Daily Archives: March 21, 2016

K2 Black Panther Main Battle Tank, South Korea

Hyundai Rotem, an affiliate of the Hyundai Motor Group, is developing the K2 Black Panther main battle tank (MBT) for the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA). The MBT is intended to provide improved performance in the 21st century network battle environment by employing improved ergonomics and digitalisation.

K2 Black Panther main battle tank (MBT) @uspoliticsonline.net

Rotem introduced the vehicle along with its wheeled armoured vehicles and unmanned weapon systems at the Seoul Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) at the Seoul Airport in Seongnam City, Kyeonggi Province, in October 2009. The tank is expected to enter into service in 2014.

The K2 Black Panther is a new type of high tech battle tank and will replace K1 series of vehicles and M48 tanks. The new MBT features enhanced mobility and fire power compared to the K1 vehicles, and is regarded as one of the best main battle tanks in the world.


K1 Republic of Korea Indigenous Tank (ROKIT)

The K1 has been operational in the RoK Army since 1986 and is known as the Republic of Korea Indigenous Tank or ROKIT. Following early design work based on US M1 technology, the K1 tank was designed and produced by Korea. The manoeuvrability of the tank is optimised for the varied geographical features of Korea, which include mountainous terrain, jungle, paddy fields and swamp.

The main gun is a 105mm rifled high-velocity cannon with a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun. The commander’s station is equipped with a 50-calibre machine gun and the loader’s station with a 7.62mm machine gun. The turret slews at 750mm a second and elevates and depresses at 400mm a second.

The commander’s panoramic sight has three modes of operation: align with the main armament, independent tracking and gunner override. The commander has the option of handing off the target to the gunner or of slaving the gun to the commander’s sight and initiating the fire. The K1 has demonstrated a first round hit probability of greater than 90% when firing on the move at a moving target.

The Raytheon Gunner’s Primary Sight Subsystem (GPSS) is stabilised in two axes and includes a thermal imager and laser rangefinder. The gunner’s ballistic computer automatically downloads crosswind data, vehicle cant, azimuth tracking rate and range. The gunner manually inputs data for air pressure, air temperature, barrel wear, barrel droop and ammunition type.


The Kl is equipped with a turbo-charged 1,200hp MTU MB 871 diesel engine providing a power to weight ratio of 23.5hp/t.

MTU MB 871 diesel engine

MB871 Ka-501 engine, with 1200ps at 2600rpm 8-cylinder version, and MT881 Ka-500 engine, 8-cylinder version, has been locally produced by STX since the year of 1986 under the manufacturing license from MTU, Germany. These engines are not only best optimized for the military vehicles with its size compactness and lightness but also provided superior operational economics mainly thanks to the comparably lower fuel consumption rate, longest MTBO and well-organized logistics system. @army-guide.com

The transmission has a planetary gear train and a hydrodynamic torque converter. In high gear, the Kl can attain a maximum road speed of approximately 65km/h. The low ground pressure of 0.87kg/cm² enables it to successfully manoeuvre in sodden or sandy terrain.

The Kl has hydro-pneumatic suspension and torsion bar springs. The suspension system also provides vehicle attitude control or ‘kneeling’ capability, which increases the main gun depression angle to a maximum of minus 10°. @army-technology.com

S.Korean M48 MBTS.Korean M48 MBT

The K2 Black Panther development

The K2 MBT design was completed in 2006. Rotem signed a co-operation agreement in March 2011 with the subcontractors of K2 MBT and provided KRW12.8bn ($12m) to solve the financial difficulties caused by delays in the mass production of the vehicles.

K2 Black Panther main battle tank (MBT) @arma3.ru

Rotem signed a contract with the subcontractors in November 2011 to offer emergency operating funds totalling KRW3bn ($2.65m). The mass production of K2 MBTs was further delayed due to technical defects in engines and transmission.

In July 2008, Rotem signed a technology cooperation deal with Otokar to provide technology systems of the K2 MBT for the development of Turkey’s Altay Main Battle Tank. The first prototype of the Altay MBT is expected to be ready by 2015.

altay_main_battle_tank_Otokar_Turkey_Turkish_army_defence_industry_military_technology_line_drawing_blueprint_001Altay Main Battle Tank

Rotem will provide the main equipment for Altay upon completion of the K2 MBT’s development.

