Do you remember the days when you had that little mini tank and a remote controller? You’d make it roam the grass, but when it hit a little puddle, the next thing you remember would be crying? Then, you’d wish that you actually had a real tank fully loaded with Magnums and AK-47s sticking out, shooting wildly with a canon that could shoot and have a clinical shot at whatever you aimed at? Not only that, driving the tank under water to destroy the spying submarines of your enemies? I surely wanted a tank such as that, although such a tank may not suit your tastes. But with 11 years of arduous designing and an investment of $230 million USD just for development costs, I guess you could produce something similar; an amphibious battle tank.
The South Koreans have now developed the XK2 Black Panther (a successor of the K1 tank) battle tank which is said to be able to roam under water at up to 13.5 feet. Quoted to have “more superb capabilities than any other existing tank,” the XK2 Black Panther has a 120 mm gun that can fire at 15 rounds per minute, a live defense system against the enemy’s artillery (laser warner), smart munitions that can act like a homing missile to reach their targets perfectly, and a special suspension that enables the XK2 to fire at three distinct configurations and the highly-anticipated downhill firing. The anti aircraft gun along with an automatic system that identifies a friend from a foe is also well respected at. Not only that, but the tank allows a seating capacity for three: a commander, a gunner, and a driver.
The 44 mph able XK2 is said to cost $8.5 million USD per vehicle, but considering its pretty decent speed, it is a question whether if this tank is a bargain or a luxury. The Black Panther should definitely serve as a massive arm for the South Koreans. The 55 ton tank is currently not in for production (As the X infront of the K2 suggests. Once it is in full production, it will be renamed to the K2 Black Panther.), but the state-of-the-art tank should see light in a battlefield in the upcoming years.
[via The Korea Times]
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