OSLO, (BM) – The Norwegian Ministry of Defense has announced a plan to acquire new tanks to replace the Leopard 2A4NO used there today. Offers from South Korea [K-2 Black Panther] and Germany with brand new Leopard 2s are considered, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24.
The Norwegian Ministry of Defense has for a long time been conducting analyzes related to the maintenance and development of the capabilities provided today by the Leopard 2A4NO MBTs. At the beginning, as many as nine variants were taken into account, but in the last stage of work, two remained: modernization of the existing tanks under the so-called project 5050 and the acquisition of new machines.
The Norwegian Ministry of Defense announced in a statement that it assessed that the modernization of the existing Leopards obtained “second-hand”, i.e. from the surplus of the Netherlands, will not provide an adequate level of capabilities when it comes to protecting the interior of the tanks against new generation ammunition, but also their ability to operate in a network-centric system communication, which is introduced in the land forces.
At the same time, it was decided that two types of new tanks could be considered: the Korean K2 Black Panther by Hyundai Rotem and … the newly built Leopard 2. one of the solutions.
It is interesting because even the Germans themselves are modernizing the Leopard 2A4s, bought from KMW, to the 2A7V standard, with the assumption that they will be used until the introduction of the new MGCS tank. This is done under the contract from 2017, the 2A4 version is 68 out of 104 vehicles covered by the contract. However, the Norwegians could have machines from other production batches, with different degrees of wear, or adopt more stringent criteria than the Germans regarding the requirements for new tanks.
Norway currently has around 50 Leopard 2A4NOs, and a detailed replacement plan, including proposals on numbers and costs, is to be presented to Parliament next year. It is assumed that the new tanks could enter service from 2025.
The Norwegian Armed Forces received self-propelled howitzers K9
The Norwegian Armed Forces received the first 155 / 52-mm self-propelled howitzers K9 South Korean production, as we reported last year in December. The first two self-propelled guns and one K10 ammunition transport vehicle arrived in Norway at the port of Drammen (Oslo) at the end of November. December 4 delivered equipment was officially transferred to the artillery division of the Norwegian motorized infantry brigade “North”.
The rollout of the first 155-mm K9 self-propelled gun for the Norwegian military took place on September 19 of this year at Hanwha Techwin in South Korean Changwon, later the first self-propelled guns and charging vehicle were shipped to Norway by sea. The main part of the equipment is scheduled for delivery in 2020 with an end in 2021. In Norway, the K9 self-propelled gun was called VIDAR.
According to the agreement signed in 2017 by the Norwegian Ministry of Defense and the South Korean company Hanwha Land Systems, the latter will supply the Norwegian army 24 self-propelled howitzers K9 Thunder with a new caliber 155 / 52 mm. At the same time, an option is provided for another 24 self-propelled guns. In addition to the howitzers themselves, the contract provides for the supply of six armored vehicles for transporting K10 ammunition on the same chassis, ammunition, simulators, related equipment, as well as training and full technical support for self-propelled guns for their entire service life.
In service with the Norwegian army K9 Thunder will replace the obsolete SAU M109A3GNM. The South Korean howitzer won the tender, in which the German Panzerhaubitze 2000 from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, the French Caesar from Nexter and the modern-day M109 Krait from the Swiss company RUAG also participated.
The 155-mm / 52 self-propelled howitzer K9 Thunder (Thunder) was developed and manufactured by the South Korean association Samsung Techwin (now Hanwha Land Systems). In total, from 1999 to 2014, the South Korean army received 1136 self-propelled guns K9. Since 2004, the system has also been produced under license in Turkey (as T-155 Firtina).
K9 Thunder weighs 47 tons, powerful diesel in 1000 hp provides speeds of up to 67 km / h. Cruising range 480 km. Armed with the KNUMX 9-mm gun with a barrel length of 155 caliber, the rate of fire reaches 52 rounds per minute. Crew 15 people. The installation can hit targets with high accuracy from a distance of more than 5 km, and when using Excalibur smart shells, from a distance of more than 40 km.
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