South Korea could sell 72 K2 main battle tanks to Oman


According to the Pulse News website, South Korean Defense Company Hyundai Rotem Co. could sell 76 K2 Black Panther Main Battle Tanks (MBT) to Oman, a deal that could reach an amount up to $884.6 million. The desert version of the K2 Black Panther was unveiled by Hyundai Rotem during the Defense Exhibition DX Korea in September 2018.


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Desert variant of the K2 Black Panther Main Battle Tank was unveiled at DX Korea defense exhibition in September 2018. (Picture source  Army Recognition)


According to industry sources, in July 2018, Hyundai Rotem has conducted trial tests with an upgraded desert variant of its K2 Black Panther main battle tank in Oman. The upgraded K2 is in sand color and equipped with a shade on top of a turret. The tank is also equipped with a new air conditioning system with a fan mounted on the right side of the turret. The company has developed the desert version of the K2 in several months to adapt the tank for hot and dusty desert conditions, and especially focused on developing an exhaust system to cool the engine.

The government of Oman has launched a tender to acquire 76 main battle tanks and the supplier will be selected for the second quarter of 2019. Currently Oman armed forces use British-made Challenger 2 MBTs and American M60A1 / M60A3.


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K2 Black Panther main battle tank of South Korean army in live demonstration at DX Korea defense exhibition in Seoul, September 2018. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The K2 Black Panther is a new generation of main battle tank (MBT) designed, developed and manufactured in South Korea by the South Korean Company Hyundai Rotem. The K2 was unveiled for the first time to the public during the Defense Exhibition ADEX at the Seoul Airport in October 2009.

The main armament of the K2 Black Panther consists of a German-made Rheinmetall 120-mm/ L55 smoothbore gun produced under license in South Korea. The gun is fitted with an automatic loader which ensures the loading of projectiles on the move even when the vehicle moves on uneven surfaces.

The armor on the Black Panther consists of an unknown type of composite armor and an Active Defense System utilizing Explosive Reactive Armor blocks. It has a crew of three including driver, commander and gunner.

The K2 can run at a maximum speed 70 km/h on surface roads, while being able to maintain speeds up to 48 km/h on off-road conditions. It can accelerate from 0 to 32 km/h within 7 seconds.

The K2 Black Panther is equipped with an advanced fire-control system (FCS) linked to a millimeter band radar system deployed on the frontal arc of the turret, along with a traditional laser range-finder and crosswind sensor. The system is capable of a "lock-on" mode, which can acquire and track specific targets up to a range of 9.8 km using thermal optics.


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