Kia Motors Reveals Plan To Develop Next-Gen Military Vehicles

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Kia Motors has revealed its plans for the development of a new standard platform for next-generation military vehicles, strengthening the company’s capabilities in future military projects. The company has revealed its plans to start manufacturing prototypes of mid-sized standard vehicles within this year and take the test evaluations by the Korean government in 2021. The company’s goal is military deployment from 2024, following standardization and initial production tests.

This mid-sized standard vehicle development project is the result of a joint investment by the Korean military and Kia Motors. The large-scale program will see the replacement of 2.5-ton and 5-ton military standard vehicles currently in operation and the development of new 5-ton bulletproof vehicles.

Kia Motors develops Military Standard Platform

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As per Kia’s plans, the standard vehicles will be equipped with a range of the latest commercial technologies, including a powerful and high-torque 7.0-litre diesel engine with automatic transmission systems, ABS and Anti-Spin Regulator (ASR), Rear Parking Assist, Around View Monitor, satellite navigation and hot wire seats. From the future perspective, Kia’s modular approach to developing new vehicles on the platform will enable the development of other upcoming derivatives, such as vehicles equipped with a range of weapons systems, and those designed with more specialized specifications and technologies.

Kia has also announced that it has developed a conceptual brief for its new military all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and plans to introduce a prototype early next year. The developed ATV will not only be deployed for military purposes but will also be used in various fields, such as industrial and leisure sectors, drawing on bare chassis from the robust Kia Mohave SUV. Kia will continue to grow its reputation as an SUV brand by applying technology and know-how from military vehicle development to improve the durability of its road-going SUVs.

Kia Motors develops Military Standard Platform

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To contribute to the development of the military’s future combat systems, Kia is also actively carrying out advanced R&D, combining the latest automotive technology with military vehicles. The company is developing autonomous driving technology for military vehicles which could assist with delivering supplies. Furthermore, Kia is also exploring the potential for hydrogen fuel cell technology across diverse military applications, including fuel cell vehicles and emergency power generators. Fuel cell technology is considered suitable for future military vehicles as it can supply large amounts of electricity in combat environments.

Kia Motors has also produced a range of vehicles for the Korean and overseas military, including 0.25-, 1.25-, 2.5- and 5-ton vehicles. As per reports, to-date, Kia has supplied nine model types and 100 derivatives and produced a total of 140,000 military vehicles. The company produced the BV206 all-terrain tracked carrier, and also developed a 15-ton rescue vehicle and heavy equipment transport tractor, establishing a full line-up production system for military vehicles ranging from small to large segments.

Kia Motors develops Military Standard Platform (4)Interestingly, Kia also created Korea’s first multipurpose tactical vehicle, a light tactical vehicle replacing existing 0.25-ton and 1.25-ton vehicles. The vehicle was equipped with the robust engine, automatic transmission, and brake system from the Kia Mohave, and also adopted the latest commercial technologies and military special specifications, including an electronic four-wheel-drive system.

At the start of 2020, Kia announced its ‘Plan S’ mid- to long-term strategy, encompassing a range of diversified business activities, including the development of Purpose-Built Vehicles(PBV). Kia’s plans for PBV development are based on small-volume production of specialist vehicles with excellent body durability, similar to the way in which military vehicles are developed. Kia Motors’ expertise in producing military vehicles to serve specific roles also provides a competitive edge in the PBV business.

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