Thursday, November 25, 2010

South Korea K1A1 Main Battle Tank

K1A1 Main Battle Tank

The K1A1 is an upgraded version of the K1 MBT. Its lethality and combat firing range are much enhanced
by mounting a 120mm smoothbore gun as its main armament, improving Gun/Turret Drive System and adopting a ballistic computer for 120mm ammunitions, while it retains the K1 MBT’s outstanding maneuverability and technology oriented fire control system ; 2-axis stabilized sight, a thermal imager usable at night and in all weather conditions and the “hunterkiller” function.


To deliver the required horsepower and speed on demand, the K1A1 is equipped with a turbo-charged 1200
horsepower diesel engine providing a power to weight ratio of 22.6hp/ton. The transmission has a planetary gear train with 4 forward and 2 reverse speed-modes. The transmission is also equipped with a hydrodynamic torque converter. Shifting the automatic transmission through the various speed ranges requires only a slight force applied to the shift selector.

This shifting arrangement allows the driver to concentrate completely on his driving and tactical maneuvers. In high gear, the K1A1 can attain a maximum road speed of approximately 65km/h. The K1A1 can travel 500km without refueling. To further enhance the K1A1’s maneuvering capability, the vehicle can pivot around its vertical axis within its own length at the driver’s discretion. This maneuver is accomplished by permitting one track to move in the forward direction while reversing the other. Also, its ground pressure of 0.9kg/cm2, which is equivalent to or lower than that of any 40ton-class tank, enables it to successfully maneuver in swamp/marsh zones.

Fire Power

The K1A1 tank’s dual-axis stabilized fire control system is equipped with day and night vision capabilities, which, in conjunction with the electro-hydraulic gun laying system, makes it capable of acquiring a target accurately within a minimum time frame.


The K1A1’s main armament is a 120mm smoothbore gun supported by a 7.62mm(M60E2-1) coaxial machine gun and turret mounted 12.7mm(K6) and 7.62mm(M60D) machine guns. Normally the commander operates the 12.7mm weapon while the loader fires the 7.62mm weapon. Additionally, the K1A1 tank has two smoke grenade launchers, mounted on each side of the turret for instant concealment.


The K1A1’s unique compact configuration provides the tank with a low silhouette, total height of 2.25m form the ground to the top of turret roof. It has a chassis ground clearance of 0.46m, exceptionally high in comparison with other tanks.

The welded hull and turret are designed to give the vehicle maximum ballistic protection. Crew survivability is
maximized by the adoption of the Special Armor Package in major areas, which offers greater protection for crew and equipment against chemical and kinetic energy projectiles.


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