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South Korea: K808 8x8 armored personnel carrier to be mass produced from late 2018.

| 2018

The K808 APC, after having satisfied operational requirements through a recent field test, will be mass-produced by the end of this year, the state procurement agency said on 10 September.

South Korea K808 8x8 armored personnel carrier to be mass produced from late 2018
Hyundai Rotem K808 APC (Picture source: Youtube)

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration said that the K808 vehicle, built by Hyundai Rotem Co., a unit of Hyundai Motor Group, successfully underwent the test in field units, such as the Army's 25th and 37th Divisions, from April through August.

The 8x8 K808 was developed from 2012 to 2016 with a budget of around 22.2 billion won ($19.7 million). It was previously known as the KW2. It was developed alongside a smaller K806 armored personnel carrier in 6x6 configuration, which was previously known as the KW1. In 2016 these armored vehicles successfully passed final qualification tests and were approved for procurement. The K808 is intended to be used by rapid deployment units and operate in forward areas. The smaller K806 is intended to be used for defense of rear areas, protection of convoys. These new wheeled armored vehicles will replace the ageing K200 series of tracked armored personnel carriers in the South Korean Army. Until 2020 South Korean Army plans to deploy 600 new wheeled armored vehicles, including 500 in 8x8 configuration and 100 in 6x6 version. It is also planned that the K808, alongside the smaller K806, will be offered for export customers.

The K808 has an all-welded steel armor hull that can accommodate 9 troops. It provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. It is likely that the front side withstands hits from 12.7 mm armor-piercing rounds. Add-on armor can be fitted for a higher level of protection. The APC has a V-shaped hull for protection against mine blasts. Crew and dismounts are seated on mine protected seats.

The baseline infantry carrier is armed with a shielded 12.7 mm machine gun. The South Korean MoD deliberately ordered such configuration in order to reduce procurement price. However, the K808 can accommodate a remotely-controlled weapon station, or a two-man turret, armed with a 30mm cannon, for instance. The K808 is powered by a Hyundai turbocharged diesel engine, developing 420 hp. It is mated to automatic transmission with 7 forward and 1 reverse speeds. The APC has an automatic driveline management system. The two front axles are steerable. The K808 is fitted with a central tyre inflation system and run-flat tyres. It has a maximum road speed of up to 100 km/h. It is much faster than the previous tracked K200 armored personnel carrier, that is limited to 74 km/h. The K808 is fully amphibious: on water, it is propelled by two waterjets. Maximum speed on water is 8 km/h. The 6x6 version is not amphibious, as it is mainly intended to operate with rear echelon troops.

However the baseline vehicle is an infantry carrier. It is planned that there will be variants of the K808, such as an anti-aircraft vehicle armed with a 30mm cannons, and a command post vehicle. Hyundai Rotem demonstrated a number of developments, including a Jupiter 120mm fire support vehicle and a 120mm mortar carrier.


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