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M1978 Koksan

170-mm self-propelled gun

M1978 Koksan

The M1978 Koksan is capable of reaching Seoul from the north of the demilitarized zone

 
 
Entered service 1970s
Crew ?
Dimensions and weight
Weight 40 t
Length (gun forward) ?
Hull length ~ 6.5 m
Width ~ 3.3 m
Height ?
Armament
Main gun 170-mm gun
Barrel length ?
Machine guns -
Projectile weight ?
Maximum firing range 40 - 60 km
Maximum rate of fire 1 - 2 rounds in 5 minutes
Elevation range ?
Traverse range ?
Ammunition load
Main gun -
Machine guns -
Mobility
Engine V-54 diesel
Engine power 520 hp
Maximum road speed ~ 40 km/h
Range ~ 300 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 40%
Side slope 20%
Vertical step ~ 1 m
Trench ~ 2.5 m
Fording ~ 1.2 m

 

   The M1978 Koksan self-propelled gun was developed in North Korea. A key requirement for this artillery system was the capability of reaching Seoul from the north of the demilitarized zone. Designation of this vehicle was allocated by the US Department of Defense. It was first observed by US intelligence in 1978 in the city of Koksan, hence its designation. This artillery system was first publicly revealed in 1985. It is in service with the North Korean army, however the number employed in not publicly reported.

   A number of these self-propelled guns were supplied to Iran. Some of these were captured by Iraq in the late 1980s during Iran-Iraq war.

   The M1978 Koksan is armed with a 170-mm gun of a previously unknown type. It may be a Soviet naval or costal gun, supplied in the 1950s. It has been mounted on top of the chassis in an open mount. This artillery system is based on a modified Chinese Type 59 medium tank chassis (copy of the Soviet T-54A). It is worth mentioning that North Korea produced a significant amount of self-propelled artillery units, mating towed artillery tubes with chassis already in inventory. These incorporate proven technologies and components.

   This self-propelled gun fires high-explosive, submunition projectiles of chemical rounds. Maximum range of fire is up to 40 km with extended range projectile and up to 60 km with rocket assisted projectile. Vehicle carries no on-board ammunition. Two large spades are lowered to the ground manually before firing. Traverse range of this gun is very limited to avoid overstressing the chassis.

   Chassis of the M1978 SPG provides the same level of protection as the Type 59 medium tank.

   The M1978 Koksan is employed in regiments, each with a total of 36 weapons. A number of these artillery systems are positioned north of the demilitarized zone and are targeted towards South Korea. These units operate from hardened artillery sites. North Korea placed a great emphasis on artillery firepower, because its air force limited ground attack capability.

 

Variants

 

   M1989 later version, developed as a successor to the M1978. It is based on a new chassis and carries 12 rounds on-board ammunition supply.

 

 
M1978 Koksan

M1978 Koksan

M1978 Koksan

M1978 Koksan

M1978 Koksan

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