In Russia, it was created, built, tested, brought after tests and tested again, which became famous, but covered with a veil of secrecy, the “195 object”, But, thanks to the will of some military commanders, the matter didn’t get to adopt this weapon, in any case in Russia . Why "anyway"? Yes, it just may happen that the sensible commanders of some other country will request such vehicles to arm their army, as it was recently with the BMPT - Russia refused to accept, and Kazakhstan purchased the Terminator party, and not only them.
From the beginning of 2000, new types of tanks appeared in three more countries that had never been quoted in the list of advanced tank builders. His firstborn in the main tank family appeared in Turkey - it is FROM Aitay, a full-scale example of which was demonstrated at the IDEF-2011 arms exhibition in 2011 in Istanbul. But it’s too early to talk about this tank, although this event can be considered important from the point of view of the appearance of another tank-producing country in the world list.
In the Land of the Rising Sun - Japan, the main tank, the Tour 10, was created and adopted. In the near future, these machines will replace the Japanese tank park, consisting of OT Tour 90.
Who was able to surprise the international community of the main tank builders was South Korea. In this country, it was created, tested and adopted by the OT, which received the designation KHNUMX Black Panther ("Black Panther"). Korean designers were able to implement in this machine all the latest achievements, providing it with a kind of world leadership in the use of the latest technologies.
For example, it was reported that the Black Panther fire control system (LMS) FROM К2 “Black Panther” is able to automatically detect, produce recognition, accompany and fire at targets without the operator’s participation. Hydropneumatic suspension of the tank provides the tank not only variable clearance, leveling the side roll or changing the angle of the longitudinal axis of the machine, but also, thanks to the new ISU system, provides automatic individual control of the suspension nodes of each support roller, which allows you to eliminate vibration when driving over rough terrain or the so-called "comb". Naturally, as it has already become fashionable in tank building, the designers have equipped the Black Panther with all modern electronic systems, such as GPS navigators, data transmission systems and “friend’s-friend” identification systems, onboard information management system (BIUS), and active and passive protection systems. , Radar and many other know-how. Today we will tell readers about the "features of modern South Korean tank building" - about the new main tank K2 Black Panther.
The development of a new South Korean tank began in 1995. The OCD theme was given the name HK2 Black Panther. The development of a new combat vehicle led the South Korean Defense Development Agency (Agency for Defense Development - ADD) and the company Rotem (a division of Hyundai Motors, well known in Russia and in the world for its cars Solaris, Sonata and Santa Fe). According to the developers, the project used only its own South Korean design solutions and developments, which made it possible not to buy licenses from foreign manufacturers. The development, construction of prototypes, testing and refining the new tank cost the Korean budget 230 millions of US dollars and was carried out over 11 years, from 1995 to 2006, which is considered the year of the start of mass production.
The purpose of the development of the new machine was to create a tank capable of withstanding modern main tanks, which are in service with North Korea and China, while ensuring their significant superiority in their characteristics in the near future. Organizationally, the K2 Black Panther in the South Korean army should replace the obsolete medium-sized М48А5К Patton tanks, made in the USA, and supplement the main K1 tanks of their own design that are in service with South Korea. Full-scale mass production FROM K2 Black Panther was planned to start in 2011, but, in all likelihood, this event will occur some time later.
Some sources have already rushed to announce the Black Panther, allegedly listed in the Guinness Book of Records, as the most expensive tank in the world, worth more than 8,5 million USD per unit. Nevertheless, if you recall the contract for the supply by Germany of Greece tanks Leopard 2А6 Hell (Hellenic), which is the Greek version of the German FROM Leopard 2А6, then, in accordance with it, the taxpayers of Hellas paid Euro 10 million euros for the car. Maybe here lies the answer to the causes of the economic collapse of Greece?
Under the conditions of OCD, the development of a new tank laid down such requirements as achieving superiority over the main tanks in service with the armies of North Korea and China, and this is the T-55 and T-62 of Soviet production and the Tour-96 and the Tour-99 of China. Another important requirement was to create a new tank using only domestic technologies. In the future, such an approach will allow not only to maintain national security at the proper level, but also to enter the international arms market without fear of getting problems with foreign countries related to licensing issues. In this regard, ADD led the development of new machines in parallel with the development of the most modern of its own technologies.
