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....A couple of the images included in the Journal show the area on the glacis in front of the driver that resembles the Romanian TR-85M1 and TR-800 MBTs...

 

One note - TR-85 series glacis armor is same as T-55 + BDD, just integrated and not add-on.

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One note - TR-85 series glacis armor is same as T-55 + BDD, just integrated and not add-on.

 

Bojan; do you have any more information regarding the glacis armor of the TR-85M1? Do you mean the armor provides the same level of protection or that the design is actually the same as BDD? There are published reports that state the Ch'onma III has additional armor on its glacis...maybe it's the same thing? Also, do you have any specifics regarding the turret add-on armor used on the TR-85M1? Thanks in advance...

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Bojan; do you have any more information regarding the glacis armor of the TR-85M1? Do you mean the armor provides the same level of protection or that the design is actually the same as BDD?

 

Design is same as BDD. Front plate is ~50-60mm, and backup armor plate is ~100mm and between them is BDD like armor (ie metal plates in resin like material).

 

There are published reports that state the Ch'onma III has additional armor on its glacis...maybe it's the same thing?

 

I am not sure, but a theory is valid as any.

 

Also, do you have any specifics regarding the turret add-on armor used on the TR-85M1? Thanks in advance...

 

No. :(

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So, what do we have here? Overall, this new tank looks like a hybrid design showing Russian, Chinese and even Romanian influences. While the relationship to the Chinese Type 85-II and the T-62-based Ch'onma (Ch'onma-ho III, M1992), is apparent, I think the Romanians had a hand in this as well. In some ways I'm surprised that the next North Korean tank doesn't look more like the Romanian T-72 copy, the TR-125 (time will tell). A couple of the images included in the Journal show the area on the glacis in front of the driver that resembles the Romanian TR-85M1 and TR-800 MBTs. Overall, the hull of the new tank looks a lot like one of those Romanian tank hulls.This new tank's add-on armor not only has a similar shape to the turret frontal armor of the Type 85-IIAP it also has a single lifting eye on the "face" that is very similar to the lifting eye arrangement of the Type 85-IIAP, AL Khalid, Type 88C, etc. This implies that the array can be removed and replaced if damaged, etc.

 

There may well be design influences but also forms follows function. Just because the romanians and the north koreans came at superficially similar solutions it does not necessarily mean they copied it or they had someone on the design team. It might have happened or it might be a case of parallel development instead.

 

 

So, if these tanks are in fact the P'okpoong MBT, the early reports of a new North Korean tank based on the T-72 (at least externally), were way off the mark. Additionally, where is the still unseen "upgunned" Ch'onma variant that has been discussed by official sources and reported in various Defense White Papers over the years? These photos appear to show a tank that is still fitted with the 115mm main gun. IMO, these photos are of an upgraded Ch'onma III leaving the North Korean T-72-based tank still behind the curtain.

 

If one reads pre 1989 western sources on soviet tanks one finds a large number of mistakes, with completely different tanks being mixed up as versions of the same and so on. The sources we have on North Korea are the same which were available on the USSR: defectors, parade pictures etc.

It would be only be reasonable to expect similar mistakes from a place like North Korea.

What we have here is a tank with a different roadwheels configuration compared to a T-62. This indicates a new build rather than a simple upgrade of an existing vehicle. Wheel count is same as a T-72, so this might have prompted some speculation at some point in the rumor mill that it was T-72 based (and the details running against it were not picked up), which was then passed on as fact.

While they might certainly actually have others things such as T-72 based tanks or upgunned Ch'onma this vehicle seems a more straightforward and less challanging/disruptive development: increased protection and automotive improvements to compensate for the greater weight.

North Korea has not exactly been a tank development heaven for the last 15 years or so.

Edited by Marcello
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  • 4 months later...
Guest JamesG123

Seems like it. The frontmost three have "things" on the lower part of the BDD, dunno what it is, but wold guesws it's not ERA.

 

Flexible HEAT detonator screens. Notice the lead tank's driver's head or hatch is holding the one above his head up.

'

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Another angle, of a slightly different type of vehicle than the lead one in the other picture, without the screens, and smoke projector arrangement is different, at least. The sign appears similar though approx= 'enemy for whom the Korean people hold a deep rooted enmity-EXTINGUISH ALL THE AMERICAN IMPERIALIST AGGRESSORS!'. (not all that different from slogans on T-34's in 1950, for that matter ;) )

 

 

Joe

Edited by JOE BRENNAN
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Guest JamesG123

The 14.5mm KPV should come in handy against ROK M113s and helis.

 

They wouldn't survive long enough to be used. Tanks and tank like targets would be the first thing (ok maybe second behind their air force) the NKs would run out of if things went hot.

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They wouldn't survive long enough to be used. Tanks and tank like targets would be the first thing (ok maybe second behind their air force) the NKs would run out of if things went hot.

 

 

I know, why do they even bother trying to have an army at all? :rolleyes:

 

Look, I don't want to derail the topic, so all I'll say is neither of us, or anyone in the world for that matter, knows exactly how things will play out if the balloon goes up over the DMZ.

 

Back to the tank now.

Edited by demosthenes
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Guest JamesG123

It depends on the ammo stowage and how much of it is outside of the armored envelope. Any bustle pics?

 

I know, why do they even bother trying to have an army at all?

 

That would probably work out best for all concerned.

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By stimpy75 at 2010-10-11

By stimpy75 at 2010-10-11

 

While the SAM mounting on this particular tank seems to be getting all the attention, more importantly, this modified Ch'onma appears to be fitted with a 125mm main gun (a first for North Korea). The existence of this up-gunned variant has been reported by offical US and South Korean sources for years. This is all the more interesting since the other two "new" tanks seen in the parade, appear to be fitted with the 115mm main gun. Additionally, this variant appears to be fitted with new turet frontal armor, maybe new add-on armor on the glacis and a new (old?) LRF above the main gun. Very cool...

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