SEOUL, (BM) – South Korea has big plans to develop its main battle tank for both domestic and export development. Seoul has so far invested billions of dollars in the development and production of the tank, however, expectations that it will be a “catalyst” for the Korean military-industrial complex may change significantly.
These are problems with the transmission of the “black panther” [so-called K2 tank – ed.], Which will be a blow to Seoul’s ambitions to use local production, which will actually allow K2 to be competitive in international markets and ensure the export of the war machine. The American edition Defense News writes that the government of South Korea has already decided that the third batch of tanks will have a German transmission RENK to ensure their production. It is about nearly 50 tanks that must fill the military units by 2023, and the whole operation will cost Seoul at least 2.5 billion dollars, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. According to sources, the decision to replace the locally produced transmission with the German RENK was taken in late November during a meeting of the South Korean Ministry of Defense.
The reason for such a decision was a failure during tests of the South Korean transmission S&T Dynamics related to the durability of the equipment. Thus, the black panther will receive additional hybrid power, but at the expense of German production.
South Korea has been facing this problem for a decade. Back in 2011, Seoul confirmed its intention to produce the first 100 K2 Black Panthers and did so. The first batch had no chance of receiving a local transmission and turned to the German RENK in the hope that the second batch, scheduled for the middle of the decade, would have a fully produced local transmission.
S&T Dynamics was given the opportunity to develop this equipment that drives the tank, and at one point they seemed to succeed after confirming to the South Korean people that they had achieved an engine with 1,500 horsepower – fully capable of driving the K2. But the standards set by the leadership in South Korea and the requirements of the military were again not met and the transmission failed the tests, not proving its durability and reliability. One of the non-compliant requirements was that the transmission system operate without interruption for at least 320 hours.
Hopes I was in the third attempt in the third batch, which would allow Seoul to directly take the lead in the sale of tanks around the world, but as it has already become clear, another attempt is unsuccessful.
In reality, South Korea has almost ready customers to buy the tank or exchange technology transfer. Turkey is one of those countries that also has a problem with the transmission of its Altai and which is delaying more than necessary. Even in 2008, an agreement was reached between the two countries on such a transfer. As we informed you a few days ago, Turkey is already in negotiations for technology exchange with the South Korean company Hyundai Rotem and expects good news related to the transmission of the tanks.
Another European country is also interested in South Korean technology in the production of tanks and that is Poland. The dream of the Poles is to produce their own battle tank with integrated technology from Seoul.
K2 is one of the potential tanks that can change forces and tip the scales in future battles on the battlefield. It is not in vain that we have placed it in second place in our ranking of the best tanks of the next generation, and only in front of it is the Russian tank T-14 Armata. The Black Panther is armed with a 120 mm cannon, fire control system, thermographic camera. The maximum speed of the tank is up to 70 km / h on a normal road and about 50 km / h in an off-road route. According to South Korean experts, the tank is able to move on a slope with a slope of 60 degrees and overcome vertical obstacles up to 1.8 meters.
Norway is looking for new battle tanks, Black Panther and Leopard are on the table
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, as we reported on November 19.
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.
Read more: Top 5 fastest tanks in the World
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.
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