List of equipment of the Republic of Korea Army

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The defense industry of South Korea, initially small in size and strategic scope at early point of its development, has steadily expanded its areas of competence over the years to become one of the largest and most self-sufficient defense industries in the modern world. Until the mid-1960s, Korea depended completely upon military aid and equipment from the United States for arming its military. By 1990, Korea began producing most of its military equipment such as weapons, ammunition, communication equipment and vehicles through indigenous industrial endeavor, with self-sufficiency reaching 70% of all defense purchases.[1] In 2006, top ten South Korean defence contractors' sales reached $4.9 billion, representing 77.1 percent of all defence purchases in South Korea in the year.[2] Domestic defense production eventually increased to $6.6 billion in 2008 when the self-sufficiency of the domestic defense industry exceeded 80%, with a goal to increase total domestic defense production to $10 billion in 2020 by engaging in more export-oriented activities, $6 billion of which will be maintained for the domestic market.[3]

For complete ground weapon systems, Hyundai Rotem builds tanks such as K1 and K2 tanks, Samsung Techwin self-propelled howitzers such as K9, and Doosan DST armored vehicles such as K200 and K21. Kia Motors has traditionally specialized in the production of wheeled military vehicles. It also produced towed artillery systems as well as multiple-launch rocket systems. Hanwha and Poongsan are other conglomerates that have deep connections to the defense industry by being major suppliers of ammunition and explosives. LIG Nex1 and Samsung Thales, the two largest defense companies in South Korea, are the main developers and producers of precision electronic systems. Their main products include core components for missiles and torpedoes, such as seekers and other guidance systems, and surveillance and tracking radars, optics, avionics, battle management systems, electronic support and warfare systems, frequency-hopping radios, and tactical communication systems. Korea Aerospace Industries and Korean Air fabricate components and spare parts for the aircraft of the army, and also build complete aircraft such as UH-60P and KAI Surion helicopters and UAVs.

Small arms[edit]

Domestically produced[edit]

Arms Type Manufacturer Caliber Notes
South Korea K1A Submachine gun Daewoo Precision Industries .223 Remington Standard-issue submachine gun.
South Korea K2 Assault rifle Daewoo Precision Industries 5.56x45mm NATO Standard-issue assault rifle.
South KoreaUnited States M16A1 Assault rifle Daewoo Precision Industries .223 Remington Limited-issue assault rifle. Mainly used by the Republic of Korea Reserve Forces. Produced under license.
South Korea K3 Light machine gun Daewoo Precision Industries 5.56x45mm NATO Standard-issue squad automatic weapon.
South Korea K4 Automatic grenade launcher Daewoo Precision Industries 40x53mm
South Korea K5 Pistol Daewoo Precision Industries 9×19mm Parabellum Standard-issue pistol
South KoreaUnited States M60D General-purpose machine gun Daewoo Precision Industries 7.62x51mm NATO Produced under license
South KoreaUnited States K6 Heavy machine gun Yeohwa Shotgun .50 BMG Browning M2HB with additional modification. Parts of K6 and M2 are not interchangeable. Produced under license.
South Korea K7 Submachine gun Daewoo Precision Industries 9×19mm Parabellum
South Korea K11 Assault rifle chambered to fire the 5.56mm round, as well as 20mm air-burst shells from its over-barrel launcher S&T Daewoo 5.56x45mm NATO
The ROK Armed Forces plans to field 2 K11s per squad.
South Korea K12 General-Purpose Machine Gun S&T Motiv 7.62x51mm NATO Planned to replace the M60D
South Korea K14 Sniper Rifle S&T Motiv 7.62x51mm NATO Standard-issue sniper rifle.

Imported products[edit]

Arms Type Caliber Notes
Israel CornerShot Weapon accessory Used by special forces
Germany USP9 Tactical Pistol 9x19mm NATO Used by special forces
Israel Jericho 941F Pistol 9x19mm NATO Used by special forces
Germany MP5 series Submachine Gun 9x19mm NATO Used by special forces
United States M14 rifle Battle Rifle 7.62x51mm NATO For ceremonial use, also used by reservist forces
United States M1 carbine Carbine .30 Carbine Used by reservist force
United States M203 Grenade Launcher 40x46mm Being replaced by the K201
GermanySwitzerland SSG 3000 Sniper rifle 7.62x51mm NATO
Germany MSG-90 Sniper Rifle 7.62x51mm NATO
Austria SSG 69 Sniper Rifle 7.62x51mm NATO Used by special forces
United Kingdom AW Sniper Rifle 7.62x51mm NATO Used by special forces
United Kingdom AWSM Sniper Rifle .338 Lapua Magnum Used by special forces

The list includes equipment used by both the ROK Army and ROK Marine Corps.


