Hyundai Rotem unveils N-WAV amphibious 8×8 vehicle

South Korean defence and engineering company Hyundai Rotem has taken the opportunity at the 2023 edition of the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX) to unveil a prototype of its next-generation N-WAV (Wheeled Armoured Vehicle) for the first time.

According to Hyundai Rotem, the 30-tonne class 8×8 multirole vehicle has specifically designed to operate in the littorals, and can be launched from amphibious assault vessels.

A company spokesperson told AMR that the N-WAV features several improvements over the in-service K808 Baekho (White Tiger) armoured fighting vehicle used by the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA).

The prototype vehicle on display was seen with a concept manned turret armed with a 30mm automatic cannon, remote control weapon station (RCWS), a launcher with two ready to fire anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) as well as the Korean Active Protection System (KAPS).

“The N-WAV is a much improved over our successful K808 platform with a more powerful 700hp engine and hydrodynamically optimised hull form with a raised snorkel system to cope with littoral operation,” said the spokesperson.

According to company specifications, the N-WAV has a length of 9.3 metres, a width of 3.1 metres, and a height of 2.8 metres (non-turreted) and 3.5 metres (turreted). In contrast, the K808 is 7.2 metres long, 2.7 metres wide, and 2.1 metres tall without a turret.

“The K808 was designed for rapid inland mobility and traversing the many rivers and lakes that can be found on the Korean peninsula,” explained the spokesperson, adding that the N-WAV is not intended to replace the current platform but instead offer a unique option for littoral reconnaissance and fire support requirements.

The fully digitalised N-WAV can accommodate an 11-person crew, comprising the driver, gunner, vehicle commander, and around eight dismounts. The driver is aided by an integrated display which fuses imagery captured by multiple high-definition and lowlight cameras affixed around the hull, providing a 360º view for enhanced situational awareness. The commander and dismounts are also able to access this information from their individual terminals.

by Jr Ng