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A number of other plans were also devised, such as upgrading the existing M48 Pattons to the M48A3 and A5 standard, as well as obtaining the license to domestically produce Germany's Leopard 1 main battle tank. In light of this, the Park Chung-hee administration announced plans to domestically produce main battle tanks that were comparable to the newer generation of main battle tanks.Only the upgrades to the Pattons were carried out, with the results being the M48A3K and M48A5K, while producing Leopard 1s was deemed counterproductive, as a newer generation of main battle tanks were already being developed and tested in both the U. However, having absolutely no experience in the design, development and manufacture of main battle tanks to speak of, the task assigned to the South Korean industry was all but impossible.The tank commander's panoramic sights were not, however, equipped with light amplification or thermal optics, which led to the tank commander having to rely on personal night vision goggles to operate his sights, while the gunner's sights were equipped with a thermal observation device, which meant that the XK1 had superior sensors until the introduction of the M1A2.XK1 tanks are also equipped with a hybrid suspension system consisting of hydropneumatic system on road wheels 1, 2 and 6, while 3, 4 and 5 are equipped with torsion bars, a feature not present on the XM1, granting the XK1 greater stability and ability to elevate and depress the main gun nearly twice as much as tanks equipped with torsion bars alone ( 20 to -9.7 degrees for the XK1 versus 10 to -5 for the XM1).Soon afterwards, South Korean officials were dispatched to General Dynamics Land Systems for supervision of the design, which would spawn the XK1.With its design being based on XM1, the XK1 shared various similarities with it.This was reported to be the latest in a series of such accidents since the K1 entered service..The KM68 main gun has been replaced with the KM256 120 mm main gun (a licensed production model of the U. M256 which, in turn, is a licensed production model of the Rheinmetall L44) which nearly doubled the penetration power of the original vehicle.
The winning design was based on the XM1, the prototype of M1 Abrams, by Chrysler Defense, the company which was later sold to General Dynamics and renamed General Dynamics Land Systems.
The vehicle is also equipped with an automatic fire extinguishing system.
The engine compartment detector is thermocouple wire, and the crew compartment detector is an optical sensor.
Production remained at approximately 100 units per year at its peak.
On August 6, 2010, during a live firing exercise at Paju, a round exploded in the barrel of a K1's 105mm gun, destroying the gun, but leaving crew uninjured.