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S. Korea Begins Deployment of Unmanned Ground Vehicles

The South Korean military has begun deploying its new multi-purpose unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) after a six-month trial in the country’s frontline border areas.

Developed by Hyundai Rotem, two UGVs were provided to the South Korean Army in mid-2021 for operational testing. The service tested their remote driving capabilities in various terrain and their ability to drive off-road autonomously.

According to the defense company, the six-wheeled unmanned vehicles are equipped with cameras that can detect images up to 4 kilometers (2.4 miles) away in real-time. They also feature a remote-controlled weapon station and a loading box capable of carrying more than 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of cargo.

All six wheels of the multi-purpose UGVs have an in-wheel motor, allowing each wheel to exert independent driving power — ideal for reconnaissance in rough coastal and border areas.

The UGVs are based on the HR-Sherpa, a six-wheeled unmanned vehicle with an electric drive system and a 360-degree rotation function. They travel up to 30 kilometers (18 miles) per hour.

“The technology and reliability of UGVs have been recognized through successful military pilot operations such as vigilance, reconnaissance, close combat, and material delivery,” a Hyundai Rotem official said, as quoted by AJU Business Daily.

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