Jump to content
enigma6584

South Korean 11th Armored Division

Recommended Posts

I happen to run across this video. Some interesting clips here of the armored vehicles used by the South Koreans. It looks like they use some sort of version of the Russian T-80 or at least parts of it and also a BMP-3 or at least what looks like a BMP-3.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88OqX3SmFnQ&feature=related

To those in the know: Do the South Koreans utilize a lot of Russian equipment in their national TO&E? I always thought they used mostly western technology and equipment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some quick internet research says that ~35 T-80U's were transfered to S. Korea in exchange for the nullification of some debts. Also they do seem to be operating 70 BMP-3's but I'm not sure why for those.

Their main MBT as far as I know is the K1 and K1A1. Those are the M1 Abrams looking things you saw. The K1 has a 105mm main gun, the K1A1 has a 120mm. Oddly enough I heard that the K1's don't have thermal sights and that both types are limited in their ammo load. They're due to be (partially?) replaced with a new tank mounting an L55 style main gun.

Not sure at all about the other APC's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Hans said; the T-80s and the BMP-2 are payment-in-kind for some work the ROK did for the Soviets, I think it had to do with the manufacture of an oil pipeline.

The ROK army has developed (as Hans noted) two MBTs the K1 and the K2. It's also fielding its own IFV, and what is supposed to be an indigenous SPA design.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_South_Korea is the wiki link

Shot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have 33 T-80Us, 2 T-80UKs, and 70 BMP-3s.

Original intention was to use them (first purchase batch of 33 T-80s and 33 BMPs) as aggressor units and some scientific guineapigs - were helpful when developing K-2.

But the AFVs' performance was better than expected; basically, we thought Russian pieces were - with exaggeration - BS and were surprised to see they actually were good.

So we ordered extra 37 BMPs and 2 T-80UKs as part of second purchase run to form 1 tank btn and 2 mech btns. IIRC they are now at the "Eastern Front"

And... yes, K-1 does have TIS.

K1A1 has some ammo problem because its base, K-1, was not designed with 120mm upgrade in mind.

Total ammo count is 32 rounds with 11 rounds at the ready. Well, to be honest, only 7 are in the ready rack. 4 are at the back of the turret. (Or so I've heard)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, Interesting.

I have to admit, I wonder why the choice was made to upgrade the K1 to the 120mm?

I mean...Look...South Korea's most likely enemy is going to be North Korea, yhea? OK, now North Korea doesn't exactly have a ton of super-modern tanks. Now, when you consider that perhaps the South Korean tankers might just be a little bit, Mmmm, smaller in stature? Than their Western European and North American counterparts...

Wouldn't it be more advantageous to stick with a faster loading gun, thats more than enough for the job, and can bring more rounds to the fight? Unless...Theres a concern about China getting involved with some newer equipment?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmm, Interesting.

I have to admit, I wonder why the choice was made to upgrade the K1 to the 120mm?

I mean...Look...South Korea's most likely enemy is going to be North Korea, yhea? OK, now North Korea doesn't exactly have a ton of super-modern tanks. Now, when you consider that perhaps the South Korean tankers might just be a little bit, Mmmm, smaller in stature? Than their Western European and North American counterparts...

Wouldn't it be more advantageous to stick with a faster loading gun, thats more than enough for the job, and can bring more rounds to the fight? Unless...Theres a concern about China getting involved with some newer equipment?

The threat in mind when developing K1A1 was T-72 level tanks.

There always was possiblity that DPRK might purchase/develop tanks on par with T-72s and 105mm gun and armor of K1 were not considered reliable enough against such threats.

(I bet Abrams sweeping the floor with the Iraqi armors in the Gulf War also certainly have influenced this decision)

Remember, we don't use high-performance DU rounds like M900. (DU rounds are politically sooooo bad. :( )

And well, although not officially an "Enemy," China and Japan are all neighbors and neighbors = rivals

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So that leads me to a few questions...

1) Is the armor on the T-72 really that good, or is this a KONTAKT-5 related issue?

2) Is the M900 good enough to be effective against T-72 tanks? KONTAKT-5 covered tanks?

3) Are the Non-DU rounds really that much worse then the DU rounds?

and 4) Do the K1A1's use imported ammo like DM33/53/etc or KE-W/A1 types or does S. Korea have the resources to produce their own?

