Foreword to ROK Equipment and Gear

The Republic of Korea Armed Forces and Police were forged in the crucible of the Korean war, where almost all equipment was handed down from the US military at the time, decades later due to changing political climates and a need for self-reliance, the ROK began to produce their own locally designed and manufactured military equipment.

A large problem for collectors of Korean military gear is an almost complete lack of coherent nomenclature, both in Korean and English. In this article we have decided to introduce some standard English nomenclature in addition to the common Korean names.

The aim of this article is to shed light on the basics of modern Korean military equipment and give prospective new collectors the information they need to decide what kind of collection they would like to start. We will cover the major equipment from the early 1990s until present, it is expected that by the year 2022 the ROK military will begin to issue a brand new generation of equipment as part of the “Warrior Platform”, but we shan’t cover future equipment in this article.

ROK CAMOUFLAGE

ROK Woodland:   The ROK woodland pattern is heavily inspired by the American M81 woodland camouflage, but with a slightly more vibrant colour scheme to suit Asian summer vegetation. The ROK woodland pattern was issued from the 1990s through the early 2010s to all branches of the service until it was subsequently replaced by the aforementioned digital patterns.

ROK Woodland:

The ROK woodland pattern is heavily inspired by the American M81 woodland camouflage, but with a slightly more vibrant colour scheme to suit Asian summer vegetation. The ROK woodland pattern was issued from the 1990s through the early 2010s to all branches of the service until it was subsequently replaced by the aforementioned digital patterns.

Granite-B:   Granite-B was introduced in the early 2010s as the general camouflage pattern for the Army, Navy and Air Force after a series of similar digital patterns were trialed. This 5-colour pattern was intended to optimally blend in with the environment of the Korean peninsula all year long, including urban areas. It works notably well in dry forests during colder seasons and rocky environments.

Granite-B:

Granite-B was introduced in the early 2010s as the general camouflage pattern for the Army, Navy and Air Force after a series of similar digital patterns were trialed. This 5-colour pattern was intended to optimally blend in with the environment of the Korean peninsula all year long, including urban areas. It works notably well in dry forests during colder seasons and rocky environments.

WAVEPAT:   Also introduced in the early 2010s, the ROKMC decided to adopt this unique 4-colour pattern to blend in with rocky beaches and an ocean backdrop, and like US Marine MARPAT, genuine prints feature the ROK Marine logo watermarks in the pattern.

WAVEPAT:

Also introduced in the early 2010s, the ROKMC decided to adopt this unique 4-colour pattern to blend in with rocky beaches and an ocean backdrop, and like US Marine MARPAT, genuine prints feature the ROK Marine logo watermarks in the pattern.

ROKPAT:   Issued to Army Special Warfare Command (SWC) units (airborne, rangers) and Air Force special forces, it is similar in appearance to USMC MARPAT woodland, though it differs in color shades and ratios, with a few small pattern differences, however its performance suffers from a very small repeating tile, especially noticeable on ponchos and other gear with large fabric areas.

ROKPAT:

Issued to Army Special Warfare Command (SWC) units (airborne, rangers) and Air Force special forces, it is similar in appearance to USMC MARPAT woodland, though it differs in color shades and ratios, with a few small pattern differences, however its performance suffers from a very small repeating tile, especially noticeable on ponchos and other gear with large fabric areas.

ROKPAT Desert:   The desert pattern (as popularized by the 2016 TV Drama, Descendants of the Sun) is issued to Korean units deploying to arid environments overseas, as of now only the “Akh” Special Forces unit in the UAE is issued this pattern, though boots featuring this pattern are used by other deployed troops as well.

ROKPAT Desert:

The desert pattern (as popularized by the 2016 TV Drama, Descendants of the Sun) is issued to Korean units deploying to arid environments overseas, as of now only the “Akh” Special Forces unit in the UAE is issued this pattern, though boots featuring this pattern are used by other deployed troops as well.

ROK Helmets

KHB2000 “New Type Bulletproof Helmet” (신형 방탄 헬멧)

Produced by Samyang Comtech, the KHB2000 is the standard issue combat helmet to ROK military frontline troops. It is a PASGT style helmet but just like its Japanese counterpart, it does feature significant shape differences to suit the Asian head shape.

Issuing began in the early to mid-2000s and early models featured a webbing liner and 2 point chinstrap whilst later models (2014 onwards) feature a pad suspension and 4 point chinstrap. It weighs in somewhere around 1.5KG depending upon size.

M80 “Old Type Bulletproof Helmet” (구형 방탄 헬멧)

The M80 is essentially a USGI shape M1 helmet made of ballistic nylon, its suspension and chinstrap come directly from the late model US M1 liner. This helmet is sometimes preferred by some older troops because of its lighter weight, and for retaining the M1 helmet’s iconic appearance.

The M80 has mostly fallen out of use amongst frontline units but is still commonly seen being worn by rear echelon and reserve units. Just like the newer helmet, this helmet is always worn with a camouflage cover with all the same features.

ROK Combat Gear

Multipurpose Bulletproof Vest

"Old Type” Bulletproof Vest

KFLC - "New Type Combat Vest"

ROK Personal Kit

ROKA Type Boots

ROKA Type Helmet

“Combat” Trucker Cap

ROKA K5 Gasmask

ROK Infantry Reference Gallery

Citation:
-Yeongguk Mildeog
-DK0010