K1A1 Tank demonstrating its hybrid suspension

K1A1 Tank demonstrating its hybrid suspension

The South Korean K1A1 Tank, is the second production model of the K1 Tank series. The K1A1 featured several upgrades, which included a licence built L44 120mm smoothbore main gun.

The K1A1 can be idetified from the K1 by the L44 series humped fume extractor in the middle of the barrel.

Other external differences are the improved Commanders Indenpendant Sight and an increase in the gap between the hull and turret.

The K1A1 focused on not only improvements in lethality, but also improvements in enemy detection and accuarcy, as well as protection.

In 1996, Hyundai Rotem delivered 2 prototypes of the K1A1 for trialls with the Republic Of Korea Army (ROKA). Trials continued into 1997, with production commencing in 1999. The K1A1 entered service in 2001 and 484 vehicles have been built, with production ending in 2009.

K1A1 Tank Upgrades

The K1A1 uses the same M256 120mm calibre Length 44 smoothbore as the M1A1 Abrams, which is a licence built German L44 as used on the Leopard 2A4. A new turret traverse drive and stabilization system for the main gun is also installed.

The Fire Control System has an improved ballisitic computer and a new Commanders Independant Sight with a thermal channel.

The tracks have also been modified with replaceable pads to lower operational costs. Improvements to the seals for deep wading have also been made.

The final upgrade is reportedly an improved armor over the frontal arc (turret and hull front), which is called ‘Korean Special Armour Plate (KSAP)’.

The improved armor and main gun have resulted in some tweeking of the hulls frontal appearance and the gap between it and the hull has increased. Its for these reasons that the K1A1 has been a production model, rather than upgrading existing K1 Tanks to the A1 standard.

K1A1 Tank Models

K1A2 Tank

K1A2 Tank Image 1

K1A2 Tank

Dedicated Vehicle Page: K1A2 Tank

The K1A2 is an upgrade package currently being implemented to all K1A2 Tanks in service with the ROKA. It features the latest C4I networking technology and other new features.

K1A1 Tank Specifications

Main Gun 120mm, KM256 Smoothbore (L44)
Elevation -10 to +20?
Secondary Weapons x1 coaxial 7.62mm MG, x1 7.62mm MG, x1 .50 MG
Ammunition Storage x32 120mm, x8,800 7.62mm, x1,000 .50
Engine 1200hp MTU 871 8-cylinder Diesel
Transmission Renk automatic-transmission (4 forward/ 2 reverse gears)
Top Road Speed 65 km/h (Governed)
Road Range 457 km
Fuel Capacity ? Litres
Vertical Obstacle 1m
Water Capability 1.2m (2.2m with snorkel kit)
Trench Crossing 2.74m
Gradient 60%
Side Slope 30%
Length Gun Forward ?m
Length Hull 7.47m
Height 2.24m+ (roof top)
Ground Clearance 0.46m
Weight 54,500kg aka 54.5 tonne combat
NBC Protected Yes
Armor Type Steel/Composite
Active Protection Systems No
Commander Yes
Gunner Yes
Loader Yes
Driver Yes
Additional Crew
Troops Carried n/a