M1978 Tŏkch’ŏn (37mm)

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M1978 Tŏkch’ŏn (37mm)

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 (conventional and ATGMs).

The Tŏkch’ŏn series (named after a city in South Pyongan province where it was constructed) was the first major series of indigenous North Korean SPGs. It essentially took the chassis of the Soviet ATS-59 artillery tractor and added multiple types of high-calibre cannons, resulting in a number of different variants. However, there was also 1 SPAA on this chassis – the M1978.

Characteristics
The M1978 Tŏkch’ŏn mounts dual Chinese Type 65 37mm guns on the aformentioned ATS-59 chassis, in an open-top turreted design. The Type 65 is already in game on the Phòng không T-34, and its Soviet counterpart on the ZSU-37. This gun has access to HEFI-T, AP-T and HVAP-T rounds – the latter of which can penetrate 87mm of armour at 10m. The dual setup is likely very similar to that of the Phòng không T-34.

The chassis remains largely unmodified, and I doubt the engine was changed, so it should still be a 300hp engine, reaching a top speed of 45km/h.

The armour is poor, only thin plates surrounding the gun, probably <15mm across the whole vehicle, although this is unknown.

Some of these have been seen mounting Igla MANPADs on the rear, but I don’t think that variant would be suitable for the game (given the strength of MANPADs at a low-BR, but weakness of dual 37mms at a higher BR)

Conclusion
This vehicle would be a great early indigenous SPAA for a North Korean sub-tree. It would have similar gun performance and mobility to the Phòng không T-34 at 5.0, albeit with a more exposed turret, and lack of any actual hull armour (as on the T-34 chassis). Therefore I think a BR of 4.7 would be best.

Specifications
Armament

  • Dual Type 65 37mm
    • UO-167 HEFI-T
      • 8mm at 10m, 866m/s
    • BR-167 AP-T
      • 70mm at 10m, 868m/s
    • BR-167P HVAP-T
      • 87mm at 10m, 960m/s

Armour

  • Hull
    • Front
      • Unknown, thin
    • Sides
      • Unknown, thin
    • Rear
      • Unknown, thin
  • Turret
    • Front
      • Unknown, thin
    • Sides
      • Unknown, thin
    • Rear
      • Unknown, thin

Mobility

  • Speed
    • 45km/h
  • Weight
    • '>15t (13t + >2t)
  • Engine power
    • 300hp

Images

Spoiler

m-1978-37mm-na-parade
tokchon 37mm

Sources

Spoiler

https://en.topwar.ru/216355-sistema-pvo-kndr-zenitnye-artillerijskie-i-pulemetnye-ustanovki.html
Type 65 (37 mm) - War Thunder Wiki
ATS-59 - 나무위키
https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/m1989-spaag/
https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/modern-dprk/ – these 2 briefly mention the M1978

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It reminds me visually of the M19 MGMC; very cool! +1

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wouldn’t surprise me if it was inspired by that! the M19 did see service in Korea. Well, that or the ZSU-37, or both, lol

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May as well copy what works!

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