The Polish Ministry of National Defence announced that Hyundai Rotem has delivered seven additional K2 Black Panther tanks to Polish Army 20th Mechanized Brigade. These tanks will be produced by a Polish-South Korean armaments consortium formed by the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) and Hyundai Rotem. Hyundai Rotem has already supplied the Polish Armed Forces with 22 main battle tanks of this type. In January 2020 Poland announced negotiations with Hyundai Rotem for license production of the K2 for the Polish Army. On 13 June 2022 the Polish Ministry of Defence announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to purchase at least 180 K2 tanks for the Polish military. The contract includes rapid arms supply and extensive technology transfer from South Korea.
The consortium will soon submit an offer to the Polish Ministry of National Defence for the K2PL tanks. In total, under the contract signed in August 2022 between the PGZ and Hyundai Rotem, worth USD 3.37 billion. The Polish Ministry of National Defence also plans to order an additional 820 K2PL tanks. The 180 tanks will be produced by Hyundai Rotem in South Korea starting in 2022 and then supplied to the Polish Army. On 31 March 2023 the Polish Ministries of Defense signed a foundational agreement with Hyundai Rotem for a consortium to produce K2PL in Poznan. The agreement included a supply of K2PL, which was redesigned to meet the Polish military’s requirements, and a support vehicle based on the K2PL’s platform.
The K2 Black Panther is a South Korean main battle tank designed by the Agency for Defense Development and manufactured by Hyundai Rotem. The tank’s design began in the 1990s to meet the strategic requirements of the Republic of Korea Army’s reform for three-dimensional, high-speed maneuver warfare based on use of network-centric warfare. Mass production commenced in 2013, and the first K2s were deployed with the South Korean armed forces in July 2014. The third mass-produced K2, which began in 2022, included an improved Battlefield Management System (BMS) with the Korean Variable Message Format (KVMF), and the Korean Commander’s Panoramic Sight (KCPS) and Korean Gunner’s Primary Sight (KGPS) with improved resolution and automatic target tracking function.
The Black Panther is armed with a chrome plated CN08 120 mm 55 caliber smoothbore gun developed by the ADD and WIA (now Hyundai WIA), and is capable of hitting a 30 cm (12 in) size object at range greater than 1 km (0.62 mi). The main gun and its munitions were developed simultaneously. In the early to mid 1990s, South Korea learned internal ballistics, external ballistics, and terminal ballistics for tank guns while license producing the KM256 tank gun, and invented self-sharpening tungsten penetrator for 120 mm APFSDS munitions during the K1A1 program. Using the acquired technology, engineers decided to increase firepower with longer gun barrels and enhanced propellants that were NATO compatible.