The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced on Monday that Hyundai Rotem has completed the development of a new armored command vehicle. The DAPA said the K808 KW2 Command Post development, which began in 2017, was completed earlier in the month. The new armored command vehicle, based on the K808 platform, allows commanders to lead combats while moving around and is equipped with devices to defend against enemy’s chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) attacks. The K808 KW2 will use to provide means to receive information, analyze and transmit data, and control forces carrying out combat missions. The DAPA plans to sign a contract for its production in 2022.
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. In September 2018, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced Hyundai Rotem would begin mass-producing the K806 and K808 vehicles later in the year.
The K808/806 has an all-welded armored hull that provides protection against small-arms fire and artillery shell splinters. It can be fitted with add-on armor for a higher level of protection. It is also equipped with the NBC protection system. The 8×8 version is more heavily armored than the 6×6 version. The engine is located in the front on the left side, while the driver sits beside the engine to the right. The troop compartment is at the rear, accommodating 10 fully equipped soldiers plus 2 crew members. Troops enter and exit the vehicle via a rear automatic ramp in addition to 4 roof hatches.
Initially, the Hyundai Rotem K808/806 was fitted with a Hyundai diesel engine developing 380 hp, but later this engine was replaced with another Hyundai engine developing 420 hp with a 7-speed transmission and 2-mode secondary transmission. This engine is used in 8×8 configuration. The vehicle has an automatic drive-line management system, central tire inflation system, and run-flat tires. The K808 is fully amphibious, propelled by two water jets, but the K806 is not. The 16-tonne K806 can perform rear-echelon roles such as facility defence and logistics convoy protection, while the 20-tonn K808 can conduct high-intensity combat operations alongside K1A1 and K2 main battle tanks.