In the process of creating the Black Panther, two main projects were being worked out: one involved the installation of an inhabited two-seat tower, and the second the installation of an uninhabited tower. The last option was rejected. In addition, the designers planned to install an experimental 2-mm smoothbore gun, developed by the German company Rheinmetall, as the main armament of the OT K140, but this also had to be abandoned. One of the reasons was the requirement to maximize the use of only its own technologies, and the other - the refusal of the German company to further develop this gun. According to the company's gunsmiths, the modern smooth-bore 120-mm cannon with barrel length in 55 calibers will be more than enough to ensure the solution of all the tasks to combat armored targets in the foreseeable future. The German 2-mm gun Rheinmetall L120 was taken as the basis for the gun for the K55, after which the configuration was later changed to use more powerful ammunition. The 120 / L55 gun for the Black Panther is developed and manufactured by World Industries Ace, and Poongsan has developed and manufactured ammunition.
The first South Korean main tank, the KHNUMX Black Panther, was released in March 2. The first of three vehicles launched at the Hyundai Corp plant rolled off the assembly line. in the city of Changwon. Some representatives of the South Korean media, admitted to the plant in honor of this event, then hurried erroneously (and perhaps with malicious intent) to “trumpet” that the CN2007 / L2 gun was installed on the K120 tank, the same as on the French Leclerc tank. However, our Russian media make similar mistakes more often.
Currently, the Republic of Korea’s tank fleet is about 2300 vehicles, many of which are planned to be replaced by the Black Panther and К2А1 main tanks КХNUMX. Some sources reported that the South Korean government planned to order at least 1 Black Panther units after deploying their full-scale mass production in 397. However, in March 2011, the South Korean Ministry of Defense Procurement Department (DAPA) announced that the mass production of the K2011 Black Panther tanks, expected in 2, will occur no earlier than in 2012, due to technical problems that were detected in the engine and transmission of the machine.
In January, 2012 was published by The Korea Times newspaper that mass production of the main K2 Black Panther tanks is being postponed and will not start even in 2014. This is the third delay in the start of production of the South Korean tank from the moment it was developed. This time, the transfer of the start of mass production is connected with the decision to carry out at the beginning of the 2014 of the year additional tests of the new tank.
The reason is the same - engine problems. It still does not suit the South Korean military for reliability and has a small overhaul resource.
In this case, no speech is not about the purchase of foreign technology or units. All problems will be solved only on their own and on the basis of their own technologies. Worthy example to follow!
In the future, with the start of mass production, in addition to the supply of the main K2 tanks to the army of the Republic of Korea, they will also be offered for export. Turkey has already successfully negotiated the import or licensed production of some systems, components and assemblies of the South Korean tank. In July, 2008, the South Korean company Rotem and the Turkish Otokar signed a contract in the amount of $ 540 million on technological and design assistance, as well as the transfer of some production technologies to the main tank of the K2 of Turkey. These technologies were used to create the new Turkish main tank, which received the name MTP Altay. An experienced full-scale model of this tank was demonstrated at the IDEF exhibition held in Turkey at 2011. Despite the use of many subsystems, components and assemblies from the K2 Black Panther in the new Turkish car, such as armor protection, the main weapon and others, tanks have different characteristics and differ in appearance.
The main tank K2 Black Panther has a classic layout with a compartment of control in the bow of the machine, a fighting compartment in the center and an engine compartment in the stern. The crew consists of three people and includes a tank commander, gunner and driver. Management Department is located in the frontal part of the hull on the left along the tank. In the upper frontal part of the hull, which has a large angle of inclination to the normal, the driver's hatch is equipped, which is closed with a sliding cover, into which prism monitoring instruments are mounted.
The fighting compartment is located in the center of the vehicle hull in a double rotating turret. On the left along the machine, the gunner’s workplace is located, on the right, the tank commander. Each of them has a personal hatch in the roof of the tower, which can be closed with an armored cover. When opening, the lid folds back along the tank, and stop in an almost vertical position,
In the aft part of the tank is the engine compartment, where the power plant is located, and the systems that serve it.
