by Staff Writers
Seoul (UPI) Nov 18, 2010
Daewoo International Corp. has brokered a $70 million deal for Doosan DST to supply the K-21 tracked infantry fighting vehicle to the Indonesian army.
South Korean company Doosan DST, formerly part of Doosan Infracore, will export the 22 vehicles over the next three years.
Doosan Infracore is part of the Doosan Group. It was formed when Doosan acquired Daewoo Heavy Industries & Machinery in April 2005 and renamed it Doosan Infracore.
Daewoo International said the deal -- the first export order for the K-21 -- was finalized in early November. Daewoo acted on behalf of Doosan DST in its negotiations with the Indonesian Ministry of Defense.
The deal was financed in part by credit from the Export-Import Bank of Korea and production of the Indonesian units will start this month, Daewoo said in a statement.
Doosan DST and South Korea's Agency for Defense Development started work on the K-21 infantry combat armored vehicle in late 1999.
The first contract, worth $210 million, signed with the South Korean army in 2008 was crucial for ensuring production of the K-21 up to 2012.
Last December, Doosan DST signed a second contract with the South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration for the supply of around 500 K-21 vehicles worth $665 million.
The company started mass production in early 2009 and began deliveries of the first combat-ready units to the South Korean army last November.
The new Indonesian export order means production can run until at least the end of 2013, Doosan said.
The K-21 operates similarly to a tank. It has a 40mm cannon and a third-generation anti-tank missile system giving it "sufficient fire power to destroy armored vehicles, battle tanks and attack helicopters," a Doosan statement said.
Doosan compares the K-21 to the M2A3 Bradley, made by BAE Systems Land and Armaments, formerly United Defense as part of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle family, and also Russia's 1980's Soviet-era BMP-3 vehicle made by Kurganmashzavod.
The K-21 weighs around 25 tons, carries three crewmembers and one platoon of troops at speeds up to 40 mph on land and just less than 5 mph in water.
Power is by a Doosan D2840LXE V-10 turbocharged diesel engine generating 750hp, with a fully automatic transmission. An upgraded K-21 has an 840hp power plant.
The main armament of the K-21 is a 40mm cannon and two anti-tank guided missile launchers fitted to the two-man turret, with ammunition for the cannon is kept beneath it.
There is speculation about a European manufacturer co-developing a turret system for the K-21 units bound for the Indonesian army, Jane's Defense analysts said.
Finmeccanica subsidiary Oto Melara signed a marketing and production agreement with Doosan Infracore in June 2008 to undertake joint-commercialization of turrets, including the Oto Melara 105mm HitFact anti-tank turret.
Doosan's Indonesian contract is the first of what the company said it hopes are more export orders to the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America.
Car Technology at SpaceMart.com
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