The ROK Army operates 2,300 tanks as of 2008.

Vehicle Type In service Manufacturer/Produced Notes
K1 Main Battle Tank 1,027 Hyundai Rotem/(1985–1998) Replaced the M48A3/A3K and M48A5/A5K.
K1A1 Main Battle Tank 484 Hyundai Rotem/(1999–2010)
K1A2 Main Battle Tank Hyundai Rotem/(2012-present) upgraded K1A1
K2 Black Panther Main Battle Tank At least 3 Hyundai Rotem/(2013-present ) Initial mass production is underway since late 2013. 206 K2 Black Panther will be delivered during 2013~2015 for the first batch.
M48A3K Main Battle Tank Approximately 300 Chrysler, Ford Motor Company/(1952~59) ROKA and ROKMC received 381 M48A3K-upgraded from M48A1. This variant uses a diesel engine instead of the original gasoline type. Other changes include installation of a T-shaped muzzle brake on the gun, three additional support wheels on the tracks, commander's periscope on the turret and smoke grenade dischargers. The fire control system has also been replaced with a native South Korean version. Slowly being retired.
M48A5/A5K1/A5K2 Main Battle Tank Approximately 500 Chrysler, Ford Motor Company/(1952~59) ROKA received 275 M48A5-ex-USFK; 195 M48A5K1-upgraded from M48A2C; 210 M48A5K2-upgraded from M48A1. Replacing the main gun with the KM68 105 mm gun. Additional side skirts were provided, and the fire control system was upgraded to the Laser Tank Fire Control System (LTFCS). Will be replaced by K1 & K2
T-80U Main Battle Tank 33 Omsktransmash/(1995~1996?) 33 T-80Us were given by Russia between 1996 and 1997 as a partial payment of debts incurred during the Soviet era.
T-80UK Main Battle Tank 2 Omsktransmash/ Two T-80UKs were given by Russia in 2005 as a partial payment of debts incurred during the Soviet era.

Former equipment[edit]

Vehicle Introduced Replaced Acquired Retired Notes
M8 Greyhound 1948 27 1950 All vehicles lost during the Korean War.
M36 tank destroyer 1950 unknown 1965 216 remained in service after the Korean War. Designated as light tank.
M4A3E8 Sherman 1952 unknown 1970s 388 remained in service after the Korean War. Replaced by M48A1. Sold to Israel after the retirement.
M24 Chaffee 1952 unknown 1952 Used for 2 months only for training purpose, then were transferred to the Republic of China
M47 Patton 1956 M36 531 2007
M48A1 Patton 1966 M4A3E8 591 1981 381 were upgraded to M48A3K, and 210 were upgraded to M48A5K2.
M48A2C Patton 1971 447 2007 195 were upgraded to M48A5K1.

Armored fighting vehicles[edit]

The ROK Army operates 2,400 armored vehicles as of 2008.


Vehicle Type In service Manufacturer/Produced Notes
K200/A1 Infantry Fighting Vehicle Approximately 1,700 Doosan/(1985–Present) Excludes non-IFV variant K200 platforms; 111 were sold to Malaysia
K21 Infantry Fighting Vehicle More than 300 ~ (As of 2014) [4] Doosan/(2009–present) 900 K21 under mass production stage
Additional 100 K21s will be introduced by 2016
KAAV7A1 Amphibious Assault Vehicle 190 Samsung Techwin/(1997~2010) Built under license by Samsung Techwin[5]
BMP-3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle 70 Kurganmashzavod Given by Russia in 1996 as a partial payment of debts incurred during the Soviet era.
M113 Armored Personnel Carrier Approximately 400 FMC Corporation Kept in reserve/storage.


Vehicle Type In service Manufacturer/Produced Notes
KW1 Scorpion Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier Hyundai Rotem Won competition by ROK Army for family of wheeled armored vehicles.[6]
KM900 (Fiat 6614)/KM901 Light Armored Vehicle Kia Motors/(1977~1985) Made under license. 400 kept in reserve/storage.

