Ch’ŏnma-215

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Ch’ŏnma-215

Flag-North-Korea

pokpungtop-t

Erroneously called P’okp’ung-Ho I.

Brief History
North Korea, despite what some may think, has a surprisingly large variety of tanks and other AFVs. In particular, their indigenous variants and developments of the Soviet T-62 are incredibly interesting, and would fit nicely into the game. North Korea adopted the T-62 as their MBT in the 70s, replacing their antiquated T-34s and T-55s (although over 2000 T-55s are still in service in 2023). They obtained T-62s from 2 sources – directly importing them from the USSR, as well as producing them under license/reverse-engineering them. These were designated Ch’ŏnma (roughly meaning ‘Pegasus’) [note: some sources refer to these tanks as ‘Ch’ŏnma-Ho XYZ’ but the -Ho suffix is something made up by the US DoD].The Ch’ŏnma went through a variety of different upgrades and modifications, ranging from glorified 1960s-era T-62s to effectively completely new vehicles in some of the later variants. The Ch’ŏnma-215 (also known as P’okp’ung-Ho I, although this designation is entirely fictitious) was first spotted in 2002, and was definitely one of the first variants to be quite radically different from the base T-62.

Characteristics
The Ch’ŏnma-215 was based on the previous Ch’ŏnma-214 (suggestion on the forums here [will edit when it’s approved]), which essentially served as a pre-series vehicle. Compared to the Ch’ŏnma-214, Ch’ŏnma-215 had a new elongated hull with an extra 6th roadwheel, an improved laser rangefinder and anemometer combo, and new add-on turret armour in a different form as that of the previous variant.

The base turret armour has also been massively improved, reaching levels comparable to that of the T-72M (~600mm), see image below.

Spoiler

pokpoongdest2

It is possible that a new engine (1000-1100hp) was developed for this tank, but I find it unlikely. Its sights may also have been upgraded to those found on the early T-72s, as North Korea acquired a T-72 Ural during the development of this variant (hence the much improved turret armour).

Compared to the base T-62/Ch’ŏnma, the Ch’ŏnma-214 incorporated a lot of the prior upgrades, such as:

  • A new welded turret, first seen on the Ch’ŏnma-98
    • It is elongated, which might suggest a turret bustle/a larger first-stage ammo rack
  • Side-skirts, smoke launchers and a laser rangefinder, seen on various prior variants
  • A new engine (750hp), as on Ch’ŏnma-98 OR a new 1000-1100hp engine

It likely retains the same (hull) armour layout and armament of the base T-62, but probably uses some of the better 115mm APFSDS (such as 3BM21 or 3BM28), likely without GL-ATGMs however.

Conclusion
The Ch’ŏnma-215 would be a really cool vehicle for a future North Korean sub-tree. It improves fairly significantly on the Ch’ŏnma-214, namely with much better turret armour. I would place it at roughly 9.3-9.7, 9.7 especially if it has the upgraded engine and potential thermal sights.

Specifications

Armament

  • 115mm U-5TS
    • Stabilised
    • 3BM21 APFSDS
    • 3BM28 APFSDS
    • 3BK15M HEAT-FS
    • 3OF27 HE
  • Laser rangefinder
  • NVDs/Thermals
    • NVDs known, thermals possible, but not confirmed

Armour

  • Hull
    • Front - 100mm at 59º
    • Sides - 80mm at 0º
    • Rear - 45mm at 2º
  • Turret
    • Front - 214-240mm + Unknown add-on armour thickness, likely better than Soviet ‘BDD’ (i.e. > 65-85mm)
    • Sides - Unknown, likely similar to regular T-62 (115-196mm)
    • Rear - Unknown, likely similar to regular T-62 (65mm)

Mobility

  • Speed
    • Unknown, likely still roughly +55/-9 km/h
  • Weight
    • Unknown, likely ~44t
  • Engine power
    • 750hp, ~17hp/t
    • OR 1000-1100hp, ~22.7-25hp/t

Images

Spoiler

Sources

Spoiler

Below The Turret Ring: Photographs from North Korean ATGM tests
pokpung-ho
Ch'ŏnma - Tank Encyclopedia

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