Thursday, November 25, 2010

South Korea K1A1 Main Battle Tank To Fight North Korea

K1A1 Main Battle Tank

The Korean government supported and promoted the establishment of a national defence industry as a means of increasing self-reliance and also because they believed that defence technology would stimulate other areas of Korean industry. The Korean government continues to promote the capabilities of industry, through bodies such as DAPA and the Agency for Defense Development (ADD). Major local players have also emerged in the shape of Doosan Infracore, Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), Rotem, Samsung Techwin, Samsung Thales, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (now owned by Hanwa), Hyundai Heavy Industry, Hanjin and the Poongsan Corporation amongst others.

Tank developments in Korea show how the capabilities of the Korean defence industry have evolved. In the
1970s the ROK Army was looking for Developing Capability a new tank that would meet its exact operational requirements under the name of ROKIT (ROK Indigenous Tank). In 1980 they negotiated an
agreement with Chrysler (now General Dynamics Land Systems), who had designed the M1 Abrams tank,
whereby the US company would design a tank to meet the ROKIT requirements and then transfer the
technology to Korea to allow local manufacture.

The ROKIT prototype was completed in 1983 and went into production at Hyundai (now Rotem) in 1984 as the K1 tank. Rotem would manufacture in excess of 535 K1 tanks, as well as a family of special vehicles based on the K1 chassis including a recovery vehicle and a bridgelayer. This set the stage for the next evolution in the ROK tank programme with the development of the K1A1 tank. Work on the K1A1 programme started in 1991 with the aim of providing the ROK Army with a tank that offered increased firepower (the 120 mm M256 44-calibre gun was selected) and more protection, the fire control system of the K1A1 was developed in Korea by Samsung Thales.



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