M1985 SPAA

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  • North Korea sub-tree in China
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M1985 SPAA

Flag-North-Korea

Pyongyang-Military-Parade16

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.

To support MBTs and the rest of their armed forces, North Korea experimented with a number of SPAAs, starting with primitive trucks with machine guns placed on top (like the Soviet GAZ SPAAs), but reaching fully functional indigenous SPAAs beginning in the 70s. There are popular claims online that North Korea received 250 ZSU-57-2 turrets from the Soviet Union, which they then mounted on Type 59 hulls, but this is unsubstantiated and little more than a rumour. However, despite the ZSU-57-2 likely never setting foot in North Korea, North Korean engineers developed their own version – named M1985 in the West.

Characteristics
The M1985 mounts dual S-68A 57mm autocannons on the chassis of the Soviet ZSU-23-4, which North Korea did import (at least a couple vehicles). The guns are the exact same as the ZSU-57-2, and would fire the same shells, at the same rate.

The turret is very rudimentary in appearance, essentially being a giant box surrounding the guns. Armour probably remains the same or similar to the ZSU-57-2, being very thin. The biggest difference although, is a complete lack of gun depression, being limited to 0 or even +1° of elevation.

The turret seems to be split into an upper and lower section, the former potentially being able to be lowered. This could give the vehicle more gun depression but would expose the crew even further. However, no images have ever been found of this, so it’s purely speculative.

The hull of the M1985 is a copy of the ZSU-23-4’s, although there are a few minor differences. There is different side stowage, different tracks, and potentially a slightly altered upper-front plate angle. However, none of this matters in game, as the hull is already weakly armoured, and won’t stop much above machine guns.

Conclusion
This vehicle would be a great mid-tier indigenous SPAA for a North Korean sub-tree. It would have identical gun performance and similar mobility to the ZSU-57-2 at 7.0, but with a complete lack of gun depression in combination with a higher gun placement, I think it’s anti-tank capabilities will be much more limited, so I think 6.7 would be best.

Specifications
Armament

  • Dual S-68 57mm
    • BR-281SP APCBC
      • 151mm at 10m, 1000/s
    • OR-281U HE
      • 17mm at 10m, 1000/s
    • BR-281U APCBC
      • 151mm at 10m, 1000m/s

Armour

  • Hull
    • Front
      • 9mm
    • Sides
      • 9mm
    • Rear
      • 9mm
  • Turret
    • Front
      • Unknown, ~15mm
    • Sides
      • Unknown, ~15mm
    • Rear
      • Unknown, ~15mm

Mobility

  • Speed
    • 50km/h
  • Weight
    • Unknown, greater than 19t (ZSU-23-4 weight)
  • Engine power
    • 280hp

Images

Spoiler


i001282550

Sources

Spoiler

M1985 Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun - Tank Encyclopedia
A Visual Guide To North Korea’s Fighting Vehicles - Oryx
The Armed Forces of North Korea: On the Path of Songun – Stijn Mitzer, Joost Oliemans

1 Like

Probably their worst-designed vehicle, but still one which must be included. +1

1 Like

0 depression is trash,but still +1

2 Likes

Most positive vehicle. Gun never depress.

2 Likes