Type 99 tank

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Type 99
Type 99 MBT front left.jpg
A Type 99 tank at the China People's Revolution Military Museum in Beijing during the 2007 Our troops towards the sun exhibition.
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin People's Republic of China
Service history
In service 2001–present
Production history
Designer Norinco
Manufacturer Norinco
Number built 620 Type99/Type99A
Weight 52-54 tonnes (58 Tonnes for Type 99A2)
Length Hull: 7.7 metres (25 ft)[1]
Width 3.5 metres (11 ft)[1]
Height Hull: 2.25 metres (7.4 ft)[1]
Crew 3[1]

Armor Exact is classified. Anticipated to be welded turret with applique and modular composite/reactive armor
125 millimetres (4.9 in) smoothbore gun with ATGM capability

Type 85 cupola heavy machine gun[1]

Type 59 7.62 millimetres (0.300 in) coaxial machine gun[1]
Engine Diesel
1,500 hp (1,119 kW)
Power/weight 27.78 hp/tonne
Suspension torsion bar
500 kilometres (310 mi)

Road: 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph)

Off-road: 60 kilometres per hour (37 mph)

The Type 99 (Chinese: 99式; pinyin: Jiǔjiǔshì) or ZTZ99 is a Chinese third generation main battle tank (MBT).[2] The tank entered People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) service in 2001.[2][3]


In the early 90's China developed one of its second generation design, the Type 90-II prototype series. The Type 90-II was developed by studying the T-72 tank.[4] The Type 90-II's features included a 125mm smoothbore cannon with an autoloader, modular composite armor and a centered driver position.[4][5] While the Type 90-II series ultimately did not enter People's Liberation Army (PLA) service, it saw success as an export tank and was also built under license in Pakistan as the Al-Khalid.[4][6][7]

The Type 98 or WZ-123 was China's domestic Type 90-II derivative.[4] It was first seen in rehearsals for the 1999 National Day parade and was officially revealed on 1 October 1999.[3][8][9][10] It sported a distinctive appearance with the hull and crew layout similar to the Russian T-72 but with a welded angular turret more similar to Western designs.[8][9]

When the tank went into service it was renamed the Type 99. According to military information website Global Security, the Type 99 has a lengthened T-72 hull.[3]

An updated Type 99 model was officially introduced at the 2015 Victory Day Parade as the Type 99A.[11][12] This variant had previously been used by PLA troops during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) military exercises in 2014.[13] Although the PLA has not distinguished between this variant and older models, some sources have named this latest variant the Type 99A2.[2][13][14][15]


By 2008, 200 Type 98 and Type 99 tanks may have been deployed to the Beijing and Shenyang Military Regions.[16] The Type 99 has seen less deployment than other tanks in PLA service due to cost factors.[5][17]



The main armament is a 2-plane stabilized 125 mm smoothbore gun with a carousel-style autoloader. The gun may be fired under both computerized and manual control. The tank can carry 42 rounds including 22 in the autoloader. The rate of fire is 8 rounds per minute using the autoloader, and 2 rounds per minute with manual loading.[18] The Type 99A2 mounts an improved 125 mm gun.[19]

The 125 mm gun of the Type 99 is capable of firing APFSDS-T, HEAT, Frag-HE-T, and gun-launched anti-tank missiles (ATGM). The gun may fire a range of Chinese, Russian, and ex-Warsaw Pact ammunition. The Type 99 can fire tandem shaped charged ATGMs similar to the Russian Invar with a range of up to 5 kilometres.[18] In 1998 the 9M119 ATGMs were approved for domestic license production by Russia. From 2001 to 2013, over 1300 of these missiles were produced for the Type 98 and 99 tanks.[20]

Secondary armament consists of a heavy machine gun on the commander's cupola and a coaxial 7.62mm caliber machine gun.

