152mm MBT Project
In April 2003 Jane's Defense Weekly reported that Chinese sources had provided information on a new MBT project. The tank was reported to mount an 152mm main gun and be powered by a 2,500 hp diesel powerplant. Advanced armor and an active protection system was also said to be mounted on the tank, alternately referred to as a "super tank" and the "world's most powerful [tank]." This development was seen as similar to reports of the Russian T-95, another larger caliber development.
The advanced armor protection and active protection system, a laser defense weapon designed to confuse and impair tracking systems in vehicles and projectiles, as well as harm gunners when aimed at targeting optics, was later fitted to the prototype Type 98 tank and the production Type 99 tank, and refitted to a variant of the Type 96 tank. An improved armor suite compared to earlier Chinese tanks were also fitted to these vehicles. This would suggest that there may have been some confusion at the time between the reported 152mm gun armed vehicle and the Type 98/99 series. A proposed variant of these vehicles with a larger powerplant and larger gun could also have been proposed but not built.
As of mid-2008 no subsequent reports had emerged about the 152mm armed vehicle, despite clarification of the relation between the Type 98 and Type 99 MBTs.
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