The K2 Black Panther design and features

The K2 Black Panther MBT has a crew of three members including commander, gunner and driver. The vehicle is 10.8m long, 3.6m wide and 2.4m in height. The ground clearance of the vehicle is 0.45m and the combat weight is 55t.

xk2_tank3_p06K2 Black Panther MBT

Armament of the K2 Black Panther

The main armament of the K2 Black Panther is a 120mm L/55 smoothbore gun with automatic loader. The autoloader ensures the loading of projectiles on the move even when the vehicle moves on uneven surfaces. The 120mm gun can fire about 10 rounds per minute.

The Black Panther is armed with a Rheinmetall 120-mm/ L55 smoothbore gun. This gun is license-produced in South Korea. @military-today.comK6 12.7-mm heavy machine gun

The secondary armament of the tank includes a 12.7mm heavy machine gun and a 7.62mm machine gun.

“It is worth mentioning that autoloader’s is similar to that, used on the French Leclerc main battle tank. A total of 16 rounds are stored in the autoloader. Remaining 24 rounds are stored inside the hull.

It also has a very advanced fire control system, allowing to track and engage not only the main battle tanks, but low-flying helicopters as well. Maximum effective range of fire is up to 10 kilometers. Furthermore its fire control system can spot, track and fire automatically at visible vehicle-size targets without needing any input from a human operator.” @military-today.com

The K2 Black Panther autoloader

“The K2 and Type 10 are the only tanks I heard of that can use DM 53 tier APFSDS in autoloaders, which is amazing considering only DM 43 tier or so was used in the Leclerc. Autoloaders tend to be shafted in terms of penetration from what I can tell, usually because the ammo is too long for the autoloader.” @aw.my.com

120mmke120mm DM 53 APFSDS vs 120mm DM 43 size comparison (the larger shell is the DM 53)

“The gunner is seated on the left side of the turret with the commander to his right. Gunner has a dual-axis stabilized sight with auto-tracking capability and the commander has a panoramic stabilized sight to allow hunter-killer type operation. Turret has an onboard ammunition capability of 16 120mm rounds. Additional 24 rounds are stored in the hull.” @WARFARE TECHNOLOGY

K2 TurretK2 Black Panther @WARFARE TECHNOLOGY

See video below for comparison of tank autoloader’s

“The 120-mm gun can fire variety of munitions. It is compatible with all standard NATO tank rounds. It is also capable of firing the new KSTAM (Korean Smart Top-Attack Munition) rounds. These are smart target-activated fire-and-forget projectiles, but shouldn’t be confused with anti-tank guided missiles. The KSTAM has its own guidance system, aided by four stabilizing fins. At the final stage a parachute will deploy to slow its fall and accurately engage target. Such principle is broadly similar to mortar-launched anti-tank munitions. Furthermore the K-2 tank can fire KSTAM munitions from behind the cover. The KSTAM has a maximum effective range of 8 kilometers.” @military-today.com

untitledKSTAM (Korean Smart Top-Attack Munition) @dogswar.ru444-hhj666

“Basically a guided anti-tank mortar munition, the KSTAM flies with the energy applied to it from the firing of the munition from the main gun. It does not possess any kind of propellants, and should not be confused as a missile or a rocket. The trajectory of the munition is curved, giving it a mortar- or artillery-like capability to strike targets taking cover behind obstacles. Its main use is to destroy entrenched and/or covered enemy vehicles that are unreachable with regular anti-tank shells due to the restrictions in terrain and/or hazards imposed upon the friendly vehicle.” @wikipedia.org

Sensors and other systems of K2 Black Panther

The K2 Black Panther is equipped with auto target detection and tracking system, and hunter killer function. It also features electric gun and turret driving system (28-260VDC) provided by Doosan Corporation Mottrol.

The gunner’s primary sight (GPS) and commander’s panoramic sight (CPS) are stabilised in two axes, and include a thermal imager and laser rangefinder enabling day / night observation.

The vehicle is fitted with an air-conditioning system and embedded training and built-in test system. The navigation system consists of a global positioning system and an inertial navigation system. The K2 MBT also has a battlefield management system connected with the C4I system.

