Friday, December 2, 2022

South Korea’s new air defense system enters full-rate production

South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) awarded the Hanwha Defense a full-rate production contract for the new Anti-Aircraft Gun Wheeled Vehicle System (AAGW).

The local media reported that Hanwha Defense won a $207.66 million for a contract to launch full-rate production of the newest Republic of Korea’s advanced air defense system.

The AAGW is the latest air defense system to defend the points of interest for allied forces, as well as protect friendly mobile troops from low altitude attacks by enemy aircraft. Using a wheeled vehicle platform, it is able to provide close-in support to supported forces. The system is also capable of self-targeting threats with the help of electron-optical and visual targeting equipment.


AAGW has a firing range of 3 kilometers, 1.6 times longer than the Vulcan. It requires 18 personnel for company-level operation, versus 48 for the VADS.

It’s equipped with an Electro Optical Targeting System (EOTS) developed by Hanwha Systems Co., one of around 200 firms, mostly South Korean ones, that have formed a team for the development program.

AAGW is expected to help enhance the military’s low altitude air defense capability against low-flying aircraft and drones, according to DAPA.

“Besides, it will contribute to fostering the defense industry and creating jobs at an economically difficult time (for South Korea),” a DAPA official said.

The country’s new 30-mm anti-aircraft gun wheeled vehicle system, intended to replace aging towed KM167A3 Vulcan short-range air defense system, will enter service starting next year.

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Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.