The South Korean K-21 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) is a vehicle that was developed for the Republic of Korea in order replace the K200 series (IFV). It is comparable to vehicles such as the Bradley M2 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) since it is armed with 2 ATGM, is heavily armoured and carries a primary armament of higher caliber in comparison to the Bradley. The armoured vehicle is under production by the Doosen Group, who also manufacture the K200 series IFV. The vehicle has been under production since 1999 and recent problems with amphibious capabilities have been brought up with 2 of these armoured vehicles during a test operation. The design of the vehicle was finished in 2008 and production began shortly after. The Republic of Korea Army has hoped for 466 of these armoured vehicles to be built.
Primary: 40 mm auto-cannon (S&T Dynamics K40); carries 200 rounds. Fires APFSDS, smoke, HE (High explosive) and several other multi-use munitions (Air burst, fragmentation and armour piercing)
Secondary: 7.62 mm light machine gun mounted as a coaxial armament.
Other: It carries two ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles), indigenous built and has 700 mm to 1,000 mm of RHA base penetration.
The vehicle is equipped with a gun stabilizer which enables the vehicle to shoot while moving accurately. As well as this the vehicle can track vehicles of up to 6,000 meters away and identify at 3,000 meters. Furthermore there are separate gunner and commander sights to allow for two eyes to be looking at different directions at the same time. The commander can override the gunners sights and utilize the gun if required. The vehicle also has a third generation thermal viewer with an accurate laser range finder.
The cost per vehicle is estimated to cost $2.8 million ($USD) where the Bradley for example is at a cost of $3.16 million ($USD) a vehicle. This makes the vehicle a highly exportable vehicle and already Indonesia have ordered 22 K-21 infantry fighting vehicles.
This armoured vehicle is protected mainly on the front where most of the armour in terms of thickness has been placed. It is stated that the front of the armour is sufficient to be protected from auto-cannon rounds of around 30 mm while however with the sides less protected with only protection against 14.5 mm armour piercing (AP) rounds. The top of the vehicle can however withstand 152 mm artillery rounds. The vehicles armour can also be fitted with ERA tiles and ceramic reinforced tiles.
The vehicle can carry 9 passengers and 3 crewman, being the gunner, commander and driver. What is also unique about this vehicle is that the passengers are aware of surrounds as there is a 15″ monitor which allows the passengers/troops to have direct eyes on the outside environment. The armoured vehicle weighs roughly 25 tonnes and is equipped with a Doosan D2840LXE V-10 diesel engine which gives the vehicle a power to weight ratio of 27 hp/t. The vehicles amphibious systems works on buoyancy, where inflatable air bags spring into action and the vehicle gains propulsion via the use of its tracks.