K2 tanks for Romania? South Korea enters the "battle for 300 tanks" and raises the bar to break the Abrams monopoly

S.I. Catalin |
Data publicării:

South Korean giant Hyundai Rotem wants to collaborate with Romania on the purchase of K2 Black Panther tanks. Romania has recently purchased 54 American Abrams tanks and has expressed its intention to purchase 300 tanks. Within the framework of the "Main Battle Tank" programme, the Romanian Ministry of National Defence has started the procedures for the purchase of 54 American Abrams tanks. The purchase will be made through the G2G (Government to Government) procedure.


This will involve the purchase of 54 upgraded M1A2 Abrams tanks and 12 derived, in-service tank chassis from the US Army's stockpile, including ammunition and training boosters.

This month at the "Republic of Korea - Romania 2023 Defense Industry Cooperation Conference", a major strategic event organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Romania, at which DefenseRomania was a media partner, Major General Teodor Incicaș, Head of the Directorate General for Armaments, also spoke on a panel about the Romanian Army's armament.

Our publication first reported that the MApN official said at the event that they want to purchase about 300 tanks and derivatives, but the purchase period will be determined by the Army.

"We want to purchase new tanks, around 300 main battle tanks, but the purchase period will have to be determined by the beneficiary," said Major General Teodor Incicaș, head of the Directorate General for Armaments.

We stress that this does not mean that the other tanks will all be Abrams, as was the choice of the first 54 tanks.

That is why Hyundai Rotem is very interested in selling the K2 Panther tanks to Romania. To some extent, Romania can follow the example of Poland, which also bought Abrams and K2. Of course, such a political decision is a long way off.

Hyundai Rotem offers South Korean K2 Black Panther tanks to Romania and raises the bar to break the Abrams monopoly.

During the event that took place this month, Eui Seong-Lee, Vice President of Hyundai Rotem International Defense Business, gave an exclusive interview to DefenseRomania in which he talked about the South Korean company's intention to equip the Romanian Army with K2 Panther tanks.

The South Koreans are raising the bar and want an active cooperation with the Romanian defence industry, if our country chooses the K2. It would mean a mixed fleet of K2 and Abrams.

The purchase of the 54 Abrams for which Romania has already agreed is done through the G2G (Government to Government) procedure, which does not require industrial cooperation.
Asked what Hyundai Rotem's objective is in Romania, Eui Seong-Lee says: ,,We want to export our products, the K2 Panther main battle tank. We have been developing an indigenous South Korean battle tank for the past 30 years. And we are confident that we can contribute to Romania's defence and cooperation with the Romanian defence industry. This is the objective."

,,We have been working hard to convince Polish partners that K2 tanks are the best option for them. Fortunately we signed a contract last year and have already delivered 28 K2 tanks to Poland. We hope we can expand our business and are keen to deliver K2 tanks to Romania as well", says Eui Seong-Lee.

The Hyundai Rotem official added that the South Korean giant is ready to cooperate intensively with the Romanian defence industry, should our country choose to purchase K2 Panther tanks. The Koreans are ready to transfer technology to Romania, with Romanian facilities producing components.

,,Hyundai Rotem wants to cooperate with the Romanian defence industry. The options are open, we can work together in terms of production, starting with assembly and later we can also transfer technology to the Romanian defence industry. The Romanian industry could produce components. Romania has great potential and together we can achieve our goals", he concluded.


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