Korea, Poland to make K2PL tanks based on 120mm K2 Black Panther
PARIS ($1=0.96 Euros) — Korea and Poland have signed an agreement to develop and manufacture a tank for the Polish army. The K2PL tank will be built based on one of the best tanks in the world at the moment and second in our ranking – K2 Black Panther. The agreement was signed during the Eurosatory international defense and security exhibition in Paris. The signed agreement was officially announced by the Head of the Ministry of National Defense Mariusz Blaszczak and was signed by the Korean manufacturer Hyundai Rotem and the Polish manufacturer Polską Grupą Zbrojeniową [PGZ].
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PGZ has extensive experience in the production of all armored combat vehicles, including tanks. According to the Polish online portal Defense24, PGZ will receive a transfer of production technology, which will allow the Polish company to master the development and production of key elements for the tank.
Last but not least, according to Defense24, Poland is ready to buy existing K2 Black Panther tanks to increase the combat capability of the Polish army and its effectiveness in the event of threats. Defense 24 writes that the state will “acquire a certain number of K2” without specifying the amount discussed.
Rumors of a K2PL tank
At present, there is no specific information on what the tank will look like and what different features and elements will be integrated into it to meet Polish needs.
However, photos of models shared on social media claim that they show the design of K2PL. According to them, the Polish-Korean tank will have a 7th wheel in the wheel mechanism, which will make the K2PL longer than the usual length for the main battle tank. It is rumored that the tank will receive a new turret design, and the distribution of ammunition will also be improved.
There is no information on what the main cannon of the tank will be [will it keep the 120mm cannon of the K2 Black Panther or will it be used differently], nor the secondary weapon, which serves for protection in close combat.
K2 Black Panther
K2 Black Panther is a product of the Korean company Hyundai Rotem and is in the category of “next-generation tank”. It was designed at the end of 2008 and has been in production since then, with about 500 units produced so far. This is the main battle tank of the South Korean army.
The tank has been officially in service since 2017. There are currently no officially registered military operations around the world. He is in service only in South Korea but is participating in a competition for a new battle tank of the Norwegian Armed Forces. Egypt is also interested in it – the country that made the largest purchase of self-propelled howitzers in the world – the Korean K9 Thunder.
K2 Black Panther weighs 55 tons and is operated by a three-member crew. The tank is 10.8 meters long, but the distance between the axles of the chassis is 7.5 meters, 3.6 meters wide, and 2.4 meters high. The armor of the tank is a combination of POSCO MIL-12560H armor steel and other classified plates along with ERA and NERA modular add-on armor in addition to soft-kill and hard-kill anti-missile defense systems.
The main armament consists of a Hyundai WIA CN08 120 mm 55 caliber smoothbore gun, while the secondary armament consists of a 12.7 × 99mm [.50 BMG] K6 heavy machine gun [3,200 rounds initially loaded] and 7.62 × 51mm NATO coaxial machine gun [12,000 rounds initially loaded].
Currently, the tank is powered by a Korean engine Hyundai Doosan Infracore DV27K 4-long stroke, 12-cylinder water-cooled diesel, dry weight: 2550 kg, but during the production of the first units of the tank, the engine was German – MTU. The Korean engine provides 1,500 horsepower, which is close to 27 horsepower per ton. With one charge of the tank, the tank travels a distance of 450 km. The maximum speed that the tank can reach is 70 km / h if it is moving on the road, otherwise between 30-50 km / h if the terrain is difficult to access, off-road, or heavily rugged.
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