DefExpo 2020: South Korea to promote Hybrid BiHo air defense armored vehicle

The most important South Korean defense companies will attend DefExpo 2020 an International defense exhibition that will take place in India from 5 to 9 February 2020. India is the world's second-largest military market for the defense industry.

South Korea to promote Hybrid BiHo air defense armored vehicle DefExpo 2020 India 925 001
South Korean Hybrid BIHO self-propelled air defense system tracked armored vehicle. (Picture source Army Recognition)

In 2017, South Korean defense Company Samsung-Techwin and the Indian Company L&T have signed a contract for the purchase of 100 K9 Thunder 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers. The contract requires L&T to complete the delivery of 100 Indian versions of K9 called K9 Vajra to the Indian army by the end of 2020.

According to Indian military sources, India could select the South Korean-made Hanwha K-30 Biho mobile anti-aircraft tracked armored vehicle. South Korean Company Hanwha Defense plans to showcase the Hybrid Biho at DefExpo 2020.

The goal of Hanwha Defense is to win a $2.5 billion contract for the sale of Hybrid Biho air defense armored vehicles to the Indian government. In October 2018, the Indian defense ministry selected the Korean air defense system as the sole candidate that could respond to the Indian MoD (Ministry of Defense) tender. Defense Acquisition Committee of India is expected to review the contract documents and make the decision in the next few months.

South Korean Companies Doosan DST and Samsung Techwin designed the BiHo air defense armored vehicle to provide day/night all-weather close-in air defense against airborne threats flying at low altitude. Its development started in 1983 with the first prototype fielded in 1998. Serial production weapon systems deliveries happened between 2002 and 2007.

The 30mm twin-gun and missile air defense system 'HYBRID BIHO' was developed according to a request from the South Korean army for a new mobile SHORAD (Short-Range Air Defense System). The new vehicle is based on the 30 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft defense system 'BIHO' combined with the portable surface-to-air guided missile system Chiron which can be used to destroy low altitude aerial threats.

The 'HYBRID BIHO' can carry a total of 4 launchers of Chiron guided missiles, two on each side of the turret. The South Korean Armed Forces have successfully test-fired the new Hybrid BIHO in November 2016.

The KP-SAM Shin-Gung or Shin-Kung is a South Korean shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile manufactured by LIG Nex1. It is marketed internationally under the name of Chiron.

The Chiron is a two-man MANPADS (MAN-Portable Air-Defense System) which can be mounted on a tripod. The 10-kilogram missile features an integral Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, full night and adverse weather capabilities, and a two-color infrared seeker to aid in negating countermeasures. It has a 7 km maximum target range and flies at a maximum altitude of 3.5 km and a maximum speed of Mach 2.1.