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South Korea deploys upgraded K200 variants

South Korea's DAPA has upgraded and deployed the K242 armoured vehicle, K281 armoured vehicle, and K288 rescue vehicle (pictured above) with the RoK Army. (Daewoo)

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has upgraded variants of the K200 armoured vehicle for the Republic of Korea (RoK) Army.

DAPA said in a recent press release that the 4.2 inch mortar armoured vehicles (K242), 81 mm mortar armoured vehicles (K281), and rescue vehicles (K288) with the RoK Army have been upgraded and deployed in the service.

A spokesperson of DAPA told Janes that the K242, K281, and K288 vehicles' upgrade programme started in 2021, and DAPA signed the contract with Hanwha Aerospace to upgrade the vehicles at that time.

“We [also] have a plan to upgrade the K263 vehicle but do not have details yet,” the spokesperson added.

The vehicles have been in charge of fire support and rescue missions in the infantry and mechanised units of the RoK Army for over 40 years and “will continue functioning in the roles after the upgrades”, DAPA said.

Eom Dong-hwan, director of DAPA, announced the delivery of the first batch of upgraded vehicles to the RoK Army on 14 December. The programme, worth KRW100 billion (USD75 million), seeks to upgrade the three vehicles by 2027.

DAPA said that the vehicles were unfit to operate with other weapon systems such as tanks and helicopters due to low engine output, frequent breakdowns of transmissions, and discontinuity problems.

“But the project resolved the issues by improving the mobility of the vehicles and upgrading the vehicles with high-output engines and fully automatic transmissions,” DAPA added.

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