North Korean indigenous tanks and armoured vehicles
By Massimo Tessitori
|Chonma-ho I is a lightened copy of the Soviet T-62 tank, built in North
Imported T-62s are called in the same way.
Chonma-ho II is the same, updated with a laser rangefinder over the gun barrel.
Chonma-ho III is said to be a modernized version with skirts and additional protections, but never observed in photos.
|Chonma-ho IV is the first version with laminate turret, and can have
ERA or additive armour.
Chonma-ho V is the second version, with slightly enlarged and thickened laminate turret. It includes a base model (called Chonma-98 in NK) and one with additive protection (called Chonma-214, in the photo aside)
Chonma-ho VI is an unclear designation, probably relative to Chonma-215 and 216 (see Pokpung-ho below)
|Pokpung-ho is a widely utilized western designation for the latest versions
of Chonma-ho with lengthened hull and six bearing wheels for each side,
improved fire control system with wind sensor.
Pokpung-ho I (Chonma-215) is armed with 115 mm gun;
Pokpung-ho II (Chonma-216) is armed (probably) with 125 mm gun and improved frontal armour.
The tank could be armed with externally mounted antitank and Manpad SA missiles.
|Songun-ho is derived from Pokpung-ho; the main difference is the
wide cast turret armed with 125 mm gun; other visible differences include
the covers over the fenders that give the hull a flush look, and probably
a more powerful engine.
Songun-ho was first shown in parade in 2010.
It can have reactive armour on a limited part of the front and top of the turret, and (always) on part of the front glacis.
It can be armed with a Manpad SA missile close to the commander's hatch.
PT-85 (M-1981 Shin'heung)
Known in the west as PT-85, this vehicle (whose North Korean name
is Model 1981 "Shin'heung", Rise) is a light amphibious tank,
inspired by the PT-76 but based on a stretched and heavily modified
hull of WZ-531.
The M-2009, Chunma-D (Race horse, in Korean) is an infantry combat vehicle based on the hull of the PT-85 amphibious tank.
The turret is nearly identical to that of 6x6 and 8x8 M-1912 wheeled APC, armed with 2 14.5 heavy machine guns plus a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun.
The infantry, presumably 8 men, has access from doors on both the sides of the hull.
North Korea has started the production of a modified clone of the BTR-80. The vehicle was first revealed during the parade of 2010, and is believed to be produced in quantity. Its name is still unclear; it is usually referred as M-2010 in the west, and a well informed site refers it as Chunma-D.
It differs from its Soviet antecessor because of its new turret armed with two 14.5 mm machine guns, for its deck and many other details.
In the same parade of 2010 where the new M-2010 8x8, derived from BTR-80, was revealed, it was shown also a mass produced 6x6 version of the vehicle.
Compared to its 8x8 elder sister, the hull was clearly shortened; the doors zone was changed, as the rear deck and plate layout.
The informations and images on these pages are collected from many sources
on the web. The main ones are:
http://www.military-today.com/apc/north_korean_8x8_apc.htm (plus the 6x6 related APC)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tsRHGjARLY (AA self propelled guns)
good close images of vehicles on parade in 2013, from the left side.