Compared to other contemporary MBTs like the Challenger 2 and Abrams, the K2 Black Panther is a very recent design. The K2 is full of cutting-edge systems and technologies as a fourth-generation MBT.
The Leopard 2, M1A2 Abrams, Challenger 2 and T-14 Armata are often regarded as the top dogs on today’s lists of current main battle tanks. However, South Korea’s K2 Black Panther certainly deserves a place near the top of these lists.
The K2 Black Panther outguns even the M1A2 Abrams, but despite its heavyweight punch, it is more than 10 tons lighter than its American counterpart.
Production of the K2 started in 2008 and the tank entered service in 2014. Today, it is South Korea’s most formidable armored vehicle.
The K2 Black Panther
Compared to other contemporary MBTs like the Challenger 2 and Abrams, which entered service in the 1990s and 1980s respectively, the K2 Black Panther is a very recent design.
As a fourth generation MBT the K2 is packed full of cutting edge systems and technologies.
It is protected by conventional steel, classified composite armor, explosive reactive armor and active protection systems.
The K2 Black Panther is able to improve off-road handling by adjusting each bogie to best suit the terrain at hand. It also gives the tank the ability to “sit”, “kneel” and “lean” by dropping the suspension at the back, front or on one side.
This significantly increases the tank’s usable gun depression and elevation.
In addition to its excellent mobility, the K2 Black Panther can also travel through rivers 4.1 meters deep, despite its height of 2.4 meters.
Top speed is 43 mph (70 km/h) on road and 31 mph (50 km/h) off road.
The K2 Black Panther is also able to automatically delay a shot momentarily if the gunner fires as the tank hits a bump on the ground. Once the gun has returned over the target, it will fire.
There is no doubt that the K2 Black Panther is one of the best tanks in the world right now (at least in general metrics). There is even a fair argument to be made that it is the premier MBT on the planet right now.
The tank has already received some great export success, with Poland recently signing a multi-billion dollar deal with South Korea to receive, and locally manufacture up to 1,000 K2 Black Panther tanks in the coming years.