Utility Vehicles[edit]

The RoK Army operates 9,096 civil vehicles ranging from sedans to buses, forklifts, excavators, and graders.[7]

Vehicle Type Payload(off-road) Quantity Manufacturer Notes
K131(KM420) 4x4 utility vehicle 1/4ton 7,866[7] Kia Motors
K311(KM450) 4x4 utility vehicle 1 1/4ton 13,170[7] Kia Motors
K511(KM250) 6x6 cargo truck 2 1/2ton 18,972[7] Kia Motors
K711(KM500) 6x6 cargo truck 5ton 10,563[7] Kia Motors
K912(KM1001) 8x8 Wrecker 10ton ? Kia Motors KM1001 Wrecker for wrecking of large & modernized equipment exceeding operating capacity of the KM502(K711 variant) Wrecker
K915(KM1002) 8x8 Tractor 60ton~100ton ? Kia Motors KM1002 Tractor for transportation of large-heavy equipment such as tank, armored vehicle, large construction equipment has been developed respectively


The ROK Army operates 5,400 artillery pieces and MRLs as of 2008. 105mm Towed Howitzer ; 2000 + 1000 kept in reserve/storage. 155mm Towed Howitzer ; 1850

Field artillery[edit]

Artillery Type In service Manufacturer/Produced Notes
KH178 105mm Towed Howitzer 24 KIA Machine Tool(now Hyundai Wia(1984~) 54 were sold to Indonesia in 2009. 36 KH178 light howitzer was to the Chilean Marines.
KH179 155mm Towed Howitzer Approximately 1,500[8] KIA Machine Tool(now Hyundai Wia/(1983~)
KM101A1 105mm Towed Howitzer 700 KIA Machine Tool(now Hyundai Wia/(1970s) made under license
M101 howitzer 105mm Towed Howitzer 2300+ Rock Island Arsenal Up to 1000 kept in reserve/storage.
M114 howitzer 155mm Towed Howitzer 850 Rock Island Arsenal Kept in reserve/storage.

Self-propelled artillery[edit]

Artillery Type In service Manufacturer/Produced Notes
K9 Thunder 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer 600[9] Samsung Techwin/ 1999–present Total More than 1200 will be delivered by 2019[10]
K10 ARV Ammunition Resupply Vehicle At least 18 Samsung Techwin/2006~ Total 179 will be delivered
K55/K55A1 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer 1,040 Samsung Techwin/(1985~1997) M109A2 built under license by Samsung Techwin
More than 100 K55A1 modernized by Samsung Techwin
M107 175mm Self-Propelled Howitzer 100 Kept in reserve/storage.
K532 Self-Propelled Gun-Mortar 500 Kia Motors/(1988~) made under license 4.2 inch (107mm) Self-Propelled Gun-Mortar
K242A1 107mm Self-Propelled Mortar Doosan K200 self-propelled mortar variant
K281A1 81mm Self-Propelled Mortar Doosan K200 self-propelled mortar variant
EVO-105 105mm Self-Propelled Howitzer 0(800) Samsung Techwin/2017~ M101 howitzer mounted on a truck[11]

Rocket Artillery[edit]

Artillery Type Version/Produced Maximum range Quantity(launch vehicle) Quantity(Rocket) Notes
K136/A1 Multiple Rocket Launcher K-30 (130 mm)/1981~1987[12]
K-33 (131 mm)/1987~[12]
23 km[12]
36 km[12]
156 (Kia 5ton truck - KM809A1)[12] 140,000[12]
M270 MLRS Launcher 227 mm M270/1998[12]
32 km
45.5 km
Total 27,684 will be delivered until 2012[12] Domestic production; licensed by Hanwha
Chun-mu Multiple Rocket Launcher DAPA approved a plan to develop an indigenous 230 mm MLRS in 2014[13][14] 80 km - - Hanwha Corp. will take charge of system integration and build guided and nonguided rockets, while Doosan DST will build the launch pad and vehicle[13]

Air defense[edit]

Air defense Type In service Notes
S-300[15] long-range SAM system The S-300 was jointly produced by Almaz with Samsung Group of South Korea since 1993.[16]
M-SAM Cheolmae-2 long-range SAM system South Korea is developing the so called M-SAM Cheolmae-2 with the help of Almaz. The prime contractor is Samsung Thales, a joint venture between Samsung and Thales.[17] The M-SAM will be composed of an X band multi-function radar vehicle built by Samsung Thales in technical cooperation with Almaz,[18] and fire-control vehicles and transporter erector launchers built by Doosan.[19] LIG Nex1 will provide the missiles.[20]
K30 Biho 30mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun 176[21] 318 to be produced until 2013
K263A1 Chungung 20mm Self-Propelled Vulcan 520 K200 self-propelled AAA variant
K-SAM Chunma Short-Range Self-Propelled SAM 120 Crotale NG system in indigenous design by LIG Nex1
Shingung (KP-SAM) Man-Portable Air Defense System Under delivery, approximately 2,000 missiles will be fielded
Mistral Man-Portable Air Defense System 406 Domestic production; 5,000 missiles fielded
SA-16 Igla-1E Man-Portable Air Defense System 50 Given by Russia as a partial payment of debts incurred during the Soviet era; 1,000 missiles fielded
Javelin[22] Man-Portable Air Defense System
FIM-92 Stinger Man-Portable Air Defense System Transferred from War Reserve Stock for Allies - Korea
Oerlikon 35mm[23] 35mm Towed Anti-Aircraft Gun 36 Uses Skyguard system, two guns linked to one radar

