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North Korean armor: little Kim's less explosive tools


SH_MM
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Found a few higher resolution photographs from the recent North Korean military parade. We didn't have a topic for BEST KOREAN armored fighting vehicles, so here it is.

 

New main battle tank, Abrams-Armata clone based on Ch'ŏnma turret design (welded, box-shaped turret) and Sŏn'gun hull design (i.e. centerline driver's position). The bolts of the armor on the hull front is finally visible given the increased resolution. It might not be ERA given the lack of lines inbetween. Maybe is a NERA module akin to the MEXAS hull add-on armor for the Leopard 2A5?

 

Other details include an APS with four radar panels (the side-mounted radar panels look a lot different - and a lot more real - than the ones mounted at the turret corners) and twelve countermeasures in four banks (two banks à three launchers each at the turret front, two banks à three launchers on the left and right side of the turret). Thermal imagers for gunner and commander, meteorological mast, two laser warning receivers, 115 mm smoothbore gun without thermal sleeve but with muzze reference system, 30 mm grenade launcher on the turret, six smoke grenade dischargers (three at each turret rear corner)

 

pn1KMSL.jpg

R2mg5Xi.jpg

 

IMO the layout of the roof-mounted ERA is really odd. Either the armor array covering the left turret cheek is significantly thinner than the armor on the right turret cheek or the roof-mounted ERA overlaps with the armor.

 

BZDdd09.jpg

soQnesF.jpg

The first ERA/armor element of the skirt is connected by hinges and can probably swivel to allow better access to the track. There is a cut-out in the slat armor for the engine exhaust. Also note the actual turret ring - very small diameter compared to the outer dimensions of the turret.

 

Stryker MGS copy with D-30 field gun clone and mid engine:

32h1Hns.jpg

Note there are four crew hatches. Driver (on the left front of the vehicle), commander (on the right front of the vehicle, seat is placed a bit further back), gunner (left side of the gun's overhead mount, next to the gunner's sight) and unknown crew member (right side of gun's overhead mount with 30 mm automatic grenade launcher mounted at the hatch). The vehicle also has a thermal imager and laser rangefinder (gunner's sight is identical to the new tank), but no independent optic for the commander. It also has the same meteorological mast and laser warner receivers as the new MBT.

 

What is the purpose of the fourth crew member? He cannot realistically load the gun...

 

The vehicle has a small trim vane for swimming, the side armor is made of very thin spaced steel that is bend on multiple spots, so it clearly is not ceramic armor as fitted to the actual Stryker.

BxCg1N9.jpg

 

The tank destroyer variant of the same Stryker MGS copy fitted with a Bulsae-3 ATGM launcher.

 

oTNNMlS.jpg

Note that there is again a third hatch with 30 mm automatic grenade launcher behind the commander's position. Laser warning receivers and trime vane are again stand-out features. The sighting complex for the Bulsae-3 ATGMs is different with a large circular optic (fitted with cover) probably being a thermal imager and two smaller lenses visible on the very right (as seen from the vehicle's point of view) probably containing a day sight and parts of the guidance system.

 

d6gqBSk.jpg

Non line-of-sight ATGM carrier based on the 6x6 local variant of the BTR, again fitted with laser warning receivers and a trim vane. There are only two hatches and two windows, but there is a three men crew inside.

 

 

There are a lot more photos here, but most of them are infantry of missile system (MLRS' and ICBMs).

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On 10/18/2020 at 12:17 PM, SH_MM said:

/.../

Stryker MGS copy with D-30 field gun clone and mid engine:

32h1Hns.jpg

Note there are four crew hatches. Driver (on the left front of the vehicle), commander (on the right front of the vehicle, seat is placed a bit further back), gunner (left side of the gun's overhead mount, next to the gunner's sight) and unknown crew member (right side of gun's overhead mount with 30 mm automatic grenade launcher mounted at the hatch). The vehicle also has a thermal imager and laser rangefinder (gunner's sight is identical to the new tank), but no independent optic for the commander. It also has the same meteorological mast and laser warner receivers as the new MBT.

 

What is the purpose of the fourth crew member? He cannot realistically load the gun...

/.../

 

   Maybe this vehicle have limited capacity autoloader and that 4th guy is repleneshing from main ammorack? I don't see other reasons in this case.

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Are you sure? The apparent size seems right for a 122mm.  To me, it looks similar to the 2A18 on the 2S1 Gvozdika, but North Korea doesn't have any of those and the entire mounting is obviously different.  I would think that the Norks might realize an 85mm gun might be a bit small for such a fire support vehicle by today's standards.

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On 10/18/2020 at 12:17 PM, SH_MM said:

IMO the layout of the roof-mounted ERA is really odd. Either the armor array covering the left turret cheek is significantly thinner than the armor on the right turret cheek or the roof-mounted ERA overlaps with the armor.

 

There is a serious chance that under outer sheets there is something more reminiscent of Merkava. 

It'll explain weird layout nicely.

 

1 hour ago, Scolopax said:

The apparent size seems right for a 122mm.

Gun barell is far too thin. Muzzle brake may be oversized to protect relatively weak chassis. 

Known 122mm 8x8 howitzers(say, chinese one) had their chassis seriously reinforced, doesn't seem to be the case here.

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