Ch’ŏnma-216 (2017)

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  • North Korean sub-tree in China
  • United Korea tech tree
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Ch’ŏnma-216 (2017)

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

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 2010, and is by far the best variant of the Ch’ŏnma. Multiple sub-variants have since been produced, but this suggestion focuses on the third and currently last variant, initially seen in 2017.

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 2017 version saw a number of upgrades over the 2012 and 2013 versions, namely:

  • Turret mounted Igla MANPADS, same as on the 2013 version
    • Only one source names them, and claims they are the 9K310 Igla-1 variant
  • Turret mounted ATGM launchers, same as on the 2013 version
    • These have a new mounting and cover on this variant
    • 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
  • Removal of the 14.5mm KPVT and replacement of it with two 30mm grenade launchers (copy of the Soviet AGS-17)
  • Addition of Laser Warning Receivers on the turret sides
  • ERA on the upper front plate
    • Unknown performance, but possibly similar to Kontakt-1

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 2017 variant improves slightly on the Ch’ŏnma-215/216 (2010), hence I suggest it is added at a slightly increased BR along with 3BM36 APFSDS, at roughly 9.7, foldered with the Ch’ŏnma-216 (2013) variant, over which it is essentially the same, just with minor changes to secondary armament.

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 + ERA of unknown performance
    • 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


s-dopolnitelnym-vooruzheniem-tank-t-62-takzhe-mozhet-stat-kombainom-smerti-qn97mzay-1655175241



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EocYD_9VgAEhkvN

Sources

Spoiler

pokpung-ho
https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/chonma/
Below The Turret Ring: Photographs from North Korean ATGM tests

1 Like

+1 I really don’t want to know what the punishment of leaking classified information in north korea is. Unique vehicles for china or a korea tech tree

3 Likes

so tempting to go to north korea just to get photos of some of these vehicles but the museum a lot of them are in doesnt allow cameras :( lol

1 Like

Yes for the korean subtree in Japan

United Korean all the way!

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North Korea more related to the USSR or to the China, so it’s about their tech tree

I think, we’ll see some Wrong Korea vehicles in Japan tech tree
The most interesting of them are K9, Crotal, K1/2

1 Like

No matter where they go, I’d really like to see these North Korean tanks added. +1

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Photos of the Ch’ŏnma-216 during exercises alongside the M2020 revealed a nameplate, which when zoomed in looks almost definitively like ‘천마–’ (Ch’ŏnma–) which all but confirms the name Ch’ŏnma-216. Wasn’t really debated but it’s good to know that’s the real name.

GImcnZAbYAAKO5m
GImgEBvacAABKpA

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Some photos of the Ch’ŏnma-216 during those training exercises:
egijrgi_1710387554


1710388022_5

1 Like

Looking forward to it c:

1 Like