Why does South Korea have to cut the K2 tank feature?

South Korea’s K2 Black Panther main battle tank will be forced to “simplify” in order to better suit the real situation.

Currently, many countries are competing fiercely in the field of manufacturing advanced main battle tanks (MBTs), they are equipped with more and more advanced features that a few decades ago seemed impossible, but South Korea surprised again when it countered the trend by cutting the features of its K2 Black Panther.

The reason is that the latest version of the above tank has integrated a large number of sophisticated electronic equipment to improve the level of automation, which makes the K2 become the most expensive tank in the world. while not yet able to be called modern and outperformed its competitors.

Korean military experts noted that the price issue appeared in the crisis this year, when the won rose against the dollar since the beginning of the year, directly dealing a blow to the export opportunity of the Black Panther.

k2 black panther
K2 black panthek2

Currently, the price of the K2 Black Panther tank is about $ 8.8 million, which means an increase of $ 300 thousand compared to 2019. While K2’s domestic orders have almost no change, for international customers, Black Panther, already the most expensive MBT in the world, lost even more competitiveness.

In addition to the price issue, the K2 Black Panther is also a concern as it is a very difficult tank to maintain technically, very difficult to maintain for this MBT because it is assembled from components manufactured in many countries. different. For example, the 120 mm L / 55 smoothbore cannon is the brainchild of the Rheinmetall Group, Germany.

In addition, when buying K2 tanks, customers will also have to take into account the possibility of sanctions from NATO countries, including Germany. Not only that, but the US can also impose restrictions on both buyers and sellers, if Washington considers the deal to be inconsistent with national interests. 

The most visible recent example is that foreign companies supplying components to Turkish UAV Bayraktar TB2 were forced to suspend the performance of their contracts with Ankara, leaving customers in misery as well.

Given this situation, South Korean defense officials have thought of a “simplified” version of the K2 Black Panther tank, they hope that it will at least have a higher export chance.

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