K2NO Black Panther and Leopard 2A7NO tanks in Norway ready to compete for new MBT of Norwegian army


According to a Tweet published by "The Dead District" on January 13, 2022, two Hyundai Rotem K2NO Black Panther and two KMW Leopard 2A7NO Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) arrived in Rena ground in Østerdalen, Norway for winter trials in the framework of the future MBT for the Norwegian army.
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South Korean K2NO Black Panther on the left and Leopard 2A7NO on the right. (Picture source Twitter The Dead District )


Last week, Army Recognition has reported that the German-made Leopard 2A7NO Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), as well as the K2NO Black Panther, have arrived in Norway to conduct winter trial tests.

In November 2020, Norwegian Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen has presented Norwegian defense plans for the acquisition of new MBTs for the Norwegian army. According to these plans, Norway intends to field the new tanks from 2025.

Based on the 2018 Land Forces Study of the Norwegian Parliament, an evaluation was carried out into how protection and communication in particular can be brought up to modern standards meeting military requirements.

Both MBTs, Leopard 2A7NO and K2NO Black Panther have been designed and improved with new armor package and self-protection systems according to specific requirements requested by the Norwegian Ministry of Defense. But, K2NO has an automatic loading system allowing to reduce them to three people, including a driver, commander and gunner, while the Leopard 2A7NO has a crew of four including a loader.

Norway's current fleet of 52 Leopard 2A4 was acquired from the Netherlands in 2001 and have since been adapted to Norwegian army requirements that include, among other things, new radios, weapon racks and Battlefield Management Systems. According to the Military Balance 2021, Norway's army has a total of 36 Leopard 2A4 which are in operational conditions, and 16 more in store.

Citing Norway MoD, the existing Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks are nearing the end of their technical and operational life. In order to maintain capacity until new tanks are delivered, procurement of critical components and spare parts will be carried out. Norway has decided to acquire a new main battle tank that can respond to new threats of the modern battlefield.


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German-made Leopard 2A7NO Main Battle Tank (Picture source Twiter The Dead District)


The Leopard 2A7NO is an improved version of the German-made Leopard 2A7, which is a modernized version of the German-made Leopard 2A6 which is a further development of the Leopard 2A5 variant armed with the Rheinmetall 120 mm L/55 smoothbore gun.

Citing Rheinmetall Defense information, the main armament of the Leopard 2A7 includes one L55A1 smoothbore gun able to fire Kinetic Energy tank rounds and the latest programmable High Explosive multipurpose ammunition. Performance is also optimized with the latest gun and fire control system technology. The second armament of the Leopard 2A7 includes one MG3A1 7.62x51mm caliber coaxial machine gun and a 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun mounted on the loader hatch located on the left side of the roof turret. Eight 76mm smoke grenade dischargers are mounted on each side of the turret.

The Leopard 2A7 is motorized with an MTU MB 873 Ka-501 liquid-cooled V12 twin-turbo diesel engine developing 1,479 hp. at 2,600 rpm coupled to a Renk HSWL 354 transmission with four forward and two reverse gears, with a torque converter and is completely automatic, with the driver selecting the range. It can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 450 km.


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South Korean-made K2NO Black Panther Main Battle Tank. (Picture source Twitter The Dead District)


The K2NO is designed based on the South Korean K2 Black Panther MBT but fitted with a new turret which has been upgraded with new armor package and equipped with the Israeli-made with Trophy APS (Active Protection System) with radar antennas mounted on each side at the front of the turret, designed to prevent anti-tank missiles/projectiles from acquiring and/or destroying a target.

The main armament of the K2NO Black Panther includes a CN08 120 mm 55 caliber smoothbore gun indigenously developed by Agency for Defense Development and Hyundai Wia. The 120mm gun can fire about 10 rounds per minute thanks to the use of an automatic loading system.

The K2NO is motorized with an MTU MT-883 Ka-501 4-cycle, 12-cylinder water-cooled diesel engine developing 1,500 hp. coupled to an automatic transmission. The tank can reach a maximum road speed of 65 km/h and 50 km/h in off-road conditions with a maximum cruising range of 450 km. The suspension on each side consists of six dual rubber-tired road wheels, track-return rollers with the drive sprocket at the rear, and idler at the front.


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