North Korean Ground Forces Sub-Tree

Yeah, your original source says:

  • the turret is very similar, but differs in the front part, at last for the shape of the applique armour (that seems slightly more angular on 216).
  • Chonma-215 (404) has a slightly different rear deck and fender arrangement than chonma-216 (909); Chonma-215’s rear deck looks more flat and horizontal, while the one of -216 looks more similar to -214, inclined backwards and with raised venting grilles.
  • The smoke mortar arrangement of Chonma-215 is the same of 214, for mortars on one column, while Chonma-216 has the mortars disposed on two columns of two mortars each; this is the most visible difference allowing to distinguish them.
  • The engine deck of Chonma-215 and 216 has a cleaner look than on 214, that is still similar to that of T-62.

So the 216 turret front armour is slightly adjusted for better protection and the engine deck is cleaner design as well. It also might be an engine difference.


115mm Smoothbore Gun
3BM-3 (1961)
295mm @ 2000m (0)
110mm @ 2000m (60)

3BM-4 (1961)
220mm @ 2000m (0)
115mm @ 2000m (60)

3BM-6 (1967)
240mm @ 2000m (0)
120mm @ 2000m (60)

3BM-21 (1975)
330mm @ 2000m (60)
135mm @ 2000m (60)

3BM-28 (1978)
350mm @ 2000m (0)
205mm @ 2000m (60)

3BM-36 (1988)
385mm @ 2000m (0)
225mm @ 2000m (60)

125mm Smoothbore Gun
BTA4 (1999)
515mm @ 2000m (0)
300mm @ 2000m (60)

DTC10E-125 (2022)
530mm @ 2000m (0)
310mm @ 2000m (60)

Ty for this. Is this using WT values for some of them, or all irl values?

I’m going to create a section on the main page about ammunition, so this helps a ton. Should probably add some Soviet 125 ammunition, I’m assuming NK has some. Likely just 3BM9/15/22 standards though.

Well both sources and the L-O calculator confirm the penetration values

3BM-36 which came in 1988, is literally the 125mm 3BM-32 Vant inside a 115mm sabot. Same penetrator, different sabot and propellant.

3BM-32 with 1710m/s has 230mm @ 2km (60)
3BM-36 with 1660m/s has 225mm @ 2km (60)

115mm 3BM-28 Nadfil-1 came in 1978 and then the penetrator was reused for 125mm 3BM-29 Nadfil-2 which came in 1982.

3BM-28 with 1650m/s has 205mm @ 2km (60)
3BM-29 with 1700m/s has 210mm @ 2km (60)

Anyways your list of North Korean MBTs is definitely severely under tiered and underestimated. APFSDS isn’t even the main ammo user by NK since they can’t produce their own, they need to buy it. But they can make their own ATGMs such as Bulsae-2 and Bulsae-3. You’ll find that 115mm armed NK tanks in 2010’s+ will shoot tandem 115mm ATGMs out of those 115mm guns and 125mm tandem ATGMs from their 125mm guns in real life scenario.

DTC10E-125 is pure guess by me since it looks like a BTA4 which uses propellant charge of DTC10-125 and it’s for export. So penetration wise the performance will be inbetween BTA4 and domestic DTC10-125

I doubt NK would settle for that trash ammo when they have South Korean MBTs to deal with. Even Iran uses 125mm 3BM-42 at least. Plus China is closer export partner to NK so they prob get 125mm ammo from China whilst only Russia is able to sell them 115mm ammunition. Unfortunately what ammo they buy or wether they actually do buy from Russia and China is something that’s not proved.

But like I said, their inability to produce their own apfsds is why they produce ATGMs instead.

Modern 115mm tandem ATGMs easily turn the T-72B3, T-90A, T-80U tanks into Swiss cheese through their Kontakt-5

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I have a pending section RE ATGMs, but from what I’ve found so far:
Bulsae-2 is just a 9M111 Fagot, maybe with different sights – only 400mm penetration, no tandem warhead.
Bulsae-3 is an upgraded Bulsae-2 with new guidance system, which seems to be the beam riding SACLOS of 9M133/Bulsae-5, put onto a 9M111 (hence why some sources claiming it is a 9M133 clone). I assume it’s still similar to the 9M113 Konkurs in penetration, so 500mm (WT figures). Bulsae-3 is what appears to be on every MBT.
Bulsae-4 is an NLOS ATGM only present on the ‘M2018’ tank destroyer at the moment (and another variant of it).
Bulsae-5 is the big one, an upgraded 9M133 Kornet.
According to South Korean military sources, 1000-1200mm penetration, same as standard 9M133, and tandem warhead. But, as far as I can tell, this is only mounted on tank destroyers. Even the M2020 likely only has the Bulsae-3.

