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Two new South Korean amphibious armoured vehicles are slated to enter service this year. Defence manufacturer Hyundai Rotem created the 8×8 armoured vehicles for South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in a project that’s been ongoing since 2012. The new vehicles sport a hefty 420 HP diesel engine and provides improved mobility, survivability, and hitting power on the front line.
The K808 was designed for reconnaissance and troop deployment and with speed in mind. It can easily handle mountainous regions and protect troops on the front lines. The K806 is made for mobile strikes and reconnaissance missions in the rear.
Until now, South Korean infantry forces lacked a sufficient number of all-terrain armoured vehicles, which restricted their areas of operations. This put the lives of soldiers at risk of a potential attack from North Korea while out and on the move, said DAPA’s statement.
“The new wheeled armored vehicles, equipped with cutting-edge technologies, can move swiftly on the ground as well as cross water obstacles, carry heavy firepower and protect the troops inside from enemy machine gun attacks that will enormously increase infantry units’ operability,” the statement went on to say.
DAPA also made comments to the fact that the new vehicles could later be adapted to carry 30mm anti-aircraft guns and be used as wheeled combat centres.
DAPA hopes that its new vehicles could find an export market, as they have a price advantage over available alternatives on the market.
“The success of the project has allowed the military to field a new weapon system that could carry out various operations in city and rear areas and meet the challenges of future battlefields like United Nations peacekeeping missions,” Park Jin, a DAPA official in charge of combat vehicles, said. “This will dramatically contribute to boosting our military’s strength.”