IDEX 2015

Korea aims for the Middle East [IDX15D1]

23 February 2015

Hyundai Rotem (Stand 12-B09) is using IDEX to spearhead export marketing of its latest armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) that the company has developed to meet the operational requirements of the Republic of Korea Army (ROK Army).

The company is looking to increase its market share in the Middle East region through local co-operation concerning its latest range of tracked and wheeled AFVs.

An initial contract has been placed with Hyundai Rotem by the ROK Army for the supply of 100 of the company’s latest generation K2 main battle tanks (MBTs), with the first batch of 13 vehicles handed over on 1 July last year. The K2 MBT is to supplement the K1 (105mm) and K1A1 (120mm) MBTs that are currently deployed by the ROK Army.

These were also designed, developed and manufactured by Hyundai Rotem.

The latest K2 MBT has many advanced features, including a reduction in the number of crew to three due to the installation of a bustle-mounted automatic loader for its 120mm/55 calibre smoothbore gun, an advanced computerised fire control system coupled to day/ thermal sights for the commander and gunner, a 1,500hp diesel power-pack and an advanced modular armour system. The K2 has a high power-to-weight ratio of more than 27hp/tonne and its in-arm hydropneumatic suspension system gives improved cross-country mobility and improved ride for its crew.

Following a competition, Hyundai Rotem was also awarded a contract for a new family of 8x8 and 6x6 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and variants for the ROK Army, which currently operates mainly tracked APCs and infantry fighting vehicles.

Prototypes of these vehicles are now undergoing extensive trials with the ROK Army and it is expected that the first production vehicles will be delivered in 2018. The first production contract is understood to be for 675 units. The 6x6 version is referred to as the KW1; the 8x8 version is the KW2. The latter has more volume and payload, which will enable it to undertake a wider range of battlefield missions.

(331 words)