"Knowledge is power."
Altank's Reviews: Chapter XIV, The K2 Black Panther.
2. -In-game overview.
3. -Development and upgrades.
4. -How to get the best out of it (Role) and How to deal with one (Countermeasures).
6. -Special thanks.
Patch 1.22 version; last update: 16/07/15.
In 1995, the South Korean Agency for Defense Development was given the task of developing a modern armored fighting vehicle based upon Korean state-of-the-art domestic technologies. It was intended for this development program to further modernize the Republic of Korea Army; despite the superior capability of existing K1 and K1A1 designs versus existing North Korean tanks; most of which are aging T-55s and Type 59s. Emphasis upon indigenous technologies would also allow the proposed vehicle to enter the export market without licensing issues.
2. -In-game overview:
The K2 Black Panther is a high-tier S.Korean MBT and, as such, it's very expensive, having a very high purchase price of 22000 silver coins (this purchase option is unlocked once reaching rank 44, Brigadier General Grade 1) or of 1200 gold coins (this purchase option is unlocked once reaching rank 40, Lieutenant Colonel Grade 1).
3. -Development and upgrades:
K2 Black Panther's starting stats:
Reloading speed: 1.7
Turret rotation speed: 30.0
Damage per minute: 12670.6
Fully upgraded K2 Black Panther's stats:
Reloading speed: 1.3
Turret rotation speed: 46.0
Damage per minute: 16569.2
- Hull upgrades: two-tier hull upgrade available.
The K2 Black Panther features a two-tier hull upgrade; both of them are required in order to acquire most of the other upgrades and don't change the tank's appearance; as of patch 1.22.
3.2 -Health pool:
- Health pool upgrades: no upgrades available.
The K2 Black Panther doesn't feature any health upgrade and, even worse, the tank's starting health pool is slightly below average: the low amount of hit points is definitely a major downside: plan every single engagement carefully.
3.3 -Armour and active protection system:
- Passive armor upgrades: two-tier upgrade available.
- Reactive armor upgrades: two-tier upgrade available.
- Spaced armor upgrades: no upgrades available.
- Active protection system upgrades: two-tier upgrade available.
3.4 -Main gun and ammo:
- Main armament upgrades: no upgrades available.
The K2 Black Panther is armed with a Rheinmetall 120mm/L55 smoothbore gun. This gun is license-produced in South Korea.
The 120mm gun can fire variety of munitions. It is compatible with all standard NATO tank rounds. It is also capable of firing the new KSTAM (Korean Smart Top-Attack Munition) rounds. These are smart target-activated fire-and-forget projectiles, but shouldn't be confused with anti-tank guided missiles. The KSTAM has its own guidance system, aided by four stabilizing fins. At the final stage a parachute will deploy to slow its fall and accurately engage target. Such principle is broadly similar to mortar-launched anti-tank munitions. Furthermore the K-2 tank can fire KSTAM munitions from behind the cover. The KSTAM has a maximum effective range of 8 kilometers.
Despite the capability of accomodating a 140mm gun, the K2 Black Panther's damage is slightly below average, compared to the other high tier tanks', probably hinting that the in-game version can only be fitted with the 120mm/L55 smoothbore gun and surely a way to make the tank more balanced.
The different types of ammo available for the tank's gun are:
- Armor Piercing (AP): one-tier ammo upgrade available;
- Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS): one-tier ammo upgrade available;
- High Explosive Anti Tank (HEAT): one-tier ammo upgrade available;
- High Explosive (HE): one-tier ammo upgrade available;
- Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), a one-tier ammo upgrade available.
- Engine upgrades: four-tier upgrade available.
3.6 -Reloading system:
- Reloading system upgrades: three-tier upgrade available.
The K2 Black Panther's main gun is complemented by an autoloader, similar to that designed for the Leclerc; it can fire up to 20 rounds a minute or every 3 seconds, without being affected by the gun's angle. The ammunition for the main gun is loaded in a 16-shell magazine, with a total ammunition capacity of 40.
Unsurprisingly, the K2 Black Panther features, thanks to a three-tier upgrade of the reloading system, the highest reload speed among all the tanks in the whole game, along with the US light tank M8 AGS; therefore, it doesn't come as a surprise that, despite the relatively low damage, this MBT features an amazing DPM, second only to the absurd Type 10's.
