Korea Main Battle Tank programs

Baljak

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Presentation of K2NO before the comparative tests with Leo2A in Norway, which will last for a whole February. The tests will mainly focus on mobility and firepower.The active hydropneumatic suspension K2 is very interesting ! Can someone from Korean colleagues on the forum write something more about it and its durability. K2 is already in operation in Korea for several years, so they should already have some feedback from the user about suspension of K2. Regards
Suspension control test of K1(HSU) and K2(ISU) tanks

The K2 Black Panther fields an advanced suspension system, called the In-arm Suspension Unit (ISU), which allows for individual control of every bogie on the tracks. K2 Black Panther is the world's first case of applying ISU to a tank. The ISU allows to adjust the vertical angle of the tank gun from -20 to +24 by individually adjusting the height of the suspensions on the top, bottom, left, and right sides of the tank.

This allows the K2 to "Sit", "Stand" and "Kneel", as well as "Lean" towards one side or a corner. "Sitting" gives the tank a lower profile and offers superior handling over roads. "Standing" gives the vehicle higher ground clearance for maneuverability over rough terrain. "Kneeling" augments the angular range in which the tank's gun barrel can elevate and depress, allowing the vehicle to fire its main gun downhill as well as engage low-flying aircraft more effectively. The suspension unit also cushions the chassis from vibrations when travelling over uneven terrain, as the bogies can be adjusted individually on-the-fly.

To explain the history of In-arm Suspension Unit (ISU) used in K2, it begins with the Hydropneumatic Suspension Unit (HSU) applied to MBT-70, a joint tank development project between the United States and Germany that began in the 1960s.

After that, the ROKIT (Repulic Of Korea Indigenous Tank) project, South Korea's Indigenous tank development project, which began in 1981, will begin. This tank is later called K1 (K is the abbreviated form of Korean and 1 means First)

General Dynamics of the United States, the designer of the K1 tank, planned to develop tanks suitable for the Korean topography at the request of the Korean military.

Afterwards, General Dynamics decides to use the Hydropneumatic Suspension Unit (HSU), which was used for MBT-70 rather than the Torsion bar suspension, which was previously used for most tanks, for K1 tank development.

The South Korean military preferred the advantages of HSU applied to the K1 tank, and after that, South Korea decides to use HSU for K9 Thunder when developing K9. At the time of development, K9 imported and used Air-log's HSU in the United Kingdom, but after that, there was a durability problem with Air-log's HSU, so South Korea developed its own HSU and used it for K9. (And later, this Korean HSU was exported to the United Kingdom).

And over time, the XK-2 (K2 Black Panther) Tank Development Project, South Korea's independent tank development project, began in 1995. in this tank development project, Korea decides to use ISU, a more advanced Hydropneumatic suspension system used in automobiles, not HSU used in K1 and K9, for the development of the XK-2 tank.

This ISU was used to K2 tanks, providing better durability and suspension than HSU, and reduced volume and weight than conventional HSU, which had a great impact on reducing the weight of the tank.

ISU was also used for AS-21 Redback armored vehicles developed for Land 400 Phase 3, Australia's next armored vehicle introduction project.
 

Junsupreme1

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It seems that the final K2NO may be a bit different if he wins the competition with Leo2A7. Composite armor instead of ERA panels. Combat weight 61.5 Tons.
The weight of the Leo2A7 is 67.5 Tons and both competing Tanks have engines of the same power of 1500HP.

Here are a few photos from the presentation:

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Baljak

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EST15K.png

K2 Black Panther's localization project is just around the corner.

The defect problem of SNT Dynamics' EST15K transmission, which was the biggest problem in the K2 tank localization project, has finally been resolved and will participate in the NATO qualification test and mobility endurance test conducted by the Ministry of National Defense in the first half of 2022.

After several years of effort around July 2019, the cause of the transmission defect, which was the main problem of the delay in the localization business of the K2 Black Panther, was finally revealed. In the process of connecting the bolts of the transmission, it was found that the bolts were misconnected. This was the result of the transmission developers ignoring the Tolerance design, which is the basis of design engineering.

SNT Dynamics recently announced that it will be able to install domestic transmissions instead of German transmissions from the fourth mass production of K2.

A senior SNT Heavy Industries official said, "The technical problem of the transmission has been solved, and only the Ministry of National Defense's durability test remains in the first half of 2022," adding, "We will enter the fourth mass production volume."

On December 24, 2021, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff announced that it had passed an agenda for the fourth mass production of 183 K2 tanks.

Currently, the Ministry of National Defense is considering the fourth production of the K2 tank. Currently, the plan to mass-produce the third K2 tank has been confirmed, but it has not been able to localize the power pack, a key component, due to defects in domestic transmissions. SNT Dynamics' transmission, which develops the transmission, a key part of the power pack, failed to pass the 9600km mobility endurance test, and the K2 Black Panther was later produced with Korean engines and German transmissions.

The Ministry of National Defense has decided to use power packs consisting of domestic engines and transmissions, starting with the second production of K2 tanks.

However, SNT Dynamics' transmission passed the Ministry of National Defense's quality standards at the time of development, but failed to pass durability tests prior to production. SNT Dynamics' EST15K transmission stopped operating in the 7110km section, far below the 9,600km standard set by the Ministry of National Defense, and the domestic transmission was later excluded from K2 Black Panther's secondary mass production project.

At that time, SNT Dynamics raised the issue, saying, "It is an unachievable standard for a tank to run 9,600 kilometers without failure," but it was not accepted.

In the end, the Ministry of National Defense decided to install a hybrid power pack that combines a domestic engine and a German transmission to mass-produce the third K2 tank in 2018.
 

Baljak

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(English subtitles are supported)
After 11 years of operational duty, the K1A1 tank will be upgraded to the K1A2 tank via Depot Maintenance at the Army Consolidated Maintenance Depot (C.M.D.)

K1A2: Upgraded K1A1. Originally named as K1A1 PIP. Developed from 2008 to 2010, and mass-production started in 2012. First upgraded vehicle was rolled out on 20 December 2013. Technology benefit from K2 Black Panther has been applied to this model. It features additional systems such as a digital battlefield control system, IFFS, and front and rear surveillance cameras. With its improved real-time information sharing, inter-combat vehicle operation, friendly fire prevention and driver operability. It also has air conditioning and a soft-kill active protection system to defend against missiles and rockets. The K1A2 project provides upgrade kits for South Korean Army and Marines Corps K1 and K1A1 tanks. All K1A1 will be upgraded to K1A2 by 2022.

Every product in use today has a lifespan.

This is no exception to tanks and armored vehicles, which are the representatives of the defense industry that protects national defense. We can throw away the items or products we use in our daily lives and buy new ones, but what about defense products that are extremely expensive? Today, I would like to upload a video about the process of improving the K1A1 tank to K1A2 and briefly explain the Depot Maintenance.

Differences between Depot Maintenance and General Maintenance

Depot Maintenance refers to the process of delivering a mass-produced vehicle, operating it for a certain period of time, and then dismantling/repairing it to the same level as a new product. In the defense industry, Depot Maintenance is the highest level of maintenance in which military equipment is deployed and operated in units and then fully restored in consideration of its life cycle. The South Korean military also had to make great efforts to maintain and maintain aging military vehicles, starting with U.S.-made military vehicles that began to be introduced in the 1950s and Russian-made military vehicles that were introduced in the 1990s.


The maintenance cycle of major ground combat vehicles of the Korean military is as follows.

