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Type 85 (YW531H)

Light Amphibious Tank

North Korea | 1985

"The North Korean PT-85 light tank can tackle amphibious operations and features a turret similar to the Soviet PT-76."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/17/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The PT-85 is a light amphibious tank system (may also be known as the "Type 82" or "Type 85") in service with the North Korean People's Army (KPA). The tracked vehicle entered service sometime in the mid-1980s and had its chassis developed from the North Korean VTT-323 armored personnel carrier - itself a license-produced copy of the Chinese NORINCO YW531 APC. The PT-85 chassis differed from the VTT-323 in that it was lengthened to an extent and mounted a powered turret system not unlike the Soviet-era PT-76 amphibious light tank.

Light tanks still serve a critical role on the modern battlefield as they showcase speed above all else - made possible by their lightweight - and backed up by a capable dose of firepower. Additionally, many are designed to be amphibious in nature, allowing the vehicle to traverse both land and water sources with relative ease and little preparation. For the modern mobile army needing to move its men and machines across distance at speed, vehicles such as the PT-85 make sense within the scope of this armored doctrine.

Externally, the PT-85 is made up of much that had already been pioneered by Soviet tank engineers throughout the Cold War. The turret is set in the middle-forward portion of the hull roof and features sloped sides tapering towards its middle. The turret roof is flat and sports two crew access hatches in a side-by-side arrangement. The forward hull features a well-sloped glacis plate meeting at a sharp point at the extreme front. The driver maintains his position at the front left of the hull and is afforded his own access hatch. The hull sides are slight angled inwards from bottom to top and the general hull roof is flat in appearance. The engine is located in a rear compartment and track systems are fitted to either hull side and operate around six rubber-tired road wheels. The PT-85 is powered by a suspected 6-cylinder inline, water-cooled diesel engine of 240 horsepower which allows for estimated road speeds of up to 60 km/h and a ranges out to 500 km. The suspension system is of the typical torsion bar variety. The PT-85 weighs in at 20 tons and features a width of 3.1 meters with a height of 2.8 meters. The vehicle is crewed by a standard operating arrangement of four personnel made up of a driver, tank commander, gunner and loader.

The powered turret system features full 360-traversal with integrated elevation to engage targets at varying ranges. Primary armament is 1 x 85mm main gun which is capable of dealing with light armored vehicles and even some main battle tanks with precision shooting. HE (High-Explosive) projectiles can help deal with infantry positions. Additionally, the tank is fitted with a launcher along the top of the barrel (near the gun mount base) to fire the potent 9M14 Malyutka (AT-3 "Sagger") anti-tank guided missile. To complement the primary armament there is a 14.5mm anti-aircraft heavy machine gun - this capable of engaging low-flying aircraft such as helicopters and lightly-armored vehicles. For anti-infantry defense, the PT-85 fits a 7.62mm general purpose machine gun.

Like the Soviet PT-76, the North Korean PT-85 is fully amphibious, capable of maintaining a top speed of 10 km/h across water sources.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Type 85 (YW531H) Light Amphibious Tank.
1 x 6-cylinder inline water-cooled diesel engine delivering 240 horsepower at 1,800rpm.
Installed Power
37 mph
60 kph
Road Speed
311 miles
500 km
The physical qualities of the Type 85 (YW531H) Light Amphibious Tank.
25.0 ft
7.625 meters
O/A Length
10.2 ft
3.1 meters
O/A Width
9.2 ft
2.8 meters
O/A Height
44,092 lb
20,000 kg | 22.0 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Type 85 (YW531H) Light Amphibious Tank.
1 x 85mm main gun (Anti-Tank Guided Missile Capable).
1 x 14.5mm anti-aircraft heavy machine gun.
1 x 7.62mm general purpose machine gun.
26 x 85mm projectiles (estimated).
300 x 14.5mm ammunition (estimated).
1,000 x 7.62mm ammunition.
Nightvision - OPTIONAL.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - OPTIONAL.
Notable series variants as part of the Type 85 (YW531H) family line.
PT-85 - Base Series Designation
Type 82 - Alternative Designation
Type 85 - Alternative Designation
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Type 85 (YW531H). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 500 Units

Contractor(s): State Factories - North Korea
National flag of North Korea

[ North Korea ]
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Image of the Type 85 (YW531H)
High angled left side front view of the PT-85 amphibious tank; color
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Image of the Type 85 (YW531H)
PT-85 tanks on parade in North Korea; color

Going Further...
The Type 85 (YW531H) Light Amphibious Tank appears in the following collections:
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