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Photo courtesy: KIA
Photo courtesy: KIA

Kia Motors takes aim, guns for bigger role in developing combat vehicles

  • Kia's military standard platform will enable specialized vehicles to offer latest in commercial technologies.
  • Kia will bring technology from its military vehicle development to its SUVs.
  • The potential for hydrogen fuel cell technology across diverse military applications is being explored too.

Kia Motors Corporation on Wednesday revealed plans of playing a significantly bigger role in the development of combat vehicles which could provide efficient, swift and reliable mobility options in conflict zones in the times to come. The company states that it plans to begin manufacturing of prototypes of mid-sized standard vehicles this year and take it to the South Korean government for evaluation in 2021.

(Also read: GM Defense provides US Army with first batch of Infantry Squad Vehicle)

The mid-sized standard vehicle development project is the result of joint investment by the Korean military and Kia Motors. The auto maker informs that the standard 2.5-tonne and 5-tonne military vehicles currently in use could be replaced by this large-scale program and with the development of 5-tonne bullet-proof vehicles.

Kia states it also wants to use the technology in military vehicles to enhance capabilities of its road-going SUVs.
Kia states it also wants to use the technology in military vehicles to enhance capabilities of its road-going SUVs.

Kia states that its military standard platform will enable specialized vehicles to offer the absolute latest in commercial technologies. This includes a high-torque 7.0-liter diesel engines and automatic transmission systems, ABS and Anti-Spin Regulator (ASR), Rear Parking Assist, Around View Monitor, satellite navigation and hot wire seats.

The focus is also on an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) with plans of a prototype in the early parts of next year. This could find application in not just military sectors but also for industrial use and for leisure purposes. It will draw on bare chasis from Kia Mohave SUV.

Among vehicles produced by the company for the Korean and foreign military presently are 0.25-, 1.25-, 2.5- and 5-ton vehicles. Kia states it has thus far supplied nine model types and 100 derivatives, and produced a total of 140,000 military vehicles. This includes South Korea's first multipurpose tactical vehicle which is equipped with a robust engine, automatic transmission and brake system from Mohave.

The company is also exploring the potential for hydrogen fuel cell technology across diverse military applications, including fuel cell vehicles and emergency power generators.

Kia further informs that it 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.

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