Hyundai Rotem from South Korea to develop unmanned K1 main battle tank
According to information published by the Aju Business Daily website, South Korean company Hyundai Rotem will develop unmanned vehicle technology based on a main battle tank, armored and artillery systems.
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South Korean army K1A1 main battle tank. (Picture source Army Recognition)
South Korean company Hyundai Rotem has announced that the state agency for research and development in defense technology has requested a new program to develop new technologies to remotely operate combat vehicles.
The first project of this new program could be the development of unmanned technologies that can be used onboard the K1 main battle tank.
The K1 is a South Korean main battle tank in use with the Republic of Korea Armed Forces, developed by the South Korean company Hyundai Precision, now Hyundai Rotem. The tank is armed with a fully-stabilized M68A1 105 mm rifled gun. The upgraded version, the K1A1 is now armed with one 120 mm smoothbore gun
The concept of an unmanned main battle tank is not really, and many armies in the world try to develop this type of military equipment to save life on the battlefield. The life of the soldier is more important than a million-dollar equipment and main battle tanks are now developed to offer more protection using new technologies of armor and active protection systems.
To respond to the new threats and add more protection to a tank, developer and manufacturer of tanks have increased the weight of modern MBT while reducing the mobility. The conventional turret of any MBT requires a large area over the chassis which also weights more than two tons. The main reason for such weight of the turret is it has to accommodate two or three operators and it has to be armored with thick one-inch steel which puts some added weight.
The only solution to this problem is to reduce the weight by reducing the armor, but this will put the soldiers in trouble. So the better solution will be removing both the soldiers and armor from the tank.
The concept of a remotely operated main battle tank could be a solution according to mission requirements and environment. In an urban area, tanks can be destroyed by small groups of soldiers with handheld anti-tank weapons that can destroy entire columns of modern armor. Using unmanned tanks could save the lives of soldiers while keeping the advantage of firepower to conduct military operations and takes tactical advantages associated with the possession or the control of a particular urban area or to deny these advantages to the enemy.