South Korea to deploy 100 K-2 Black Panther main battle tanks by 2017

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Defence & Security News - South Korea

 
 
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 09:14 AM
 
 South Korea to deploy 100 K-2 Black Panther main battle tanks by 2017
South Korea will deploy around 100 of its indigenously-built K-2 Black Panther main battle tanks (MBTs) by 2017, the country's defence procurement agency has announced. The decision in this regard was taken during a defence project committee meeting presided over by Defence Minister Han Min-koo, the Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) said.
     
South Korea will deploy around 100 of its indigenously-built K-2 Black Panther main battle tanks (MBTs) by 2017, the country's defence procurement agency has announced. The decision in this regard was taken during a defence project committee meeting presided over by Defence Minister Han Min-koo, the Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) said. South Korean K-2 Black Panther main battle tank
     
"The K-2 battle tank will allow the military to have advanced combat vehicles with improved mobility and firepower fit for future environments," DAPA spokesman Kim Si-cheol was quioted as saying by the official Yonhap news agency.

"We can overcome numerical inferiority compared to North Korea with this high-quality battle tank, and we expect the K-2 to be actively exported to foreign markets," the official added.

Mass production of the new-generation MBT, set to replace the aging K-1 and US-built M48 tanks, was originally planned to begin in 2009, but faulty indigenous engines and transmission of the tanks halted the production.

Despite some controversy, the Joint Chiefs of Staff lowered the bar for its acceleration performance, paving the way for its deployment, Yonhap said.

South Korea has been developing the Black Panther MBTs since 2006. The tank has been designed to travel at speeds of up to 70 km per hour and can cross rivers as deep as 4.1 meters using a snorkel, according to DAPA. It features an auto-loaded 120mm cannon.

The MBTs will be fitted with indigenous engines and transmission. The "power pack" of Black Panther, based on the German-made MTU-890, is made up of a 1,500-horsepower diesel engine and transmission.

According to Yonhap, some 100 K-2s were put into service beginning in July this year.

 

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