South Korea Army deploys new KW2 30mm Anti-Aircraft Gun Wheeled Vehicle System

According to information published by "The Korea Herald" news website on December 15, 2021, the Army of South Korea has started the deployment of new mobile short-range air defense KW2 based on an 8x8 armored vehicle chassis fitted with a two-man turret armed with two 30mm Rheinmetall Air Defense (Oerlikon) KCB automatic cannons manufactured under license by the South Korean S&T group.
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The new South Korean 30mm Anti-Aircraft Gun Wheeled Vehicle System. (Picture source Hanwha Defense)

On June 27, 2020, Army Recognition has reported that the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) had signed a $200 million contract with the South Korean Defense company Hanwha Defense to acquire a new 30mm Anti-Aircraft Gun Wheeled Vehicle System (AAGW).

The new short-range air defense system will replace the Vulcan Air Defense System (VADS) which is in service for many years with the South Korean Armed Forces. The AAGW will be more efficient against low-flying aircraft and drones.

The AAGW is based on the K808, an 8x8 wheeled armored vehicle personnel carrier developed by the South Korean company Hyundai Rotem. The vehicle is fitted with a two-man turret mounted in the center of the hull, which is the same turret used on the tracked armored anti-aircraft vehicle named BIHO. 

The AAGW is armed with two 30mm Rheinmetall Air Defense (Oerlikon) KCB automatic cannons manufactured under license by the South Korean S&T group. The cyclic rate of fire for a single gun is 600 rounds per minute. Each gun is provided with 300 rounds of ready-to-use ammunition. The Biho fires HE-FRAG rounds which can be used to destroy air targets with an effective firing range of approximately 3 km.

The firing control system of the AAGW includes Electron Optical Targeting Systems (EOTS) and a Visual Targeting System enabling Automatic Tracking and Self-Targeting Capabilities. The EOTS is fitted with one infrared camera, a TV camera, and a laser range finder. During testing, the EOTS demonstrated the tracking of a small UAV target (2.5 meters x 2.0 meters) moving at a speed of 200 Km/h at a distance of 5 km.

The hull and the turret of the AAGW provide protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. It is likely that the front side withstands hits from 12.7 mm armor-piercing rounds. Add-on armor can be fitted for a higher level of protection. The APC has a V-shaped hull for protection against mine blasts.

The AAGW is powered by a Hyundai turbocharged diesel engine, developing 420 coupled to an automatic transmission with 7 forward and 1 reverse gears. It has a maximum road speed of up to 90 km/h.

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