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South Korea unveils XK2 Black Panther amphibious battle tank

Evan Blass
03.03.07
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Remember how when you were a kid what you always wanted most was a fully loaded tank that you could drive underwater? Huh, you mean a snorkeling tank isn't something that consumed your every waking moment? Well we sure wanted one, and now following 11 years of design and $230 million in development costs, the always tech-forward South Koreans have delivered. Said to be the only tank in the world that can wade through up to 13.5 feet of water, the so-called XK2 Black Panther is a followup to the country's K1 unit (the X will get dropped once these go into production), and is so advanced that the official in charge of the project immodestly boasts that it has "more suberb capabilities than any other existing tank." Some of these "superb capabilities" include a 120-millimeter gun firing at 15 rounds per minute, smart munitions that can avoid obstacles to reach their targets, an active defense system against incoming artillery, and a special suspension that allows for three distinct configurations and downhill firing. With a top road speed of 44mph the XK2 is certainly no slouch, and with an estimated cost of $8.5 million per vehicle, it's certainly no bargain either. Combined with the country's already impressive army of autonomous vehicles, robotic sentries, and multi-wheeled killbots, the Black Panther should make potential aggressors think twice before they launch an attack against the Koreans (or at least make sure that they have a few good EMP's).

[Photo credit: Korean Times]

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