• K1 Tank / Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV): 9,600 km drive or 13 years operation

• K1A1 Tank: 9,600 km drive or 11 years operation

• K2: 9,600 km drive or 12 years operation

• K9: 9,600 km drive or 12 years operation

• K55 / K77: 6,400 km drive or 12 years operation

• K21 infantry fighting vehicle: 8,600 km drive or 13 years operation

• Armoured vehicle-launched bridge: 9,600 km drive or 12 years operation or 1,000 bridge construction works


The 9,600 km figure is a standard that applies to all tanks operated by the South Korean military set by NATO and the Ministry of National Defense

The quality test of the K2's domestic transmission, which was faulty a few years ago, failed to pass the standard of 9,600 kilometers, which is why the Ministry of National Defense refused to supply the EST15K transmission to the K2 tank

In the early days, the U.S. military's M1A1 tank only replaced main parts such as engines, transmissions, and modules during the maintenance process.

However, older vehicles, which have been operating for more than 15 years, have significantly increased the cost of maintenance in the military, and it has been argued that Depot Maintenance, which completely disassembles and repairs vehicles, has an advantage in terms of operating military equipment and costs. In fact, Depot Maintenance not only extended the life of the vehicle, but also reduced the overall cost of maintaining the vehicle by approximately 18%.

This video shows how old tanks are upgraded into new ones through the Depot Maintenance of the K1A1 tank, which has been in operation for 11 years.
 

MaciekRS

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View attachment 27400
The Soviet T-80U Main Battle Tank in South Korean service is one of the most popular and best known cases of a pro-west country using Soviet equipment.

The way this happened was relatively simple and straightforward. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation inherited not only its vast armories, but also its debts to other countries and South Korea was one of the creditors. The Soviet Union was importing, amongst other things, South Korean consumer products in the late 1980s and, despite typically paying in natural resources such as timber and oil, accrued a debt of roughly 1.5 billion USD due to its poor economic situation.

T-80U tank in parking

The thing was, Russia was struggling economically in the 1990s and South Korea was keenly aware of the fact. That is why, after some lengthy negotiations, a deal was struck in 1995, allowing Russia to repay a half of its debt in military technologies. As a result of this deal called “Brown bear business project-1” (or 1차 불곰사업), South Korea received 300 million USD worth of modern Soviet weapons between 1996 and 1998, including:

33 T-80U tanks
30 BMP-3 IFVs
8 Ka-32 helicopters
Dozens of ATGM and MANPADS weapon systems (Metis-M, Igla)

This only paid for a portion of the debt, but it was what Russia could afford at the time. When its economic situation improved in the early 2000s, another deal (“Brown bear business project-2”) was made in 2002 regarding further arms exports worth roughly 267 million USD. These arms were exported to South Korea between 2005 and 2006 and included:

23 Il-103 training aircraft
37 more BMP-3 IFVs (bringing the total to 67)
10 more T-80U MBTs (bringing the total to 43)
7 more Ka-32 helicopters (bringing the total to 15)
3 Tsapliya-class landing craft
2000 Metis-M guided missiles
S-300 missiles (Technology Transfer)

The political implications of the first deal were rather interesting. South Korea (already an industrial powerhouse) did want to obtain access to (at the time) cutting edge military technologies, but didn’t want to cross the United States and the U.S. military complex wasn’t exactly keen on providing them with access to the newest toys. However, since the USA managed to obtain 5 T-80Us via Britain in 1992, there was no real danger of political backlash and the whole thing went through. Anyway, the T-80U tanks introduced at this time were too many to be used for research, and there were not enough tanks to organize units. However, since it was introduced for research purposes, the researchers thoroughly dismantled and analyzed the tanks.

ROK ARMY T-80U Tank Cross a River Training

And through this project, the introduction of Russian-made weapons enabled the South Korean military to acquire Russian military technology, which greatly helped the South Korean military develop its own weapons. Although it is not well known, through this project, South Korea was given the opportunity to acquire the technology of Russia's S-400 and 9K720 Iskander missiles.

And most of the technologies that South Korea acquired from producing and upgrading K1 and K1A1 tanks for 30 years and studying T-80U tanks were used to develop K2 tanks.

The T-80Us have been in Korean service since 1996 and, even after more than two decades they are still actively used by the military, even though they are by now technologically inferior to the indigenous South Korean tanks such as the K1 series(K1E1, K1A1, K1A2) and the K2 series. The reason for that is that while the K1 series had been continuously upgrade over the years, the T-80U tanks remain in “Stock” condition.

A driving video right after South Korea introduced the T-80U tank in 1998

The South Korean military likes the tanks more or less, even though they have a reputation of not being exactly reliable and the crews complain about their cramped interiors. Of the two, the maintenance is actually a serious problem for the Koreans because while some parts are actually domestically produced, the more sensitive components have to be imported from Russia. This also goes for the ammunition (setting up a production line for such a limited number of tanks would not make any sense). The prices of spare parts do ever keep increasing.

View attachment 27403
US military M1 Abrams tank and Korean T-80U tank in joint training

The tanks have several advantages over the K1A1 MBTs. For one, they are lighter, allowing them to better operate in South Korea’s mountains. Because 70% of South Korea's land is made up of mountains. They also have excellent mobility in general thanks to their powerful turbine engines. On the downside, aside from the abovementioned reliability issues, they are relatively fuel-hungry and generally obsolete. They are also nowhere near as comfortable as the indigenous Korean MBTs.

View attachment 27405
The back of the South Korean T-80U tank

The skin is fitted with typical Korean markings as well as parts of a wading kit and the crew’s belongings in various stowage bins. The lower frontal plate is also covered with a “skirt”, although it does not act like armor.

View attachment 27406
T-80U tank of the South Korean military in training

With that being said, their time is almost done. The T-80U MBTs are being gradually phased out from service. Of the original 43 vehicles, only roughly 30 to 35 are still operational and that share continues to decrease. In 2016, Russia actually offered to buy those tanks back and, presumably, selling them to other potential customers (Cyprus seems the most likely option here) since the T-80U isn’t one of the main service types. But South Korea officially rejected Russia's offer and is still expected to continue operating T-80U tanks.

Any plans for that tanks? Are they magically end up in Ukraine?
 

Windchime

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Transmission is more critical than the engine, but still big!
S&T Dynamics’ automatic transmission failed in the durability tests six times for the K2 Tank.
A tank transmission must run for 320 hours without defects.
I'm more conservative, but lets see..
Of the 6 failed tests, The first 3 (main pump drive bearing fracture caused by faulty assembly, main housing fracture caused by manufacturing defect, damage to planetary gear caused by faulty heat treatment) were clear-cut technical failures induced by reasons imputable to S&T. The reason for the 4th failure is hard to attribute. 5th test failed due to the testing equipment, which is not a transmission related problem. Reason for the 6th failure has not been determined at the time due to disputes between S&T and DAPA. There's a chance it's clarified now but it hasn't been published yet regardless.

Moreover, ever since the testing campaign was suspended, S&T introduced new core components to the transmission, including those replacing parts from German suppliers. Testing would need to be done again regardless.

This issue was discussed here and the situation of Korean transmission was explained by @Baljak in detail. Just do an “Altay Transmission- Baljak” search and you will see the explanation.
According to @Baljak this was most probably a defective part that needed to be redesigned and remanufactured. And that this is now done. So the new transmission should work.
Apparently according to @Baljak , the MTU engine is a short stroke engine and the Doosan engine is a long stroke engine and has higher torque at lower revs. This introduces unforeseen stresses on the transmission. That may have been the underlying problem in the transmission coupled to a part‘s design defect.
Yes, it is true that MT883 is a short stroke engine whereas DV27K is long stroke. More to be specific, MT883 has a bore width of 144mm to the stroke length of 140mm and is slightly more short stroke than a square engine. DV27K on the other hand is you typical long stroke diesel engine with a bore width of 138mm to stroke length of 150mm. This in part is due to their history of license producing as Daewoo MAN, as well as their past portfolio of developing heavy duty engines based on those MAN engine designs.

