During the MSPO 2020 exhibition in Kielce, the South Korean Hyundai Rotem showcased a model of the K2PL Main Battle Tank (MBT), which the manufacturer intends to offer for the Polish ‘WILK’ (WOLF) programme.
The K2PL is a modified version of the original K2 BLACK PANTHER MBT currently operated by the South Korean Land Forces. Compared to the original platform, the K2PL features a number of enhancements, which bring the vehicle closer to the operational requirements of the Polish Army.
The scalled model of the K2PL vehicle presented at MSPO 2020 featured enhancements including additional armour plates in the front and on the sides alongside slat armour in the back of the vehicle for improved survivability. Furthermore, the vehicle could be fitted with soft and hard-kill systems as well as weapons allowing it to counter enemy rotary-wing and drone platforms.
The South Korean company is ready to set up local production of the K2PL, meaning Hyundai Rotem will have to enter into partnership with a number of Polish defence manufacturers, such as subsidiaries of the Polish Armaments Group (POlska Grupa Zbrojeniowa, PGZ) or the WB Group.
The ‘WILK’ programme calls for gradual replacement of obsolete, Soviet-era, T-72 MBTs and their local modernisation variant, the PT-91. The Polish Army has a requirement for at least 500 modern MBTs with the WILK programme included in the Technical Modernisation Plan of the Polish Armed Force for 2021-2035.