323 (76mm)

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  • North Korea sub-tree in China
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323 (76mm)

Flag-North-Korea

Unknown official name

Brief History
North Korea has a surprisingly long history of tank and AFV production, with some of their most recent developments being very interesting. During the Korean War, and for a couple decades after, North Korea relied on Soviet hand-me-downs, namely T-34s and their derivatives, T-55s, etc. In the 70s, the DPRK started development of their first MBTs based on their copy of the T-62 (Ch’ŏnma), which have continually been upgraded to this day. They haven’t just built MBTs, however. They have a number of other AFVs, such as SPGs and tank destroyers.

Alongside these vehicles, North Korea has developed a number of APCs. In 1973, the 323 was spotted for the first time (sometimes incorrectly referred to as VTT-323 in the west). The 323 is a derivative of the Chinese YW 531A, which the DPRK bought and operated, with the biggest changes being the addition of a turret, one extra roadwheel, and amphibious capabilities. This suggestion focuses on one of 2 or 3 tank destroyer variants.

Characteristics
The 323 (76mm) removes the turret added onto the North Korean 323 APC variant and replaces it with a Soviet-made 76mm F-22. The F-22 has an L/51 barrel, and fires shells at 645-705m/s. The gun is capable of firing most Soviet 76mm shells, including those of the T-34’s F-34, albeit at a slightly higher velocity (resulting in a slight penetration increase of ~7-10mm at 0 degrees). It will therefore have gun performance similar to the early T-34s, but worse than the 76mm ZiS-3 on the SU-76(M).

The 323’s engine is believed to be the same as that on the Chinese YW 531 – 320hp. The US estimated the top speed of the 323 at 80km/h, but it is much more likely to be around 65km/h.

Armour is probably very similar (if not identical) to the YW 531, being ~14mm all around.

The 323 normally has a crew of 4 – commander, driver, gunner, and machine gunner. This is true for the APC variant, as well as some others (e.g. 9M14 ATGM carrier), but due to the lack of machine gun on this particular variant, I don’t know what happens to that crew member. Perhaps they are simply a radio operator, or are moved to be a loader in the rear compartment.

Conclusion
This vehicle would be a great low-tier indigenous tank destroyer for a North Korean sub-tree. It would perform slightly better than the in-game SU-76M at 2.0, so I think a BR of 2.3 is suitable.

Specifications
Armament

  • 76mm F-22
    • BR-350A APHEBC
    • BR-350B APHEBC
    • BR-350BSP APBC
    • BR-354P APCR
    • BP-350A HEAT
    • OF-350 HE

Armour

  • Hull
    • Front
      • 14mm
    • Sides
      • 14mm
    • Rear
      • 14mm
  • Turret
    • N/A

Mobility

  • Speed
    • ~65km/h
    • 10km/h in water
  • Weight
    • ~12.6-15.3t (estimated)
  • Engine power
    • 320hp

Images

Spoiler

  • Image of a training screen showing a 76mm-armed vehicle (this one). One of only 2 or 3 photos of this tank

323-76

  • Illustration from Tanks Encylopedia, although it appears to have some inaccuracies (e.g. weight under barrel is not visible on the real photos)

at

  • Possible other photo of these at a parade. Most sources refer to this as an unknown 57mm-armed version, but it looks very similar to the 76mm to me

Sources

Spoiler

323 Fire Support Vehicle with 76mm F-22 - Tank Encyclopedia
76 mm divisional gun M1936 (F-22) - Wikipedia – for ammunition data
323 APC - Tank Encyclopedia
The Armed Forces of North Korea: On the Path of Songun – Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
VTT-323 - 나무위키
323 APC

+1 nice vehicle for a united korean tree

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