DV27K with its long stroke cylinder design has a very comparable/slightly better torque curve compared to the 501K variant of MT883

2015111222105734175.png
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These are torque and power curve comparison created by Boltzman a forum member of Korean forum Bemil, based on the officialy published torque and power curves. As you can see, the difference in acceleration speed between the two isn't simply because one's better than the other. It is true though, that the short stroke MT883 will have better throttle response than the DV27K. For that reason the DV27K is already in service with the Korean Army for years. They are also planning to develop a variant of it for the amphibious assault vehicle, similar to the cancelled EFV, under development.

Anyways, we'll know how the S&T EST15K transmission will do in Altay trials. What's concerning though is that I've heard from one of the forum members that Türkiye isn't testing the newest variant with new components, but the older variant. I'm not sure how credible such claim is though. There's also the possibility that the HSWL 295 will be used for the 4th batch of K2 for the Korean Army. That possibility is currently being assessed by DAPA and others involved with the program.
 
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Windchime

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photo_2022-10-02_20-49-27.jpg
photo_2022-10-02_20-49-27 (2).jpg
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SMV1360 engine by STX. This engine was developed based on the design and expertise gained by STX (back then Ssangyong Heavy Industries) while they license produced the MTU MB871 engines. STX has been offering this engine to the Korean Army as the replacement of the MB871 for quite some time.
 

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Is there any plan to rearm towards a 130/140mm gun for the K2 fleet ? Looks like the trend is moving that way.
 

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Of the 6 failed tests, The first 3 (main pump drive bearing fracture caused by faulty assembly, main housing fracture caused by manufacturing defect, damage to planetary gear caused by faulty heat treatment) were clear-cut technical failures induced by reasons imputable to S&T. The reason for the 4th failure is hard to attribute. 5th test failed due to the testing equipment, which is not a transmission related problem. Reason for the 6th failure has not been determined at the time due to disputes between S&T and DAPA. There's a chance it's clarified now but it hasn't been published yet regardless.

Moreover, ever since the testing campaign was suspended, S&T introduced new core components to the transmission, including those replacing parts from German suppliers. Testing would need to be done again regardless.


Yes, it is true that MT883 is a short stroke engine whereas DV27K is long stroke. More to be specific, MT883 has a bore width of 144mm to the stroke length of 140mm and is slightly more short stroke than a square engine. DV27K on the other hand is you typical long stroke diesel engine with a bore width of 138mm to stroke length of 150mm. This in part is due to their history of license producing as Daewoo MAN, as well as their past portfolio of developing heavy duty engines based on those MAN engine designs.

DV27K with its long stroke cylinder design has a very comparable/slightly better torque curve compared to the 501K variant of MT883

View attachment 51474 View attachment 51475
These are torque and power curve comparison created by Boltzman a forum member of Korean forum Bemil, based on the officialy published torque and power curves. As you can see, the difference in acceleration speed between the two isn't simply because one's better than the other. It is true though, that the short stroke MT883 will have better throttle response than the DV27K. For that reason the DV27K is already in service with the Korean Army for years. They are also planning to develop a variant of it for the amphibious assault vehicle, similar to the cancelled EFV, under development.

Anyways, we'll know how the S&T HSWL 295 transmission will do in Altay trials. What's concerning though is that I've heard from one of the forum members that Türkiye isn't testing the newest variant with new components, but the older variant. I'm not sure how credible such claim is though. There's also the possibility that the HSWL 295 will be used for the 4th batch of K2 for the Korean Army. That possibility is currently being assessed by DAPA and others involved with the program.
Isn‘t the DV27K 400-500 kg heavier than the MT883 Ka500-variants? The German engines have a better power to weight ratio. MTU still excells in this field (I mean, it‘s German engineering prowess😁).

Most difficult task for SNT is passing a new trial of the improved transmission. Renk was ordered by Hyundai Rotem for coming production batches and will also be used in the K2GF & K2PL for Poland afaik.
 

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Isn‘t the DV27K 400-500 kg heavier than the MT883 Ka500-variants? The German engines have a better power to weight ratio. MTU still excells in this field (I mean, it‘s German engineering prowess😁).

Most difficult task for SNT is passing a new trial of the improved transmission. Renk was ordered by Hyundai Rotem for coming production batches and will also be used in the K2GF & K2PL for Poland afaik.
Yes, all of what you said are true. My comparison of DV27K and Mt883 is purely a comparison of their power and torque curves. The bright side of DV27K is that Doosan Infracore is now part of HHI group, who's arguably the most experienced people when it comes to industrial and heavy duty diesel engines in Korea. It's quite funny considering how Korean military enthusiasts were saying that things would've been different had HHI or STX would've been in charge of the K2 engine development.
 

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Yes, all of what you said are true. My comparison of DV27K and Mt883 is purely a comparison of their power and torque curves. The bright side of DV27K is that Doosan Infracore is now part of HHI group, who's arguably the most experienced people when it comes to industrial and heavy duty diesel engines in Korea. It's quite funny considering how Korean military enthusiasts were saying that things would've been different had HHI or STX would've been in charge of the K2 engine development.
It‘s a good thing, that engine competence is developed and enhanced by different competitors like Hyundai Doosan Infracore and STX.

Just like Hanhwa Aerospace and LIG Nex1 or HHI and DSME can‘t solely monopolize the defense sector. There should be even more homegrown competition.
 

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It‘s a good thing, that engine competence is developed and enhanced by different competitors like Hyundai Doosan Infracore and STX.

Just like Hanhwa Aerospace and LIG Nex1 or HHI and DSME can‘t solely monopolize the defense sector. There should be even more homegrown competition.
I think there's a merit in industry consolidation, but Korean ground forces are very large in number and I think there's enough market to support 2 suppliers. If the market allows the existence, competition is always the way to go.
 

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View attachment 51483 View attachment 51484 View attachment 51485

SMV1360 engine by STX. This engine was developed based on the design and expertise gained by STX (back then Ssangyong Heavy Industries) while they license produced the MTU MB871 engines. STX has been offering this engine to the Korean Army as the replacement of the MB871 for quite some time.
Any idea on size comparison with the Europowerpack ? Seems like a quite bulky engine akin to the MTU 873

images
 

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This is an article (1st of 3) by a Korean military blogger with an overview of K2 Black Panther composite armor development and also the Transfer of Technology to Turkish Altay prototype. Machine translated via Google ("Glove" = meaning Armor):

K2 Black Panther New Technology & Secret History of Korean Composite Armor
Development!-01

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Military Review Easy No. 1904 analyzed the past, present and future of the K2 Black Panther Tank, which is competing in the tank export market. In order for the K2 Black Panther to win in the European, Indian, and Middle Eastern markets, it must be able to deal with monsters such as the T-14 Armata, T-90S tank , Leopard 2A7+, and Altay tank. In other words, it must be able to withstand the APFSDS bullet fired by the opponent, and at the same time be able to penetrate the opponent. The K2 Black Panther had sufficient defense and attack in 2009 when development was completed, but in the meantime , due to the appearance of the new 125mm tank gun ammunition of the T-14 Armata and above all, the new German L55A1 tank gun + KE 2020 APFSDS bullet It is driven to a state of lack of performance. Therefore, additional defense and attack power reinforcement is necessary, so we will organize the technologies that currently exist in Korea and at the same time find out about the technology development to be carried out in the future.

