SEOUL ($1=1,433.68 South Korean Wons) — Norway and South Korea are increasing their defense and security cooperation. The Korean Hyundai Rotem issued a press release announcing that a cooperation agreement has been signed with the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace AS. The agreement was signed on September 28.
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According to reports, Hyundai Rotem is interested in the possible integration of remote weapon systems and digital integrated systems of Kongsberg in the K2 tanks and K808 wheeled armored vehicles. In this way, the Koreans hope to gain greater access not only to European markets but also to global markets, the press release added.
The signed cooperation agreement was preceded by a memorandum of understanding [MOU], which was formalized in August last year. And just recently, Kongsberg employees visited Hyundai Rotem’s showroom at a defense exhibition in South Korea.
The two companies will work together to develop and implement advanced operating systems for the defense industry. Competitiveness, as well as strengthening of ground-based weapons platforms, will be enhanced, the Korean company says.
Hyundai Rotem’s desire to work with Kongsberg is also dictated by another fact: the K2 tank is competing with the German Leopard 2A7 for the main battle tank of the Norwegian army. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that in January and February of this year, Norway invited the two ground weapon systems to show their capabilities in the conditions of a severe winter climate. By the end of 2025, Norway is not expected to have acquired a significant amount of the newly selected main battle tank.
Hyundai Rotem is gradually trying to be competitive in international markets. In addition to ground armored vehicles, the Korean company is hard at work developing unmanned turrets for them as well as drone defense systems to be integrated as part of the tank outfit.
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.
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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