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Type 85 Main Battle Tank

China had attempted to develop an equivalent to the T-72 for several years. This tank was called the Type 85 and was specifically designed to satisfy requirements of the Pakistani Army. It was formally revealed by NORINCO in 1989. A number of prototypes were displayed in Pakistan in 1992, and plans were underway to locally manufacture it under the name Khalid. It was not clear if this decision was linked to a cancellation of the Khalid project, or if the T-72Mls are intended to provide a stopgap until the Khalid is available in sufficient numbers.

There were reports in 1992 that China was negotiating with Russia for manufacturing rights to the T-72. North Korea is also reported to be working on a copy of the T-72. It is not certain if this is simply another offshoot of the Chinese Type 85, a license production from Russia, or an indigenous effort like many of China's most recent armored vehicles. China is working on a further evolution of the Type 85, called the Type 90.

Some sources claim the Type 85 tank was a modifications of the Type 80, which was in turn based on the Soviet T-54, with an improved turret, changed from a cast design to a welded design. Firing trials were conducted sometime in mid-1989 according to Jane's Armour and Artillery 1994-95.

The Type 85-II and Type 85-IIA were developed with a welded turret that could be fitted with additional armor protection. Exact differences between the Type 85 and Type 85-II are unknown. The Type 85-II is slightly heavier and shorter in length. Armament is the same as in the Type 80 except that the Type 85-II can carry 46 rounds of 105-mm ammunition, while the Type 85-IIA can carry 44 rounds.

The layout of the Type 85 is conventional, like other Chinese tanks, with the driver in the front, combat compartment in the center, and engine in the rear. The driver's seat is located on the left and is accessible through a hatch. There are two periscopes at the driver's station that allow a forward view, one of these periscopes may be replaced by a passive periscope when having to drive at night. The commander's station is on the right side of the turret and is equipped with a cupola and a periscope that can be rotated 360 degrees. The gunner's position is on the left side of the turret and has a single piece hatch that can allow a periscope or a snorkel to be installed for fording. The gunner's sight is located on the turret roof and is forward of the hatch.

Type 85-II main battle tank (trade) is Type 80-II main battle tank based on improvements made. The tank combat weight of 39.5 tons, 48 ??rounds of ammunition base. The main improvements are: turret replaced by the cast and welded structures using composite armor, protective capacity further. Transmission, using a new hydraulic shifting planetary gearbox and steering mechanism lever to the steering wheel, steering light and flexible. Equipped with the new stabilization-type fire control system, so that the road between the tank has a capacity of target shooting.

The ISFCS-212-type stabilization-type fire control system uses the principle of an independent and stable line of sight by an independent and stable ranging sight, digital ballistic computer, composite bi-directional stability, control boxes and side tilt, cross wind, turret angular velocity sensors, etc. composition, and set fire to allow the door. Finding the target to hit the target from about 6 seconds. Lengthened barrel guns, artillery might be further improved. Launch a long rod penetrators fin-stabilized high density alloy can penetrate a distance of 1000 m NATO triple heavy target or 150 mm / 65 degree homogeneous target; fired hollow charge warhead can penetrate 178 mm / 60 degrees are prime target; Hesh make 50 to 60 mm thick homogeneous armor inner surface 5 kg weight avalanche debris; grenade kill radius greater than 20 meters. Engine power increased to 800 horsepower, the engine auxiliary systems also made corresponding improvements.

Type 85-II M main battle tank (foreign trade) is 80-style family of the latest model. Equipped with advanced 125 mm smoothbore gun, equipped with APFSDS, HEAT and grenades, light alloy barrel is equipped with thermal jacket. Tank is equipped with reliable automatic loading machine that automatically selects Shells, complete Ramming, filling, launching a series of actions to improve the loading speed. Tank fire control system for the stabilization-type, with a firing on the ability of moving targets, and has a high first round hit probability. In addition, also equipped with advanced performance image intensifier and observation instrument, has a good night fighting capability.

Tank combat weight 41 tons. The design process, each one tank protection / weight ratio and the total weight of tanks are used to optimize the design, so the tank with high defense force. Powered by 730 hp water-cooled turbo V-12 diesel engines, tanks maximum speed of 57.25 km / h, in a plateau, desert, cold regions battle. Uses torsion bar suspension system and supplemented by high-performance shock absorbers, road wheels for the six pairs of track that can be linked to a high strength metal rubber crawler. Is also equipped with three anti-tank, floating ferry, diving, automatic fire suppression systems and equipment. Radio type of 889B, the communication distance of 20 to 25 kilometers.

The most advanced model, the Type 85-III or Type 85-IIM, incorporated features also found in the newer Type 90 tank, including a larger 120mm smooth bore main gun capable of firing APFSDS, HEAT, and HEAT-FRAG. The more recent BK-27 HEAT round offers a triple-shaped charge warhead and increased penetration against conventional armors and ERA. The BK-29 round, with a hard penetrator in the nose is designed for use against reactive armor, and as an MP round has fragmentation effects.

If the BK-29 HEAT-MP is used, it may substitute for Frag-HE (as with NATO countries) or complement Frag-HE. With three round natures (APFSDS-T, HEAT-MP, ATGMs) in the autoloader versus four, more antitank rounds would available for the higher rate of fire. A stabilized image intensification sights allows it to engage moving targets while in motion. A GEC-Marconi Centaur fire control system is available. British Barr and Stroud thermal based FCS could also be fitted. The Type 85-III used modular composite armor, and some reports suggest the incorporation of Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA).

The Military Balance did not identify a Type 85 MBT despite references to the tank by the Taiwanese government and Jane's, so it was difficult to attest the number of deployed Type 85s. The January-May 2001 edition of Jane's Sentinel Security Assessment: China and Northeast Asia stated that had 450 Type 85s in service. Later reports also suggested that the Type 85-II had not entered production because of a lack of PLA interest or foreign orders.

This lack of interest led to the development of the Type 85-IIM, a combination of the Type 80-II chassis and a modified Type 85-II turret with 125mm smooth bore gun. The autoloader for the main gun reduced the crew to 3, from 4 in the Type 85-II. Pakistan aquired a number of Type 85-IIM tanks, with minor specific modifications, referred to as Type 85-IIAP. These vehicles were also reportedly assembled in Pakistan combining Type 85-IIM turrets with Pakistani Type 59 and Type 69-II chassis.




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