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This is the K1 tank production line. At its peak, it produced 100 tanks a year.

Korean train. Was it a bad start?
In September 1985, Hyundai Precision Industry, the predecessor of Hyundai Rotem , completed two K1 tank prototypes. At that time, the K1 prototype tank was equipped with
first-generation ceramic composite armor with high-hardness armor plates provided by the United States . Specifically, HYS (High Yield Steel) armor plates with a hardness of 350 BHN applied to the US M1 tank were used. This armor plate has a higher hardness than domestically produced RHA (Homogeneous Rolled Armor) of 270 to 300 BHN, enabling more weight reduction. .
However, the Ministry of National Defense of Korea ordered the use of localized armor plates
instead of imported ones from the US in order to lower the production cost of the K1 tank .
Kneeling function is the pride of K1 and K1A1. In response to the mountainous terrain on the Korean Peninsula, the ability to tilt forward like this has been secured.

◆ Cracked armor plate?

At the request of the Ministry of National Defense an armor plate with similar hardness was rapidly localized, but it did not meet but it did not meet the specified physical property requirements, resulting in cracks in the body hull during the welding process. This was because the high-hardness armor plate had high hardness and could not withstand the thermal change that occurred during the welding process and cracked if heat treatment was done incorrectly.
In the end, dozens of K1 tanks with domestic-made armor plates were unusable, but it took a considerable amount of time to compensatefor the problems with domestic-made armor plates.
In 1987, when this incident occurred, the view of national security was very different from today. Since military weapons were directly relatedto survival, Hyundai Group's late Chairman Chung Ju-young made a decision. It was to import armor plates from the United States to meet the delivery time. The problem was that high-hardness armor plates were not easily obtainable because their uses were limited. Soon, Hyundai Group's materials department was mobilized and visited Chicago, Houston, Arkansas, and Alabama in the United States, and eventually succeededin securing high-hardness armor plates.

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◆ Transport by air?

The problem now was to urgently transport the secured armor plates to Korea.
It took at least two months to send it by cargo ship, so itwas impossible to meet the delivery time.
At the time, (the late) Chairman Chung Ju-young ordered, "Load it on a Boeing 747 cargo plane."
In the end, the goods secured from all over the United States were gathered at the LA airport, and the steel plates, which were so large thatthey did not fit in the cargo compartment of the plane, were cut to size. Korean Air, which was in charge of transportation, was also very worried because it had never seen such an amount, but it was a matter related to security.
Korean Air mobilized five passenger planes to transport the steel plates, and Hyundai Precision Industries technicians dismantled and re-welded dozens of K1 tanks that had been dismantled overnight. And miraculously kept the delivery date. Steel plates imported using airplanes from abroad caused a sharp increase indelivery prices, resulting in huge losses for Hyundai Precision Industry, but this was an era recognized for patriotism.

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This is the first generation ceramic composite glove test scene.

The Defense Science Research Institute is an industrial espionage?
The K1 tank was equipped with ceramic composite armor that was secretly supplied to the United States and Germany after it was successfully developed in 1971 by the British First Criminal Research Institute. Britain, which developed ceramic composite armor, boasted that it was a revolution and NATO's top secret, and Korea was also the fourth inthe world to install composite armor on a K1 tank according to the strategic choice of the United States. The method was to block the access of Korean technicians by putting up a partition in the tank assembly plant of Hyundai MotorCompany ,
inserting composite armor by American engineers, and then sealing them invisibly.

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These are the T72M1 tank and the T62 tank at the Jangseong Mechanization School. The T72M1 was purchased from the Czech Republic and the T62 tank was purchased from Israel.

◆ Sealed special armor
In another sense, this meant that Korean tank production was under the control of the United States, and it also meant that there were limits to improving tank performance.
And a bigger problem arose. As North Korea began mass-producing its own Cheonma tank based on the T-62 tank. As North Korea began mass producing its own Cheonma tank based on that, the ROK Army was curious about how defensive its K1 tank could be.
In the early 1990s, under license from the United States, an additional K1 tank turret was built and filled with additional supplied composite armor.Then, penetration testing began at the Defense Science Research Institute using T-62 tanks imported through Israel.
The story was gradually moving toward a climax, but officials were silent at this point. This is because the defense is a level 2 secret. (It is said that level 1 is not.)
However, what is clear is that the composite armor inserted into the K1 tank showed almost invincible defense against shaped chargerounds, but the defense against kinetic energy such as APFSDS bullets seems to be quite poor. It was because Korea immediately made the lack of defense a problem.
In particular, due to the nature of Korea's mountainous terrain, tank battles usually take place at less than 800m and at most 1,500m, so the lack of melee defense was a big problem. At the time, the US side had developed depleted uranium (DU) gloves to solve the problem of the first generation ceramic compositegloves, but it was a strategic secret and radioactive material, so it was not exported to anyone other than the US. This meant that the K1tank's lack of defense had to be resolved domestically.

1671544786453.png

It is a first-generation ceramic armor structure. It is simply a form of aluminum oxide ceramic inserted between steel plate structures.

Secret research of the Defense Science Research Institute
The Agency for Defense Development began a thorough analysis of the K1's ceramic composite armor that was secured first. The ceramic composite glove, which was said to be NATO's top secret, is simpler than expected. It is said that aluminum oxide (Al2O3) ceramics accounted for 70%,
high-hardness silicon steel plates for 27%, and the rest was composed of plastic-based adhesive substances.
The structure consisted of driving metal screws into a high-hardness silicon steel plate, then inserting a hexagonal aluminum oxide ceramicwith a hole on top of it, and screwing it together.
In addition, it was wrapped in plastic bond to cushion the fragments generated fromthe destruction of ceramics so that they do not adversely affect the surrounding ceramics.

1671544872080.png

This is a T80U tank operated by the ROK Army. Currently, it has withdrawn from the front line and is operated by a small number in training schools.

◆ Introduction of T72M1 and T-80U tanks
As soon as the Cold War ended in 1991, the Agency for Defense Development introduced two T-72M1 tanks from the Czech Republic through Hyundai Group , and immediately confirmed the
carousel loading device and composite armor structure through incision work.
The T-72M1 was basically 70% metal, and the interior space was filled with fine ceramic pellets.
As a result, it was 28% heavier than the composite armor for the K1 tank in the same volume, and thanks to that, the ability to defend against kinetic energy projectiles such as APFSDS was much better, but on the contrary, the ability to defend against shaped charge bullets was greatly lacking.
The Defense Science Research Institute was able to figure out why Russia put so much importance on reactive armor through the incision work, and the T-80U tank imported in 1996 through the Bull Gom project was also incised.
At this time, the engineers of the National Institute of Technology confirmed the surprising fact that the T-80U tank, which appeared in 1985, was at the same level in defense efficiency as the Western 3.5-generation tankthat appeared after the 1990s.
As Russian friends said, the T-80U had more than 550mm of APFSDS bullet protection and more than 1,200mm of shaped charge shell protection, and was one generation ahead of the K1 tank.

