The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has signed a $200 million (250 billion-won) contract with Hanwha Defense Co. to buy the 30-mm anti-aircraft gun wheeled vehicle system (AAGW) for the Republic of Korea Armed Forces, Yonhap reported quoting DAPA officials. South Korea plans to mass-produce a newly developed wheeled air defense cannon system for use by its military starting next year in a project to replace the aging Vulcan in operation with the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) and the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). The Hanwha AAGW will replace the Vulcon M163 which is a self propelled variant of the General Dynamics 20mm M61 rotary cannon mounted in most US aircraft since the ’60s.
The Hanwha AAGW has passed qualification tests, opening the way for combat assignments and exports. The new home-made mobile anti-aircraft gun system has a longer firing range and better mobility than the M61 autocannon-based anti-aircraft system widely used by South Korean troops. The new two 30-mm autocannons, increased its effective range by 1.6 times compared to M61’s 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) and it can be interlinked to other mobile forces to set up an air defense network. It requires 18 personnel for company-level operation, versus 48 for the Vulcan Air Defense System (VADS) that has been used by the country’s Army, Air Force and Marine Corps for a long time.
The Anti-Aircraft Gun Wheeled Vehicle System (AAGW) is equipped with an Electro Optical Targeting System (EOTS) developed by Hanwha Systems Co., one of around 200 firms, mostly South Korean ones that have formed a team for the development program. The AAGW makes localized support and self-targeting functionalities possible through electron optical targeting systems and visual targeting systems, Its key features are: Air Defense C2A System, Local Air Defense Radar, Synchronized Operation with Airfield Anti-Aircraft Control System. It is loaded with Electron Optical Targeting Systems (EOTS) and a Visual Targeting System enabling Automatic Tracking and Self-Targeting Capabilities.
AAGW consists of modified Hanwha Defense K30 Biho turret and Hyundai Rotem K808 chassis. The K808/806 wheeled armored personnel carrier is family of 6×6 and 8×8 armored vehicles. Developed by Hyundai Rotem as a private venture in 2012, the Korean Army declared a plan to acquire 600 6×6 and 8×8 wheeled APCs in order to help build rapid response forces molded after U.S. Stryker combat brigades, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). Hyundai Rotem, a (subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group), made the K808/806 in competition with the Doosan Black Fox and Samsung Techwin MPV, and eventually won the competition.