Despite its considerable mass - 55 t, FROM К2 can move with a maximum speed on the highway to 70 km / h, and off-road - with a speed up to 52 km / h. The machine can accelerate from 0 to 32 km / h in just 7 seconds.
The high mobility of the car is ensured by a powerful power plant with an automatic transmission and a modern chassis design with a unique individual semi-active hydro-pneumatic ISU suspension (ln-arm Suspension Unit) and an automatic traction belt tensioning system. Each support roller of such a suspension is equipped with an individual control system, which allows the tank to “sit down”, “bend down”, “lie down”, lean in any direction, etc. Such “gymnastic exercises” provide an opportunity for the tank to reduce the silhouette if necessary, or, conversely, with maximum "growth" to increase the permeability of the machine. Lowering the front or stern allows you to increase the maximum angles of inclination or elevation of the gun. In general, the hydropneumatic suspension from K2 provides a change in the clearance of the machine in the range from 150 to 550 mm.
The tank suspension device itself, as well as the presence of special rubber pads on the treadmills (like on the T-80) significantly reduces vibrations when driving on rough terrain or on paved roads.
The Black Panther tank uses a 12-cylinder four-stroke diesel engine developed and manufactured by Doosan Infracore, which develops a power of 1500 horsepower (1100 kW) and provides a specific power of 27,3 hp / t. The German MTU-890 engine was taken as a prototype for the Korean diesel engine. It was also temporarily used in the initial period of testing the first prototypes of the OT XK2, while the Korean engine was not yet ready. The diesel engine, coupled with a fully automatic transmission developed and manufactured by the Korean company S&T Dynamics, forms the PowerPack power unit. The automatic transmission has 5 forward and 3 reverse gears. As noted above, technical malfunctions in the operation of the power plant, discovered during the tests of the Black Panther OT, did not allow the start of large-scale serial production of the tank either in 2011 or in 2012.
Thanks to the relatively compact design of the PowerPack power plant, the designers were able to equip the new K2 tank with an auxiliary Samsung Techwin gas turbine power unit (VSA) installed in the remaining space of the engine compartment. The power of the BCA engine is HP 100. (75 kW). It provides power to all on-board systems when the main engine of the tank is off, saving fuel and minimizing the tank's thermal and acoustic signatures.
In terms of overcoming obstacles FROM K2 Black Panther is able to climb the 60-percentage slope or overcome the vertical wall height 1,3 m. After some preparation, the machine is able to cross the bottom through water obstacles to the depth of 4,1 m. One of the main elements of equipment for underwater driving is a pipe -az installed on the hatch of the tank commander. It also serves as the commander of the machine as a conning tower when moving through water barriers. Installing a set of equipment takes about 30 min. As noted in the promotional materials of the manufacturer, when moving under water the tank tower remains tight, but the tank chassis can take up to 440 l of water. As the designers emphasize, it is even necessary in order to reduce the reserve of buoyancy created by the water volume of the machine and to maintain sufficient traction between the tracks and the ground.
After overcoming water obstacles and dismantling equipment for underwater driving, the tank can immediately join the battle.
The armament complex FROM K2 Black Panther includes the main, auxiliary and auxiliary weapons, ammunition, automatic loader, fire control system (FCS), electric two-plane weapon stabilizer.
The 2-mm smoothbore gun with a barrel-length 120 caliber and automatic loading is used as the main weapon on the K55 OT. It was developed by the Korean company ADD on the basis of a German gun company Rheinmetall, obtained under a license. Made guns in Korea by World Industries Ace Corporation.
Auxiliary weapons of the tank are 7,62-mm coaxial machine gun and 12,7-mm large-caliber anti-aircraft machine gun KB (Korean copy of American Browning М2НВ). Both of these machine guns are very significant ammunition: 12000 and 3200 cartridges, respectively. Nowhere in the descriptions is there any information about whether the anti-aircraft machine gun has a remote control. Judging by the photographs of the tank, available to the author, shooting from an anti-aircraft machine gun is conducted by the tank commander manually with the opening of the hatch cover.
