The K2 Black Panther is one of the two main battle tanks in service with the South Korean Army, the other one being the K1. Although it was officially introduced in 2007, mass production began in 2013, with the first batch of 210 K2 tanks being delivered by 2015 to complete a total of 600 by 2018. Developed by the Korean firm Hyundai Rotem, it features composite armor, whose exact composition and material used is classified information, and a Rheinmetall L55, 120-mm, smooth bore gun, with an autoloader, thus reducing the crew from 4 to 3 men. The K2 is also equipped with a computerized, fire control system, a milimeter band radar, which works as an incoming missile warning system, a laser-rangefinder, infrared cameras, and a thermal imaging system. Since the first K2 tanks had technical problems with the Korean-designed power plant, 100 of them are presently being powered by German, 1,500-hp, MTU Friedrichshafen engines.
The armor of the K2 Black Panther is advanced enough to stop the APFSDS (Sabot) ammunition fired by most modern tank guns, without sustaining damage. Its L55 120-mm gun can fire the Korean Smart Top-Attack Munition, which is a fire-and-forget anti-tank shell, being able to destroy an enemy main battle tank at 6 miles away. It also fires High Explosive anti-tank munition. Using a snorkel, the K2 can wade across 5-m-deep rivers and lakes, climb up 25º slopes, and overcome 1.8-m-high obstacles. The tank can run at the maximum speed of 43 mph (70 km/h), with a range of 280 miles.
Chassis Length: 24 ft 7 inch (7.5 m)
Width: 11 ft 10 inch (3.6 m)
Height: 7 ft 10 inch (2.4 m)
Weight: 55 tons
K2 Black Panther in action (video)