South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem has won a contract from the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) to start mass producing 6x6 K806 and 8x8 K808 wheeled armoured combat vehicles for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA), the company said on 8 December.
Hyundai Rotem said the new contract, which follows on from the production of 16 low-rate initial production vehicles from late 2016, is worth KRW390.7 billion (USD358 million), with vehicle manufacturing starting immediately at its plant in Changwon and ending in 2020.
The company did not disclose how many vehicles it would make under the new contract but, citing Hyundai Rotem, Jane’s has previously reported that the RoKA had a total requirement for around 100 16-tonne K806 vehicles and 500 20-tonne K808s. Hyundai Rotem is thought to have capacity to build around 100 of these vehicles a year.
Upon announcing the new contract, Hyundai Rotem said it would go some way to improving production efficiencies and profitability in producing the K806 and K808 thereby making the vehicle a viable export platform. The company said such efficiencies would increase as the programme builds momentum over the coming few years.
Hyundai Rotem said it sees export opportunities for the two types of vehicles in markets including the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America.
According to Hyundai Rotem, the vehicles are powered by a 420-hp Hyundai Motor Company diesel engine that provides a maximum road speed of 100 km/h via a seven-speed automatic transmission. They are also operated by a two-person crew with accommodation for up to nine fully equipped troops.
The K806 is aimed at performing rear echelon roles such as the defence of civilian and military facilities and logistics convoy protection while the K808 is positioned to conduct high-intensity combat operations alongside RoKA’s K1A1 and K2 main battle tanks (MBTs), both of which were also built by Hyundai Rotem.
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