Type 99 Main Battle Tank
ZTZ-99 / WZ-123
Developed from technology developed in a number of Chinese MBTs, the Type 99 was originally mistaken as a continuation of the Type 98 series (sometimes referred to as Type 98G) The Type 99 (also referred to as ZTZ-99 or by the industrial designator WZ-123, the same used for the Type 98/ZTZ-98) was the most advanced Chinese MBT at the time of its introduction in 2001. The tank was generally similar to the pre-production Type 98, but with a variety of minor changes. The armor suit was slightly modified, with the armor on the front glacis being modified from the original configuration and Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) blocks mounted on the front hull. The armor suite appeared to be modular, allowing individual elements to be replaced if damaged.
In 1999, the PRC National Day military parade on 50 years, domestic Type 99 main battle tanks for the first time officially unveiled as China's first truly third generation main battle tank, the car's performance has been fully three and three generations of Western newest tank front counter. It must be noted is that the National Day military parade on the Type 99 can not be counted as a true sense of the batch production models - to participate in the parade Type 99 main battle tanks, and even the number of vehicles is insufficient to form a separate square, so must Type 96 with 8 to padded. In fact, Type 99 of the formal service time away in the shape of time, and so far only a small part of the focus of the Army equipped army.
Starting from an operational performance perspective, Type 99 is undoubtedly the best choice for Chinese armored forces. However, along with performance improvement comes is the high cost of the Chinese army, in the case of limited funds, is difficult to purchase a sufficient number of troops Type 99 tanks to achieve a comprehensive facelift. Meanwhile, Type 99 up to 50 tons combat weight also severely limits its water network in southern China, rice and other areas of combat use. Many factors together determine the Type 99 armored forces in China in the final status - ace, but it is not the protagonist.
The tank is visually similar to the Russian T-72 series, but is one meter longer. The Type 98's 1,200 hp diesel is replaced with a 1,500 hp diesel. The new diesel, like the Type 98's powerplant, is based on German technology, produced in China on a license from MTU.
The internal layout is very much like the T-72, with a crew of three and an autoloader for the 125mm smooth-bore main gun. The gun is also equipped to fire the 9M119 Refleks missile. The initial fire control components were still manually fed, despite Chinese programs to develop a more automated targetting system. The system did allow for the on the move targeting, and reportedly showed an 85 percent first hit probability during tests.
The Type 99 also incorporates the countermeasures system first seen on the Type 98. The system comprises a laser warning receiver (LWR) and an active laser self-defence weapon (LSDW). An active countermeasure, the laser would be used to attack the enemy weapon's optics and gunner. The LWR detects that the tank is being illuminated by an enemy range-finding or weapon-guidance laser, which results in a alert to the vehicle crew. The LSDW is then employed against the source of the enemy laser. While the primary purpose of the LSDW would be the impair the capability of the enemy's targeting equipment, engaging it against a vehicle periscope or weapon optic could also damage the eyesight of the enemy gunner. The position of the LSDW suggested that it could also be targeted at enemy helicopters.
The first 40 vehicles were delivered to the PLA in 2001, after extensive testing of the Type 98 during the 1990s. The vehicles were said to have had a prohibitively high production cost (estimated at 1.9 million USD in 1999), leading to limited procurement and deployment with elite armor formations. Estimates of how many vehicles were in service by 2008 ranged from 130 to 200, including an unknown number of Type 98s. It also appeared that because of the Type 99's cost that various technologies would be refitted to existing MBTs, including the Type 96 series.
In February 2008, a variant, referred to as Type 99G or ZTZ-99G, with a possible independant thermal imager and a revised version of the electro-optical countermeasures system was displayed.
The ZTZ99 (also known as Type 99, industrial designation WZ123) manufactured by China Northern Industries Group Corporation (CNGC) is the most advanced main battle tank (MBT) fielded by the PLA. First entering the PLA service in late 2001, the ZTZ99 provides a significant improvement in firepower, mobility, and protection compared to older Chinese-made tanks. As a ‘high-end’ MBT, the ZTZ99 was only built in a small number (~200) due to high unit price (~US$1.9 Million in 1999). These tanks were deployed by two elite armor regiments in Beijing and Shenyang Military Regions. Some of the ZTZ99’s technologies have been used to upgrade the less expensive ZTZ96 MBT.
