It is unlikely that there is another country that classify their defense projects as well as it makes the Democratic People’s Republic. Outside insulation and constant threat of harsh conflicts forced the management of this small country is very likely to take precautions. Given the tensions on the Korean peninsula, it is possible to realize such a position. In the middle of other branches of the defense industry in Korea has its own creation tanks. Some time it was occupied by the creation of licensed versions of Russian tanks, but with the passage of time have been made and developed their own design.
Its first armored vehicle development, which has become known abroad, was some light tank. For the first time the existence of the tank, it became clear in 1985, because of what the American car documents listed under the symbol M1985. Later, because of the similarity of the tank with a floating Russian PT-76 came into use in the designation PT-85, as «Type 82». Yet, his Korean index of the tank so far is a secret. Not better information about the properties and armament. According to the most vserasprostranennoy version, the engineers of North Korea took over the base Chinese armored «Type 63», revised its design and brought to it a number of configurations, borrowed from Russian amphibious tank PT-76. Combat weight M1985 is estimated at 20-22 tons. For obvious reasons, all the speculation about protection and mobility Korean tanks are built on the disk imaging properties of the Chinese APC. If the PT-82 received the same 500-horsepower engine that was on «the Type 63», the road speed 65-70 km / h it is fully capable. The hull shape «Type 82» apparently alluding to the fact that he is able to swim. Chinese APC can swim at speeds up to 6.7 km per hour. Of course, Korean Tank has similar characteristics.
PT-85 «type 82»
Type 63 in the exposition of the Military Museum in Beijing
Existing photo shows that, in contrast to the «Type 63» M1985 has 6 road wheels on board — one and a half times more. Lengthening the machine was caused by the need to install the tower. On his own form, it resembles the corresponding Russian tank unit PT-76. Perhaps Korean tank builders carefully researched set in North Korea Russian armored vehicles. From the two possible prototypes M1985 different weapons. The main instrument of the Korean tank — 85-mm tank gun. By his own mind it’s like a modifed Soviet D-44. With gun paired 7.62-mm machine gun. On the turret has a system for mounting anti-aircraft machine gun CPV (14.5 mm) and a starting guide for anti-tank missiles «Baby» or similar to them. The number of tanks made «Type 82», as well as other details, is unclear. Estimated Japanese and American intelligence services, it produced about 500 of these tanks, which supplemented the troops PT-76, having the least massive arms. With all this one does not exclude the possibility of continuing production. Perhaps the tank builders of North Korea could modernize M1985 and continue to develop. The reason for this — the ability M1985 and PT-76 to cross water obstacles without any special training.
In 1992, at the parade in Pyongyang on the area was hitherto unknown column of armored vehicles. In appearance they resembled the Russian T-62 and it had the prerequisites. In the late 70s the USSR sold North Korea the license for the T-62 tanks. For our country, it was already obsolete tank, but the Koreans have considered buying a very, very profitable. North Korea’s first armored vehicle produced in its original form, but soon began to carry out modernization. According to reports, since the time it was made 5 updates the tank. Korean version of the T-62 got the title Ch’onma-ho («Chhonma-ho»), which in Korean means «Heavenly Horse». The main configuration of all five upgrades touched weapons and electronics. A new version of the tank «Chhonma 5-ho» is equipped with 125-mm gun 2A46, coupled with a 7.62-mm machine gun. Native anti-aircraft gun of the T-62 (DShKM) gave way to a more severe weapons — CPV. In addition, there were at least two update management tool, and can be changed was powerplant. There is information about the installation to «Chhonma-ho 5» dynamic defense of their Korean design. Apparently, it uses a new and unique concept: all units are located on the back of the protection of the tower. More classic space to mount the active protection given to additional modules reservation. Either way, in the main, «Heavenly Horse» left even the deepest, but the modernization of outdated T-62.
According to reports, produced about 1200-1300 units of tanks Ch’onma-ho all modifications. Based on the information about the number of armored vehicles to the armed forces of North Korea, «Chhonma-ho» shared first place with tanks «Type 59» (licensed T-55). Of course, the creation of a «heavenly horses» lasts to this day and in parades subsequent years may be the emergence of new variants of this design. In 2002 came the news and on the occurrence of armed North Korean army of the new tank. As it turned out slightly later, he received the title P’okp’ung-ho («Tiger Storm»). In 2002, this tank was used already in the army, of which he was made a conclusion about the approximate timing of the start of its development — not later than the first half of the 90s. Soon after the discovery of «Storm Tiger» intelligence analysts and Western states shared by some of his thoughts on the matter. According to the most popular version of enjoying, after the collapse of the Union of Russian certain number of T-72 tanks through a third country fell into the hands of the Korean war and engineers. There they were subjected to painstaking research, then Korean tank builders have begun to make their modern tank. With all of this in the design P’okp’ung-ho used a huge number of aspects of the tank T-62. You could even say that the «Tiger of the storm» is a cross between a T-62 and T-72.
P’okp ‘ung-ho («Storm Tiger»)
Driving characteristics of the tank P’okp’ung-ho usually specified at the level of the T-72. Armament, in turn, is very reminiscent instrument prior Korean armored vehicles. This is a 115 — or 125-mm smoothbore gun, coaxial machine gun and anti-aircraft CPV. In the video, do the parades of recent years, can be seen on a «Tiger Storm» modern ERA. In appearance it is similar to the existing standards and closes zabugornye frontal hull plate. Also, some tanks were equipped design for the installation of portable anti-aircraft missile system. Of course, the gun was found missing CPV means of self-defense against threats from the air. The total amount made by the «Tigers of the storm» is estimated to be two to three hundred square meters. The relative newness of the design requests from manufacturers special effort, which does not allow them to collect a new tank specially bolshennymi parties. At the same time, an advantage P’okp’ung-ho over the past North Korean tanks could lead to a full transition to the production of this particular armored vehicles. As we see, North Korea, despite the isolation manages to collect quite a fascinating technique. Tanks M1985, Ch’onma-ho and P’okp’ung-ho can not be called advanced and fully up to date. Yet, they can at least make konkurentnst tanks ROK family K1. However, the Republic of Korea has a three-and-a-half 10-ka Russian tanks T-80, which will be very severe competition. But the difference in the caliber of guns and thickness of armor in modern warfare does not have the same impact on the course of fighting, as coherence, communication and control systems. It remains only to note laudatory desire Pyongyang have a strong army, independent from imports and to counter the current threats.
According to the materials of websites: http://globalsecurity.org/ http://militaryfactory.com/ http://info-rm.com/ http://english.hani.co.kr/ http://andrei-bt.livejournal.com/