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Update: South Korea approves funding for third batch of K2 MBTs

South Korea's MND has approved funding for a third batch of K2 MBTs, similar to the one pictured above. (Hyundai Rotem)

South Korea's Ministry of National Defense (MND) has allocated funding for a third batch of Hyundai Rotem K2 main battle tanks (MBTs).

Funding for the programme was contained in South Korea's 2023 defence budget, which was announced in late August 2022.

Funding for the third K2 batch was part of a KRW6.64 trillion (USD4.8 billion) package contained in the budget to strengthen ā€œoperational response capabilitiesā€, the MND said. The package also includes the procurement of additional Ulsan-class Batch III frigates and ammunition. The total 2023 defence budget is KRW57.1 trillion.

A spokesperson for Hyundai Rotem told Janes on 6 September that the third batch of K2 MBTs will feature a locally developed engine and a German-made transmission system, like the K2s made in the second batch. Janes had earlier reported that the third K2 batch could comprise 54 MBTs, although this has not been confirmed by the company or the MND.

For the second batch, Hyundai Rotem confirmed to Janes in late 2019 that it was building 106 K2 MBTs for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) under a contract awarded in 2014. The production of the second batch was confirmed as completed in early 2022.

The first batch of K2 MBTs, which numbered 100, was built by Hyundai Rotem under a contract signed in 2011 and delivered to the RoKA from 2014 onwards.

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