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K-21

Infantry fighting vehicle

K-21 IFV

The K-21 NIFV is claimed to be superior to most current infantry fighting vehicles

 
 
Entered service 2008
Crew 3 men
Personnel 9 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 25 t
Length 6.9 m
Width 3.4 m
Height 2.6 m
Armament
Main gun 40-mm cannon
ATGW two unspecified launchers
Machine guns 1 x 7.62-mm
Mobility
Engine Doosan D2848LXE diesel
Engine power 680 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 6 km/h
Range 450 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.8 m
Trench 2.5 m
Fording Amphibious

 

   The K-21 or NIFV (Next Infantry Fighting Vehicle), was developed in South Korea to replace the ageing KIFV. Development commenced in 1999. Production of the new IFV started in 2008 and approximately 900 vehicles are planned to be built. First vehicles were fielded in 2009. It is claimed that the K-21 is superior to most of the current IFVs. It also costs twice cheaper to build this vehicle comparing with the M2 Bradley IFV. It is expected that this armored vehicle will have some export success due to its low price.

   The K-21 is lighter comparing with most modern IFVs, as it was designed using composite materials to save weight wherever possible. Composition of the K-21 armor is still secret. It is assumed that this IFV has multi-layer armor with glass fiber, ceramic and aluminum alloy. It is known that front arc provides protection against 30-mm armor-piercing rounds. All-round protection is against 14.5-mm armor-piercing rounds. Vehicle is also fitted with automatic fire suppression and NBC protection systems. The K-21 can be also fitted with active protection system, similar to that used on the South Korean K2 Black Panther main battle tank.

   As far as the main drawback of the KIFV was a weak armament, the K-21 comes with a much more substantial Bofors XK 40-mm cannon. This cannon is combined with advanced fire control system for better fire accuracy. Such fire control systems are usually fond on the latest main battle tanks. It fires anti-tank, HE-FRAG, smoke and multi-purpose ammunition. The K-21 also carries two indigenously developed ATGW launchers, but exact details and number of missiles carried are unknown. There is also a 7.62-mm machine gun. Overall the K-21 has significant anti-armor capability. It can easily defeat enemy armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles. It also poses significant threat to main battle tanks.

   Vehicle has a crew of three, while it can carry up to nine fully equipped troops.

   The K-21 infantry fighting vehicle has a great degree of advanced high-tech systems used including battle management system, internal navigation, vehicular information systems and identification system which recognizes friend and foe vehicles.

   Vehicle is powered by a Doosan D2848LXE turbocharged diesel engine, developing 680 hp. This infantry fighting vehicle has a hydropneumatic suspension and advanced running gear. The K21 IFV is fully amphibious with minimum of preparation with a help of an automatic flotation bags. Floatation bags are activated, before entering the water. On water this armored vehicle is propelled by its tracks.

   In 2013 a light tank prototype, based on the K-21 has been revealed. It is fitted with a Cockerill XC-8 lightweight concept turret, armed with a choice of 105-mm or 120-mm gun.

   Later another light tank, the K21-105 has been revealed. It was developed by the same companies, but is fitted with a CT-CV 105HP turret, armed with a 105-mm gun.

 

Video of the K-21 infantry fighting vehicle

 
K-21 IFV

K-21 IFV

K-21 IFV

K-21 IFV

K-21 IFV

K-21 IFV

K-21 IFV

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