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Main battle tank


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

Entered service 1986
Crew 4 men
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
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, 1 000 x 12.7
Engine MTU MB 871 Ka-501 diesel
Engine power 1 200 hp
Maximum road speed 65 km/h
Range 437 km
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 M1, M1A1 and M1A2 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. About 1 000 vehicles of this type were built by Hyundai for the South Korean Army.

   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 is protected with composite armor at the front of the hull and turret. Its protection is broadly similar to 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 the British L7 and was used on a number of tanks, including the M1 Abrams and improved M60A3. Gun is loaded manually. This tank fires indigenous ammunition. Vehicle is fitted with modern fire control system, similar to one used by German Leopards. This fire control system provides first round hit probability greater than 90% when firing on the move at a moving target.

   Secondary armament consists of coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun, 12.7-mm machine gun mounted over commander's hatch and another 7.62-mm MG mounted over gunners hatch.

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

   Vehicle is powered by a German MTU MB 871 Ka-501 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 fitted with mine-clearing roller system.




   K1 ARV, armored recovery vehicle;

   K1 AVLB, armored bridgelayer;

   K1A1, improved variant of the K1, fitted with 120-mm smoothbore gun;

   K2 Black Panther, next-generation Korean main battle tank.


Video of the K1 main battle tank







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