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South Korea to develop new submachine gun to replace K1A

South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 31 March that it has begun seeking offers from local weapon manufacturers to develop a submachine gun to replace the S&T Motiv K1A 5.56 mm short‐barrelled assault rifle currently used by the Republic of Korea Armed Forces.

Development of the new weapon, which is expected to cost at least KRW3.8 billion (USD3.1 million), is to be carried out within 36 months after a contract has been signed with the selected company.

DAPA provided no further details about the requirements for the new submachine gun, which is expected to be first handed over to the country’s special forces, before it is rolled out across other military units.

The South Korean-made K1A short-barrelled assault rifle, production of which started in 1982.

Among the companies likely to submit bids are S&T Motiv, which at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Industry Exhibition 2019 presented its STC-16 submachine gun, and Dasan Machineries, which makes the CAR816.

The K1A, which is described in marketing literature as a sub-machine gun, entered service with the South Korean military in 1982, with about 180,000 units produced so far, including exports.

In 2018 the K1A underwent an upgrade under the Republic of Korea Army’s (RoKA’s) ‘Warrior Platform’ programme that provided the weapon with increased penetration and range, as the barrel was replaced to enable the use of the K-100 (SS109) bullet. In addition, a new butt and a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail system were installed, the latter of which can be equipped with a laser designator and a reflector sight.

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