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DX Korea 2022: Hyundai Rotem prepares for expanded K2 MBT production

The RoK Army has taken delivery of about 200 Hyundai Rotem K2 main battle tanks (pictured above). Another 200 tanks could be ordered during the next few years. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)

Hyundai Rotem has confirmed plans to produce “about 50” more K2 main battle tanks (MBTs) for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) in a third batch of vehicles that will be funded through the country's 2023 defence budget.

A company official also told Janes at the DX Korea 2022 exhibition – being held in Goyang from 21 to 25 September – that a fourth batch of K2 MBTs is expected to be required by the RoKA by the mid-2020s. This latter batch would take total K2 deliveries to more than 400 vehicles.

The first and second batches are numbered 106 and 100, respectively. The production of the second batch was confirmed as completed in early 2022. The first-batch contract was signed in 2011.

The company official said a significant element of the third and fourth batches would be the integration of a locally developed and produced transmission. “This is what the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) wants,” he said, referring to the South Korean government's defence procurement agency.

The first batch of K2 tanks was fitted with a German MTU 883 V12 common rail diesel engine developing 1,500 hp, coupled with a German Renk transmission with five forward and three reverse gears. The second-batch tanks integrated a local engine – a 27-litre Doosan DV27K V12 system – and the Renk transmission.

Initial plans for the third batch also feature a Renk transmission, although this could depend on whether a local transmission is available. It is also envisaged that fourth-batch tanks would feature a local transmission, the official said.

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