BK1990 (122) Second Prototype - Paving The Road To The Future

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TL;DR: The second of two prototypes of an 8x8 122mm armed SPG.

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Note: This is the only picture I could find of this vehicle. If you have any other significant information, please let me know.

History:

With the collapse of the USSR in the early 1990s, China’s focus could finally switch from heavily guarding its northern border to other matters. One of these matters was the development of lighter, faster, and easier to maintain military vehicles. Vehicles which had the gun performance of MBTs while at the same time being cheaper and easier to transport. NORINCO began work on a vehicle to fit this description some time in the 1990s. This vehicle would be based on the WZ-551, a 6x6 APC, which served as the basis for the PTL-02 and WMA-301 we see in-game. The resulting vehicle was the BK1970, a 6x6 105mm armed wheeled tank destroyer. Development continued, eventually resulting in an 8x8 version of the vehicle called the BK1990. This new wheeled tank destroyer initially featured the same turret and armament as the BK1970, however, a variant equipped with a new turret and 120mm smoothbore cannon appeared as well. None of the wheeled tank destroyers were accepted into service. This is where the story ends for most people, however, there existed another variant of the BK1990, which, instead of the wheeled tank destroyer role, was designed for the self propelled artillery role. It is unknown when this variant first appeared, however, what is known is that there were two prototypes. Unlike the first, the second prototype would feature a flatter, wider, and overall more complex turret with a visibly exposed turret ring and its smoke grenades mounted directly to the sides of the turret. This prototype would be shown off at some Chinese arms fair. Both prototypes were equipped with the PL-96 122mm howitzer, a Chinese copy of the Soviet D-30. This weapon was designed to accept not only Chinese ammunition, but all standard Russian 122mm ammunition as well. Unfortunately, the BK1990 (122), and BK1990 in general for that matter, would not be adopted in any form, however, the concept of a wheeled 122mm armed SPG would live on and be accepted into service as the PLL09, the turret of which draws heavy visual inspiration from the second BK1990 (122) prototype.

Place In War Thunder:

The BK1990 series of vehicles was not a success in real life, however, both of these prototypes have something unique to offer when it comes to War Thunder as there are very few wheeled SPGs in the world that can be used in direct-fire roles. The reason why the Type 75 SPH isn’t popular among players is because of its subpar mobility. The BK1990 (122)s’ wheeled configurations allow for higher top speeds, which fit better in War Thunder’s meta. The playstyle offered would be different when compared to other wheeled vehicles for two reasons. First, the main anti-tank round of the BK1990 (122)s would be HEATFS as opposed to APFSDS, though HE-donking could also be effective due to overpressure. This would make the vehicle unsuited to areas with heavy foliage or debris. Second, the BK1990 (122)s house a 122mm. This vehicle is unlikely to have a competitive reload. Shots would have to be taken with more care as out-reloading an opponent might not be an option. These two wheeled SPGs should be reserved for Chinese themed events or battlepasses as they are single prototypes and could have a tech tree equivalent in the form of the PLL-09.

Specifications:

Armament: PL-96 122mm howitzer and 1x 12.7mm MG

Dimensions: 7.64m, 3.00m, 1.46m (Not including turret) (L,W,H)

Weight: 22000~kg (est.)

Armor: 12.7mm proof from the front and 7.62mm proof all-round.

Crew: 4 (Driver, Gunner, Loader, and Commander)

Ammunition: HEATFS (460mm of pen), HE-I, FRAG-HE, Smoke, Illumination, AP Flechete (Capable of using both Chinese and Russian ammunition.)

Speed: 90kph

Horsepower: Specific engine horsepower specifications are not known, however the BK1970 features a 370hp engine.

Sources:

http://www.military-today.com/artillery/pl_96.htm

Army Guide

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122 mm howitzer 2A18 (D-30) - Wikipedia

https://user-guancha-cn.translate.goog/main/content?id=10588&_x_tr_sl=zh-CN&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=nui,sc

1 Like

An interesting wheeled derp gun!