For Poland, K2PL uses quite a bit of Leopard 2 technology that makes it easy to adapt.

In 2007, Korea also transferred K2 Black Panther tank production technology to Turkey to develop NATO’s first 4th generation main battle tank – the Atlay. Basically Atlay is an enlargement of K2, with 7 road wheels on each side instead of 6 like in Korea. It retains the main gun and fire control system but improves the protection of the armor. However, currently, Turkey is facing some difficulties in the testing process and has not been able to put it into mass production.

At the time when Turkey cooperated with South Korea to develop Atlay, K2 Black Panther was still in the testing process, but its theoretical specifications were too great, plus the high incentives for making Technology transfer made Turkey decide to choose an Asian partner. In the international market, a complete transfer of technology for the production of such a tank is quite rare. Turkey’s Atlay Compisite armor will most likely use the same Chobham armor configuration on K2, with a modular design, easy to replace when damaged or to upgrade.

K2PL tank
K2PL tank

In terms of appearance, the K2PL is essentially a copy of the Turkish Atlay, using an elongated chassis with seven wheels on each side, as well as the same suspension system on the K2 tank. The difference is that neither the main gun nor the transmission system uses German technology. The 120mm main gun looks similar to the German L55/120mm gun, but is manufactured in Korea. They claim that it can penetrate steel up to 600mm thick at a distance of 2,000m with the domestic K276 armor-piercing projectile, roughly equivalent to the German DM-53 projectile.

There are doubts about the effectiveness of the Korean K276 projectile, because both the propellant and the Tungsten-piercing warhead are derived from the DM-43A1 penetration shell imported from Germany, which is inferior to the much more advanced DM-53. It seems that Korea’s K276 is still weak against the thick front armor of Russia’s new T-90M or T-80BVM main battle tank.

For Poland, K2PL uses quite a bit of Leopard 2 technology that makes it easy to adapt. Moreover, it is quite easy to get technology transfer from Korea, as long as you have enough money. It can be said that this is a huge advantage of this tank in the export market. With the K2PL tank, Poland will be the fifth country in the world to own an advanced 4th generation main battle tank, next to Russia, Japan, Korea and Turkey. However, it is still too early to say anything.


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