Self-protection of the South Korean MBT

IR Tracker @hollilla.comK2 Black Panther MBT, Chunmoo and Hyunmoo TBM systems now in operation 2014 @hollilla.com

The K2 MBT is fitted with Composite Armour and Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA). It also consists of a collective nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection system. The ammunition compartment is equipped with a blow-off panel for protecting the crew against the explosion of ammunition.

An active protection system is installed on the MBT to provide protection against anti-tank rockets and missiles. It includes soft and hard kill systems.

Image @hollilla.com


The K2 Panther is also protected by a fire suppression system. The vehicle has two banks of smoke grenades, each with six launchers. It is also provided with identification friend or foe (IFF) system.


K2 Black Panther MBT engine and mobility

The K2 Black Panther is powered by a MT 833 diesel engine from Tognum. The engine generates 1,500hp and provides a power to weight ratio of 27.3hp/t. The fully automatic transmission of the vehicle includes five forward and three reverse gears.

MT 833 diesel engine from Tognum @army-technology.com

The vehicle has an in-arm suspension Unit (ISU), which enables the tank to successfully manoeuvre on soft soil and terrains with obstacles. The MBT has an off-road speed of 50km/h and can attain a maximum speed of 70km/h on road. It can traverse a maximum range of 450km on road and ford at a depth of 4.1m in water.

The vehicle is also equipped with a dynamic track tension system (DTTS) as well as roll, pitch and bounce control system.


Main material source: army-technology.com

First exports of Thales’ Fulmar UAVs are going to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

Mar 21, 2016 00:59 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff

First exports of Thales’ Fulmar UAVs are going to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. The Malaysian shipbuilder has contracted Thales to deliver six of the mini-UAVs, which will be used for surveillance, reconnaissance, and border control missions, and is expected to cost around $1.1 million. Fulmar works with a catapult-based launcher system and net landing capability. It is available for use with a variety of fuel types such as diesel oil, JP8 and JP5, approved for use on combat ships. Thales are expected to produce up to 25 models over the next two years, with the company pushing its use by Spain’s Military Emergencies Unit and the Naval Infantry Force.


Thales’ Fulmar UAVs

Fulmar is classified in the mini-UAV segment. Its size is 3.1 meters and weighs 19 kilos, it flies to the altitude of 3,000 meters and can achieve a speed of 150 kilometers per hour. It has a range of eight hours due to a low consumption of the aircraft in flight as a result of its aerodynamic design, and it can fly 800 km without refueling.

This Spanish design counts on a terrestrial and a maritime version. Fulmar is purely Spanish, contributing with a profitable closeness to equipment maintenance as well as to operators’ training.

Fulmar is a competitive solution that can be adapted to different needs and can integrate with other systems to provide a global solution. @thalesgroup.com

Image @dronefpvbox.comImage @expansion.com



CAEW Conformal Airborne Early Warning Aircraft – G550 airframe

The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) conformal airborne early warning and control (CAEW) aircraft was first unveiled in public at the UK’s 2008 Farnborough Air Show. The prime contractor, system developer and system integrator for the CAEW is Elta Systems Ltd, a subsidiary of IAI.

The CAEW aircraft is based on the G550 airframe from Gulfstream Aerospace of the USA. The operationally proven G550 CAEW aircraft is the third generation of airborne early warning and control systems developed by IAI Elta since the mid-1980s.

Operators: Here

Conformal Airborne Early Warning Aircraft programme


Gulfstream G-550 Aircraft AEW

Gulfstream was awarded a contract for four (plus two options) G550 modified aircraft in August 2003. First flight of the modified aircraft was in May 2006 and it was delivered to Elta for the installation of the mission systems in September 2006. The first and second CAEW aircraft were delivered to the Israel Air Force in February and May 2008 and since then have been in operational use.

In Feburary 2009, the Singapore Air Force recieved four CAEW aircraft from Elta Systems. The aircraft, worth $1bn, will replace four aging Northrop E-2Cs currently in service with the air force.

The Singapore Air Force has also ordered a number of CAEW aircraft to be delivered during 2009 and 2010.

