platform."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the K55 Self-Propelled Gun.
1 x Detroit Diesel 8V71T diesel-fueled engine developing 450 horsepower driving conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
Installed Power
35 mph
56 kph
Road Speed
217 miles
350 km
The physical qualities of the K55 Self-Propelled Gun.
29.9 ft
9.1 meters
O/A Length
10.2 ft
3.1 meters
O/A Width
10.8 ft
3.3 meters
O/A Height
61,729 lb
28,000 kg | 30.9 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the K55 SPG Self-Propelled Gun.
1 x 155mm main gun barrel at front turret face.
1 x 12.7mm K6 Anti-Aircraft (AA) Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) on turret roof.
36 x 155mm projectiles.
550 x 12.7mm ammunition.
Notable series variants as part of the K55 SPG family line.
K55 - Base Series Designation based on the American M109A2 SPG.
K55A1 - Improved Modernized Production Model; appearing in 1994.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/09/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Prior to the arrival of the K9 "Thunder" Self-Propelled Gun (SPG), the South Korean Army relied on the K55 series of similar form and function. The K55 was a localized development of the US military's M109A2 Paladin SPG family, license-produced by Samsung Techwin / Samsung Aerospace Industries (SSA). Over 1,100 (1,180) of the type were procured by the South Korean government, supplying the Army with a long range, heavy hitter capable of lobbing conventional, chemical and nuclear shells at any potential enemies - namely North Korea. The K55 entered service in 1985.

The 25-ton K55 borrows much from the American M109 including its conventional design consisting of an armored tracked chassis and boxy turret superstructure. The vehicle is crewed by six personnel and primary armament is a 155mm main gun of 30 caliber length. Defense is through 1 x 12.7mm K6 heavy machine gun. Power is served through a Detroit Diesel 8V-71T turbocharged, diesel-fueled engine of 450 horsepower. Maximum road speed across ideal surfaces is 56 kmh. The main gun can supply a rate-of-fire of 4 shots per minute while targeting is through manual means. A full ammunition load aboard the K55 is 36 projectiles.

The K55 entered a modernization program in 1994, producing the K55A1 designation.

The newer 47-ton K9 Thunder formally entered service in 1999 and is crewed by five personnel, carried 48 projectiles and features a rate-of-fire of 6 shots per minute with manual or automatic targeting. Additionally, the powerplant provides road speeds of up to 66 kph.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the K55 SPG. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 1,180 Units

Contractor(s): Samsung Techwin - South Korea
National flag of South Korea

[ South Korea ]
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Image of the K55 SPG
Image from the South Korean Ministry of Defense; Public Release.

Going Further...
The K55 SPG Self-Propelled Gun appears in the following collections:
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