The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said that South Korea’s military has started deploying a homegrown new KW2 AAGW (Anti-Aircraft Gun Wheeled) 30 mm anti-aircraft gun wheeled vehicle system produced by Hanwha Defense for field operations under a project to replace decades-old Vulcan cannons. Hanwha Defense has delivered an initial batch of the systems that were ordered in June 2020 for KRW250 billion (USD211 million). While Hanwha Defense led the SPAAG programme, several other major firms and about 200 small firms participated in its development.
The KW2 AAGW, based on the chassis of Hyundai Rotem’s K808 8×8 armoured vehicle, will replace the 20 mm M167 Vulcan Air Defense System that has been operational for more than 40 years in South Korea’s army, air force, and marine corps. The KW2 AAGW weighs 26.5 tons and can travel up to 90 km/h. It is equipped with a pair of podded 30 mm autocannons on the Biho turret, capable of firing 600 rounds per minute. Its firing range is 3 km, 1.2 km farther than the M167. The SPAAG also features an electro-optical/infrared system enabling automatic day/night target tracking.
Vehicle has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver, however manufacturer suggests, that it can accommodate more operators. Driver is seated towards the front on the right side, with the diesel power pack to the left. Commander and gunner are seated in the turret. This self-propelled anti-aircraft gun has an all-welded armored hull. It provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. A new wheeled SPAAG might supplement the tracked K30 Biho self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG).
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.