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Bulsae-2

Anti-tank guided missile

Bulsae-2 anti-tank guided missile

The Bulsae-2 is a North Korean variant of the Soviet Fagot anti-tank guided missile

 
 
Country of origin North Korea
Entered service ?
Missile
Armor penetration 400 ~ 500 mm
Missile length (with launch tube) ~ 1.1 m
Missile diameter 120 mm
Fin span ?
Missile weight (with launch tube) ~ 13 kg
Total weight with launcher ~ 35 kg
Warhead weight ~ 1.75 kg
Warhead type HEAT
Range of fire at least 2 ~ 2.5 km
Guidance ?

 

   The Bulsae-2 (Firebird-2 or Phoenix-2) is a North Korean anti-tank guided missile. It is a locally-built variant of the Soviet Fagot. Since the late 1970s Soviet Union supplied its Fagot anti-tank guided weapons to North Korea. Furthermore Soviets helped to set up local production of these weapons. Some sources report that a more capable Konkurs anti-tank guided missile was also license-produced in North Korea. At some point North Koreans created their own improved version of the Fagot. The Bulsae-2 is used by the North Korean army. This anti-tank guided weapon has been supplied to Palestinian Hamas fighters and some other Palestinian militant formations.

   Launcher of the Bulsae-2 has similar configuration than that of the Fagot, however it uses different sights. The Fagot had wire guidance. However it is unknown weather the Bulsae-2 uses the same out-dated guidance method. It is possible that this missile has more advanced laser guidance. India developed a similar SAMHO anti-tank guided missile, which is also a heavily modified version of the Fagot, but uses laser guidance instead of wire guidance.

   This North Korean missile has a High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead. It has a range of around 2 000-2 500 m and penetrates around 400-500 mm of steel armor. Though penetration is reduced if the missile hits the target at an angle.

   The Bulsae-2 has a semi-automatic guidance system. The operator has to keep a crosshair on the target, while the guidance system guides the missile on the target automatically. The Soviet Fagot had a hit probability of 80-90%. So this North Korean weapon should be somewhat close in terms of hit probability.

   The missile is factory-fitted and sealed in a launch tube. Some launch tubes have a single white stripe. While there are launch tubes with 3 white stripes. This might indicate that there are different missiles for the Bulsae-2 launcher.

   The Bulsae-2 missile is launched from the standard tripod-launcher system. It combines a collapsible launcher unit on tripod with an integrated guidance unit/controller box and firing mechanism. The launcher can be deployed in a concealed position or behind cover. In travelling order the launcher unit can be split into several parts.

   The missile can be carried and launched from other platforms. Sometimes it is seen mounted on light utility vehicles, and even North Korean main battle tanks. Most likely that North Koreans are not confident in performance of their tank guns.

 

Variants

 

   Bulsae-3 is an improved version fitted with a laser guidance system. The launcher has a laser designator, which illuminates the target. The missile has a rear-facing sensor, that picks up the beam and make the missile fly along it. This missile was publicly revealed in 2016. At the time this missile passed tests and was ready for series production. However there were no official comments regarding performance of this missile. Some sources report that it might have a range of up to 5 500 m.

 

 

Bulsae-2 anti-tank guided missile

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Bulsae-2 anti-tank guided missile

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Bulsae-2 anti-tank guided missile

Expand image

Bulsae-2 anti-tank guided missile

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Bulsae-2 anti-tank guided missile

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