Hyundai Rotem to promote K2 Black Panther tank for replacement of Norwegian Leopard 2A4

According to a picture released on the Facebook account Republic of Korea Armed Forces, South Korean company Hyundai Rotem to promote K2 Black Panther MBT (Main Battle Tank) during the ADEX 2021 defense exhibition in South Korea. The K2 MBT will be displayed in Norwegian specification and camouflage pattern. Norway has planned to replace Leopard 2A4NO main battle tanks fleet.
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Hyundai Rotem to promote K2 Black Panther MBT for the replacement of Norwegian Leopard 2A4 MBT during the ADEX 2021 defense exhibition in South Korea. (Picture source Facebook account Korea Armed Forces)

In November 2020, Army Recognition has reported that Norway plans to present a tank purchase project for new tanks to the Norwegian parliament for approval in 2021. So far, it has already selected two possible contenders, after having evaluated up to nine options, the last of which were to acquire new platforms or upgrade the current fleet of Leopard 2 tanks currently operated by the Norwegian army has. Finally, it has opted for the first (ordering new battle tanks). Two candidates are shortlisted which include the South Korean K-2 Black Panther tank and the German Leopard 2A7. The winner should arrive in 2025.

South Korean defense industry has offered Norway local assembly of K2 Black Panther and related technology transfer to gain an edge over their German competitor.

Norway has already selected the South Korean K9 Thunder 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer to equip its armed forces. On 20 December 2017, a contract of $230 million was signed between Hanwha Land Systems and the Norwegian Ministry of Defense for supplying 24 K9 Thunder and 6 K10 tracked ARV (Armored Resupply Vehicle).

Norway purchased 52 Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks from the Netherlands in 2001 and adapted them to Norwegian needs. Currently, 36 tanks are currently in service with the Norwegian armed forces.

The K2 Black Panther is a new generation of Main Battle Tank (MBT) designed, developed, and manufactured in South Korea by the South Korean Company Hyundai Rotem. The K2 was unveiled for the first time to the public during the Defense Exhibition ADEX at the Seoul Airport in October 2009.

The main armament of the K2 Black Panther consists of a German-made Rheinmetall 120-mm/ L55 smoothbore gun produced under license in South Korea. The armor on the Black Panther consists of an unknown type of composite armor and an Active Defense System utilizing Explosive Reactive Armor blocks.