In 1942, development work began on the Centurion, a British heavy cruiser tank designed to counter the power of German armor. Notable design features were the sloped frontal armor, powerful 600hp engine, and Horstmann suspension. Firepower was taken care of by either the 17 pounder (76.2mm) gun or its 77mm variant. An initial batch of six Mk. I Centurions was finished in April 1945, and while that was too late for them to reach the front lines before the German surrender in May, work continued on new Centurion variants: the Mk. II was given a new cast turret, before being superseded in 1948 by the upgunned Mk. III and its 20 pounder. The Mk. III Centurion first saw combat action in the Korean War, proving its worth time and again in the desperate back-and-forth struggle. In later years, it was exported to militaries in Europe, India, Israel and Egypt.