EVO-105 105mm Evolved Wheeled
After being assigned as a project under advanced concept technology demonstration in 2009, Samsung Techwin started making the new wheeled howitzer from 2010 in an effort to enhance combat capabilities with other widely used artilleries. In October 2013, the South Korean Defense Company Samsung Techwin confirmed that the South Korean army planned to purchase 800 EVO-105 105mm self-propelled truck howitzer. The first truck mounted 105mm howitzer was revealed to the media for the first time on 2011 at the Ministry of National Defense in Yongsan, Seoul. Kim Myung-hwan, a senior manager at Hanwha Techwin, told IHS Jane's at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) 2015 in October 2015 that the system would enter service in 2017.
“Since the 105-millimetre self-propelled artillery is being loaded on a five-ton truck, the cost of the weapon is relatively cheap and it shows more outstanding performance than existing towed artillery,” said an executive at Samsung Techwin. “Shells have to be loaded manually. But firing control is operated automatically and radiation of heat can be selected either in automatic, manual and half automatic. The number of operating personnel can be reduced by three compared to existing towed artilleries.”
HanwhaTechwin developed the EVO-105 Evolved Wheeled Self-Propelled Howitzer, which was unveiled as a concept demonstrator in early 2014, at the request of the ROKA. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration [DAPA] announced on 28 June 2014 that the EVO-105 "was assessed as fit for combat by meeting all required operational capabilities in a recent test. Accordingly, mass production will begin in 2018 for use by our military units".
At the October 2017 ADEX exhibition in Seoul, Hanwha Techwin displayed a production-ready system under the designation K105HT. The M101 ordnance, equipped with a new saddle and a modified elevating and traverse mechanism, mounted on a turntable on the cargo bed of a Kia Motors KM500 6x6 5ton truck. The K105HT is equipped with acomputerised FCS, similar to that used in Hanwha Techwin’s K9 SPH, coupled to an automatic gun-laying system. An electric joystick enables the gunner to elevate (-5 to +65º) and traverse the weapon (90º left and right of center) with manual back-up controls available. Stowage is provided for 60 rounds.
The K105HT requires a crew of only five, including the driver, compared to the nine soldiers who operate the towed M101, and the weapon can be brought into action within one minute.
The ROKA is expected to order up to 800 systems, which will partially replace the towed M101 howitzers that now equip its infantry divisions. HanwhaTechwin, with an eye to the export market as well as the ROKA, proposed a number of potential upgrades, including using the KH178 ordnance. The company has also suggested that larger weapons such as its own KH179 155mm or the Soviet-built M46 130mm towed howitzers could be mounted on an 8x8 chassis.
The EVO-105 self-propelled artillery system developed by Samsung Techwin mounts an M101 barrel assembly, recoil system, and breech onto the bed of a Kia KM500 (6x6) 5-tonne truck chassis. The heart of the system is the solid, dependable M101A1-series of 105mm light artillery piece (and M2HB .50 caliber heavy machine-gun is carried in a ring mount over the truck cab for close-in vehicle defense). With a range of over 11km, the M101A1 has earned a well-deserved reputation for reliability, speed and accuracy. The gun's 11.3 km range meant it would act "like a mortar" in an infantry fire-support role and complement the longer-range 155 mm K9. Company officials said the system was quicker to deploy, fire, and reload than towed 105 mm guns and has a maximum rate of fire of 10 rounds a minute. Sustained rate of fire is typically three rounds a minute with a crew of five. The system is extremely fast into action, requiring less than sixty seconds to stop and shoot, versus four and a half minutes for its towed counterpart. There is no need to dig a recoil pit, and the weapon retains its high angle of elevation. Displacing from a position is even faster, as the EVO requires only 30 seconds to start its movement.
The KM500 general utility truck was developed by Kia Motors. It is based to the American M809, (platform M54, Manufacturer: International Harvester Kaiser/Kaiser-Jeep Diamond T, Mack) but has many improvements. These trucks retain the classic American military truck appearance with the long bonnet, spartan soft-topped cab, and a large carrying area. Both cab and cargo body are covered with removable canvas. The windshield also folds forward for maximum versatility. The removable slatted cargo body walls serve as troop seats when folded down. It provides seating for up to 24 fully-equipped troops.
The KM500 cargo truck is a baseline model of the Kia MK50 series of heavy-duty general utility trucks. The vehicle is in service with the ROK Army. The South Korean army also operates a smaller KM250 series of light utility trucks. The standard cargo truck has a payload capacity of 4 550 kg off road and 9 080 kg on hard surface roads. It's main purpose is to transport troops, cargo and materials over all types of roads, terrain and in all weather conditions. It can also tow heavy trailers or artillery pieces, such as the 155-mm howitzer. Both cab and cargo body are covered with removable canvas. The windshield also folds forward for maximum versatility. The removable slatted cargo body walls serve as troop seats when folded down. It provides seating for up to 24 fully-equipped troops. The Kia KM500 is powered by a D6AZ 11.2-liter diesel engine, developing 270 hp. It is a locally built MAN engine. Vehicle has a full time all-wheel drive. It features an extremely strong rail frame with eight cross members to ensure stability of the truck and cargo over rough terrain.
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