M1991 Tŏkch'ŏn (130mm)

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M1991 Tŏkch’ŏn (130mm)

Flag-North-Korea

Unknown official name (see note below)

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. The one I’m suggesting here is one of the (at least 2) 130mm versions.

Important note on nomenclature
The DPRK doesn’t differentiate between the variants of the Tŏkch’ŏn SPGs with names (at least not publicly). Therefore all references to names are the typical western analyst standard of ‘M + year first seen’. However, the Tŏkch’ŏn series is atrociously named across the internet, with wildly varying and conflicting years for each variant. I’ve tried to find as many good sources as I can but even then, they vary their naming system. For the sake of clarity, this particular vehicle I’m referring to as M1991. At least one of the two 130mm versions was first seen this year, and I think it was this one. Alternative names for this variant are M1977 or M1992. If these were ever added to the game a solution to avoid this would just be to call this the Tŏkch’ŏn (130) and only add one variant.

Characteristics
The M1991 Tŏkch’ŏn mounts a Soviet 130mm SM-4-1 coastal defence gun on the aformentioned ATS-59 chassis, in an open-top design. Only a thin gun shield protects the crew, otherwise they are completely exposed.

The SM-4-1 is a modified version of the SM-2-1 naval cannon, and fires the same ammunition at the same perfomance. Luckily, the cannon (SM-2-1) is already in game on some Soviet ships; it has an HE, HE-VT and even SAPCBC round, the latter of which has 204mm penetration at 1000m. We can assume North Korea has the same ammunition.

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 (although how the 130mm affects speed, I’m unsure).

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

Conclusion
This vehicle would be a great mid-tier indigenous SPG for a North Korean sub-tree. It has a powerful turreted 130mm gun capable of penetrating 200mm of armour with its SAPCBC round, and also firing powerful HE and HE-VT rounds. Therefore I suggest a BR of roughly 5.7-6.0, owing mainly to the lack of a turret and suitable crew protection.

Specifications
Armament

  • 130mm SM-4-1 (modified?)
    • OF-42 HE
    • PB-42 SAP
      • 204mm at 0º at 1000m
    • ZS-42R HE-VT

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
    • ~18t (13t + ~5t [weight of cannon])
  • Engine power
    • 300hp

Images

Spoiler


M1991

Sources

Spoiler

북한군 130mm 자주포 : 네이버 블로그
https://ko.topwar.ru/60961-artilleriya-koreyskoy-narodnoy-armii-chast-2-samohodnye-orudiya.html
https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/142695964
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (Modern) - Tank Encyclopedia
ATS-59 - Wikipedia
ATS-59 - 나무위키
СМ-2-1 — Википедия
Tokchon (series)

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