Korea has build first Polish K2PL tank, tests and delivery to come

WARSAW ($1=4.90 Polish Zlotys) — The first K2PL tank for the Polish army has already been produced. This is reported by the Turkish publication DefenseTurk, referring to a post on Twitter from the Hyunmin Park account.

Korea made the first Polish K2PL tank, tests and delivery to come
Photo credit: Twitter

According to biographical information, Hyunmin Park is a Korean who writes for Poland about the military situation in East Asia. Hyunmin Park shared a photo on his Twitter post of K2PL driving on the road. “I just hope the tanks pass the test safely. After this stage, all we have to do is ship it to Poland,” the tweet said.

Poland and South Korea

Poland and South Korea signed major defense and security agreements. A total of 1,000 K2PL tanks decided to purchase in Warsaw, and a significant part of them will be made in Poland. Warsaw plans to start this production in 2026. By the end of this year, however, Poland should receive about 180 K2PL tanks produced in South Korea.

The agreement between the governments of the two countries includes the purchase from Poland of more weaponry. K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers and FA-50PL light attack aircraft are also part of the agreement. The first 50 howitzers Poland will receive from South Korea, and the remaining amount [about 600 howitzers] Poland will produce itself, also in 2026. South Korea will build 48 FA-50PL aircraft for Poland according to preset specifications.

K2PL Main Battle Tank

The K2PL main battle tank [AMT] design is based directly on the South Korean K2 Black Panther. The design changes will, on the one hand, relate to the requirements defined by the Polish Ministry of Defense, on the other hand, they will be determined by Polonization [use of domestic components such as observation systems or the C2 suite]. Detailed specifications for AMT will depend on Polish requirements.

The concept presented by the Koreans shows that major changes can be made to the design of the AMT. In the images published in this context, it is assumed that the seventh pair of road wheels will be added. This makes it possible to significantly strengthen the armor and increase the AMT weight from 55 tons [current weight of the K2 Black Panther] to over 60 tons.

Korea, Poland to make K2PL tanks based on 120mm Black Panther
Photo credit: Twitter

K2PL will have an advanced fire control system with solutions that allow automatic target detection and tracking. The tank will be able to use these solutions with a Korean-made 120mm 55-caliber cannon coupled with an autoloader and a 7.62mm remote-controlled machine gun station.

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.

Korea, Poland to make K2PL tanks based on 120mm Black Panther
Photo credit: Creative Commons

K2 armament

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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