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Wheeled Armored Vehicle (WAV)
Armored Combat Vehicle (6X6, 8X8)

Hyundai Rotem, a unit of Hyundai Motor Group, was chosen 27 November 2012 as the preferred bidder to develop proprietary amphibious armored vehicles by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. DAPA planned to develop up to three test vehicles, complete with Korean-made parts and equipment by 2015, and will be deployed at infantry units for operation beginning in 2016, an DAPA official said. DAPA pkanned to finalize its negotiations with Rotem by the end of December 2012. After field tests, the company will produce 600 vehicles in stages by 2020. This was in line with efforts to build Korean indigenous combat vehicles and gradually replace the military's aging Fiat 6614s used by infantry units. Also, the military needed to boost mobility and precision of such vehicles at key strategic infantry bases to counter threats from North Korea. Over 2000 LTVs and hundreds of amphibious APCs will be produced to provide the army with more versatile land transports. Currently the army relies on KM900 and a small number of Barracuda for wheeled armored vehicles.

Today the Republic of Korea Army (ROK) uses mainly tracked armoured fighting vehicles but has a requirement for a family of 6 x 6 and 8 x 8 wheeled armored fighting vehicles. The South Korean Army plans to deploy about 2,000 advanced wheeled armored vehicles beginning around 2013 to build rapid-response brigades modeled after U.S. Stryker combat brigades. The plan is a core part of the Army's efforts to transform itself into a slimmer but more mobile, network-centric force with increased firepower under the Defense Reform 2020 initiative with its operational focus shifting from a North Korean invasion to a counteroffensive or other forms of offensive action into North Korea.

In the case of an emergency on the Korean Peninsula, wheeled armored vehicle brigades will play a leading role in advancing into North Korea, neutralizing key enemy targets, stabilizing North Korean society in captured areas or securing humanitarian aid, while mechanized divisions and corps consisting of sophisticated tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other artillery back them up.

The procurement program was initially scheduled to begin by 2010 to equip the Army with about 2,000 high-tech wheeled armored vehicles. Hyundai Rotem, Doosan Infracore and Samsung Techwin are competing for the program. The companies are offering to sell their six-wheel armored vehicles with an average per-unit price tag of 600 to 800 million won, while the price is expected to go up depending on what weapons systems and equipment are to be installed on the vehicles.

In addition to the Doosan Armored Wheeled Family (AWV) known as Black Fox, two other ROK contractors also designed and built 6 x 6/8 x 8 wheeled vehicles to meet the potential requirements of the ROK Army. These are Rotem (with the KW1 6 x 6 and KW2 8 x 8) and Samsung Techwin (Multipurpose vehicle). The first prototypes of the Doosan AWV Black Fox were completed in 2003. Doosan is known mainly as the prime contractor for the full tracked Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicle (KIFV) which has already been exported to Malaysia.

In many respects, the overall appearance of the Doosan Armoured Wheeled Vehicle is very similar to the Brazilian EE-11 Urutu (6 6) armoured personnel carrier developed some years ago by ENGESA.The major difference is that the Brazilian vehicle has steering on the front two wheels with the rear wheels being close together, whereas the Doosan Armoured Wheeled Vehicle has steering on the front four wheels.

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Page last modified: 04-09-2013 19:16:02 ZULU