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K1

Main battle tank

K1 MBT

The K1 main battle tank was developed by General Dynamics and is based on the M1 Abrams

 
 
Country of origin South Korea
Entered service 1986
Crew 4
Dimensions and weight
Weight 51.1 t
Length (gun forward) 9.67 m
Hull length 7.48 m
Width 3.6 m
Height 2.25 m
Armament
Main gun 105 mm rifled
Machine guns 2 x 7.62 mm, 1 x 12.7 mm
Elevation range - 10 to + 20 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 47 rounds
Machine guns 8 800 x 7.62 mm, 1 000 x 12.7 mm
Mobility
Engine MTU MB 871 Ka501 diesel
Engine power 1 200 hp
Maximum road speed 65 km/h
Range 437 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 1 m
Trench 2.74 m
Fording 1.2 m
Fording (with preparation) 2.2 m

 

   The K1 main battle tank is also referred as the Type 88 or ROKIT (Republic of Korea Indigenous Tank). It was developed by General Dynamics, who designed and built the US M1 Abrams main battle tanks. The K1 is based on the M1 Abrams technology but has a number of changes to meet specific operational requirements of the South Korean army. First prototypes were completed in 1983 and series production commenced in 1985. A total of 1 027 tanks of this type were built by Hyundai for the South Korean army. Production ceased in 1998.

   A number of major components of the K1, such as engine, transmission and fire control system were imported from other countries.

   This Korean main battle tank has a composite armor at the front of the hull and turret. Its protection level is broadly similar to that the M1 Abrams. Ammunition is stored in the turret bustle with blow-out panels.

   The K1 main battle tank is armed with a fully-stabilized M68A1 105 mm rifled gun. This gun is similar to a British L7 tank gun, which was used on a number of tanks, including the M1 Abrams and the M60A3 Patton. The gun is loaded manually. This tank fires indigenous ammunition. Vehicle is fitted with modern fire control system, similar to that of the German Leopard 2 tanks. This fire control system provides first round hit probability greater than 90% when firing on the move against a moving target.

   Secondary armament consists of coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun, 12.7 mm heavy machine gun mounted over commander's hatch and another 7.62 mm machine gun mounted over the gunner's hatch.

   The K1 MBT has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   Vehicle is powered by a German MTU MB 871 Ka501 diesel engine, developing 1 200 horsepower. This engine is license-produced in South Korea. This main battle tank a fully-automatic transmission with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. The K1 has a hybrid hydropneumatic and torsion suspension, that can be adjusted to suit terrain conditions. It allows vehicle to "kneel" and gives tank a number of advantages in mountainous terrain. Tracks of the K1 MBT are similar to the M1 Abrams. It can be eqiuipped with mine-clearing rollers.

 

Variants

 

   K1 ARV, armored recovery vehicle.

   K1 AVLB, armored bridgelayer.

   K600 armored engineer vehicle. It was designed to breach pathways through minefields. A prototype of the K600 was based on refurbished and upgraded K1 chassis.

   K1A1, improved variant of the K1, fitted with 120 mm smoothbore gun. In terms of firepower and protection it is broadly similar to the US M1A1 Abrams main battle tank. First production vehicle was completed in 1996, however it entered service with the ROK Army only in 2001. It was planned that around 300 of these tanks will be built by 2010.

   K1E1 is an upgraded version. The first modernization order was placed in 2013. The first modernized K1E1 was unveiled in 2014. It is planned that all K1 tanks (around 1 000 units) will be upgraded to this standard until 2026.

   K2 Black Panther is a next-generation Korean main battle tank. Despite similar designation it has little in common with the original K1. It was developed using only indigenous South Korean technology. First prototype was revealed in 2007. Production contract for the first 100 K2 tanks was signed in 2014. In 2016 a first batch of 100 tanks was reportedly delivered. South Korean army has a requirement for around 300 of these new tanks. Currently the K2 Black Panther replaces in service the original K1 main battle tanks.

 

 

 

 
K1 MBT

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K1 MBT

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K1 MBT

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K1 MBT

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K1 MBT

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K1 MBT

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