Report: Rafael offers next-gen combat vehicle suite to South Korea

The company is said to be offering its future armored vehicle for a South Korean Army project aimed at transforming the military into a force well equipped to fight opponents deploying next generation systems

Photo: Rafael

Israeli defense contractor Rafael is proposing its future armored vehicle, the NGCV-S (Next-Generation Combat Vehicle Suite), to the South Korean Army as part of a project to make the military well equipped to fight opponents deploying next generation systems, according to a report.  

Defense website said a key element of the Tiger 4.0 project is to first improve the protection and firepower of armored vehicles, and then improve their effectiveness through full networking based on battle management systems and radio.

"The NGCV-S is something that we matured quite recently here in Rafael, and now we are offering it to South Korea,” said an executive identified only as Udi N., director of marketing for the company's land maneuver systems directorate. A holistic and modular solution, with many parts developed to answer national military needs, the NGCV-S is scalable and includes all the elements that the Tiger 4.0 program is looking for as far as vehicle modernization is concerned, according to the executive. “One of our key advantages is that we offer a full solution coming from a single company, which makes things much easier for the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to manage the upgrade program, the one-stop-shop solution making integration easier and more cost effective.”

The report noted that Rafael is probably the only or one of the very few companies that can offer a protection solution that includes active, passive and reactive system. "Our Trophy is a combat proven solution (with the IDF), and following a weight and size reduction it can now be fitted from 6×6 to Main Battle Tanks,” the marketing director said. Rafael has won orders for the active protection system from customers such as the US Army. The Haifa-based company was a pioneer in reactive armor elements and is still improving its reactive and passive armor packages, reducing weight and increasing protection, which is now said to be over Level 6. Underbelly kits for improving protection against mines and IEDs are also part of Rafael's portfolio.

“In the lethality segment we propose our Samson family of turrets, of which we sold over 6,000 pieces in the last three decades,” Udi N. said, underlining that most of the customers belong to NATO. Light to medium caliber solutions are available, with the possibility of integrating the Spike 5th generation missile system, a solution already available on the Samson 30 RCWS, usually armed with the Northrop Grumman Mk44 Bushmaster II  30 mm chain gun. Beside the mid- to long-range versions of its Spike, which give the vehicle a considerable lethal range, Rafael is also proposing its Spike Firefly, the 3 kg MTOW rotary wing loitering munition with a 30 minutes endurance capable to provide real-time situational awareness at distance before diving onto the target to destroy it. emphasized that while adding those systems would certainly improve South Korean combat vehicle capabilities, the true force multiplier is the Battle Management System, which includes a number of solutions derived from those developed for the Israeli Carmel 8×8 program. The work done by the company on digitized 3D scenarios and the digitization of all sensors and effectors has led to the development of different systems, a key one being the Fire Weaver combat system that allows simultaneous connection of all sensors and shooters, in a fully GPS-independent environment as exact position is established by pixel correlation with the digital scenario.

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