After France and Germany declined to let it join their joint program to develop a next-gen main battle tank, Poland is now looking to develop its own main battle tank. South Korean company Hyundai Rotem is planning to partner with the Polish government to develop and produce 800 K2 Black Panther class main battle tanks. There are other prestigious tank developers such as the U.S. M1 Abrams, Russia’s T-90 and England’s Challenger 2 that could be secured but Poland’s fundamental principle is to develop homegrown weaponry which suggests Hyundai Rotem is a strong contender in the race.
The official project bidding is expected to be announced in the first half of this year and we definitely will take part in the process. The total project is said to be divided into two stages to produce a total of 800 tanks. The monetary value of the possible deal was unknown. Hyundai Rotem officials met with Polish officials several times to explain the specifics of the qualifications and functions of the K2 Black Panther. In 2008, the South Korean company won a bid to sell K2 tanks to the Turkish government beating Germany, one of the world’s leading tank manufacturers.
The K2 Black Panther is a next generation South Korean main battle tank designed by the South Korean Agency for Defense Development and manufactured by Hyundai Rotem. Developed as a modern main battle tank that will replace most of the remaining M48 Patton tanks and complement the K1 series of main battle tanks currently fielded by the South Korean military, the K2 Black Panther combines an auto-loaded 55 calibre 120 mm main gun, advanced composite armour along with hard and soft-kill active protection systems. Mass production commenced in 2013 and the first K2s were deployed with the armed forces in June 2014. The K2 costs over US$8.5 million per unit, making it one of the most expensive main battle tanks in service.