South Korean army upgraded BiHo with 30mm cannon and surface-to-air missiles, shown at DX Korea 2018, defence exhibition in South Korea. September 2018.
South Korean army upgraded BiHo with 30mm cannon and surface-to-air missiles, shown at DX Korea 2018, defence exhibition in South Korea. September 2018.

Biho, the 30mm cannon and missiles air defence vehicle in service with ROK army

In order to improve the integration of air defence networks and to reduce the decision time from detection to interception, and increase the mobility and flexibility of air defences to protect own forces on the move, the South Koreans have a solution. The upgraded K-30 BiHo (Flying Tiger) 30mm self-propelled anti-aircraft armored vehicle fitted with two launchers of KP-SAM Shin-Gung BOW shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile mounted on each side of the turret is now in service with the ROK (Republic of Korea) Army. The vehicle was developed to meet the operational requirements of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces for a highly mobile short range air defence. The Biho is based on the K200 infantry fighting vehicle tracked chassis, but has some differences. It has an extra road wheel in its suspension and uses a D2840L engine instead of the D2848T engine of the K200, with an increase in engine power from 350 horsepower to 520 horsepower, necessary since the K30 weighs almost twice as much as the K200.

The upgraded Biho air defense vehicle consists of twin 30 mm Oerlikon Contraves KCB weapons with a cyclic rate of fire of 600-rds/gun/min, each one being provided with 250 rounds of ready use ammunition, a TPS-830K surveillance and fire-control radar, an electro-optical targeting system (EOTS), panoramic periscope, forward looking infrared system (FLIR), laser rangefinder (LRF), thermal sight, a TV camera, and a digital fire-control system. There is one pod with two launchers for the shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile KP-SAM Shin-Gung BOW mounted on each side of the turret.

With the KP-SAM Shin-Gung BOW missile that features an integral Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, full night and adverse weather capabilities, and a two-colour infrared seeker, the Biho can destroy air targets at a maximum range of 5 km, while with the 30mm cannon, the maximum firing range is 3 km.

The Biho has a crew of four, with the driver at the front, gunner and commander in the turret and loader seating at the back of the vehicle. Mounted on the turret roof is the surveillance radar and mounted on the forward part of the roof is the day/thermal electro-optical tracker with laser range-finder which automatically tracks the target.

The Biho is motorized with a MAN-Doosan D2840L developing 520 hp. (388 kw) diesel engine coupled to a S&T HMPT500-3EK/4EK transmission. The torsion bar consists of six dual light metal rubber-tired road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear and four track-return rollers on either side. The vehicle can run at a maximum road speed of 60 km/h with maximum cruising range of 500 km.

Upgraded K-30 BiHo

Specifications

Combat weight: 25 tons

Crew: 4

Power system: Engine 520 hp

Transmission: Automatic

Max. speed: 60 kph

Armament

Air defence gun: 30 mm twin

Rate of fire: 2×600 rounds/min

Effective range of fire: 3 km

The missile system externally resembles a French Mistral system, the entire missile system including the seeker, control section, warhead and motor were developed and manufactured in South Korea. The missile features integrated IFF systems, night and adverse weather capabilities, a two-colour (IR/UV) infrared seeker to aid in negating infrared countermeasures (IRCM) and a proximity-fuse warhead. During development tests the missile scored a 90% hit ratio.

Detection and tracking system

Detection radar

Type: Pulse Doppler

Frequency: X-Band

Detection range: 21 km

Electro-optical Tracing System (EOTS)

Tracking range: 7 km

Sensor: TV-visible ray

Thermal image-infrared ray

Distance measurement Laser Rang Finder (LRF

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