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More details emerge about RoKA's acquisition of M3K amphibious rigs

Images provided by Hanwha Defense showing the design and dimensions of the the future M3K variant. (Hanwha Defense)

More details have emerged about South Korea's procurement of the M3K – a localised version of the M3 – amphibious rig to meet a Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) requirement for an amphibious bridge and ferry system.

General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) said in a 30 September statement that it had been selected along with its South Korean partner, Hanwha Defense, to jointly produce 110 examples of the M3K variant for the RoKA.

The announcement came after Hanwha Defense revealed around mid-August that it had secured a contract from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in Seoul to lead a KRW500 billion (USD426 million) project for the local development and production of the systems under a technology transfer from original equipment manufacturer (OEM) GDELS in Germany.

Sources had told Janes on 18 August that M3K deliveries to the RoKA are slated to begin in 2024 and be completed three years later.

The M3K variant, which had been proposed by Hanwha Defense in partnership with GDELS, was chosen in December 2020 following a series of trials and evaluations conducted in the second half of 2020. The M3K had been in competition with the Otter Armoured Amphibious Assault Bridge (AAAB) system, which had been proposed by rival bidder Hyundai Rotem in co-operation with OEM FNSS Savunma Sistemleri.

In its bid, which was submitted in March 2020, Hanwha Defense had stated that the M3K variant would be built under licence in South Korea and specifically tailored to meet RoKA requirements.

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