WARSAW, Poland — The Romanian Ministry of National Defence has chosen the K9 Thunder 155 mm self-propelled howitzer for the nation’s armed forces.

The country’s military is to receive a total of 54 howitzers with related gear, the ministry said in a statement.

The decision to buy the weapon, which is manufactured by Hanwha Aerospace, was announced on June 19 following a meeting held by Romanian National Defence Minister Angel Tîlvăr and his South Korean counterpart, Won-sik Shin. The meeting was part of the Shin’s official visit to Romania.

The South Korean company was designated as “the winner of a competitive procedure for Romania’s purchase of three howitzer systems caliber 155 mm at battalion level, comprising 54 K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers, support equipment, and an initial amount of specific ammunition,” according to the ministry.

The statement did not disclose the value of the forthcoming procurement. However, earlier information from the Romanian ministry indicated that Bucharest plans to spend around RON 4.2 billion (U.S. $910 million) to acquire new howitzers along with related gear and ammunition.

Local sources have said other bidders for the contract included Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann with the Panzerhaubitze 2000, and Turkish BMC with its T-155 Fırtına.

Alexandru Georgescu, a Bucharest-based security and defense analyst, told Defense News that the South Korean offer of industrial cooperation with Romania’s defence industry played a large role in convincing local decision-makers to select the K9, combined with relatively short delivery and integration schedules.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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