Their unit is located very close to the border with the Kaliningrad enclave

Polish K2 Black Panther tanks open fire for the first time some 57 km Russia

The new South Korean K2 Black Panther tanks of the Polish Army fired their first shots on Polish soil yesterday.

Poland presents its new K2 Black Panther tanks to curb Russia's ambitions
The 1,000 tanks and other modern weapons that Poland has bought to defend itself against Russia

Those shots were a complete declaration of intent on the part of Poland with a view to defending its territory against any aggression, since they were carried out at the Orzysz training ground, in the northwest of the country and some 57 km from the border with the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. Let us remember that Poland is carrying out a major rearmament process due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, an aggression after which in May last year the Russian State Duma threatened the Poles with being the next invaded.

Military purchases being carried out by Poland include 250 M-1A2 SEP v3 Abrams tanks, 116 second-hand M-1 Abrams and 1,000 K-2 Black Panther . The latter will be divided into two batches: 180 will be K2s manufactured in South Korea and later Poland will manufacture 820 K2PL under license, a version adapted to its own needs. After the delivery of the first K2s to the Polish Army, the President of Poland Andrzej Duda already pointed out that the purpose of this material is to stop Russian imperial ambitions.

Both Andrzej Duda and the Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak attended this demonstration of power in Orzysz yesterday. These K2 Black Panthers belong to the 20th "Bartoszyce" Mechanized Brigade, whose base is very close to the border with the Kaliningrad enclave and which is attached to the 16th Mechanized Division of Pomerania.

The K2 Black Panther is one of the most modern tanks on the market. It is manufactured by Hyundai Rotem in South Korea, which until now was the only country that operated this model. It is armed with a 120mm smoothbore cannon, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, and a 12.7mm Browning M2HB heavy machine gun. It has an advanced fire control system that guarantees high fire efficiency at long distances, according to the Polish military newspaper Polska Zbrojna.

"The armor of the K2 tank provides high ballistic and anti-mine resistance, and can also be complemented with active protection systems such as soft kill (VIRSS) and hard kill (KAPS)", Polska Zbrojna stands out. "The tank is powered by a 1500 hp diesel engine with an automatic gearbox. The total weight of K2 is 55 tons."

A notable difference from the Leopard 2 of various types (2A4, 2A5 and 2PL) already used by Poland is that the K2 Black Panther carries an autoloader, so it carries 3 crew (commander, gunner and driver) , compared to the 4 of the German tank.

Among the images released by the Polish Army about this exercise are some that show the HEAT (high explosive anti-tank) ammunition used in these shots.

As a curiosity, one of the images of those shells shows text in Korean, so it is possible to assume that South Korea has not only supplied these tanks to Poland, but also ammunition. The shell reads M256, which is the type of gun used in the M1 Abrams tanks, a derivative of the Rheinmetall L/44 of the initial Leopard 2. The gun of the K2 is a Hyundai WIA CN08. The ammunition that uses this type of barrel is fully compatible with the M256, hence the indication on the base of the shells.

You can see here a video of this exercise published by Polska Zbrojna:


Photo sources: Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej / Polska Zbrojna / 16 Dywizja Zmechanizowana / 20 Bartoszycka Brygada Zmechanizowana.

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