A reported variant, referred to as the Type 99A2, was trialed at the end of 2007 showing additional ERA coverage on the tank's turret. China Type 99A2 tanks equipped with a new protection system in began fielding 2009. Type 99A2 development work had been going on for five years.
China is laying the foundation is in accordance with its original type 99 tanks, the development of a more powerful power of Type 99A2 tanks. Type 99A2 its main body design uses the original form of 99 tanks. In combat, navigation, night observation systems, has been well strengthened. Not only to maintain the original "active / passive" process defense system. It also adds some new system developed by the PLA.
The body armor structure using the original Type 99 armored tanks foundation structure. The new type of explosive reactive armor suit of armor, greatly increases the tank's armor protection. In the face of emerging Asia, Japan and South Korea the latest main battle tanks like the enhanced armor-piercing blows, with a certain amount of protection increased capacity.
The Type 99A2 main battle tanks, artillery will be two kinds of different configurations, the current one kind or 99G type A1 tanks installed 1140mm, said Chinese-made guns. At the same time it is equipped with a new type of PLA armor-piercing depleted uranium penetrators. Although China has consistently claimed that no depleted uranium penetrators use of foreign R & D details. But still there is news that the Chinese People's Liberation Army and the U.S. Army with this armored Locker almost the same level of penetrators. The penetrator tests in accordance with Chinese authorities, including in the 1400 meters ripped MIA2 all third-generation main battle tank armor.
Type 99A2 was developed by the China North Industries Corporation and the 201 Institute. Compared with the previous 99A1, Type 99A2 turret on the front of the volume has increased, but the original reactive armor has also been redesigned. Structurally judgment, Type 99A2's overall defense capability has been further enhanced: its wrapped style explosive reactive armor, can significantly enhance the Asian countries to resist the new armor-piercing capability. In addition, Type 99A2 chassis has also been enhanced to improve the performance of anti-tank mine.
With China's various types of tank equipment previously different, Type 99A2 turret equipped with a millimeter-wave radar is equipped with a new active protection system. Prior to 99 tanks on the equipment is a kind of laser suppression system, outside the frequency range of its role is still unclear.
In addition to armor upgrades outside, Type 99A2 tanks, the most remarkable feature is fixed in the turret at the Active Protection System (APS). Lite the Type 99A1 tanks laser aiming system pressure, can make the other sights failure, this system also has a laser communications. This active protection system replaces the 99 tank's original laser countermeasure device, you can determine that this active protection system is equipped with millimeter-wave radar.
Type 99A2 of the equipment of the integrated power device including transversely disposed engine (power of 1500 hp), transmission and cooling system and the fuel tank. At the same time, Type 99A2 fire control system has also been further improved. The system includes aimer and used car length collimator (with separate stabilizing device), laser range finder, thermal imager, digital ballistic computer, weapon stability instrument, a large number of sensors (responsible for collecting atmospheric conditions, barrel wear and tear data), automatic target tracking system and is equipped with a color display console utility vehicle length. Thermal imager captured image can be sent directly to the car in front of a long and aimer color display. In addition, the tank is equipped with inertial and satellite navigation systems, the received information is also long before the vehicle can be displayed on a display superimposed with the electronic map. The tank is also equipped with modern radio.
Military experts believe that the tank may be equipped with China has developed a 140 mm caliber gun for many years. Previously reported that such a large-caliber artillery can breakdown almost all active main battle tank front armor. The gun can be fired only include depleted uranium penetrators, including various types of tank shells, but also imported from the Russian artillery launch laser-guided missiles. Of course, because of this gun is not very mature technology, therefore, Type 99A2 on active duty may still be equipped with the same 125 mm 99 caliber guns.
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