Ammunition for the gun is 40 shots. 16 of them are placed in the mechanized installation of the automatic loader, another 24 shot - in special layouts in the body of the machine.
According to the developers, the automatic loader provides the rate of fire for 15 shots per minute, or one shot at four seconds, regardless of the angle of elevation of the gun. As it was reported in some sources, the design of the autoloader FROM K2 Black Panther was to some extent borrowed from the autoloader of the main Leclerc tank. However, despite the similarity of the designs of these two automatic loaders, the parts and assemblies of these automated systems are not interchangeable.
After the 16 shots are used up, placed in the automatic loader, it must be replenished manually from the packs located in the vehicle body or from the loaded ammunition.
For firing from the K2 tank gun, standard 120-mm tank shots from NATO countries can be used. However, in South Korea, specifically for the gun of this tank, new ammunition was developed, including shots with armor-piercing subcaliber, cumulative and guided projectiles.
According to the developers, a new APFSDS sub-caliber armor-piercing projectile with a detachable tray and a tungsten-based alloy core provides significantly greater armor penetration than the current generation of sub-caliber armor-piercing shells with tungsten cores. This is due to the use of a new technology for heat treatment of a tungsten alloy and the so-called “self-sharpening process”. In other words, when penetrating an armor barrier, the tungsten alloy core of this projectile does not deform and collapse, and as it penetrates deep into the barrier it sharpens, decreasing in diameter, while maintaining an enormous specific pressure.
To combat unarmored or lightly armored targets, the crew from K2 can use a multi-purpose cumulative action projectile (HEAT) shot, similar to the American М830А1 МR-Т shot. As noted by some foreign experts, such a projectile is effective in dealing with enemy manpower, with unarmored and lightly armored vehicles, as well as with low-flying or hovering helicopters. As practice has shown, in fact, such multi-purpose projectiles with a cumulative warhead are far less effective than anti-explosive shells in their effectiveness in the fight against the above objectives.
Korean engineers developed a KSTAM shot with a projectile with a self-aiming combat element especially for the K2 Black Panther tank. KSTAM - Korean Smart Top-Attack Munition (Korean "smart" ammunition operating in the upper hemisphere) with a firing range from 2 to 8 km. This is a self-targeting projectile, fired through the barrel of a tank gun along a hinged trajectory in the direction where enemy armored objects might be. The flight of the projectile along the trajectory is carried out by inertia, since it does not have its own engine. The flight path is corrected by a four-blade stabilizer that pops up after a shot. At a certain or the highest point of the trajectory, the projectile releases a parachute and begins searching for a target using the existing millimeter-wave radar and IR and radio detection sensors. When a target is detected (and it can be either stationary or moving), the warhead is blown up, which forms a shock core hitting the target in the least protected upper hemisphere, i.e. by the type of domestic self-aiming elements of the MLRS “Smerch”, only with significantly lower power.
Korean shot KSTAM provides the crew with the implementation of the principle “shot - forget”. Some sources point out that there is also a control channel, which, if necessary, provides the opportunity to adjust the trajectory of the projectile by the gunner-operator.
The main advantage of a KSTAM shot over other complexes of guided tank armament is the possibility of hitting enemy targets from closed firing positions, which until a certain moment ensures the tank’s secrecy from the enemy.
The main tank K2 Black Panther is equipped with a modern fire control system (FCS), which includes, along with traditional thermal imagers, a laser rangefinder and various sensors for firing conditions, millimeter-wave radars. The antennas of this radar are located on the cheekbones of the frontal part of the tower. The station is capable of detecting projectiles flying toward the tank, low-flying aircraft with automatic aiming of guns at them, as well as carrying out automatic tracking of ground targets.
