The expansion of Hyundai-Rotem into the foreign markets is significant. The Korean company is particularly interested in selling its K2 Main Battle Tank to two European nations – Poland and Norway. Although Poland is currently engaged in its Leopard 2PL modernization and urgent M1A2 SEPv3 procurement, Norway stands between two options – Leopard 2A7 and a dedicated variant of the K2 Black Panther. The latter was just delivered for trials and is currently undergoing testing in Norway.
The K2NO (K2 Norway) was first presented during the ADEX fairs in October 2021. The tank has been modified to suit Norwegian needs and the capabilities of the local military industry. Besides reactive armor, the K2NO variant is equipped with the Israeli Trophy HV APS and Kongsberg Protector RS4 remote weapons station equipped with a .50 caliber machine gun.
The Norwegian K2NO demonstrator arrived via the port of Drammen in December. The tank has been unloaded and delivered to the trials area, ready to begin a series of tests.
According to Milmag, the details of the Hyundai-Rotem offer for K2NO procurement are very interesting. The Korean company declares that it will deliver the first tanks by 2025. They then claim that, with their assistance, Norway will be capable of domestic production and delivery of MBTs just two years after the first deliveries. Hyundai also offers integration of the ICS C4I command and control system, Nammo programmable ammunition, and domestic APU. After the K2NO procurement is completed, Norway is going to be eligible to receive K3 MBTs, with a remote turret armed with a 130mm smooth-bore gun.
The contest between Hyundai-Rotem and KMW will demonstrate whether the South Korean solutions and offer will be more attractive to the Norwegians and if they outweigh the benefits of a supplier located in Europe. Norway is set to make a decision on the procurement by the end of 2022.