Korea offers to supply its own 24 K2 tanks to Norway in 2023

SEOUL ($1=1,424.81 South Korean Wons) — Norway may receive new tanks sooner than expected. However, this depends on the selection of the ultimate winner in the competitive race between the German Leopard 2A7 and the Korean K2 Black Panther.

K2 MBT vs. Leopard 2A7: Norway seeks a new tank in the snow
Photo credit: Norway MoD

The Korean company Hyundai Rotem has promised that the first 24 tanks for Norway will be delivered in 2023, not in 2025, as planned. Of course, this will happen if Hyundai Rotem wins the race with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann [KMW]. Norway has prepared NOK 20 billion [approx. $1.9 billion] for a new battle tank for the Norwegian Army.

The situation in Europe and the war in Ukraine is the reason why Korea made such a proposal. Hyundai Rotem currently manufactures K2 Black Panther tanks for the Korean Army. The government in Seoul is proposing to supply the 24 tanks to Oslo specifically from this production batch.

The Norwegian online defense forum Forsvarets Forum writes that in the next 30 days the Norwegian authorities will announce their decision on which Leopard or K2 will win. At the moment, the Norwegian army operates with obsolete 40-year-old Leopard 1 and Leopard 2A4 tanks.

In January of this year, the two competitors conducted tests on Norwegian snow soil in extreme winter weather conditions. According to government plans and budget calculations, the first new Norwegian tanks should arrive in 2025.

K2 MBT / Black Panther

The Black Panther or K2 MBT is a South Korean tank manufactured by Hyundai-Rotem since 2014. In our ranking, the K2 MBT is ranked second among the five next-generation tanks. K2 MBT weighs 55 tons, has GPS / INS navigation, and has a crew of three. The tank is powered by a 12-cylinder water-cooled diesel engine providing 1,500 horsepower.

The main gun is a CN08 120 mm 55-caliber smoothbore gun designed by the Agency for Defense Development and Hyundai Wia. He is additionally armed with a 12.7 × 99mm K6 heavy machine gun and a 7.62 × 51mm NATO coaxial machine gun.

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

K2 MBT is a success of South Korean production in heavy armored artillery equipment. This tank is based on a brand new concept to achieve maximum combat effectiveness. The whole idea and philosophy of South Korean technological development are embedded in the integrated ergonomic zipper design. The tank has an extended cannon, strong maneuverability, and completely new suspension technology.

Hyundai-Rotem has developed a new material from which the armor of the tank is made. Hyundai-Rotem claims that the K2 MBT fire control system is the most modern and possibly efficient in the world that can be produced.

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