Really I don't know a whole lot about the K1/K1A1 but, really, the K1 seems more than a match for North Korean junk...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

North Korea actually has a tank of T-72/80/90 type in its inventory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%27okpoong-Ho

Now the 105mm gun of the K1 might be sufficient to deal with it but there´s also the issue of ammunition compatibility with the US forces in theater. That was one of the reasons why 2nd Infantry Division was equipped with M60s till the early 90s, when they changed to the M1A1. Now with the K1(A1) and especially the new K2, the South Koreans clearly have the upper hand in terms of armor on the Korean peninsula.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The original T72 was noticeably better protected than the M60 and similar tanks, although the turret was AFAIK just cast steel.

With the T72A the base armour was thickened, and a low grade composite filling inserted into a void in the turret armour. This brought the armour protection up to roughly the level of Cheiftan or the prototypes of the M1 and Leopard 2, but without the very high CE protection levels of the latter.

T72B again increased armour thickness and quality over the main protected area, including the Super-Dolly-Parton turret bulges (similar to Cheiftan Stillbrew in overall concept and performance AFAIK).

The Soviets also invested a lot of effort into ERA/Heavy ERA and NERA products, and the combination of Heavy ERA and the heavier base armour of the T72B should offer a tank with similar protection levels to at least an M1A1(HA) or Leopard 2A4.

The downside of the turret shape of the T72, and the ERA is that there are significant areas which can be hit from the front which aren't reinforced by ERA, and have much thinner armour.

In fact the main disadvantage of a modern T72 appears to be ammunition quality, which is restricted due to APFSDS length allowed in the autoloader. This appears to be relaxed somewhat with the newer autoloader in the T90S and late T80.

Surivability can be enhanced by not deploying with the Sabot rounds stored in the turret clips, as these have an incremental charge of 3.4kg in a combustible case. HEAT and HE rounds, and all rounds/charges in the carousel are relatively inert or protected.

While it may appear to restrict the combat power of the T72 if the stored rounds are not carried, the carousel is significantly larger than the ready rack of any comparable western tank: 28 rounds ready to fire for the T72, 18 rounds for the M1A2, 15 for the Leopard 2 etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, interesting. I never really thought of the T-72 as being particularly well armored though? Really my thought was that the K5 ERA blocks added on them would be the big problem rather than the thickness or effectiveness of it's standard armor?

That or maybe I've seen so much pop-top footage that my view of them is a little skewed...

Agreed about the ammunition, but there have been some advancements, haven't there? Like M711, Pronit, etc. Oddly enough, I hear that the Russian BM-42M round can't fit in the T-72's autoloader. Seems that some of their HEAT rounds penetrate more anyway.

Now, heres something I don't understand about ammunition... The M829 series DU rounds (Which CNN knows only as the 'Silver Bullet') is "Oh my god!" evil because its made of Uranium. But nobody whines about Soviet/Russian BM-29 or BM-32 DU rounds, or better yet, BK-21? :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
North Korea actually has a tank of T-72/80/90 type in its inventory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%27okpoong-Ho

That's really interesting, last I'd heard was that they had one or two T-80s, a handful of T-72s, and a lot of T-64s, -62, -55s, plus maybe some Chinese tanks as well.

I note that the wiki entry suggests modern FCS for these cast-offs; practically speaking, how many of these can the Northies afford to equip such with?

I note also that there are possibly MANPADs mounted on the exterior of the tank. I have to wonder how effective/practical that would be. A tank crew has its hands full just managing the fight, putting AA missiles on the outside of the vehicle seems to me as if it would just add another task/task-set to the workload of a crew possibly overburdened already.

Shot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good discussion here. Just want to point out that the 2d Infantry Division did not jump from the M60 series to the M1A1. I went to Korea in the summer of 1990 when the M1-IP series was introduced into Korea with 1-72 Armor and 2-72 Armor at Camp Casey. Didn't talk to any of the guys at Garry Owen to know if the Cav received the M1-IP then as well. The M1A1 was introduced into Korea in 1995.

Dealer31

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So that leads me to a few questions...

1) Is the armor on the T-72 really that good, or is this a KONTAKT-5 related issue?

2) Is the M900 good enough to be effective against T-72 tanks? KONTAKT-5 covered tanks?

