South Korea continues to suffer growing pains in becoming a bona fide producer of advanced military equipment, as the country’s military industrial complex hits a snag in the construction of the country’s first batch of K-2 battle tanks. The tanks, which have already been considered the most expensive ever constructed, are currently seeing problems with their indigenous powertrain systems, specifically their engines and gearboxes.
As South Korea rushes to bring the K-2 into service, the country will turn to Germany for help in bringing the first 100 Republic of Korea battle tanks online:
The Defense Ministry has now decided to import the power pack for the homegrown K-2 battle tank since the problems with the Korean-made engine and gearbox are unlikely to be solved any time soon.
The decision to buy German-made power packs for the initial batch of 100 tanks was approved at a meeting chaired by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration said on Monday.
A DAPA official said, “The tests revealed big technical improvements in the Korean-made power pack from a year ago, but after a comprehensive review of their performance during the winter drill and endurance testing, we found that we can’t have enough confidence in its durability to install it in the initial batch.”
The agency added the plans to use Korean-made power packs have not been scrapped altogether, and once the problems are solved it will be used in the second batch. (Source: Chosun Ilbo)
At over $8.5 million (USD) per tank and rising, South Korea must hope that their modern main-line battle tank is worth all the money they’ve thrown into it.
Craig was born & raised in the United States, having recently returned there after over five years in Asia. He is currently pursuing further education in the realms of East Asian Studies and Politics. Craig is an avid fan of the political, economic, and military machinations occurring throughout the Asian continent and how those turning gears affect the rest of the world. He's currently covering both North and South Korea for Asia Security Watch, enjoying shedding light on to this far-too-often ignored slice of Asia.
Craig Scanlan has 82 post(s) on Asia Security Watch