Anti-tank weapons[edit]

Anti-tank weapon Type In service Notes
BGM-71 TOW TOW Missile
M40 106mm Recoilless Rifle
M67 90mm Man-Portable Recoilless Rifle
M72 LAW Man-Portable Unguided RPG
Panzerfaust 3 Man-Portable Guided RPG
Metis-M Man-Portable SACLOS Missile 226 Given by Russia as a partial payment of debts incurred during the Soviet era; SACLOS sighting device and 12,000 missiles were domestically produced by LIG Nex1[24]
Spike NLOS Ultra long range fire-and-forget guided missile A South Korean government deal concluded on 6 September 2011 has confirmed the procurement of unspecified numbers of Spike NLOS (Non Line Of Sight)

Surface-to-surface missile[edit]

Missile Type Version/Range In service
Hyunmoo-1 Short-Range Ballistic Missile 180 km ~30 TEL
Hyunmoo-2A Short-Range Ballistic Missile 300 km 100 in silos [25]
Hyunmoo-2B Short-Range Ballistic Missile 500 km
Hyunmoo-3A Ground-Launched Cruise Missile 500 km classified
Hyunmoo-3B Ground-Launched Cruise Missile 1,000 km classified
Hyunmoo-3C Ground-Launched Cruise Missile 1,500 km classified
MGM-140 ATACMS Tactical Short-Range Ballistic Missile Block I (128 km)
Block IA (165 km)


Aircraft Type Version Produced Quantity Notes
Bell Helicopter UH-1 Utility Transport UH-1H/N 1965~1978[26] 129[27]
Sikorsky Aircraft UH-60 Utility Transport UH-60P 1990~1999[26] 140[28] Built under license by Korean Air
Boeing CH-47 Chinook Heavy Transport CH-47D
1988~1998[26] 17
ROKA received a total of 18 CH-47D and 6 CH-47DLR
KAI KUH-1 Surion Utility Transport KUH-1 2012~ 10 (258 planned)[29] planned to replace the UH-1 and MD-500
MD Helicopters MD-500 Light Attack
Light Attack
MD-500 Defender
MD-500 TOW Defender
1976~1988[26] 207
Built under license by Korean Air
Bell Helicopter AH-1 Cobra Attack AH-1F/S 1977~1991[26] 90[30] being upgraded [31]
Messerschmitt Bo 105 Light Attack Bo 105CBS 1999~2000[26] 12 Built under license by KAI
KAH Attack KAI KAH (Korean attack helicopter) 2018~ (Planned 200)[32] planned to replace the MD-500[32]
AH-64 Apache Attack AH-64E Guardian 2016~2018[33] 0 36 on order[34][35]

Auxiliary systems[edit]

System Type In service Notes
K1 AVLB Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge 70 built by Hyundai Mobis on K1 platform
K1 ARV Armored Recovery Vehicle 150 built by Hyundai Mobis on K1 platform
KM9 ACE Armored Combat Earthmover 200 built by Samsung Techwin under license
KM138 Minelayer built by Samsung Techwin under license
Rheinmetall Landsysteme Keiler Mine Clearing Vehicle
Rheinmetall Landsysteme Rhino Mine Clearing Vehicle
M58 MICLIC Mine Clearing Line Charge
AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder Counter-Battery Radar 11
AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder Counter-Battery Radar 5
Saab ARTHUR Counter-Battery Radar 6


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  3. ^ Editorial Jet exports
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  6. ^ Rotem KW1 Scorpion -
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  11. ^ Army of South Korea plans to purchase 800 EVO-105 105mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer -, 28 October 2013
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  13. ^ a b "South Korea To Deploy Airburst Rifle". 
  14. ^ South Korea approves the development of a new MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System -, 14 March 2014
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  17. ^ New Contract: ALMAZ Corp. creates Multi-functional radar for South Korea
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  29. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ "The Bell AH-1 HueyCobra". 
  31. ^ S.Korea; Apache helicopter order -, April 18, 2013
  32. ^ a b "KAI, 한국형공격헬기 탐색개발 시제업체 우선협상대상 선정". 
  33. ^ South Korean Boeing AH-64E Apache Order -, April 19, 2013
  34. ^ Song, Sang-ho (17 April 2013). "Seoul to Purchase 36 Apache Helicopters". Korea Herald. 
  35. ^ "South Korea decides to buy 36 AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters". April 18, 2013.