Kia Motors Corporation is developing a new mid-sized range of military vehicles as part of a new standard platform for next-generation military vehicles.
The company also revealed it is working alongside the South Korean government to strengthen the company’s capabilities in future military projects.
Kia said the manufacture of prototypes of the mid-sized standard vehicles will be ready for testing by its government in 2021 and is on track for military deployment from 2024, “following standardisation and initial production tests.”
This mid-sized standard vehicle development programme are part of a planned replacement of 2.5-ton and 5-ton military standard vehicles currently in operation. It also features the development of new 5-ton bulletproof vehicles.
The standard vehicles will be equipped with a range of the latest commercial technologies, including high-torque 7.0l diesel engines and automatic transmission systems, ABS and Anti-Spin Regulator (ASR), Rear Parking Assist, Around View Monitor, satellite navigation and hot wire seats, explained the company in a statement.
“Kia’s modular approach to developing new vehicles on the platform will enable the development of other derivatives in future, such as vehicles equipped with a range of weapons systems, and those designed with more specialised specifications and technologies,” said the company, adding 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.
“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.”
Kia Motors has produced a range of vehicles for the Korean and overseas military, including 0.25-, 1.25-, 2.5- and 5-ton vehicles. 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 in 2001, it 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 said it 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.
At the start of 202, Kia announced its ‘Plan S’ mid- to long-term strategy, encompassing a range of diversified business activities, including the development of PBVs. 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.