3) Are the Non-DU rounds really that much worse then the DU rounds?

and 4) Do the K1A1's use imported ammo like DM33/53/etc or KE-W/A1 types or does S. Korea have the resources to produce their own?

Really I don't know a whole lot about the K1/K1A1 but, really, the K1 seems more than a match for North Korean junk...

1. Fairly good. Run SB, make a custom shooting gallery, and try to shoot up T-72M1 with PPTFS M/85LS APFSDS rounds at various ranges and angles :-)

AFAIK Kontakt-5 has no direct relationship to upgun decision

2. I wouldn't bet M900 against T-72B(M)

3. Not by an overwhelming margin but fairly.

4. ROK uses locally designed and manufactured rounds.

About DPRK tanks, anything numbered above T-62 is a wild guess. It's REALLY difficult to extract any solid info from that isolated kingdom.

T-64/80/90 - I bet no chance

T-72 - maybe

Mainly concerned tanks are those upgraded/modified within DPRK:

Chon'ma Ho (Literally Pegasus-Tiger) - T-62 modifications. Later models are thought to be on par with early T-72s in terms of firepower and protection. (tanks with ERAs are also seen)

But still, no solid info. Mostly speculations.

Pokpoong Ho (Storm Tiger) - The NINJA TANK!! :debile2:

No pictures, no official specs, just some pieces of "unconfirmed" information and the all-knowing great leader Mr. Kim's comment: "My toy is better than Teh T-90, Yay!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I think the T-64 is a sure bet "No."

I thought those were never exported anyway.

lol...Ninja tank...Even *IF* they have it, my money is still on the S.Koreans totally thrashing them. I don't have ProPE so I can't test the ammunition you mentioned, but I always figured that the M900's would be good enough at medium and close range against most Russian armor. I wonder if we'll see an upgraded M900 variant, or maybe even IPM1's back in service, now that we're fielding the 105mm again on the Stryker...I'd like to see the IPM1 in SB someday too...

While I'm ranting on ammo, theres something I don't understand. APFSDS penetrators are 'arrow'dynamic. 125mm HE/FRAG rounds have an aerodynamic shape. but I don't understand why NATO HEAT rounds and Russian HEAT rounds look like a soup can with a spike? Wouldn't they fly a bit better if you streamlined them...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm speculating here, but I think they are the shape they are:

They are optimised for reliable fuse function with standoff, over a wide range of striking angles. Filling in the nose of the shell increases the risk of a ricochet or damage to the round before the completion of the penetration. ISTR the 'old-style' HEAT rounds were limited to 50-60 deg at most.

Adding extra weight at the front of the round would destabilise it, requiring larger fins to compensate, and you may end up adding more drag here than you save at the nose, and increase the sensitivity of the round to cross winds.

At supersonic speeds the drag is dominated by the wave drag, I suspect that the shock from the probe is sufficiently ahead of the shoulders for them to be behind the oblique nose shock.

A similar shape is apparent on the Russian training AP round btw, which is designed to have a low velocity drop initially, but to slow increasingly rapidly at extended ranges once the speed has reduced, thus limiting extreme range and range dimensions. Given that a conventional HE projectile fired (at a lower velocity but higher angle) from a Howitzer may carry for 25km, a reduction in max range could be very severe without materially affecting the ability of the tank to engage battlefield targets over open sights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I went to Korea in the summer of 1990 when the M1-IP series was introduced into Korea with 1-72 Armor and 2-72 Armor at Camp Casey.

You were in-country when I was in-country. We'll have to have a beer or twenty and get all nostalgic.

Shot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's really interesting, last I'd heard was that they had... a lot of T-64s...

Never exported outside the USSR. Now you know better than that.

DPRK armored force is mainly PT-76/85 T-55/62, and Chinese derivatives, or some indigneous hybrid as the result of mating an amphibious chasis to a PT-76 turret or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol...Ninja tank...Even *IF* they have it, my money is still on the S.Koreans totally thrashing them.

I don't think even the DPRK leadership holds any illusions that they can unite the penninsula through a military campaign. That's not the scenario that the ROK and US et al fear, either, but the pyrrhic victory won at any cost. I think that primarily the North regards war with them as a deterent- sure they won't win, but they want you to understand that the doctrine of preemptive attack, or deteriorating economic and political conditions which escalate into a war with the North is something you don't want, either. You're looking at casualties of the kind that democratic countries haven't experienced since the Korean War or pershaps since WW2. An earthquake or some meteorological disaster can do serious damage to a major city- no reason to think this wouldn't be as bad or worse, particularly as disease or something sets in with the lack of electricity, water or medical support. And we haven't talked about germ agents, chemicals, gas, and nukes within reach of a large concentration of civilians and bases.