The complex of monitoring and reconnaissance targets for the control system of the K2 tank can detect and carry out “seizure” of targets at a distance of 9,8 km. When accompanying the target, the on-board computer, based on information from the sensors of the shooting conditions and the laser rangefinder, makes ballistic calculations taking into account the necessary corrections, which ensures high accuracy of shooting from the spot and on the move. The OMS of the Korean New Tank is working in conjunction with a modern two-plane weapon stabilizer and a launch-delay system. The latter provides high accuracy shooting on the move on rough terrain. This system takes into account oscillations of the gun barrel that occur during movement, which give a temporary discrepancy between the calculated throw angle and the axis of the barrel bore. With this discrepancy, the system does not give a signal to fire a shot until the axis of the barrel bore coincides with the calculated throw angle (in our country such a system appeared for the first time in 1976 on T-64B tanks and the shot resolution block was called RV). In addition, the Korean tank tank control system also uses the barrel curvature accounting system, which is a laser emitter, a mirror in the upper part on the barrel muzzle and a sensor on the turret above the gun embrasure. Depending on the bend of the barrel, the laser beam reflected by the mirror of the muzzle of the cannon will hit different areas of the sensor, which will be taken into account by the on-board computer when calculating the total correction for firing.
Currently, the same systems are used on the K2 OT K1 sighting systems as the Korean K1AXNUMX tank - this is the Korean Gunner's Primary Sight gunner's KGPS (Korean Commander's Panoramic Sight) gunner's sight. Both sights combined, have built-in optical, thermal imaging and laser distance measuring channels. The field of view of both sights has independent stabilization in two planes. However, as the tank developers say, in the future, the sighting systems of the Black Panther tank will be significantly improved to provide all the advantages of the newest sensors and weapon systems used on the new machine.
SUA FROM Black Panther provides duplicated fire control, at any time the tank commander can take control of the armament complex. In addition, according to some unconfirmed information, on a new Korean tank in the event of an emergency, the SLA can automatically detect and track targets using communication data installed with other machines of its unit, identify their identity, and determine the need to fire at them to prevent redundancy. fire at the same target and fire at the targets of the enemy without the participation of crew members.
In the future, it is possible to return to the idea of installing a 2-mm smooth-bore tank gun on a K140 Black Panther tank. In this case, as the developers say, alterations of some weapons complex systems, including the automatic loader, will be minimal.
The modular combined armor, information about which is classified, is used as a passive protection on FROM К2. It is reported only that the frontal armor withstood the hit of 120-mm armor-piercing sub-caliber projectile APFSDS, released from the same gun, which is installed on K2. True, no information is given from what distance the shooting was made.
Unlike most Western-made cars, the Korean new tank also has dynamic protection (DZ), moreover, DZ elements are also on the turret roof, which significantly increases the durability of the machine if it is used to produce ammunition that forms a shock core.
The millimeter-wave radar mounted on the K2 Black Panther can operate as part of the MAWS (Missile Approach Warning System), an analogue of one of the subsystems of the domestic Shtor system. The radar of the tank detects the guided missiles of the enemy flying towards the machine, automatically gives a signal to the crew and the command to shoot VIRSS (Visual and Infrared Screening Smoke) smoke grenades in the right direction. The aerosol cloud created by these grenades effectively blocks missile control channels in the visible optical, infrared and radar ranges.
In addition, the team to shoot smoke grenades can also be passed if a tank is detected by special sensors of laser irradiation of the tank (during operation of a laser range finder or laser designator). The 2 installed 4 of such LWR (Laser warning receivers) sensors, which, in addition to detecting laser irradiation, also determine the direction from which this radiation is directed.
Also on the new Korean main tank there is also a radar countering system, which includes a radar radiation detection sensor RWR (Radar Warning Receiver) and a radar jamming generator.
The automatic fire extinguishing system is programmed to detect and extinguish any internal fire.
The system of collective protection, judging by the available information, is represented by special atmospheric sensors, which alert the crew in the event that the tank is in a dangerous (contaminated) zone.
When the Korean designers K2 Black Panther created such combat properties as command control, great attention was paid to this.
In order to improve situational awareness in accordance with modern Western standards, an automated complex of C4I controls, communications and intelligence (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) has been installed on the machine.
For accurate determination of the location of the machine there is a channel for receiving data from the GPS satellite navigation system.
