We might know Kia for building everyday commuter vehicles such as the Picanto, Sorento, and more. But over in South Korea, the automaker also builds and develops military vehicles for the country's armed forces. In fact, the company says they have produced a total of 140,000 military vehicles to date.
Kia has revealed plans to develop a new standard platform for next-generation military vehicles which you can see here. The company plans to start manufacturing prototypes of mid-sized standard vehicles within this year and take the test evaluations by the Korean government in 2021. The goal is to have these vehicles ready for military deployment in 2024, following standardization and testing.
The vehicles shown here are all set to use Kia's upcoming standard platform and use a high-torque 7.0-liter diesel engine. At the same time, they will also be fitted with numerous techs such as anti-lock brakes (ABS) and anti-spin regulator (ASR), rear parking assist, around-view monitor, satellite navigation, and even autonomous driving technology. The automaker is also exploring the potential use of hydrogen fuel cell technology across diverse military applications, including fuel cell vehicles and emergency power generators.
It doesn't stop with just carriers. According to the automaker, the modular platform will enable the development of other derivatives in the future, including “vehicles equipped with a range of weapons systems”. There's also an all-terrain vehicle in the work which is based on the rugged chassis of the Mohave SUV. Subsequently, Kia will also apply the technology and learnings from building military vehicles into the development of its future road-going SUVs.
The automaker isn't alone in developing these new military vehicles. It is a joint project between the South Korean military and Kia Motors. The program will see the replacement of military standard vehicles currently in operation.