The reality is that you're looking at a measureless overflow of artillery tubes and rocket batteries they can roll out of hardened shelters when automatic conditions are tripped, such as a first attack by either side, within short reach of Seoul, and one of the world's largest special forces commando branches probably prepared to infiltrate the South for what would turn out to be an incredible suicide mission- assassinating civilian and military leaders, cutting communications lines, sabotaging military and civilian targets either in order to impede or delay operational reserves and support units, shape the battlefield by redirecting, confusing or jamming military traffic or to make final victory mean a massive reconstruction effort, and just basically trashing things in rear echelon and HQ areas. Additionally, it could be that those units already operating in the South have mapped out the defenders pretty well, if the indications of what Soviet HUMINT accomplished can be replicated here. In other words, the tools of what the North has to be relied upon won't strictly play into the advantage of simple Allied technical superiority in a pitched battle.

There have been reports that the North recognizes the importance of exercising in winter conditions and have at least shown a capable acumen, though of course the large proportion of the DPRK armed forces isn't even mechanized. Even if they just threw suicidal waves at you to pin you down and occupy your strength, you still have to cope with those other things I mentioned, which aren't going to be parried with an advantage in tanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But nobody whines about Soviet/Russian BM-29 or BM-32 DU rounds, or better yet, BK-21? :rolleyes:

Never heard much about reports of BM-32 reaching line units in a meaningful way, and BM-42 tungsten rounds should have better performance anyway.

I wouldn't however look to match the Russians in the ethics of the welfare of their own. Bringing yourself down to their level of lack of concern for their own troops isn't to our credit, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lieste - Thats what I was thinking, I guess I just figured that we would have evolved fuse design somewhat. I suppose the good news...Sorta...Is that the high arc would mean that at long range you'd almost be dropping your shots on top of the target......If you hit it.

Colossus - Good points again. My concern is not that the North Korean generals think they can win a fight (At least on their own). I'd be worried that: 1) One short little man named Kim thinks he can win. And 2) China getting involved.

As for DU munitions...Tungsten is bad for you too. Both are toxic heavy metals. DU has a bad rap for two reasons, first that unlike Tungsten it's been used in massive quantity, and second that it is slightly radioactive.

As for Russian rounds, at least according to the tables in SB Gold, they seem...Well...Weird...

BM29 outperforms the next year's BM26, which is a year later despite a lower number? WTF...

BM42 out penetrates BM32 at 0 range, but BM32 is superior at longer range...

At least NATO rounds are fairly linear! Bigger number = Better penetration.

Though DM13 and 13A1 are just plain weird...Can't penetrate T-72's from point blank...You're better off lobbing DM12 at them...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for DU munitions...Tungsten is bad for you too. Both are toxic heavy metals. DU has a bad rap for two reasons, first that unlike Tungsten it's been used in massive quantity, and second that it is slightly radioactive.

What I mean, is, we shouldn't pay attention to whatever the Russians expose their people to as any kind of benchmark, whether the Russians are utiliizing dU or tungsten shouldn't inform our judgement as to whether they are good for us or not.

As for Russian rounds, at least according to the tables in SB Gold, they seem...Well...Weird...

BM29 outperforms the next year's BM26, which is a year later despite a lower number?

BM29 is steel and depleted uranium core alloyed with other metals, it's larger, and has slightly lower max v than BM26- a steel and tungsten alloy core.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I understand and I agree. My point was that greenpeace types whine about US use of DU Sabots but don't seem to know or care about Russian DU HEAT rounds. To me the DU penetrator rod is one thing, you primarily use it on heavy armor where you really need it, and it won't blow up and send the metal splattering everywhere if you miss.

DU lined HEAT rounds seem just kinda..........I really don't know what to say.

Yhea, I'm familiar with the BM29, its the BM26 I don't understand. I would assume that BM26 would come BEFORE BM29, and if it came after, that at least it would penetrate better...Is BM26 some kind of rebuild or rework of an older round? Add tungsten to existing steel rods?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...