And they can’t fire GLATGMs. As far as we know, NK’s 125mm guns are incapable of firing ATGMs as they were reverse-engineered from the early 125mms on the T-72 ‘Ural’, which lacked rhat ability. Hence why they’re mounted on the sides/roofs of their tanks.

If they could, why mount extra ATGMs on the side? I mean sure it’s more firepower but it’s pretty illogical.

So them having Bulsae-3 won’t really raise their BRs that much. Maybe the M2020 has Bulsae-5 but it’s still top tier anyway, that won’t change much.

Bulsae-2 is like 400-500mm
Bulsae-3 is new and it most definitely is tandem so I expect around 600-750mm penetration with it

Anyways the Songun-Ho has at least 27hp/T power to weight and that upper plate is sloped at 75 degrees. Even if it was just 100mm steel plate with Kontak-5 ERA equivalent, it would offer at least 420mm KE vs apfsds , this is like the bare minimum KE protection for that hull. Mind you at 75 degrees a K5 is more effective than at 68 degrees and I doubt the hull is only 100mm steel plate. The turret is extremely thick, essentially it has composite armour engulfed by cast steel. The 125mm gun will definitely shoot modern tandem 125mm ATGMs and modern Chinese apfsds ammunition. I have no idea why you’d have it at only 9.3

Just found out that NK advertised the Bulsae-2 as AT-4MLB which indicates the late M version of the Fagot. Bulsae-2 is 600mm of Penetration

Yes, I saw this while researching but have again (much like most NK things lol) found conflicting information:

Bulsae-2 is exported as Phoenix-4M and is primary ATGM of Hamas that at least on two occasions used it to either mission kill or destroy Israeli MBTs Merkava 3 or 4. Based on pamplet of older model known as AT-4MLB that was demonstrated to Myanmar’s military in 2008, performance comparable to 9M111-2 Faktorya, modernized 9M111.

Though this may not be indicative of performance of Bulsae-2/Phoenix-4M as launchers for 9M111 were compatible with 9M113 and difference between original/initial models of these two Soviet ATGMs is 400 versus 600mm RHAe hence it may be that canisters used to house ATGMs are those sized for 9M113 and not 9M111 series.

WT Live // Images by chernobog17271

edit: if i could find that pamphlet for Myanmar, maybe we could make better claims about whether it’s actual performance is upgraded or whether it’s just the launcher/canister

I think you’re right, it’s under-tiered slightly. (although it’s not at 9.3, I have it at 10.3)

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There’s also the later Songun-Ho with ERA and Bulsae 3 and anti air

Pokpung-Ho III (2017)

Think of the tank this way… it’s a T-72AV TURMS-T but lacks thermal sights and ERA on turret. In compensation you get modern 115mm ATGM missiles, far more mobility, Bulsae-2 ATGMs with 600mm penetration and Igla MANPADS for anti air.

T-72AV TURMS-T would have slightly more powerful apfsds tho (3BM42) at least more noticeable at close range. Considering it’s 10.0, I think Pokpung-Ho III would be suitable fit at 10.0 as well

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I found the brochure:

Despite the name, it seems it’s a copy of the 9M111-2, given the 460mm penetration value, not the base 9M111 (400mm) or the 9M111M (600mm).

Gives a little buff to the M1992 in my tree but it’s the only vehicle with the Bulsae-2 iirc.

Export markets? When were we talking about that?

Like Ukraine, most of DPRK’s tanks are copies of USSR designs and only later do they show SIGNIFICANT improvement/unique qualities - not to say some of the early models had their own differences

Export markets don’t matter in this equation - Israeli tanks (early) were largely just captured USSR variants modified (Tehran) and upgraded Shermans and just plain old American gear (M-51 Super Sherman + Patton / Pershing(?)

The T-62 is a MBT - an older model, but still an MBT.
North Korean Pokpong and Chonma models are sufficient to be considered MBTs of an older group

Chinese and Israel MBTs are largely copy and paste with some edits here and there

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I wish they added these vehicles soon

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Really want these added. The MBTs better be worse than everything else as I love an underdog

Three possible vehicles that could be added, the first is the 323 (ZPU-4) either as a Tier II or early Tier III, which is a VTT 323 with 4 14.5mm HMG’s

The other two is the BTR-80A which the DPRK uses (Identical to the one in the Soviet TT) and the M2010 which is a BTR-80 with the VTT-323 turret that also can mount Igla Anti-Air Missiles

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I need to update this tree, and those are all vehicles I was planning on adding! (and making proper suggestions for)

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YES it would be a great idea.

Most of the equipment in North Korea is either Soviet-made or its variant. It makes no sense that the option includes China. And I also don’t think the tree of Soviet equipment will be limited to the current quantity. Given the lifespan of the game, more equipment will be added to the Soviet Union, one of the major countries, and most of the equipment from other Eastern Bloc or socialist countries has not yet appeared. So I think the options are ‘Soviet’, ‘Unified Korea’ and ‘Other’.

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