Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicle K-200
In 1981 the Korean Army issued a request for proposals for a new Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicle (KIFV). Agency for Defense Development had designed and developed it and Daewoo Heavy Industries, Co. (DHI) was a prime contractor for the production of this vehicle. The Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicle K-200 is an amphibious personnel carrier manufactured by DaeWoo Industries and based on the American AIFV. In the field of armoured tracked vehicle business, Land Systems of DHI succeeded to be a prime contractor for Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicle development program in the early 1980s, a pioneer of Korean defense industries. The KIFV, named as K200, entered production in 1985. In 1994 the first PIP program was completed in the areas of mobility. It includes the upgrade of engine power and replacement with a new fully automatic transmission. Thousands of vehicles have been delivered to the Korean Army.
At the end of 1993, the basic vehicles and armored ambulances which were redesigned from K200 were exported to the Malaysian Army.
Based on the experience and the know-how from the production of massive amount of K200 Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Daewoo Heavy Industries Ltd. has developed and producing K200A1 the upgraded KIFV for Korean Army. The K200A1 which combined with high protection, high mobility and well equipped crew compartment can meet toughest technical and tactical requirements from the worldwide countries. K200 Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicies has been revealed and proven its superiority by the deployment of UN Peace Keeping Operations in Bosnia.
The K200A1, a product improved version of Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicle provides transportation to infantry squad under armor protection from enemy's fire. It providing for the firing of infantry rifles from inside the vehicle through firing ports under armor protection, as well as fire support to disembarked infantry, utilizing the cal 50 and cal 30 machine gun which are installed on gunner's and commander's cupola.
Highly mobile mechanized infantry forces requires fast moving, highly manoeuvrable vehicles. The K200A1 meet these requirements from the results of a great power-to-weight ratio, state of the art power pack, such as high power diesel engine, fully automatic hydrokinetic transmission, hydrostatic steering system and sufficient suspension system. At a combat weight of 13.2tons and engine power of 350hp, power-to-weight ratio is 26.5hp per ton. This is hardly surpass by the most up to date infantry combat vehicles or battle tanks. The mobility does not means simply a high vehicle speed and acceleration on hard surfaced road but means well proven cross country mobility of overcoming the forward drive running gear which has five road wheels with torsion hars, and three telescopic shock absorbers on each side.
The K200A1 was tested under the severest conditions over four seasons from the frozen winter to hottest summer, passing through roughest terrains in Korea territory. The environmental test was also performed in the induced temperature condition of-32 to 50 degree centigrade. Its test result sare documented by the Government and finally chosen by Korean Army. The insight accumulated during these tests have contributed to the optimization of the system. Toughest testing includes exhaustive trials and 72 hours non-stop run under tropical climatic conditions in Indonesia.
It carries 12 infantry personnel including driver, gunner and commander. Sustained top speed of K200A1 exceeds 70km/h on level roads, it accelerates from 0 to 32km/h in approximately 6.5 seconds, this compares to 10 seconds for the K200. It is fully amphibious with the speed in water of approximately 7km/h by propulsion of track rotation, which enables water crossing operation without any supporting unit. This mobility is due to the high power to weight ratio of 26.5hp/ton at the combat weight of 13.2ton, accomplished by 350hp diesel engine incorporated with hydrokinetic, automatic transmission. The integrated powerpack system of K200A1 incorporates the engine, transmission , cooling system, and associated components integrated as one complete package. This capability results in lower maintenance ratio and high reliability.
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