Hyundai Rotem from Korea signs MOU with Kongsberg from Norway to develop marketing of K2 tank K808 armored vehicle and RWS

South Korean company Hyundai Rotem announced on September 28th that it has signed a Teaming Agreement with the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace AS.
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Hyundai Rotem and Kongsberg have established a strategic cooperative relationship to apply and sell Kongsberg products, from as remote weapon systems and digital integrated systems to Hyundai Rotem's ground weapon system platform, such as the K2 tank and K808 wheeled armored vehicle.(Picture source: Hyundai Rotem)

Hyundai Rotem signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Kongsberg in August 2021 to cooperate on the tank business, and through the signing of this cooperation agreement, the cooperative relationship between the two companies has been further strengthened.

On 21st September, Kongsberg officials visited the Hyundai Rotem exhibition hall, which participated in the Korea Defense Industry Exhibition, and signed this cooperation agreement, which includes cooperation on product development and sales activities between Hyundai Rotem and Kongsberg to target the global defense market.

In particular, the two companies have established a strategic cooperative relationship to apply and sell Kongsberg products, from remote weapon systems and digital integrated systems to Hyundai Rotem's ground weapon system platform, such as the K2 Black Panther tank and K808 wheeled armored vehicle.

In addition, Hyundai Rotem decided to develop potential products for the future, such as unmanned turrets and unmanned aerial vehicle protection systems for next-generation tanks and wheeled armored vehicles.

Through this cooperation agreement, Hyundai Rotem, together with Kongsberg, is expected to develop and apply a state-of-the-art operating system that can further strengthen the ground weapon system platform such as tanks and armored vehicles, thereby enhancing product competitiveness for targeting the global market.

In addition, cooperation with Kongsberg, a local Norwegian company, is expected to gain momentum in attacking the Norwegian tank business. Hyundai Rotem is conducting sales activities with the goal of winning an order for the Norwegian tank business, and a winter test and evaluation of the K2NO tank was conducted in the field from January to February 2022.

Norway has rejected the option to upgrade its fleet of Leopard 2A4 Finally and has opted for the acquisition of a new main battle tank. Two candidates are shortlisted: the South Korean K-2 Black Panther tank and the German Leopard 2A7. Norway plans to acquire 200 MBTs and the winner could be selected in 2025.

In November 2021, Army Recognition reported that Hyundai Rotem had unveiled its K2NO, the Norwegian proposal of the South Korean K2 Black Panther MBT during the ADEX 2021 defense exhibition in South Korea.

According to technical features published by the company, the K2NO will be based on the original South Korean K2 but modified according to specific requirements of the Norwegian armed forces. The K2NO has a crew of three (commander, gunner, and loader). The tank has a combat weight of 61.5 tons with a length of 10.8 m, a width of 3.6 m, and a height of 2.4 m.

The K2NO keeps the design of the K2 but is equipped with a new turret fitted with additional active protection armor as well as the Israeli APS (Active Protection System) with radar antennas mounted on each side at the front of the turret. The trophy is a military active protection system (APS) designed by the Israeli company Rafael to protect combat vehicles from ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missile), RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenades, anti-tank rockets, and tank HEAT (High-explosive Anti-Tank) rounds.

The K2NO is armed with a CN08 120mm/55caliber smoothbore gun indigenously developed by the Agency for Defense Development and Hyundai Wia. The 120mm gun can fire about 10 rounds per minute. With a total supply of 40 various rounds, the Black Panther can rain hellfire on an enemy position for nearly three minutes before needing resupply. A total of 16 rounds are stored in the autoloader and 24 rounds are stored inside the hull. The top of the turret is equipped with a remotely operated weapon station from the Norwegian company Kongsberg, armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun.

The K2 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.