1671544976276.png

This is the Defense Science Research Institute's defense test equipment. (Source: Defense Science Research Institute)

Develop Korean-style composite armor!
Through the opening of the armor of the K1 tank, it was easy to see why the composite armor was vulnerable to APFSDS rounds. The aluminum oxide (Al2O3) ceramic used is basically a material used for various heat-resistant work, so it is resistant to heat, and the rateof tissue breakdown of the ceramic itself is slower than the penetration rate of the high-speed metal jet formed from the shaped chargeammunition, so it is continuously saturated during penetration. Cause in comparison, the structure of metal easily collapses and becomes fluidized, so it is easily penetrated by metal jets.
Ceramics were used in the composite glove to reflect these characteristics, but aluminum oxide was brittle, that is, it had a strong brittleproperty, so there was a limit to being easily destroyed when colliding with a kinetic energy bullet.

1671545112273.png

Shows the K274 APFSDS bullet penetrator. The K274 boasts a penetration of 470mm.

◆ North Korea's T-72 tank threat?
The collapse of the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s gave South Korea T-72M1 and T-80U as gifts, but news came that North Korea also smuggled retired T-72 tanks from Russia and neighboring republics in large numbers. When North Korea introduces a large number of T-72 tanks, a dark analysis was immediately raised that it could not be countered with theK270 APFSDS bullet, which had a penetration of 370mm, which was used in the K1 tank at the time. The Army launched three projects in response to North Korea's introduction of the T-72.

First, there was a decision to develop a K274 APFSDS ammunition with a
penetration of 470mm by applying the multi-stage heattreatment technology and microstructure control technology developed by the Agency for Defense Development to enhance the penetration of the K1 tank. (This is the main projectile currently in operation.)

Second, the K1A1 tank development project with a 120mm tank gun was decided upon as observations were raised that North Korea couldobtain the latest T-72 as well as monsters such as the T-80U through Russia.

Thirdly, the Defense Science Research Institute will start developing Korean-style composite armor to strengthen the defense of the existingK1 tank as well as the K1A1 tank.

1671545289119.png

The penetration process of the penetrator was simulated through LS-DYNA 3D dynamic finite element analysis program.

◆ Appearance of Korean composite armor

The first-generation composite armor introduced on the K1 tank was just a product of technology in the 1970s. In the meantime, other than aluminum oxide (Al2O3), high-strength ceramics have been developed that have largely solved the brittleness problem, which is adisadvantage of ceramics.
It has also been developed in a great variety, ranging from silicon carbide (SiC), silicon nitride (Si3N4), boron carbide (B4C), aluminum nitride (AlN) and titanium boride (TiB2). At the same time as introducing a new ceramic, the Agency for Defense Development began developing ceramic composite armor using computer-based simulation technology.
The latest third-generation composite armor developed by Western Europe at the time laminated various heterogeneous materials such as non-oxide-based high-strength ceramics, steel, and titanium, and utilized the rapid difference in hardness and density to reduce yaw when APFSDS bullets penetrated. It was because we had already figured out that it would cause penetration to decrease.
In the past, numerous real-life penetration tests were required to find out the most effective composite armor stacking method, but computer-based simulation technology has been developed since the 1980s. In other words, LS-DYNA 3D dynamic finite element analysisprogram
can be used to predict in advance what happens when an APFSDS bullet penetrates composite armor, damage due to shockwaves, and spread of stress.

1671545385058.png

As the basic structure of ceramic composite armor, it is a laminate of multilayer ceramics and metal plates.

After simulating the penetration phenomenon using LS-DYNA the Agency for Defense Development cuntinously improved LS-DYNA software by comparing it with actual penetration test results, and at the same time secured optimal shape data. Although the exact structure and defense power of the Korean Special Armor Plate (KSAP) developed in this way is a top-secret, official data from the Ministry of National Defense have revealed that the defense power of the APFSDS bullet has
been improved by up to 50% compared to the K1.
The Korean composite armor was introduced for the K1A1 tank, as well as the composite armor for the K2 Black Panther tank, which was designed in Korea and is still being produced by Samyang Comtech. In addition, it is said that the latest composite gloves use a lot less ceramic compared to the past.

1671545738510.png

This is the defense test equipment and test image of the Defense Science Research Institute. (Source: Defense Science Research Institute)

We raised a tiger?!
The Korean composite armor is a model developed by the 4th Technical Headquarters, Department 1 of the Defense Science Research Institute. The defense power of the K2 Black Panther tank is, of course, a secret, but it has been confirmed that it defends against 120mm APFSDSbullets through test photos released by the Korea Research Institute. Considering that the K276 APFSDS bullet possessed by Korea at the time had a penetration of 600mm, it can be estimated that the defense is at least 700mm .
The Defense Science Research Institute's composite armor technology has been recognized worldwide, and in 2009, a contract was signed to export this technology to Turkey.
The Agency for Defense Development and Hyundai Rotem provided $400 million (400 billion won at the exchange rate at the time) in return for supporting the construction technology of the K2 Black Panther tank and the development of four prototype tanks that willbecome the future Altay to the Turkish National Defense Center, which was established in October 2010.

Currently, it is criticized for low-priced technology export, but at the time, Germany was spraying
used Leopard 2 tanks at a very low priceon the market, so the possibility of exporting the K2 Black Panther seemed very slim. Therefore, from 1995 to December 2006, it was inevitable that the 400 billion won technical fee, which is twice as much as the 200 billion won invested in the development of the K2 Black Panther tank, was a sufficient surplus business.

1671545991927.png

It is an Altay tank developed by Turkey using the base technology of the K2 Black Panther tank.
 
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Article of same Korean military blogger generally about development history and the latest tank amour package design nationally and internationally. Machine translated via Google ("Glove"=Armor):

What is the 4th generation composite armor?

1671546657703.png

It is a Polish Leopard-2PL tank heavily armed with German IBD's 4th generation composite armor kit in response to the T14 Armata.

In the Military Review Easy 2004 article, it was mentioned that the 4th generation composite armor was adopted for the M1A2C tank, which the United States began modifying and producing in 2019 .
Here , the 4th generation composite armor refers to the 1st generation ceramic composite armor developed by the UK First Research Institute in the 1970s, the 2nd generation depleted uranium armor introduced by the US to the M1 tank, and the 2nd generation of depleted uranium armor introduced by the UK to the Challenger-2 tank in the early 2000s. This is a classification according to the 3rd generation of composite gloves. Since depleted uranium is not used in Europe and Korea, the composite armor used in the Challenger-2 tank is sometimes classified as the second generation.
As the Metal Composite Material (MMC) and slope function materials used in the 4th generation class were analyzed in detail through the Military Review Easy 2004, the existing composite armor technologies used prior to that will be summarized.

The appearance of the 1st generation composite armor!
The first to test composite armor on a tank was the United States. During World War II, the United States developed a powerful shaped charge weapon , represented by the bazooka , and used it very well against German and Japanese tanks. And it came as a shock when post-war evaluations revealed that the weapon that destroyed the most tanks was the Panzerfaust operated by infantry or something.
1671546765457.png

German Panzerfaust. It was the weapon that destroyed the most tanks during World War II.

The U.S. Army began research on strengthening defense power in response to the shaped charge ammunition of the tank, and found that silica ceramics, which were already used for ceramics and tiles, were very strong against the shaped charge ammunition. In fact, the crucibles that are resistant to high heat used when melting metal or glass are ceramic materials, so I didn't have to worry too much. Soon after, the US Army tested blocks of silica (glass) ceramics on the surface of the M48 tank
in the mid-1950s.
However, the silica block was too heavy and easily damaged due to the movement and vibration of the tank, so it was never put to practical use. Compared t othis, the former Soviet Union (Russia) had a painful experience of losing close to 10,000 armored vehicles to the Panzerfaust of the German Army in the latter half of World War II , so it is more preoccupied with solving this problem than anyone else.

1671546845389.png

This is the world's first Soviet T64 tank with composite armor applied.

