K1A1 Main Battle Tank
Hyundai is continuing to develop, upgrade and enhance the range of defense products it manufactures by using the experience acquired through the development and production of the 88 tank and other vehicles. The K1A1 is an upgraded version of the K1 MBT. Its lethality and combat firing range are much enhanced by 120mm smoothbore gun as its main armament, advanced day/night Hunter-Killer's capability improved Gun/Turret Drive System and new ballistic computer for 120mm ammunitions. The K1A1 basically retains the K1 MBT's outstanding maneuverability and technology oriented fire control system.
The K1A1 features various enhanced functions compared to the existing K1 tanks, including a primary armament of double the penetration power. The new tank's 120mm gun can penetrate up to 600 mm thick armored vehicles while the old model's 105mm gun could only penetrate up to 300 mm. The effective firing range also has increased to 2 kilometers from the previous 1.2 kilometers.
The Gun/Turret Drive System (GTDS) of the K1A1 is improved for advanced stabilization and the Ballistic Computer and the Gunner's Auxiliary Sight is modified to be suitable for the ballistic characteristics of 120mm ammunition.
In the engine compartment, of the K1A1 a thermocouple wire replaces K1's sensing wire to improve survivability, while wire race bearings are used at the junction of the turret and the hull to reduce the friction of race ring.
The first K1A1 tank with 120 mm main armament rolled off the production line at Hyundai on 03 April 1996. The development of the up-gunned 120mm K1A1 has been hampered by difficulties in updating the 120mm gun. Production of the K1A1 tank was set to start in early 2000. HYUNDAI MOBIS reported on 13 October 2001 that it held a ceremony, attended by about 500 military and business officials led by Minister of National Defense Kim Dong-sin and HYUNDAI MOBIS President Park Jeong-in, for the delivery of the 120mm K1A1 tank.
The K1A1 tank delivered that day was produced by HYUNDAI MOBIS through cooperative development with the Agency for Defense Development and through quality management by the Defense Quality Assurance Agency. K1A1 has the function of a day and night hunter killer, featuring sighting telescope in the seats of tank conductor and artilleryman, 32-bit digital ballistic calculator, and specific gloves for multiple uses. It is even more advanced in terms of heating power, hit, guard, and mobility than the existing K1 tank (also called 88 tank).
In particular, the 120-millimeter gliding gun, which is the main cannon of this K1A1 tank, allows us to have heating power equal to that of the military powers of the world, and will also help us cope effectively with antitank threats from our neighboring countries in the future, by greatly reinforcing the combat capabilities of the Korean armored forces with greatly advanced destruction power and effective range compared with the existing K1 tank equipped with a 105-millimeter main cannon.
In addition, functional items such as principal accessible devices, specific gloves, ammunitions developed with domestic technology which raised the domestic fire rate, and other devices are expected to greatly reinforce the fighting capabilities of the Korean military as a main tank designed to maximize the parts exchangeability with the K1 tank for supporting munitions, by applying parts whose efficiency was sufficiently improved from the existing K1 tank.
By placing this 120mm K1A1 tank which is armed with the world's best technology in actual combat, the Korean armed forces now have the opportunity to strengthen the country's national defense system with weapons that are more advanced than the existing ones and be equal with international tank-producing countries like the United States, Germany, and United Kingdom in the technological aspect.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|