3.7 -Turret rotation system:
- Turret rotation system upgrades: two-tier upgrade available.
The K2 Black Panther features a two-tier upgrade of the turret rotation system, achieving a high turret speed, being capable of performing a full rotation in less than 8 seconds. Unless having a very high momentum, this MBT is very difficult to outflank, without it at least being able to return fire.
3.8 -Additional upgrades:
- Radio upgrades: one-tier upgrade available
- Radar upgrades: two-tier upgrade available
- Smoke grenade dischargers upgrades: four-tier upgrade available.
- Infrared optics upgrades: one-tier upgrade available.
- Thermal optics upgrades: one-tier upgrade available.
- Fording kit upgrades: one-tier upgrade available.
- Floating kit upgrades: no upgrades available.
4. -How to get the best out of it (Role) and How to deal with one (Countermeasures):
Now that we have analyzed the characteristics of the K2 Black Panther, it's time to sum up:
-Good front hull and turret armour.
-Outstanding reloading speed, which, combined with the adequate damage dealt by the tank's main gun, grants this tank an extremely high DPM.
-Amazing power-to-weight ratio: this tank is extremely agile as well as featuring a great acceleration.
-Very high speed.
-The tank's health pool is below average.
-Total absence of spaced armor, thus making this tank is very vulnerable to HEAT rounds.
The K2 Black Panther is a very versatile high-tier MBT, perfectly capable of performing a wide range of different roles.
Despite not being really suited for holding the frontline, it is perfectly capable of engaging enemies head on, very similarly to the M1A2 Abrams: when it comes to close-quarters engagements, remember to take full advantage of your amazing agility and always keep your front armor towards your opponent, preventing them from outflanking you, otherwise they will most likely make short work of you every single time.
However, this MBT is even less suited for long-range engagements: one of the major downsides of the K2 Black Panther is, in fact, its main armament's low accuracy, particularly noticeable when firing HEAT rounds. This severely hinders this MBT's great potential as a deadly effective long-range sniper, having an exceptional RoF and tough turret armor which allows for successful hull-down engagements.
The K2 Black Panther is, instead, at its best when used as a fast and extremely effective interceptor or ambusher. Never engage enemies at long-range: wait for them, then use your high speed and agility to close the distance, and finally, only engage them at mid-to-close-range, though the closer, the better. Try and take your opponents by surprise and use your DPM to rip them to shreds, before they can even notice it, particularly, heavily armored targets featuring a low health pool. Remember that you can't afford to waste many shots nor can you afford to take many.
4.2 -How to deal with one:
Dealing with a K2 Black Panther is very similar to engaging an M1A2 Abrams, though arguably less tricky; however, as for any other unit, never underestimate one: this MBT can prove to be a fearsome and tough opponent to take down, particularly if driven by experienced players who take full advantage of its strong points.
Avoid engaging one head on, especially at close to very-close range: its potential RoF and DPM pose a serious treath to any tank it may face on the battlefield, notably to heavily armored units featuring a limited amount of hit points. Therefore, despite its thin side armor, trying to outflank a K2 Balck Panther is quite risky, though surely a viable way to make short work of one, especially when using HEAT rounds.
Avoid letting one catch you by surprise and take full advantage of its major downsides; first and foremost, its main armament's poor accuracy: always keep your distance and make sure to always engage one at mid to long range. Many of its shots will miss and, subsequently, its main strong point, its potential DPM, will suffer heavily from it. Besides, this MBT lacks a spaced armor upgrade and its health pool is rather low, so, it won't take many direct hits before going down; make sure to use HEAT rounds and aim at its tracks, so that you may even immobilize it, effectively preventing it from trying and close the distance, or at the flat section of its front hull armor to deal the most damage.
Here I end my review of the K2 Black Panther, the mighty S.Korean steel-clad kitty.
I apologize in advance if something written is wrong and I hope you enjoyed it. If you liked it, another one will shortly follow! Tell me what you think about it in the comments and any advice you may suggest is welcome.
If you want to help, contact me via PM.
Take care on the battlefield, fellows!
Copying/Using any part of this review anywhere else is strictly forbidden, unless my proper authorisation is given.
6. -Special thanks to:
The Reviews team.
Fiutel_88 for allowing the Reviews Team to perform armor tests on his K2 Black Panther.
And last but not least all of you that read this review!