Combination-K laminated composite glove appeared
As a result, starting from the mid-1950s, research on how to combine various different materials (異種材料) was started, and from Obiekt430, which later became the T-64 tank, Combination-K, a first-generation laminated composite armor, was installed. Here, in Combination-K, glass-based silica ceramics are cast inside the casting material turret, which first meets the hardness conditions by putting in plenty of expensive nickel, ignoring the manufacturing cost, and then filling the module made of glass fiber composites. Manufactured the way it is.

◆ Russian composite armor technology
Here, the ceramic has high hardness, so it gave a strong impact to the kinetic energy type penetrator such as the APFSDS bullet, making thefront part of the penetrator blunt. At the same time, ceramics have a low rate of decay inherent in the material, so they continuously saturate the penetration of the metal jet of the high-explosive shell and eventually have the effect of lowering the penetration.
The layer made of glass fiber composite played a role in forming a large yaw (shaking)
momentarily to the penetrator by applying a sudden and rapid change in density and hardness when the APFSDS bullet penetrated .
In addition, it also had the effect of inert reactive armor thatexpands by absorbing the metal jet energy of the shaped charges. Compared to standard rolled homogeneous armor (RHA), which is widely used as an armor material for tanks, Combination-K has approximately 1.2 times more defense against APFSDS bullets and 1.6 times more protection against shaped charges compared to its weight . And since steel, ceramic, and fiberglass composites are layered
one after the other, it is called <laminated composite armor>.

1671547322975.png

This is a scene of testing the British first ceramic composite glove. Remember the screw holes in the steel sheet.

Counterattack of the West, the appearance of Chobham layered composite armor
The fact that laminated composite armor was used in T64 tanks deployed from 1968 became widely known in the West through intelligence, and many countries in the West were already developing new armor systems. In order to solve the problem that UH-1 transport helicopters were easily shot down by enemy small arms fire during the Vietnam War in the 1960s, the United States has already been using AlO3 ceramic plates with excellent hardness and bulletproof panels composed of Kevlar composites for cockpit chairs and defense panels since the 70s. started using.

◆ Development of layered composite gloves in the UK
Among the many research institutes in the West, the one that has shown the greatest achievements is the Fighting Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (FVRDE), located in Chobham, England. Layered composite gloves will be unveiled for the first time.
The UK also took the same approach as Russia (the former Soviet Union), namely using heterogeneous materials with ceramics that are resistant to high heat and pressure. However, in terms of materials, a new ceramic material, AlO3 (aluminum oxide) , was used, and a
new armor array structure was applied through numerous tests.

The technological innovations of the UK, primarily, were that ceramics were resistant to heat and pressure and had high hardness, so they had high defense against both shaped charge and kinetic energy bullets. However, on the contrary, brittleness (breakability) is also high, so when a part is exposed to impact, the problem of crack propagation to the entire ceramic module is solved.

1671547490540.png

This is a ceramic plate applied to a ceramic bulletproof panel.
The hexagonal structure, which is most resistant to impact, is mainly used.

◆ What is layered composite glove technology?
The UK first found the thickness and area where ceramics can exert the highest efficiency, not ingot-shaped ceramic lumps like Russia. As aresult, it was found that an aggregate of many thin hexagonal ceramic panels with a diameter of 15 cm or less was the best in terms of defense efficiency, rather than a single thick ceramic module. However, when ceramic panels are stacked on top of each other, the problem of spreading cracks on the back and rear ceramic panels dueto the propagation of fragments and shockwaves when the ceramics break was still a problem.
In response to these problems, the UK absorbed the shock by inserting plastic resin to act as a buffer and hold the fragments between the ceramic panels so that they can absorb the shock when the ceramic is broken.
At the same time, thin ultra-high-hardness steel plates are inserted between ceramic panels as a structural material that can fix ceramics in order to achieve a penetrating effect through materials of different hardness, along with a protective role to prevent damage to the ceramic panel from being transmitted to the rear.

1671547585109.png


This is a structure diagram of ceramic layered composite gloves.
It is a form of fixing a ceramic plate with screws between ultra-high-hardness steel plates.


Looking at the structure of the actual composite glove, as shown above, there is a screw protrusion that can fix the ceramic to the high-hardness steel plate, and the ceramic plate with a hole is inserted into the screw protrusion to combine it primarily.
Then, it is covered with a plastic bond or the like to secure the ceramic and steel plate together so that they are strongly bonded. Since it is manufactured by stackinglayers of materials composed of ceramics, plastic fillers and steel plates instead of stacking a single material like this, the sustained-release composite gloves are professionally called <layer composite armor>.

The first layered composite glove developed by the UK uses about 70% of AlO3 (aluminum oxide) and about 30% of high-hardness steelplate, and a plastic filler that fixes the ceramic as an additional material is applied. The first-generation layered composite armor developed by the UK had only
1.1 to 1.2 times the weight efficiency against kinetic energy bullets such as APFSDS .
However, the weight efficiency of the shaped charge ammunition was 3.0 times higher than the RHA, so it was able to defend against all the shaped charge ammunition existing at the time.

1671547693257.png

A Merkava tank damaged by anti-tank weapons. Along with the appearance of the screw protrusion used to fix the ceramic, you can see that it is a form of several layers of armor material.

Layered composite armor for K1 tanks?
At the time the British unveiled layered composite armor, there were no new tanks being
developed in the UK, so in July 1973, the first layered composite armor was applied to
the XM-815 tank , which was being developed by the US Army, that is, a new tank that
would later become the M1 Abrams. Installed and tested. After that, in 1974, the Shir-2 (FV
4030/3) tank ordered by King Pahlavi of Iran for 1,225 units was to be equipped with the
new composite armor.
However, when the Pahlavi dynasty collapsed due to the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the
British Army took over the tank model that improved the Shir-2 and became the
Challenger-1 tank. And in accordance with NATO cooperation, it has become the standard
armor of the West, such as being introduced to Germany's Leopard 2 tank from 1978.
Above all, with the support of the United States, since 1986, Korea's K1 tank has been
equipped with layered composite armor equivalent to that of the M1 tank. Its structure was
a type in which 78% AlO3 (aluminum oxide) and 22% high-hardness steel plates were used.
Thanks to this, South Korea became the fourth country in the West to deploy a third generation
tank with layered composite armor.

1671548179491.png

It is a T80U tank of the ROK Army. Thanks to this disassembly and analysis, we know the excellent armor technology of Russia.

Emergence of the 2nd generation composite glove
,which was dismantled and researched jointly by Korea's Defense Science Research Institute
and the United States, boasted armor defense efficiency that was far ahead of that of the West.
The details are postponed until later, but the former Soviet Union utilized relatively inexpensive steel and ceramic pellet materials to have high APFSDS bullet protection, while supplementing the relatively poor shaped charge defense capability with explosive reactive armor.
At the time of its appearance in 1985, the T-80U, the crystallization of that technology, has a
new armor material with both composite armor elements and inactive reactive armor
elements inside the turret, and second-generation Kontakt-5 ERA capable of responding to
APFSDS bullets outside the turret. I had it installed.
As a result, it boasted 500-550mm of defense compared to APFSDS bullets and 1,100mm of
defense compared to shaped charge bullets.

