South Korea will start mass-producing a newly developed command post vehicle later this year under a project to deploy it to the military next year. The South Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) signed a 55.3 billion won (US$44.57 million) contract with the local manufacturer, Hyundai Rotem Co., last Wednesday for the first production of the vehicle. Hyundai Rotem Co. had led the development of the vehicle from 2017-20, using mostly local component parts. The vehicle is to be supplied to battalion- or higher-level units of the Republic of Korea Army and Marine Corps.
The Hyundai Rotem K808 KW2 Command Post Vehicle will replace makeshift tent-type command posts for front-line units and is equipped with devices to defend against an enemy’s chemical, biological and radiological attack. The vehicle, 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 K808/806 wheeled armored personnel carrier is family of 6X6 and 8X8 armored vehicles. Developed by Hyundai Rotem as a private venture in 2012, the Korean Army declared a plan to acquire 600 6X6 and 8X8 wheeled APCs in order to help build rapid response forces molded after U.S. Stryker combat brigades. 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 vehicles 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 8X8 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 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. Troops enter and exit the vehicle via a rear automatic ramp in addition to 4 roof hatches.