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S. Korea Announces Indigenous Amphibious Assault Vehicle

South Korea has announced it is developing an indigenous amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) for the Marine Corps.

The defense project promotion committee (DAPA) revealed that the 2.1 trillion won ($1.77 billion) ‘Landing Assault Armored Vehicle-II’ project will replace the country’s aging AAVs by 2036.

According to DAPA, “This program is expected to boost our capabilities to respond to coastal artillery and amphibious raid threats by enemies. We will also be able to secure key advanced defense technologies.” 

Amphibious Assault Vehicles

The Republic of Korea (ROK) Marine Corps currently uses around 170 AAVs built under license by Hanwha Defense. The AAVs are based on the BAE Systems’ AAV7A1 series of armored vehicles, according to Janes.

The outlet wrote that the new vehicle will be more mobile and have better survivability features for its crew. It added that the country currently operates three AAV variants: the KAAVP7A1s troop transporter; the KAAVC7A1 command variant; and the KAAVR7A1s vehicle recovery variant.

In March, DAPA announced plans to equip the country’s AAVs with locally developed remote-controlled weapon stations (RCWS). According to Janes, the RCWS development contract will be awarded to Hanwha in 2021. The weapon station is expected to comprise a K4 40 mm high-speed automatic grenade launcher and a K6 12.7 mm heavy machine gun.

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