Following the world shift to wheeled Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs), the Republic of Korean Army (South Korea) in 2017 moved to adopt a new line of such types through the indigenously-designed, developed and produced ROTEM KW1 "Scorpion" product. The KW1 is classified as an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) and is capable of carrying up to ten combat-equipped troops, along with its two crewmembers, at speed and under some protection. Design work spanned from 2012 to 2016 (by Hyundai Rotem) and the concern has also led its manufacturing capabilities to the line. The vehicle exists in to major forms, a 6x6 and 8x8 wheeled arrangement. The South Korean Army is set to take both types into service through a contract covering several hundred units.
In South Korean Army service, the 6x6 wheeled model is formally designated "K806" and the 8x8 model is the "K808".
Drive power is from an indigenous Hyundai Motor Company diesel-fueled engine outputting 420 horsepower (mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission system). The chassis makes use of an independent HSU suspension system offering excellent cross-country mobility. Road speeds can reach over 60 miles-per-hour and operational ranges are out to 500 miles. This gives the KW1 the ability to keep up with the main fighting force. An amphibious quality is built into the Scorpion that allows it to traverse water sources at just over 6 miles-per-hour (a pair of waterjets are fitted at the lower rear hull corners for this). Armor protection is up to 7.62mm caliber (small arms fire) and artillery spray - so the KW1 is not necessarily a direct-contact design (unlike an Infantry Fighting Vehicle). Construction involves all-welded armor facings and armor sheets can be fitted to provide additional protection. The crew exits/enters the vehicle by way of a door at the rear of the hull. Roof hatches are also provided for both crew and occupants.
Overall weight is in the 16 ton range. Dimensions include a length of 22 feet, a width of 8.9 feet and a height of 6.9 feet.
The KW1 carries a 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) as its primary armament and this is augmented by a single 7.62mm machine gun. These are installed in a Remote Weapon Station (RWS) over the hull roof. Additionally any personal weapons carried by the crew can be brought into play. Smoke grenade dischargers allow for a self-screening capability. A full NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) suite is provided. Run-flat tires are standard. Other armament options include a 30mm autocannon and 12.7mm heavy machine gun. A manned turret is also available in place of the RWS.
Like other multi-wheeled designs, the KW1 showcases its versatility in design by being able to fulfill a variety of battlefield roles including that of fire support, air denial, command post, Anti-Tank Guided-Missile (ATGM) carrier and MEDEVAC platform.
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