Fire control[edit]

The Type 99 possess hunter-killer capabilities and an ISFCS-212 fire control system with an IR automatic target tracker.[18] It is capable of firing on the move with a stabilized gunner's thermal sight and laser range finder. The gunner has a maximum target acquisition range of 5 kilometres.[18]


The tank's welded turret is of an angular design with spaced modular armor and composite panels.[5][18] The frontal protection is comparable to the Russian T-90A and Western tanks.[18] Applique armor consists of modular armor mentioned above and track skirts. The Type 99A2 may mount 3rd generation (Relikt-type) ERA.[19]


The tank is powered by a 1500 hp diesel engine giving it a power-to-weight ratio of about 27.78 hp/ton. Has a semi-automatic transmission with six forward gears and one reverse gear.[12][21] The maximum road and off-road speeds are 80 km/h and 60 km/h respectively. The cruising range is 500 km.[1]

Counter Measures[edit]

The tank comes with 12 81-mm smoke grenade launchers. A laser warning receiver and a laser self-defense system is mounted.[1] Together, enemy laser range finding or guidance can be detected and countered by temporarily blinding enemy gunners at ranges of up to 5 km.[2]


Type 98[edit]

Type 98 during rehearsal of the 1999 National Day parade.

Also known as the WZ-123 and Type 90-III.[2] Early pre-production version. Features included composite armor panels and a 1200 hp diesel engine.[1] 1st generation ERA may have been an option.[19] According to Global Security, the armor layout of the Type 98 is similar to the T-80U and T-80UK's.[9]

Type 99[edit]

Also known as the Type 98G and Type 99G.[2] 1200 hp engine replaced by 1500 hp engine. Upgraded to third generation ERA and second generation thermal sight.

Type 99A[edit]

Improved Type 99. Prototype testing was underway by August 2007[15] and believed to be the standard deployed Type 99 variant in 2011; upgradable from Type 99. The improved main gun may fire an Invar-type ATGM. It mounts 3rd generation (Relikt-type) ERA, and an active protection system.[19] Has a new turret with "arrow shaped" applique armor.[5] The larger turret may have improved armour and a commander's periscope, and the tank may have an integrated propulsion system.[8] Has a semi-automatic transmission.[12][21]

Type 99A2[edit]

Latest variant of the Type 99 or Type 99 Da-Gai (Major Modification). Turret front volume has been increased and original ERA redesigned. It is likely that previously produced Type 99 are upgraded to this standard.[18] The tank has an inertial/GPS navigation system and a battle management system.


 People's Republic of China

  • 16 battalions of Type 99 (496 units), 4 battalions of Type 99A (124 units) as of December 2015.[22]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i US Army TRADOC Intelligence Support Activity (2011:5-45)
  2. ^ a b c d e f US Army TRADOC Intelligence Support Activity] (2011:5-40)
  3. ^ a b c "Type 99 Main Battle Tank". globalsecurity.org. 7 June 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Type 90 Main Battle Tank". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  5. ^ a b c d Blasko, Dennis J. (2012). The Chinese army today : tradition and transformation for the 21st century. Abingdon, Oxford: Routledge. p. 153. ISBN 9780415783217. 
  6. ^ "Al Khalid MBT-2000 / Type 2000 Main Battle Tank". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  7. ^ "MBT-2000 / Type 2000 Main Battle Tank". fas.org. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  8. ^ a b c "ZTZ99 Main Battle Tank, China". army-technology.com. Retrieved 16 August 2015. [unreliable source?]
  9. ^ a b c "Type 98 Main Battle Tank". globalsecurity.org. 7 June 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "中国T-98式主战坦克". www.people.com.cn. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  11. ^ "庆祝抗战胜利70周年9.3阅兵完整版(国家领导+大阅兵)". Youtube. CCTV News Official Channel. Sep 3, 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c Zhang, Tao (2015-09-02). "ZTZ-99A Tank, China's King of Land Battle". China Military Online. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Update: China showcases new weapon systems at 3 September parade - IHS Jane's 360". www.janes.com. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  14. ^ "Type 99A2 Main Battle Tank". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  15. ^ a b Weng, Jonathan (24 August 2007). "China trials enhanced Type 99 MBT - Jane's Defence News". Janes.com. Archived from the original on 26 December 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  16. ^ United States Office of the Secretary of Defense (2008). Military Power of the People’s Republic of China (PDF) (Report). p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 February 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  17. ^ "ZTZ99 Main Battle Tank". Army Technology. Retrieved 2015-11-10. [unreliable source?]
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Worldwide Equipment Guide 1 (2011 ed.) Ground Systems. US Army TRADOC Intelligence Support Activity. pp. 5–45. 
  19. ^ a b c d US Army TRADOC Intelligence Support Activity] (2011:5-46)
  20. ^ "Trade Registers". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  21. ^ a b "军事纪实 《军事纪实》 20130620 作战部长当兵记". Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
  22. ^ "恐怖的数量差:中美最先进坦克数量比1:15_新闻_腾讯网". news.qq.com. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 

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