The K2 Black Panther main battle tank (MBT) is a completely new tank, developed and manufactured in South Korea

K2 Black Panther is equipped with an automatic loader, so the crew is only three people. The heart of the tank is a 1,500-horsepower engine, which enables it to reach speeds of 70 km/h on the road, and 50 km/h off-road. The main firepower is a 120 mm, 3D-stabilized smoothbore gun that can be fired while moving.

The most impressive of the K2 is its suspension, which can be adjusted in many different positions. When maneuvering on field terrain, the chassis will be raised to help K2 have a larger ground clearance. On flat roads, the suspension is lowered, giving it better speed.

K2 Black Panther
K2 Black Panther

The unique suspension system allows it to slope forward or backward, giving its main gun a good angle of fire on difficult targets, such as targets at the top of a mountain, or in the depths. The K2 can even use the main gun to target low-flying aircraft or over buildings when the suspension is lowered to the rear. The K2 can also tilt left or right, which improves driving along slopes.

K2 weighs about 55 tons. It has a fairly high power-to-weight ratio. Combined with the adjustable suspension, the K2 is quite maneuverable. K2 is designed to cross rivers thanks to a snorkel like the design of the Russian T-80 tank. K2 can cross water up to 4.1 meters deep.

The 120 mm gun can fire variety of munitions. It is compatible with all standard NATO tank rounds. It is also capable of firing the new KSTAM (Korean Smart Top-Attack Munition) rounds. These are smart target-activated fire-and-forget projectiles, but shouldn’t be confused with anti-tank guided missiles. The KSTAM has its own guidance system, aided by four stabilizing fins. At the final stage a parachute will deploy to slow its fall and accurately engage target. Such principle is broadly similar to mortar-launched anti-tank munitions. Furthermore the K-2 tank can fire KSTAM munitions from behind the cover. The KSTAM has a maximum effective range of 8 kilometers.

The Korean Active Protection System is an indigenously developed hard-kill active protection system designed to protect the K2 from anti-tank threats. It uses a three-dimensional detection and tracking radar and a thermal imager to detect incoming threats. Warheads can be detected out to 150 meters from the tank, and a defensive rocket is fired to destroy them at 10–15 meters away. The system can neutralize rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank guided missiles. It may be installed on other platforms in the future like warships, helicopters, and buildings. Unit price per system is $600,000.

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