K2 Black Panther Tank

The prototype XK-2 became the K2 Black Panther MBT of South Korea and began service in 2014, a few years later than originally scheduled.

The K2 has advanced sensor packages and fire control systems, as well as a built-in inter-tank network that allows for coordinated massive attacks and on-site control of auxiliary unmanned vehicles and drones, making good use of South Korea’s renowned cutting edge IT capabilities.

The K2 also has a 120 mm L55 main gun, with enough power to defeat the frontal armor of most contemporary main battle tanks and is able to load and target quicker than the previous K1 tank using a laser guided system that automatically targets threats almost immediately.

K2 Black Panther South Korean main battle tank

In addition to the standard 120 mm smoothbore barrel, the K2 tank has a 12.7 mm K-6 heavy machine gun, and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, and and can also be fitted with an optional 140 mm smoothbore barrel for increased fire support.

The K-2 inherits the same type of extensive suspension system that the K1 series has, and thus it is able to “sit”, “stand”, and “kneel”. “Sitting” gives the tank lower profile and offer better handling over roads. “Standing” allows the tank to have better manoeuvrability over rough terrain. “Kneeling” increases the amount of angle that the tank’s gun barrel can elevate and depress, which allows the tank to fire its main gun downhill–something that very few tanks, if there are any others at all, can do–and give it better ability to engage low-flying aircraft.

Defense against incoming missiles include both soft- and hard-kill anti-missile systems, equipped with an all-bearing LASER detection pod that indicates from which direction the enemy is illuminating the tank from, as well as LASER and RADAR warning receivers and jammers. Hard-kill AMS consists of two anti-missile grenade launchers located rear end of the turret that can track in and destroy incoming missiles automatically before the missile can hit the tank, providing protection effective against top-armor penetrating anti-tank missiles.

The K2 is also equipped with a RADAR system, combined with next-generation FCS, that allows it to track and engage low-flying aircraft with the main gun quickly and accurately.

The armor on the XK-2 will consist of two types; one being the improved second-generation Chobham or its derivative and the second being Active Defense System utilizing Explosive Reactive Armor blocks.

South Korea

K2 Black Panther MBT

Active: 2014 – Present
Crew: 3
Weight: 55 tons (50,000kg)
Length: 35 ft 5 in (10.8m), 31ft 8in (9.67m) with gun forwards
Height: 7ft 4in (2.25m) to turret top
Width: 11ft 10in (3.6m) 
Weapons: Main – 120 mm (4.72 in) 55 caliber smoothbore gun (40 rounds); Secondary – 1× 12.7×99mm (.50 BMG) K6 heavy machine gun (3,200 rounds) 1× 7.62×51mm NATO coaxial machine gun (12,000 rounds)
Armor Classified type of composite armour with ERA and NERA modular add-on armour in addition to soft-kill and hard-kill anti-missile defense systems
Engine: 4-cycle, 12-cylinder water-cooled diesel 1,500 hp (1,100 kW)
Speed: 70 km/h (43 mph) road, 50 km/h (31 mph)  off road.
Range: 280 miles (450km)