The Korean tank K2 Black Panther is one of the few modern armored vehicles equipped with a “friend-foe” IFF / SIF (Identification Friendly or Foe / Selective Identification Feature) identification system that complies with the NATO standard. The radiator located on the gun mask sends a beam at a frequency of 38 GHz in the direction of the detected target, towards which the gun is directed. If the correct signal comes in response, the fire control system automatically identifies the target as “its” object and blocks the firing chains. If the target does not respond to the identification signal, then it is identified as an “alien” object, the OMS “gives” permission to open fire.
On the new Korean tank installed combat control system (Battle Management System), similar to that used in the US Armed Forces. It involves the C4I complex of controls, communications and intelligence. The system allows you to share tactical information with neighboring, attached and supporting units, including with individual armored vehicles and helicopters. Information is displayed on LCD displays installed on each member of the crew. These same displays are used to display information of the onboard information management system (BIUS), which is also installed in the Black Panther tank. The CICS not only provides diagnostics and control over the operation of all tank systems, but can also be used to train crew members, i.e. can work in simulator mode.
Currently, work is underway to integrate the XAV wheeled reconnaissance vehicle into the combat control system of the new Korean tank. This will allow the Black Panther crew to conduct reconnaissance beyond line of sight and receive intelligence information about the enemy without giving out their position.
Korean designers are not standing still, but constantly working, as they say, “on the image”. In the coming years, they promise to present an improved sample of the Black Panther tank - К2 PIP.
The main improvements on the new modification of the tank will undergo suspension, protection and, possibly, the main weapon.
An active hydropneumatic suspension is developed for the K2 PIP FROM. Its main feature is that when the vehicle is moving, special sensors scan the ground at a distance of 50 m in front of the tank and to the sides of the sides. These signals are processed by a special computer that transmits control signals to the suspension, which will adjust to the terrain. Due to this, the vibrations are sharply reduced when driving on rough terrain, the average speeds of movement and shooting accuracy on the move increase, and crew fatigue decreases.
In terms of improving the security of the tank, Korean engineers are planning to install a new generation DZ with non-explosive elements on the Black Panther. In addition, it will be equipped with an active protection system (SAZ), which will use the millimeter-wave radar already on the tank. Information that on the K2 PIP tanks will be installed by the Russian SAZ Arena-E is most likely not true. Firstly: it makes no sense to install another radar, and secondly: it is unlikely that Koreans will buy Russian SAZ when introducing a rigid ideology “to use only their own groundwork.”
In terms of increasing the firepower of the tank, it is planned to install on it a new gun. While it is not clear exactly what it will be for the system. According to some reports, it is possible to return to the idea of installing an 140-mm smooth-bore gun. For others, this is the installation of an 120-mm electrochemical or other gun. What will be delivered really - time will tell.
In any case, Korean engineers personally showed the world that the economic “South Korean miracle” that the world saw at the beginning of the 90s. last century, it was just the beginning. The company Hyundai has learned to produce high-quality cars, and the whole world has already seen this, it seems that soon it will show everyone that it has learned how to make high-quality tanks.
Main technical characteristics of the main tank K2 Black Panther
Combat weight, t
- length with a gun forward
- body length
- height over the roof of the tower (with clearance of 0,45 m)
Combined with overhead modules and DZ
- main weapon
120-mm GP L55
- auxiliary weapon
1 x 7,62mm; 1 x 127 mm machine guns
2 x 6 PU Smoke Grenades
- to 120-mm gun
40 (of which 16 in A3)
- to 7,62-mm machine gun
- to 12,7-mm machine gun
4-stroke, 12-cylinder diesel with liquid cooling
-power, hp (kW)
- specific power, hp / t
- number of gears
5 forward, 3 back! about move
Hydropneumatic semi-active with individual control
Power reserve, km
Maximum speed km / h
- on the highway
- cross country
- acceleration from 0 to 32 km / h, s
- maximum lifting angle,%
- vertical wall, m
- width of overcrowded ditch, m
- depth of the overcome ford without preparation, m
- gpubina overcome ford with preparation, m
Country developer and manufacturer
Approximate cost of a serial machine, million USD