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Ukrainian benefactors purchase 20 Kia KM450 chassis stored at bankrupt company Bohdan Motors

Twenty Kia KM450 chassis were sold at the second re-auction for the sale of part of the company's property. They have been purchased by Serhiy Prytula's charitable organization for 128,000 hryvnias per unit, reports.
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Kia KM450 jeeps, which were stored at the Bogdan Motors enterprise (Picture source: "All auctions of Ukraine")

In 2021, the Ukrainian army had plans to adopt the KIA KM450, a South Korean light military truck originally designated as the K311 by the Republic of Korea Armed Forces. This vehicle, also known as the 1¼ truck, was introduced in 1981 and is a localized version of the American Kaiser Jeep M715 truck that dates back to the Vietnam War.

The intention was for these vehicles to serve as the basis for command and staff vehicles (KSHM) of the K1450-06 type, which were intended to replace the UAZ-3151-based R-125 KSHM. The official announcement regarding the arrival of the KIA KM450 was made in 2019.

In 2021, Major General Yevgeny Stepanenko, the Commander of the Communications and Cyber Security Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, announced that "state tests of the KShM are planned at a modern automobile base." This statement referred to the K-1450-05 (on Renault Midlum chassis) and K-1450-06 (on KIA KM450 or Bohdan KM450 chassis, which can hardly be considered modern). The development and production of KSHM were handled by "Telekart-Prylad" LLC, while the assembly of the chassis was supposed to be established at the "Bohdan Motors" plant in Cherkasy.

The KIA KM450 chassis, promoted by Bohdan-Motors under the name Bohdan KM450 for use in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, was planned to be assembled at the company's Cherkasy car plant. However, this plant has since been liquidated due to bankruptcy.

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KSHM K-1450-06 based on the KIA KM450 from "Telecard-Prylad" (Picture source: "All auctions of Ukraine")

The original Kaiser Jeep M715, based on the civilian Jeep Gladiator, was adopted by the US military in 1965 as a replacement for the Dodge M37. Over 33,000 vehicles were produced between 1967 and 1969. In the mid-1960s, KIA Motors began license production of the American M715 pickup truck.

In 1998, a more modern version called the KM450 was developed, which was subsequently adopted by the military and exported. The KM450 closely resembles the M715 in design and is used for towing artillery installations and mortars. It is also noteworthy that the Ukrainian armored vehicle "Bars-6" is based on the chassis of the Kia KM450 army truck.

The KM450 is equipped with a reliable and high-performing Kia/Mazda ZB diesel engine. The KM750 A1 model, on the other hand, features the Hyundai/Mitsubishi Fuso D4DA diesel engine, delivering an impressive 130 horsepower at 2,900 rpm. Its 5-speed manual transmission ensures smooth gear transitions. Additionally, the KM750 boasts a maximum speed of 104 km/h and a payload capacity of up to 1,250 kg, making it suitable for transporting bulky equipment.

Defense News June 2023

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