South Korea acquires new anti-air gun system

Hanwha Defense 30 mm SPAAG prototype

The Republic of Korea (RoK) armed forces will soon boost its short-range air defence capabilities with a new indigenously developed self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) system.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 27 June that it has awarded Hanwha Defense a US$207 million contract to supply an undisclosed number of 30 mm SPAAG systems that will eventually replace the military’s ageing 20 mm M167 Vulcan Air Defense System (VADS).

SPAAG System

According to official specifications, the new 30 mm SPAAG will be based on the chassis of the 8×8 the Hyundai Rotem K808 wheeled armoured vehicle (WAV) with a combat weight of approximately 26 tonnes and a maximum road speed of around 100 km/h.

The SPAAG system will be operated by a four-person crew and is fitted with a new turret developed by Hanwha Defense. The turret will be armed with a pair of podded and stabilised 30 mm autocannons and features automatic day/night target tracking, with a stated effective range of 3 kilometres. The weapons have been designed to engage low-flying threats with the ability to be depressed and elevated between -10° and +85°, while an integral auxiliary power unit (APU) enables the turret to operate even with the main engine switched off.

DAPA also stated that the SPAAG development had been undertaken by five major South Korean defence companies with the support of 200 smaller local suppliers, with more than 95% of the system comprising locally sourced components.

Initial deliveries of the SPAAG is expected to commence from 2021.

Hybrid Biho

Besides the new SPAAG, the RoK Army operates the 26.5 tonne tracked gun/missile air defence system based on the K200 armoured personnel carrier chassis.

The Hybrid Biho is armed with two 30 mm Oerlikon Contraves KCB-B cannons with a range of 3 kilometre as well as two missile pods housing a pair of LIG Nex1 Shingung (Chiron) short-range surface to air missiles (SAMs).

by Jr Ng