South Korea signs contract to acquire new 30mm Anti-Aircraft Gun Wheeled Vehicle Systems from Hanwha Defense
According to news published by the "The Korea Herald" on June 27, 2020, the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has signed a $200 million contract with the South Korean Defense company Hanwha Defense to acquire new 30mm Anti-Aircraft Gun Wheeled Vehicle System (AAGW).
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Hanwha Defense unveils its new 30mm AAGW Anti-Aircraft Gun Wheeled Vehicle System at ADEX 2019 defense exhibition in South Korea, October 2019. (Picture source South Front website)
South Korean Defense company Hanwha Defense plans to start next year the mass production of the 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.
A Hanwha Systems representative explained that this EOTS, while capable of detecting and tracking land, air and naval targets, is particularly suited to detect small air targets such as UAV, as per the ROK Army requirements. DPRK (North Korea) is fielding an increasing number of UAVs and started flying them over the DMZ and border. The ROK Army is looking for effective ways of detecting, tracking, and eventually disabling this new threat.
The AAGW seems 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 is named BIHO. It has a crew of four.
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 speeds. It has a maximum road speed of up to 90 km/h.
The AAGW Anti-Aircraft Gun Wheeled Vehicle System is based on the chassis of the K808 8x8 armored vehicle (Picture source South Front website)