Korea installs 120mm mortars on fire direction center APCs

SEOUL, ($1=1,197.54 South Korean Wons) — South Korea is preparing to acquire 120mm self-propelled mortars by 2025, which will replace the obsolete 40-year-old 4.2-inch mortars. Yonhap News Agency reports on the innovation Seoul has undertaken in the coming years.

Korea installs 120mm mortars with fire direction center APCs
Photo credit: Yonhap News

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration [DAPA] says the new 120mm mortars will be installed in an armored personnel carrier with a fire control center. The idea of ​​the South Korean military is to use this type of self-propelled mortar to attack at close range. According to South Korean experts, the range of the new winery is 2.3 times greater than the old one, which is still in service. The firepower, the Korean military says, is twice as high.

The value of the whole deal is $ 648.9 million. This amount includes, in addition to the production of the firearm system itself, the production of the carrier for the new mortar, as well as the production of the armored vehicle. S&T Dynamics is the South Korean manufacturer involved in the project.

“The 120-millimeter self-propelled mortar is a major asset that elevates the operational capacity of South Korean mechanized units responsible for offensive maneuver missions,” Brig.General Cho Hyun-ki, head of the DAPA maneuvering department said.

Seoul updates …

There is a time of renewal of obsolete weapons in South Korea. As we reported late last year, South Korea has begun replacing its 40-year-old towed KM167A3 Vulcan Air Defense Systems [VADS] with a new self-propelled anti-aircraft gun [SPAAG] platform.

The new platform was developed by Hanwha Defense. South Korea says five major defense companies, backed by another 200 small and medium-sized enterprises, have been involved in developing SPAAG. According to information released by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration [DAPA], Seoul will purchase at least 250 SPAAG platforms for nearly $ 208 million.

The new SPAAG platform uses an 8 × 8 chassis based on the K808. Only 18 service personnel will be needed for SPAAG to function properly. By comparison, the South Korean military used 48 troops to service the old KM167A3 Vulcan platform, which significantly reduced the cost of using SPAAG.

SPAAG is armed with various weapon systems manufactured by Hanwha Defense, as well as a basic 30mm gun. Together, these weapons fire 600 shots in one minute and have a range of up to 3 km, according to Land Warfare magazine.

South Korea received a SPAAG platform firing 600 shots per minute
Photo credit: Land Warfare magazine

Hanwha Defense says the platform doesn’t need radar, as it features an electro-optical tracking system with infrared search functions and full 360-degree panoramic rotation. According to Hanwha Defense, SPAAG can locate, track and shoot down drones both during the day and at night.

… and sells

It turns out that South Korea has an extremely high level of military production, especially in the field of artillery. In addition to several countries trying to reach an agreement with Seoul to sell or conscientiously produce the K2 Black Panther tank, Seoul has also sold the flagship of its artillery industry, the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer, in recent weeks.

Egypt has already signed a deal to buy 200 K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers, persuading South Korea to locate part of the production near Cairo at the Abrams tank factory.

Egypt seeks howitzers, Korea's armored K9s 155mm are an option
Photo credit: Hanwha Defense

At the same time, the United Arab Emirates has decided to buy South Korean surface-to-air missile systems Cheolmae-II in a deal for approximately $ 3.3 billion. The UAE will receive surface-to-air missile systems including rocket batteries, a freight vehicle, and a radar system. The production of Cheolmae-II will be carried out by two South Korean companies – the aforementioned Hanwha Defense and LIG Nex1.

And last but not least – the K2 Black Panther tank participates in the finals of Norway’s new battle tank in competition with the German Leopard.

K2 MBT vs. Leopard 2A7: Norway seeks a new tank in the snow
Photo credit: Norway MoD

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