◆ Western technology in the 1980s?
Compared to the T-80U, the layered composite armor of the US M1A1 tank, which began
deployment in August 1985, had only 350-400mm of defense against APFSDS bullets and
1,000mm against shaped charge shells.
The western side also had a problem with armor protection, but the firepower of the
120mm smoothbore gun applied to the M1A1 at the time was only 500mm at 1,000m
(M-827 APFSDS deployed in 1984), so it could not respond properly to the T-80U.
By comparison, the 3BM32 round for Russian 125mm tank guns deployed from 1985 had a
penetration of 550mm at 1,000m and could penetrate the frontal armor of Western main
n battle tanks at 1,500m. Naturally, the threat felt by the United States and the West was quite large, so the US Army started to develop the M1A2 tank, which was developed in February 1985 and completed in 1992, using the second generation composite armor using depleted uranium.

1671548552003.png

American M1A1 HA tank. Depleted Uranium greatly improves armor, but is too heavy.

◆ Appearance of depleted uranium armor
The American method was in fact simply ignorant. Focusing on the fact that when an APFSDS bullet collides with a metal body with high density and excellent strength, the front part of the penetrator is crushed like a mushroom, we tried to use uranium metal , the heaviest material on earth . However, since the use of radioactive uranium could expose the crew to radiation, so- called depleted uranium (DU) , which has reduced radiation through special treatment, is used. Thanks to this, the second-generation layered composite armor containing depleted uranium panels deployed on the M1A2 tank boasted about 600-650mm of defense against APFSDS bullets and 1,200mm against shaped charge bullets, surpassing the armor level of the former Soviet Union for the first time. However, thanks to the heavy use of uranium in large quantities, its combat weight reached a whopping 65 tons. In 1991, the M1A1 tank, which was active in the ground warfare of the Gulf War, was quickly replaced with a composite armor module containing depleted uranium armor material in the field, becoming the M1A1 HA (Heavy Armor). In return, the combat weight was increased to 62 tons, an increase of 7 tons compared to the combat weight of the existing M1 tank, which was 55 tons . This was also a prime example of the considerable inefficiency of Western armor technology compared to the T-80U, which, with a combat weight of 45 tonnes, had equivalent protection to the M1A1 HA.

1671548952524.png

This is the Challenger-2 tank that adopted the 3rd generation layered composite armor for
the first time.

UK's 3rd generation layered composite glove
While our American friends boasted that their depleted uranium armor could withstand any
Soviet threat, it was actually a very dangerous technology. When the glove is broken, radiation spurts out from there. So England, the originator of composite gloves, started to use a new technology, not the way of ignorant Yankee friends.
It was the introduction of computer simulation technology with excellent hardness and
bending strength (Young's modulus) instead of depleted uranium, which was also used by
the United States, and the use of the latest ceramics. It was the introduction of computer simulation technology , which was also used by the United States, and the use of the latest ceramics with excellent hardness and bending strength (Young's modulus) instead of depleted uranium .

◆ Appearance of new ceramics
As mentioned earlier, the first-generation layered composite gloves used AlO3 (aluminum oxide) ceramics. This material had a hardness of 1,000 to 1,600 kg/mm and a Young's modulus of 250 to 370 GPa. Through this, the defense efficiency was 1.1 to 1.2 times higher than that of kinetic energy shells and three times higher than that of shaped charge shells. After that, from the mid-1980s, non-oxide ceramics such as SiC, B4C, Si3N4, and TiB2, which are much more expensive but have high hardness and Young's modulus, appeared in large quantities. For reference, the higher the hardness, the better the armor material, and the higher the Young's modulus, the more advantageous it is because it is not easily damaged by impact.

Please refer to the table below.
Characteristic table of ceramics for armor materials
Material: AlO3 / SiC/ Si3N4/ B4C/ TiB2
Density: 3.4~3.9/ 3.15~3.2/ 3.25/ 2.48/ 4.48 (g/cm)
Young's modulus 250-370/ 410-450/ 270-390/ 460/ 570/ (GPa)
Hardness 1,000~1,600/ 2,500~2,700/ Over 1,600/ 3,000/ 2,500(kg/mm)
Relative price: 1/ 5~10/ 4~5/ 20/ 20~25

Looking at the ceramic characteristics table, compared to AlO3 (aluminum oxide) used in the first- generation composite gloves, SiC (silicon carbide ), which is newly widely used in the second-generation composite gloves, has more than twice the hardness and more than 1.5 times higher Young's modulus . I can tell. Higher hardness is advantageous for kinetic energy projectiles such as APFSDS projectiles. Of course, the most ideal ceramic materials are TiB2 (titanium diboride) or B4C (boron carbide), but they are 2 to 4 times more expensive than SiC. So, TiB2 (titanium diboride) or B4C (boron carbide) is widely used in bulletproof seats of helicopters (Korea's Surion also uses this), where weight reduction is important, and SAPI bulletproof panels of US Army infantry body armor . In the case of main battle tanks, there are relatively less weight restrictions and a huge amount of ceramics must be used, so whether it is England, Korea, or Germany, among ceramics, SiC, which has excellent defense efficiency and is relatively inexpensive, is widely used. In Korea, starting with KSAP (Korean Special Composite Armor) introduced in the K1A1 tank, SiC ceramics are being used in large quantities in the K2 Black Panther Tank and the K21 Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

1671549354648.png

The left one is the actual penetration form, and the right one is the analysis of the penetration form of the penetrator through computer simulation, and it can be seen that both are almost similar.

◆ Emergence of computer simulation technology
It can be seen that the new SiC (Silicon Carbide) is about twice as good as the old AlO3 (Aluminum Oxide) in hardness and Young's modulus, but its density is almost the same, so it can increase the defense efficiency by about twice. In addition to this, computer simulation programs such as LS-DYNA 3D made it possible to predict in advance what happens when APFSDS bullets penetrate composite armor, damage due to shock waves, and spread of stress. Thanks to this, it is now possible to optimally arrange armor materials and structures within weeks to months through computer simulation, which would have required years of penetration testing in the past. As a result, the 3rd generation layered composite armor is capable of securing almost equal protection against APFSDS bullets without the use of heavy metals such as depleted uranium .
The 3rd generation layered composite armor, developed for the first time in the UK , is evaluated to have more than 600mm of defense against APFSDS bullets, about twice the weight of RHA , and more than 1,200mm of defense against shaped explosive rounds.
After the UK developed it, France and Germany developed and deployed third-generation composite armor, and the domestic KSAP introduced in Korea's K1A1 tank also corresponds to the third generation. In addition, the K2 Black Panther, which appeared in 2008, was applied with a third-generation composite armor equivalent to that of England, France, and Germany, and the technology was exported to Turkey.

Appearance of 4th generation composite armor?
Due to the advent of the 3rd generation composite armor, there was an era in which the armor surpassed the APFSDS bullet penetration for a while. However, due to the rapid development of APFSDS penetrator and propellant technology, new Western APFSDS bullets that appeared in the
mid-to-late 2000s or monsters such as Korea's K279 boast a penetration of more than 700mm.
Russia, in particular, did not stand still. As explained in Military Review Easy 2004 , the T14 Armata developed a new 3BM60 APFSDS round along with the 2A82-1M smoothbore gun system, which is said to be the most powerful in existence, as the new vertical autoloader became available.

Zwischenablage01.jpg
3BM60 APFSDS ammunition.

Here, it was confirmed that the total length of the penetrator (including wing + front tip) of the 3BM60 APFSDS bullet was at the level of 700mm through published photos. And by using depleted uranium as a penetrator material and increasing new equipment at the same time, Russia claims that it can penetrate about 900mm of RHA (Rolled Homogeneous Armor).
Western experts are a bit skeptical about this, but most admit that it can penetrate 700-800mm RHA at a distance of 2km. This corresponds to the penetration power enough to threaten the 2nd or 3rd generation composite armor mounted on the US M1A2 or Leopard-2 late tank at a distance of 1,000 m.

