Hyundai’s 120mm Laser
OK, well maybe not a laser but it sure looks like one! The Republic of Korea Army last week released several images of one of their K1A2 main battle tanks firing its 120mm KM256 smoothbore gun at a firing range.
Designed from Chrysler’s XM1– which later roughly became the M1 Abrams– the Hyundai K1 88-Tank is a beast that was intended to augment, then replace the ROKA’s obsolete M47 and M48 tanks in the 1980s and stand ready to eat North Korean T-62s (usually locally-made Chonma-ho knock-offs) for breakfast. It is perhaps most notably different from the Abrams line in the respect that most of the electronics are domestic (largely Samsung-made) and it uses an efficient German MTU 871 diesel powerpack similar to that used by the Leclerc, Challenger 2, and Leopard 2 MBTs rather than the M1’s thirsty gas turbine.
Updated with the license-built K256 120mm gun, the electronics and commo fit from the K2 Black Panther, and a redesigned armor scheme after 2012, the K1A2 is one of the most advanced and capable MBTs in the world– and they can still eat Nork T-62s, still Pyongyang’s most numerous front-line tank, for breakfast.