Ch’ŏnma-216 (2014)

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Ch’ŏnma-216 (2014)

Flag-North-Korea

h8cjhw

Erroneously called P’okp’ung-Ho II/III.

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-216 (also known as P’okp’ung-Ho II, although this designation is entirely fictitious) was first spotted in 2012, and is by far the best variant of the Ch’ŏnma. Multiple sub-variants have since been produced, but this suggestion focuses on the second variant, initially seen in 2014.

Characteristics
The Ch’ŏnma-216 was based on the previous Ch’ŏnma-215 (suggestion on the forums here). Compared to the Ch’ŏnma-215, the Ch’ŏnma-216 has slightly altered smoke grenade positions, slightly different turret applique shape, and a slightly different engine deck and rear fenders, along with other even more minor changes.

However, the 2014 version saw a number of upgrades over the initial 2012 version, namely:

  • Turret mounted Igla MANPADS
    • Only one source names them, and claims they are the 9K310 Igla-1 variant
  • Turret mounted ATGM launchers
    • These are likely Bulsae-3 ATGMs, which seem to essentially be an indigenous copy of the 9M113 Konkurs (but with the Kornet’s SACLOS guidance system)
    • 500mm penetration

The base turret armour is the same as that of the Ch’ŏnma-215, 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).

Some sources claim this variant mounted a North Korean 125mm 2A46 copy, but I find this highly unlikely. When compared to prior variants, there are no visual indicators that this is the case.

Compared to the base T-62/Ch’ŏnma, the Ch’ŏnma-216 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 3BM28 or 3BM36), likely without GL-ATGMs however.

Conclusion
The Ch’ŏnma-216 would be a really cool vehicle for a future North Korean sub-tree. The 2014 variant improves slightly on the Ch’ŏnma-215/216 (2012), hence I suggest it is added at a slightly increased BR along with 3BM36 APFSDS, at roughly 9.7.

Specifications
Armament

  • 115mm U-5TS
    • Stabilised
    • 3BM28 APFSDS
    • 3BM36 APFSDS
    • 3BK15M HEAT-FS
    • 3OF27 HE
  • Laser rangefinder
  • NVDS/Thermals
    • NVDs confirmed, thermals likely 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, better than Soviet ‘BDD’ (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

pokpung-hocamoright-t
Ch’ŏnma-216 (2014)
North_Korea_military_parade_10_October_2015_guards-PokpungHo
pokpung-hocamo-t
pokpong'ho4
pokpung-hocamodetail-t
songun-ho-rear

Sources

Spoiler

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

1 Like

Quite a unique vehicle. Personally hope to see it in a United Korea tree. I think Pakistan, Bangladesh, and others that utilize PRC exports or have there own derivatives of them have the Chinese tree covered. As for the Shenyang F-5 in the tree already, they can just move it to a United Korea like they did with the Premium Israeli vehicles when Israel came out.

3 Likes

+1 for United Korea!

2 Likes

Super T-62! +1

1 Like