Saudi Arabia shows interest to produce South Korean BiHo II 8x8 air defense system
Posted On Friday, 07 January 2022 16:37
According to information published by the "Tactical Report" website on January 7, 2022, Saudi Arabia has shown interest to produce locally the BIHO II air defense system developed and designed by the South Korean company Hanwha Defense.
Scale model of Hanwha Defense BiHo II 8x8 mobile air defense system. (Picture source Army Recognition)
Citing the Tactical Report website, Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) signed in June 2019 a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group to explore the formation of a joint venture company (JVC) in Saudi Arabia to be called SAMI-Hanwha Munitions Systems.
According to other open sources information, it was announced in February 2021, that Saudi Arabia’s Science Technology has partnered with South Korea’s Hanwha Defense to jointly produce new K30 Biho (Flying Tiger) II air defense systems (ADS) mounted on tracked chassis. A hybrid Biho ADS has already completed foreign trials in Saudi Arabia.
In line with Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s trailblazing plan to diversify its economy and move away from hydrocarbons, the country has committed to localizing 50% of military expenditure – with experts predicting a subsequent boom in the domestic defense sector over the next decade.
In support of this goal, the Kingdom recently announced an investment in excess of $20 billion in the military industry, a large portion of which will be directed towards research and development. Meanwhile, raft of joint venture agreements have been signed with international firms to produce technologies in-country and transfer knowledge to the young, ambitious local population.
In December 2018, Army Recognition has reported that South Korean Company Hanwha unveils a scale model of its new BiHo II mobile air defense system based on the 8x8 wheeled chassis of the Tigon armored vehicle.
The BiHo II is fitted with an unmanned turret that can be armed with one 30 or 40mm cannon able to fire airburst ammunition; a new type of tactical anti-personnel explosive ammunition that detonates in midair, causing air burst effect fragment damage to an enemy. The vehicle has a crew of three including driver, commander and gunner.