Air Defense: Another Vulcan Replacement

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August 20, 2020: South Korea is replacing its antiquated American made Vulcan anti-aircraft vehicles with a new AAGW (Anti-Aircraft Gun Wheeled Vehicle System). The new system is armed with two 30mm autocannon with a range of 3,000 meters. An electro-optical (vidcam with zoom) sensor and laser range-finder is used to aim the guns. The Vulcan has a radar for determining range but otherwise used a simple non-electronic sighting system. Compared to the Vulcan tracked vehicle the AAGW wheeled vehicle is faster and easier to maintain. The K808 chassis has better armor protection and a two-man crew, compared to three or four for the Vulcan. The longer range of the AAGW guns is also useful against ground targets. Since World War II anti-aircraft vehicles were more often used against ground targets than aircraft.

The Vulcan is a M113 tracked vehicle armed with a 2omm multi-barrel autocannon. This vehicle carried 2,100 20mm rounds, which were fired in bursts of from ten to a hundred rounds. The multi-barrel autocannon fired 20mm rounds at the rate of 3,000 per minute. So, in effect, the Vulcan could fire 50-100 short bursts before needing ammo resupply. A major shortcoming was range; the 20mm round was effective against air targets 1,200 meters away. The 20mm cannon was effective against ground targets out to about 1,500 meters. Introduced in 1969, the U.S. Army used it until 1993. About ten export customers still use the Vulcan, including South Korea, which is now replacing the 12-ton tracked Vulcan vehicle with the 20-ton 8x8 K808 wheeled armored vehicle. The K808 was designed as an IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) but is capable of being equipped with other weapons.

 


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