Kia has revealed plans to develop a new standard platform for next-generation military vehicles.
The firm says it intends to start building prototypes before the end of the year before undergoing evaluation by the Korean Government in 2021. It hopes to deploy the first vehicles in 2024.
The program is the result of joint investment from the Korean military and Kia to replace 2.5- and five-tonne military vehicles, as well as developing five-tonne bullet-proof vehicles.
Under the bonnet will be a 7.0-litre diesel engine with an automatic transmission, with safety equipment including an anti-spin regulator, rear parking assist, around view monitor, and satellite navigation.
Kia says it is building the platform to be modular so that different variants can be built further down the line, including those that incorporate weapons systems or needing changes for unique specialisations.
The platform will be based on the Kia Mohave, a large SUV sold in Korea, North America and China. The militarised all-terrain vehicle will also form the basis of vehicles used in other sectors such as industrial and leisure.
Kia is also using this program to conduct research and development for autonomous driving and hydrogen propulsion systems.
This is not the first time Kia has built military vehicles. The South Korean firm says it has provided 140,000 vehicles to its home military as well as other overseas countries.