The proposed deployment of a new locally developed 120-millimeter self-propelled mortar carrier tracked vehicle was endorsed by the South Korea’s Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) in charge of arms acquisition. The project costing about $647 million (770 billion won) contract for the mass production of the systems, the first units of which are expected to enter service with the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) from next year. It is equipped with an automated fire control system featuring improved accuracy and range compared and enables rapid and precise firepower support. The new system will replace K242A1 107mm and K281A1 81mm mortar carrier that are in ROKA service.
The K200 KIFV (Korea Infantry Fighting Vehicle) is a South Korean armoured personnel carrier, originally produced by Daewoo Heavy Industries as a domestic replacement for older armored personnel carriers, such as the M113, in front line service with the Republic of Korea Armed Forces at the time of the K200’s development. The K200 series of vehicles transport mechanized infantry platoon is designed to keep personnel safe from small arms fire. The hull of the KIFV is of all-welded aluminium armour with an additional layer of spaced laminate steel armour bolted to it. A total of 2,383 K200 vehicles of all configurations were produced between 1985 and 2006, among which are 111 K200A1 vehicles exported to Malaysia.
K200A1 is an upgraded variant of the base K200 with more powerful engines and transmission. The upgrade also added NBC protection and automatic fire extinguishing system. The mortar mounted to armored vehicles of Hanwha Defense provides strong firepower on operation as well as being one of the important weapon systems to enhance survivability of tanks and armored vehicles. K200A1 can provide infantry firepower support with 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm machine guns. Stronger anti-infantry and anti-material firepower can be brought to bear by equipping a 20 mm Vulcan gun, or 81 mm and 107 mm mortars. The K200 is highly modular, and its variants provide additional combat supports by outfitting many different equipments.
The self-propelled mortar carrier tracked vehicle is based on a variant of the K200A1 tracked armored vehicle developed by Hanwha Defense. The self-propelled mortar system to be used by South Korea’s mechanized military unit can carry four passengers, with a maximum speed of 70 kilometers (43 miles) per hour. With a maximum range of 12 km, it can fire up to eight shots per minute. The mortar which weighs less than 1,400 kg, has a maximum rate of fire of 10 rounds per minute for 3 minutes, a sustained rate of fire of 3 rounds per minute, and a firing range of 8 km for high-explosive rounds and of 13 km for rocket-assisted projectiles. The reaction time for the first round is stated to be 30 seconds.