South Korean Army buys armored and non-armored tactical trucks from Kia Motors

Kia Motors signed a contract Monday 13 April to supply next-generation tactical trucks (medium-sized standard vehicles) worth USD 1.4 billion with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army.

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Kia 5 ton Medium Standard Vehicle with armor kit. (Picture source Facebook ROK Army)

These trucks come in 5-tons 6x6 and 2.5-tons 4x4 variants. Approximately 10,000 trucks will be acquired to replace the army’s existing K511 (KM250) and K711 (KM500) trucks, the ROK Army announced on its social media page. Delivery will start in 2024 but no date is mentioned regarding the final delivery.

In October 2019, the ROK Army shortlisted Kia Motors and Hanwha Defense as the final bidders; it selected Kia Motors through internal evaluation, local media, reported. A Kia Motors official told wowtv, "Kia Motors is currently selected and has entered into a contract with the Army Headquarters to proceed with the business." Hanwha Defense challenged the selection in court claiming that evaluation was not properly conducted, but the court dismissed the application. A second provisional disposition is pending. However, an Army source told wowtv, "the contract between Kia Motors and the Army was signed because the contract could not be delayed, and the business is separate from the lawsuit."

A bullet-proof version of the medium-sized standard vehicle is planned to transport troops. The up-armoured version is reported to be able to withstand 7.62 mm rounds besides low-grade IEDs. Kia has plans to offer the truck for exports after meeting the requirements of the ROK Army.

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Kia 5 ton Medium Standard Vehicle. (Picture source Facebook ROK Army)