SEOUL, ($1=1,191.80 South Korean Wons) – 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, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing the Land Warfare magazine.
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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.
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.
Myung-jong, head of the Guided Weapons Division of DAPA, said: ‘It is a weapon system that can cope with various enemy low-altitude air threats because it is capable of rapid maneuvering and night operation.’
Seoul plans to integrate all ordered vehicles into the South Korean army by 2031. In addition to the ground forces, Seoul says the navy will also receive the SPAAG platform. According to the South Korean Ministry of Defense, a small portion of the available 40-year-old towed KM167A3 Vulcan Air Defense Systems [VADS] may remain in military service.
Currently in service in the South Korean army is the K30 Biho of Hanwha with two 30-millimeter guns, as well as the Biho Hybrid armed with four ready-to-fire missiles KP-SAM Shingung. A source from the company Hanwha Defense says that 30t Biho II is currently being developed also on 8×8 chassis and armed with a new generation of the air defense system. According to the source, Biho II is quite possible to get a 30mm or 40mm cannon, as well as missiles. Unlike SPAAG, Biho II will have radar systems in the S-band and X-band spectrum, which will allow them to detect targets at 35 km.
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