Kia Motors has specialized in the production of military vehicles with variants and other transportation equipment and has made a major contribution to the enhancement of combat readiness posture of the Republic of Korea by supplying them as a sole maker of military vehicles designated by Korean Government since 1976, when Kia Heavy Industry Co., Ltd was established. Twenty five years of experience in production of military vehicles has virtually turned Kia Motors into a specialist in Defense-related transportation equipment. It soon established a solid reputation for reliability, high quality and technology in worldwide military vehicles needs.
Kia Motors was founded in 1944 as Kyongseong Precision, when Korean modernization was still in its infancy. In 1952 it changed the corporate name to Kia Industry Co., Ltd. It was a pioneer which produced the first bicycle and automobile locally. For half a century it has remained focused on a single purpose manufacturing automobiles. In 1990 the company's name was changed to Kia Motors Corp.
Hyundai Motor took over Kia Motors in 1998. Kia Motors was relieved of the court receivership in 2000. Following its merger with the Hyundai Group in 1998, the company embarked on an ambitious redevelopment plan. In partnership with Hyundai Motor, Hyundai Mobis and other members of the Hyundai Automobile Group that was established in April 2000, Kia Motors is working toward the goal of becoming one of the top five automobile manufacturers in the world by 2010.
KIA Machine Tool was the manufacturer for the KH-178 105mm and the KH-179 155mm towed field guns. The KH-178 and KH179 guns were derived from United States-designed artillery but were considered indigenously designed.
The series of 1/4ton, 1 1/4ton, 2 1/2ton ,5ton and 10 ton with variants which Kia Motors produces are good enough for customers multifarious requirements. Kia Motors is also a pioneer in design and development of military vehicles. Especially, 1/4 ton utility vehicle (6 persons available) is an improved version of the conventional jeep and also successfully passed the occupant crash protection test in accordance with U.S Army Military Standards (MIL-STD-1180B) and U.S Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS No. 208).
As a new breed of the conventional jeep, the KM420 Utility Vehicle has become the standard light vehicle of the Korean Armed Forces since 1997. The vehicle has a independent suspension at front, shifting gear from 4x2 to 4x4 wheel drive, power steering, AM/FM radio and steel door. All built on a rugged ladder frame chassis that meets the latest U.S. Federal Motors Vehicle Safety Standards(FMVSS No. 208), providing a solid foundation for military operations in all weather and terrain conditions. KM421 NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle (improvised), KM422 Tow Missile Launcher Carrier, KM423 Tow Missile Carrier, KM424 106mm Recoilless Rifle Carrier and KM425 K-4 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher Carrier which are the variants of KM420 standard jeep are under development and were in mass production at the end of 2001.
The KM45 Series of 4x4 Trucks are designed to be used on all types of roads, highways and cross-country terrain. They will ford hard-bottom water crossings to a depth of 760mm. These vehicles are equipped with a six cylinder 115ps diesel engine, a five-speed transmission and a two-speed transfer case which transmits power to the front and rear axle. Transmission and transfer case speed ranges are selected manually through a shifting lever in the operator's compartment. The vehicle cab has a removable canvas paulin. All truck models are equipped with a 24V electrical system and electrically operated wiper motors, and also E.M.I(Electro Magnetic Interference) suppression.
The KM25 Series of 6x6 Trucks are designed as tactical vehicles for using all types of roads, highways and cross-country terrain. These vehicles will ford hard-bottom water crossings to a depth of 760mm without an additional fording kit. All vehicles are equipped with a six cylinder, 160hp diesel engine, a five-speed transmission and a two-speed transfer provide 10 speed ranges. Transmission & transfer are controlled by manual shifting levers in the cab. Service brakes are air servo hydraulic internal expanding type. Cab is equipped with canvas tops and ventilatory folding-down windshield. All vehicles are equipped with a spare wheel and tire, and a pintle hook at the rear for towing a trailer or 105mm howitzer.
The KM50 Series of 6x6 Trucks are designed for use on all types of roads, highways and cross-country terrain, and under all types of weather. They will ford hard-bottom water crossings to a depth of 760mm without an additional fording kit. All vehicles are equipped with a six cylinder, 236hp diesel engine, a five-speed transmission and two-speed transfer case which transmits power to the front and rear axles. Transmission and transfer case speed ranges are controlled by manual shifting lever in the operator's compartment. The vehicle cab has a removable canvas paulin, and the cargo truck bodies are provided with bows, removable canvas top paulins and end curtains. All vehicles are equipped with a spare wheel and tire, and a pintle hook at the rear for towing a trailer or 155mm howitzer.
According to the increase of the large military equipment, KM100 Series of 8x8 Vehicles have been developed. KM1001 Wrecker for wrecking of large & modernized equipment exceeding operating capacity of the KM502 Wrecker, KM1002 Tractor for transportation of large-heavy equipment such as tank, armored vehicle, large construction equipment has been developed respectively. KM100 Series Vehicles are powered by a modern 450 horse power turbo intercooler engine. The components of power train such as transmission, transfer case, axle, propeller shaft and wheel & tire newly have been recomposed and reinforced. Also this Series Vehicles feature cab-over type cabin (KM1002 Tractor has double cab), reinforced bumper, waterproof electric system, etc. This Series Vehicles was in mass production at the end of 2001.
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