South Korea’s deadly infantry fighting vehicle is a terror on the battlefield

(From the National Interest)

By Ed Kim

For several years, South Korea has been in the throes of a military weapons binge. In particular, Seoul really wants weapons made in South Korea. Officials have a mix of concerns regarding the evolving nature of the U.S.-Korean alliance, the unique needs of defending their mountainous country and the desire to bolster an indigenous arms industry.

K-200 infantry fighting vehicle

K21 infantry fighting vehicle

It hasn’t always gone well. One of the first attempts to create a completely independent weapons system was an armored infantry fighting vehicle — known as the K200 — in the mold of an American M-113.

Like the M113, it was designed to give a tracked armored option to carrying a squad of troops. Also like the M-113, the K200 has a .50-caliber machine gun as its heaviest weapon … and it’s lightly armored and slow. Worse, North Korean BMP-1s would find them to be easy prey in the event of a war.

So, in 2003, Seoul awarded a $77 million contract for the development of a new IFV called the K21. It’s arguably one of the best in the world. Read more



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