IDEX 2023: Hyundai Rotem from South Korea unveils K2ME tank specially designed for Middle East

During IDEX 2023, an International Defense Exhibition that was held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the South Korean Defense Company Hyundai Rotem displayed a scale model of a new improved version of its K2 Main Battle Tank (MBT) specially designed for the Middle East market, called K2ME, Middle East export version of K2.

Army Recognition Official Show Daily News and Web TV UMEX 2020 925 001
The South Korean company Hyundai Rotem displayed at IDEX 2023 defense exhibition in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the new K2ME, a new improved version of the original K2 specially designed for the Middle East market. (Picture source Army Recognition)

Based on our initial analysis, the K2ME MBT (Main Battle Tank) is fitted with new armor that covers both the turret and hull. Additionally, the tank is equipped with improved cooling and filtering systems, as well as air conditioning, to withstand the high temperatures commonly found in the Middle East region.

The design of the K2ME is conventional for a modern main battle with the driver seated at the front center of the hull, and the turret in the middle with the commander and gunner. Indeed, the tank has a crew of three due to the use of the automatic loading system. The power pack is located at the rear of the hull. The tank has a combat weight of less than 60 tons with a length of 10.8 m, a width of 3.6m, and a height of 2.4 m.

Citing information from Hyundai Rotem, the main armament of the K2ME consists of one 120mm 55 caliber smoothbore gun using an automatic loading. The tank carries a total of 40 rounds of 120mm and can fire programmable ammunition. The second armament of the tank includes one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun mounted to the left of the main armament. One remotely operated weapons station 12.7mm is mounted on the commander hatch which is armed with one 12.7mm heavy machine gun. A bank of eight grenade dischargers is mounted on each side of the turret roof that is integrated into the armor.

The K2ME is fitted with a composite reactive armor package which is mounted all around the turret and at the front and sides of the hull. The tank is also equipped with an APS (Active Protection System) with radar detection systems mounted at the rear on each side of the turret.

The K2ME is powered by a Diesel engine developing 1,500 hp coupled to a fully automatic transmission. The suspension on each side consists of six road wheels with the drive sprocket at the rear and the idler at the front.

The standard equipment of the K2ME includes a collective NBC protection system, an automatic fire suppression system, computerized fire control offering hunter-killer function, GPS, day and night vision, and C4I battle management system, and a 360° situational awareness system. A hunter-killer tank optic is a type of advanced optics system designed for use in tanks or other armored vehicles. The purpose of the system is to enable the tank crew to detect, track, and engage targets with a high degree of accuracy and speed.

Hyundai Rotem from South Korea unveils K2ME tank specially designed for Middle East 925 002