CAEW modifications on Gulfstream G550

The CAEW provides improved performance in terms of higher operating altitude, longer range and increased time on station. The main AEW performance advantages result from the capability to point the radar beams in any direction in space at any time, with the beam’s parameters controlled by the radar computer. The CAEW aircraft is based on the Gulfstream G550 airframe, which is an upgraded variant of the Gulfstream V-SP with improved aerodynamic performance. The aircraft is manufactured at the Gulfstream business jet production centre in Savannah, Georgia, USA and transferred to IAI Elta Systems Ltd in Ashdod, Israel.



Compared to the original G550, the CAEW redesigned aircraft has an increased zero-fuel weight, a modified structure, additional cabling, three (instead of one) power generators and a liquid cooling system to accommodate the mission equipment. One particular specification is the aircraft’s low drag aerodynamic profile.


IAI’s Bedek Aviation is contracted to provide the maintenance and logistic support for the Israeli CAEW aircraft.

CAEW cockpit


The baseline G550 aircraft uses a Honeywell Primus Epic avionics suite and the two-man flight deck has a Gulfstream PlaneView cockpit. The CAEW flight deck provides the pilot with real-time 360°, three-dimensional AEW information.

Mission systems


Gulfstream via The Drive

The AEW system has six multi-purpose, Windows-based, operator stations with 24in colour monitors that are installed in the rear half of the main cabin. The forward section of the main cabin behind the cockpit accommodates the electronics.


The Elta AEW system provides rapid target acquisition and target information with total 360° coverage. Avoiding host aircraft obstruction is achieved by using the placement of a number of conformal antennae combined with dynamic beam allocation to the targets.



The multiple conformal antennae provide the coverage without the need for a large mushroom-shaped radar system installed on comparable aircraft.


The aircraft is equipped with the Elta EL/W-2085 AEW system which includes a phased array airborne early warning radar, an identification friend or foe system, electronic support measures (ESM), electronic intelligence (ELINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT) systems.


The system is highly automated and uses advanced multi-sensor data fusion techniques to cross-correlate data generated by all four sensors – the radar, IFF, ESM / ELINT and CSM / COMINT. The data is combined with an automatically initiated active search by one sensor for specific targets that have been detected by other sensors.



The phased array airborne early warning radar, an active electronic steering array (AESA), operates in L and S bands (1GHz to 2GHz and 2GHz to 4GHz) and provides 360° azimuthal coverage. The system has high-accuracy three-dimensional tracking, low false-alarm rate, flexible and high target revisit time, electronic counter-countermeasures and programmable search and track modes of operation.

The modes of operation include track initiation, extended detection range mode with long dwell time, and target verification. When a target has been identified as a priority the radar switches to a high scan rate tracking mode with optimised beam to target characteristics.


GULSTREAM G550 CAEW, Italian AF; DEPARTURE at Geilenkirchen – MrSoeberg

The forward-facing hemisphere radar array and the weather radar are mounted in the nose radome. The lateral arrays are housed in conformal radomes along the sides of the forward fuselage.


GULSTREAM G550 CAEW, Italian AF; DEPARTURE at Geilenkirchen – MrSoeberg

The radome located on the tailcone houses the aft facing hemispherical array.


GULSTREAM G550 CAEW, Italian AF; DEPARTURE at Geilenkirchen – MrSoeberg

The information friend or foe system uses the radar’s receive / transmit modules and antennae and provides target interrogation, decoding, target detection, location and target tracking.



Phalcon AEWR – Radar

Type: Radar Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 648.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.4 km Generation: Early 2000s
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Non-Coperative Target Recognition (NCTR) – Jet Engine Modulation [Class Info], Track While Scan (TWS), Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability)
Phalcon AEWR – Radar
Role: Radar, Air & Surface Search, 3D Long-Range
Max Range: 648.2 km

Source cmano-db.com



The electronic support measures and electronic intelligence systems use multiple narrow and wideband receivers. The ESM / ELINT also provides the radar warning receiver function and supports the aircraft’s self-protection system. The antenna pods are mounted under the wingtips. An electronic support measures antenna is mounted in a fairing above the nose cone which houses the weather radar. The direction finding function uses differential time of arrival.



The automated communications intelligence system covers the high (HF) to very-high (VHF) frequency bands from 3MHz to 3GHz.



US Navy special mission NC-37B



The aircraft’s communications suite provides network-centric operations capability and is interoperable with air force, navy and ground force assets and includes U/VHF, HF, satellite communications, voice over internet protocol (VoIP), secure voice, secure data link and intercom.