1671549665641.png

Above is the old M1A2 tank, below is the turret of the M1A2C tank. It can be seen that the new armor has been installed on the M1A2C tank, and experts are analyzing that it is a 4th generation composite armor applied with slope functional metal composite (MMC).

◆ New technology for 4th generation composite gloves
In response to the new threat from Russia, the 4th generation composite armor using MMC (Metal Matrix Composite) technology hasbegun to be applied to the latest models such as the M1A2C tank, which the United States began modifying and producing in 2019, and the German Leopard-2A7 . do.
To briefly explain the metal composite material (MMC) introduced in detail in Military Review Easy 2004, it is possible to reduce the weight by about 30% compared to the existing 3rd generation composite armor structure by synthesizing metal and ceramic together to demonstrate the ability of a functional slope material. .
Currently, the first company to develop the latest 4th generation composite glove using metal composite (MMC) is IBD of Germany (which was absorbed by the famous Rheinmetall Group), and 4th generation composite materials called AMAP and Leopard Revolution are in the form of a kit. They sell it and make huge profits.

1671549841409.png

This is a type of glove kit that uses the 4th generation composite glove technology produced by IBD, Germany.

The United States also remodeled the turret shape from the M1A2C tank, and at the same time is equipped with 4th generation composite armor using MMC materials developed under the leadership of the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) . Currently, American experts are estimating that the kinetic energy bullet defense of the 4th generation composite armor applied with metal composite material will reach 900mm.

1671549889894.png

It shows the defense efficiency of domestic metal composite materials disclosed by KIMS (Korea Institute of Materials Science).

In Korea, the Defense Science Research Institute recognized the importance of metal composite (MMC) technology and is developing it by supporting research budget to KIMS (Korea Institute of Materials Science and Technology ). The metal composite technology developed in Korea has a mass efficiency of 3.57 based on RHA (Homogeneous Rolled Steel Plate) . In other words, when RHA is set to 1, it has 3.57 times the defense compared to RHA of the same weight , which means that it exerts the same defense with only 28% of the thickness compared to RHA steel plate . However, this corresponds to a test prototype developed by the KIMS Research Institute, and the final development goal is to develop a bulletproof panel module with a ceramic content of 40% or more and a size of 300x300x25mm or more that can be applied to tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.
With this, it is judged that the question about Military Review Easy 2004 has been resolved.
 

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It is better to abandon the expectation that Korean power packs will be improved. To be honest, there is no room for improvement in the performance of Korean power packs. Even Korean engines are long-stroke engines used in trucks and heavy equipment, not short-stroke engines (Like german MTU) used for tanks. DV27K is an engine that has improved to 1500 hp by modifying a 1200 hp ship engine.
Wow, it's been quite a while since the last time I've seen this rumor about DV27K being based on a "ship engine", I think on Bemil a few years ago. Long story short, that's simply false. The reason the Doosan Infracore engines are long-stroke is because of the fact that their engine lineage traces back to the MAN engines, which are, you've guessed it, long-stroke. Some of those engines were high-speed marine engines but not all of them. Also you're description about the long- and short-stroke engines and their characteristics are quite wrong, to put it lightly.

To be precise, the new short-stroke engines to be integrated into the K2, K21 and K9 in the future will be developed by STX, another South Korean military engine manufacturer.
No, that's simply not true as well. There's no such plan as to integrate any of the STX developed engines to the K2. In fact they are going to expand the usage of DV27K since the Amphibious Assault Vehicle II will be using the sea-water cooled DV27K variant. As of now the STX SMV1360 engine is nothing more than a proposal. First they'll need to get some contracts from the Korean army to retrofit the K1 variants. At least it is encouraging that they've received contracts for the development of replacement models for the K9, K21 and K200 variants.

What happens if Americans pressure Koreans to veto our deal?

You know nothing is beneath them.
For the Americans to pressure the Koreans and stop the deal they need a technical input in a Korean product so that they could legally stop the Koreans from exporting, such as by not granting the export license or controlling US technologies within the product by ITAR for example. Such has been the case a few times in the past when Korea tried to export some military equipment to the Middle East and Africa, though it isn't when it comes to EST15K. They'll need some really good reasons to stop the deal from legal perspective, which they really don't have at the moment. Also I don't think the US will in the first place.
 
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Windchime

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The SNT transmission is designed to withstand a weight of more than 65 tonnes. My answer is, "Yes, enough for Altay." The DV27K engine to be integrated into Altay was developed based on the design of the ship engine designed 40 years ago. This engine is no longer capable of being improved.

It was also the decision of the South Korean Defense Ministry to reject domestic transmissions. SNT's transmission did not pass the basic endurance test proposed by the Ministry of Defence. Later, the Defense Agency for Technology and Quality (DaTQ) investigated that the Korean transmission failed to pass all six durability tests due to defects in the assembly process.

DaTQ describes the cause of the SNT transmission fault as follows:

In this study, failure analysis was carried out to investigate the occurrence of failure during the first article endurance tests of the 1,500 HP transmission for K2 MBT (Main Battle Tank). The occurrences. root causes, follow-up actions, and similar fallures during the development phase were comprehensively investigated and summarized during a total of six times endurance tests for the first article, In particular, the phased inspection was carried out to reveal the root cause of failure since an oil pressure drop below the specification range was observed in the 6th endurance test. The failure analysis of the bolt was conducted because the bolt failure was expected to be one of the causes of the oil pressure drop. As a result of the fractured surface observation of the bolt by SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope), obvious evidence of ductile fracture and some unapparent traces of fatigue crack propagation were observed, Furthermore, the mechanical properties and microstructural characteristics of the fractured bolt were found to fulfill the requirements of drawing. On the other hand, some of the bolts' neck rounds were below the dimensional requirement of drawing, and some of them were not satisfied with the requirements of the bolts' head shape in terms of dimensional accuracy. From a design point of view, the safety factor of the bolt head was found to be slightly insufficient because the safety factor was calculated as approximately 1 in the worst case. In addition, the assembly procedure requires improvement since the corner edge of the counterpart (pressure disc), which is fastened to the bolt, is likely to interfere with the neck of the bolt. Therefore, it was predicted that complexly entwined factors, such as the mixing of the bolts with insufficient dimensional accuracy, the relatively low safety factor of the bolt head in the worst case scenario, and misalignment of the bolt and counterpart during assembling process, would finally result in bolt failure and an oil pressure drop of the clutch in the range pack. The present investigation expected to serve as a reference for preventing the recurrence of similar cases in the future.

For those who are curious, we have added below a report on the cause of the defect on the EST15K transmission investigated by DaTQ.

Failure Analysis of the First Article Endurance Tests of 1,500 HP Transmission

As I've summarized on post 47 on Main Battle Tank Programs thread on the Korean Forum. https://defencehub.live/threads/main-battle-tank-programs.270/post-235132
 

Chocopie

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No, that's simply not true as well. There's no such plan as to integrate any of the STX developed engines to the K2. In fact they are going to expand the usage of DV27K since the Amphibious Assault Vehicle II will be using the sea-water cooled DV27K variant. As of now those STX engines are nothing more than a proposal. First they'll need to get some contracts from the Korean army to retrofit the K1 variants and K9s.
It would by nice to have a comparable Korean short-stroke tank engine to rival MTU. Hopefully the updated SNT gearbox is now reliable as recquired.

The next urgent task IMO is to field an indigenous replacement of German MT 881 Ka-500 and US Allison transmission to evade possible export restrictions for K9.
 

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