The K21-105 is a new light tank. It was jointly developed by CMI Defence of Belgium and Doosan DST of South Korea. It seems that this vehicle was first publicly revealed in 2014.
The K21-105 is basically a South Korean K21 infantry fighting vehicle fitted with a Belgian CMI Defense CT-CV 105HP two-man turret. This combination provides significant direct fire capability, based on relatively light and mobile chassis. The K21-105 is cheaper and more strategically and tactically mobile comparing with main battle tanks. Also is cheaper to produce and to maintain comparing with main battle tanks.
Earlier, in 2013, a prototype light tank, based on the K-21 IFV has been revealed. It was developed by the same companies. It also used the chassis of the K21 IFV, but was fitted with XC-8 lightweight concept turret, armed with a 120-mm gun. Most likely that the K21-105 evolved from this project.
The K21-105 is being referred as medium tank by its developers. However this armored machine weights around 25 t. By current standards it is rather a light tank.
The main role of this tank is to support infantry. It is effective against armored and soft skin vehicles, buildings and fortifications. Also it has secondary anti-tank capability. This system may not be very effective against modern main battle tanks, unless attacking from ambush. However it is likely to defeat most widespread tanks that North Korea has.
Composite materials were extensively used in the hull design in order to save weight wherever possible. The front arc provides protection against 30-mm armor-piercing rounds. All-round protection is against 14.5-mm armor-piercing rounds and artillery shell splinters. Vehicle is also fitted with automatic fire suppression and NBC protection systems.
This light tank is armed with a fully-stabilized 105-mm rifled low-recoil gun. It fires all standard NATO 105-mm ammunition. It can fire newly-developed smart ammunition. Maximum range of fire is 4 km.
This tank is also compatible with Falarick 105 gun-launched anti-tank missiles. The Falarick missile is of Ukrainian origin. It is used to engage heavily-armored vehicles at long ranges. Missiles are launched in the same manner as ordinary rounds The missile has a semi-automatic laser guidance with tandem warhead. The Falarick 105 penetrates no less than 550 mm behind explosive reactive armor. Maximum range of fire is 5 km.
This tank has a bustle-mounted automatic ammunition loading system. Maximum rate of fire is 8 rounds per minute. Ammunition is stored in the bustle compartment, that is separated from the crew.
The gun can be elevated to 42°. This feature allows to adapt vehicle for urban and mountainous warfare. Also due to its elevation, this gun can fire in the same manner as howitzers. Indirect range of fire is up to 10 km.
There is a coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun. Also a roof-mounted remotely controlled weapon station with 12.7-mm machine gun is optional.
This tank has advanced fire control system. It can engage targets both at day and at night.
The K21-105 is operated by a crew of 3, including commander, gunner, and driver.
Vehicle is powered by a turbocharged diesel engine, developing 750 hp. This engine is more powerful than that, used on the K-21 IFV. Vehicle has a hydropneumatic suspension and advanced running gear. The new tank retains its amphibious capability at full combat weight. Only minimum preparation is required in order to ford water obstacles. Automatic floatation bags are activated before entering the water. On water this tank is powered by its tracks.