AS9 Huntsman, Australian Arachnid

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

Introduction
The AS9 Huntsman is Australia’s version of the Korean K9 Thunder, based on Norway’s VIDAR variant. The primary changes for Australian requirement include an increase in armour protection with beefed up suspension to carry the additional weight, and computer integration with the Australian army’s C4 Force Structure including their Battlefield Management System.
The AS9 Huntsman is not Australia’s first attempt at acquiring the K9, back in 2012 a program known as the K9 Aussie Thunder was cancelled as part of government cost cutting. In 2019 as part of Land 8116 Phase 1, it was announced that Australia would acquire new self propelled howitzers to be built in Geelong Australia by Hanwha Defense Australia based on the 155mm, 52 caliber K9 Thunder. The AS9 gives Australia a Protected Mobile Fires artillery capability that can operate in concert with their other armoured fighting vehicles. Up until now they only had M777A2 towed field howitzers which lacked the protection, range and mobility to operate in more intense conflict zones.
One other distinction of the AS9 will be the use of different ammunition including the new Rheinmetall Assegai series, as well as the traditional M-series.
To summarize once again, the AS9 is based on the VIDAR, with improved armour protection and different ammunition being the main differences we’d see in game. From what I can gather, the final production armour package is still being finalized, and as with all current military equipment already in game, most specifics would not be made publicly available.

Specifications

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Length: 12m
Width: 3.4m
Height: 2.8m
Weight: ~50 tons
Main Armament: 155mm/L52
Secondary Armament: 12.7mm roof mounted machine gun
Crew: 5
Engine: MTU MT 881 Ka500 diesel, 1000hp
Top Speed: 66km/hr forward, 38km/hr reverse (estimated based on VIDAR vs slight weight increase)
Gun Traverse: Can be assumed to be same as VIDAR as unmodified, in War Thunder this is -4/+70 degrees
Armour Protection: Still being developed with Plasan of Israel, additional mine protection is confirmed part of it

Additional Photos

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Sources

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https://www.australiandefence.com.au/defence/land/huntsman-australia-s-lethal-arachnid
https://www.defence.gov.au/news-events/news/2023-07-04/self-propelled-howitzer-game-changer
https://www.rheinmetall.com/Rheinmetall%20Group/brochure-download/Weapon-Ammmunition/B171e0721-Assegai-Projectile-Suite_RDM.pdf
https://www.militarytoday.com/artillery/as9_huntsman.htm
https://www.defence.gov.au/news-events/news/2023-12-05/new-howitzer-game-changer-artillery-units
https://militaryleak.com/2022/12/19/plasan-to-provide-armor-solutions-for-australian-army-huntsman-as9-self-propelled-howitzer/

1 Like

This is cool. I must admit, I am not a huge fan of Howitzer type vehicles currently in game (Mainly the VIDAR) because of how they are balanced. Quick question- Would it go to GB? Or Sweden for some reason (you said VIDAR)? Or Israel since they are working on it? Or the US for no good reason?

If so, would it be a premium? or TT? Overall, looks fun though. If balanced right, I am all for it.

I say no until there’s a clear plan for an Aussie subtree. Having Britain get bits and bobs from a bunch of nations but no full trees is a problem IMO, restricting the potential for additions to other trees while also missing most of the equipment of those countries.
In the meantime, the domestic AS-90 L/52 would fill this niche a lot better.

1 Like

Aside from the potential to go in the GB or Swedish trees, I could even see this going in a United Korean tree, potentially as a premium.

Sweden can still get the Finnish K9 as a tech tree variant, slightly worse than the VIDAR but still.

Britain has domestically produced SPGs that would fill this BR, and I’d rather not see the AS9 before those.

As far as balance goes, if the armour protection is better against auto cannons than the VIDAR it’s going to be at BRs where there are a lot of tanks with stabilizers and laser rangefinders anyway. Given how RNG HE can be sometimes, I never felt like the VIDAR was that OP, but then I was using 8.3 UK at the time which has LR in most of the tanks.
For the nation, I really just want Australia to be all in one tree (currently meant to be UK) so the vehicles can be used together in lineups. My dream is to see a Canadian and Australian tech tree brought in. But ultimately Gaijin will implement vehicles where they see fit.

That’s totally fair, UK should get its domestic vehicles before receiving something from the Dominion nations. I really want a Canadian/Australian tech tree anyway. I’m just going for suggestions of vehicles I want in the game, their method of implementation is a different topic.

@ChieftainWarrior hopefully this doesn’t go in a Korean tree, I just want all Australian forces to be in one tree.