KAAV II Korean Amphibious Assault Vehicle II
The Korean Amphibious Assault Vehicle II (KAAV II) is being developed for the Republic of Korea (RoK) Marine Corps by Hanwha Defense. The new platform looks like a clone of the US Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle [EFV], which was cancelled in 2011. The KAAV II is intended to replace around 200 of the first version of the KAAV currently in operation with the RoK Marine Corps. The KAAV is based on the AAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicle. About 150 AAVs were built under license by Hanwha Defense.
At ADEX 2019 in October 2019, the air and defense exhibition currently held in Seoul, South Korea, local company Hanwha Defense unveiled a scale model of the future KAAV II amphibious assault vehicle. The project was in the “exploratory development stage”, set to be completed in September 2022. This would be followed by the system development stage that would start in 2023 and finish in 2028. The KAAV-II program would then enter mass production from 2029.
The project is currently in “exploratory development stage”. This stage is set to be completed in September 2022. It will be followed by the system development stage that will start in 2023 and finish in 2028. The KAAV-II program will then enter mass production from 2029.
To achieve good performance on the water, the underside of the hull features a system which can deploy some side flaps under the tracks in order to reduce water resistance. When on the water, the KAAV-II is propelled by two large (600mm diameter) water-jets designed by a local supplier.
Republic of Korea Navy and Marine Corps are closely studying the recent change in the United States Marine Corps' amphibious doctrine. In early 2010s, the USMC abandoned the doctrine of over-the-horizon amphibious operations. This was due to the fact that increased range and lethality of shore-based weapon systems nullified the merit of over-the-horizon operations. USMC concluded that in order to safely conduct over-the-horizon operations in modern battlefield, they'd need to operate at least 100 miles (185 km) from the shore. This was far beyond the range of most amphibious assets in US arsenal. As such, they opted to conduct littoral amphibious operations at approximately 12 miles (22 km) from the shoreline. This was considered an adequate distance to identify and intercept hostile missiles and to be out of range of coastal mines and artillery batteries. The change in USMC's doctrine was reflected in ROKMC's KAAV-II program. While the EFV focused primarily on high speed, the newly set criteria meant that future AAVs didn't need to be extraordinarly fast nor did they have to be lightly-armored. KAAV-II's waterborne speed is expected to be at around 20 km/h. This is faster than the existing AAVs, but not as fast as EFV's 46 km/h speed. KAAV-II would be armed with a 40mm autocannon, which can reliably defeat opposing armored vehicles, and will have sufficient protection against various ground threats.