Awesome pics! thank you
The ROK Army operates 35 T-80U and 70 BMP-3 as the core of its 3rd Mechanized Regiment that defends Korea's eastern border. They were given by Russia during the weapon-for-debt Brown Bear program in the 1990s.
In 2005, the Korean BMP-3 received upgrades to its thermal imaging camera and targeting systems (together with a wind speed/directional sensor and something else I don't know) for better all-weather night fighting capability. They now have separate gunner's sight and commander's panoramic sight like the Russian Army's.
old and new:
The T-80U got upgrades to its ballistic computer and fire control unit as well in minor localization projects of Army strategic materials for ease of maintenance, which I will post more info on later.
The sight for the commander, is it a 360 free movable sight or is it stick with the turret?
You probably don't have some pics how it looks inside the vehicle.
I notice you state how some parts were replaced on the vehicles with domestic alternatives to ease the maintenance/logistics problem, what i am wondering however is that there are not exactly many of each type in service thus is it worth the ROK Army continuing to keep these vehicles in service? There can't be enough of them present to field too many units of each and yet for all this there still has to be a reasonably significant degree of differing logistics requirements.
Have to say though i am loving the look of them, the T-80 especially. Looks excellent in that paint scheme.
The T-80U are fully armored with ERA and SAP. After a recent overhaul, they also use performance-improved engines that improve fuel efficiency and reduce breakdown rate and gas emission.
rear view of T-80U before overhaul:Localization of cases (3/4)
T-80U tram engine - domestic maintenance capacity development
Summary: T-80U tanks (Russia) the main engine, auxiliary engine has been overseas maintenance, but
Maintenance required for a long-term maintenance budget by excessive domestic maintenance propulsion technology development
Development period: '03. From December '08. August
Localization of cases (4/4)
BMP-3 armored personnel carriers - domestic maintenance capacity development
Overview: BMP-3 armored personnel carriers (Russia) in the horizontal amplifier, control device has been overseas maintenance, but
Maintenance required for a long-term and maintenance budget by excessive domestic maintenance propulsion technology development
Development period: '07. From January '09. April
http://www.army.mil.kr/gtboard/commo...%F8%BC%AD2.pdf (Korean language)
According to Army Logistics, because the T-80U/BMP-3 fleet was kinda small, shipping the needed spare parts in small packages all the way from Russia each time a vehicle was grounded was not very efficient, so they set up a maintenance depot and component factory for them separate from the K-series vehicles, and localized some parts that Russia would approve. As a result, the ROKA fleet of T-80U and BMP-3 can maintain high readiness level at all times and have been used rigorously. They also have maintenance simulators for both T-80U and BMP-3 as instruction materials for the maintenance crew.
While T-80U and BMP-3 are formal warfighting assets of the ROK Army, they are also strategically valuable intelligence sources of NK's potential armored capabilities. In fact, in the 1990s, amidst intense fearmongering from the public that the disaster-struck NK would soon initiate a desperate last war, ROKA overestimated that NK would deploy tanks that were superior to the T-72 in the conflict. So the ROK president decided to buy one of Russia's best tanks to learn their capabilities. In the end, NK introduced the Pokpoongho tank by almost a generation late, when pitched ground warfare in the Korean peninsula has already become largely irrelevant, but at the time T-80U provided ROKA with a much needed quick fix for its intelligence efforts, including in determining a suitable ROC for the armor and weapons of K1A1.
Afaik, all Russian equipment in Korea are in good service, including Murena hovercraft for the Navy, Il basic trainers for the Air Force (forgot the exact designation) and KA-32 for the Air Force and the Coast Guard.
Last edited by Ambassador; 03-02-2013 at 06:48 AM.
As i see ROK also use high technology wooden logs
I wonder why ROK uses these machines for typical land warfighting - it might be confusing in time of war.
On the other hand, soviet equipment packs substantial firepower, is generally lighter than western counterparts and more compact and amphibious. It would be easier to cram it on ships. When used in such limited role, lack of commonality with rest of the force is non-issue. As such these would be ideal addition for ROK Marines - any tank is better than no tank, and it's easier to land 40+ t T-80 than 60+ t western equivalent on beach.
Perhaps they could also be equipped with IFF to avoid friendly fire as in other Korean vehicles.