The aircraft is fitted with a robust jam-resistant full duplex EL/K-189 satellite communications and datalink. The satellite communications operates at Ku band, 12.5GHz to 18GHz. The satellite antenna dish and one planar array are housed in the vertical tail surface top fairing and another planar array is housed in a ventral blister radome. The antennae are dual axis stabilised with pointing capability. The carrier link can provide voice, data and compressed video.

EL/K-189 satellite communications and datalink



Source iai.co.il

The aircraft can be fitted with the data link specified by the customer country.

CAEW countermeasures

The aircraft is fitted with an integrated self protection suite with 360° radar warning receiver (RWR), missile approach warning system (MAWS), chaff and flare decoy dispensers and directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM).

Rolls-Royce BR710C4-11 turbofan engines


Grumman E-550A Gulfstream, Italian AF, reg:14-11, at Eindhoven – MrSoeberg

The aircraft is powered by two Rolls-Royce BR710C4-11 turbofan engines rated at 68.4kN and fitted with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). The engines are fitted at the rear of the fuselage. The integral wing tanks have a fuel capacity of 23,400l and the fuel system is equipped with an automatic fuel distribution system to accommodate the changing fuel load during flight.


Grumman E-550A Gulfstream, Italian AF, reg:14-11, at Eindhoven – MrSoeberg

Rolls-Royce BR710


The BR710 is a 2-shaft, high-bypass-ratio engine with a single-stage low pressure (LP) compressor and 10-stage high pressure (HP) compressor, driven by a 2-stage HP turbine and 2-stage LP turbine respectively. The engine features a single low emissions annular combustor with 20 burners. Long life on wing, low fuel burn and excellent environmental performance contribute to low operating costs with maximum reliability.

Specification BR710
Thrust (lbf) 15,550
Bypass ratio 4.2
Pressure ratio 24
Length (in) 89
Diameter (in) 48
Basic weight (lb) 4,640
Compressor 1LP, 10HP
Turbine 2HP, 2LP
Applications Gulfstream G500 / G550, Bombardier Global 5000 / 6000

*Technical data (ISA SLS)

Rolls-Royce BR710 specification rolls-royce.com

The aircraft is equipped with a Hamilton Sundstrand electrical power generation system and the CAEW aircraft also has power generators mounted on the engines providing 240kW of power.


Grumman E-550A Gulfstream, Italian AF, reg:14-11, at Eindhoven – MrSoeberg

Gulfstream was responsible for the design and supply of the liquid cooling system to accommodate the high power consumption of the airborne electronics.


The CAEW can fly at a maximum speed of 1,084km/h. It has a range of 12,501km and a maximum endurance of nine hours.



Maximum Range *(Mach 0.80, 8 passengers, 4 crew and NBAA IFR reserves) 12,501 km
High-Speed Mach 0.85
Long-Range Mach 0.80
MMO(maximum operating Mach number) Mach 0.885
Takeoff Distance(SL, ISA, MTOW) 1,801 m
Landing Distance(SL, ISA, MLW) 844 m
Initial Cruise Altitude 12,497 m
Maximum Cruise Altitude 15,545 m
* NBAA IFR theoretical range. Actual range will be affected by ATC routing, operating speed, weather, outfitting options and other factors


Maximum Takeoff 41,277 kg
Maximum Landing 34,156 kg
Maximum Zero Fuel 24,721 kg
Basic Operating(including 4 crew **) 21,909 kg
Maximum Payload ** 2,812 kg
Payload with Maximum Fuel ** 816 kg
Maximum Fuel 18,733 kg
** Stated weights are based on theoretical standard outfitting configurations. Actual weights will be affected by outfitting options and other factors.


Length 29.39 m
Overall Span 28.50 m
Height 7.87 m


Total Interior Length 15.27 m
Cabin Length(excluding baggage) 13.39 m
Cabin Height 1.88 m
Cabin Width 2.24 m
Cabin Volume 47.26 cu m
Baggage Compartment(usable volume) 4.81 cu m


Avionics Gulfstream PlaneView™
Engines Two Rolls-Royce BR710 C4-11
Rated Takeoff Thrust(each) 68.40 kN
Passengers Up to 19

Source gulfstream.com

Main material source airforce-technology.com

Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Updated Mar 18, 2019