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So, basic introduction, to start off, we'll go with the latest backbone of the PLA Ground forces' Armored divisions, the ZTZ-96 G/A Basic specs. Crew: 3 Weight: 42-45 tonnes depending on equipment and addon armor/era. Power plant: 1,000 hp liquid cooled Diesel engine Speed: 65 km/h on roads 45 km/h off road Range: 400km without external tanks Armament: 125mm L/48 main gun with autoloader similar to the Soviet 2A46 (8 rounds per minute rof), ATGM capable, based on Russian Refleks-M missile, also has HEI-FRAG, HEAT, and APFSDS ammunition choices, W-85 12.7mm cupola machine gun (not pictured in this photo), 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. Wow, such sharp looking, very armor. Capability wise, this tank was recently pitted against some modern T-72B variants in a Russian tank Biathalon, and while it was deemed better in Armor, Armament, and Electronics, it lost out in mobility due to the underpowered engine, this killed all 730 and 780 hp engines in other ZTZ-96 G/As for the 1,000 hp engine. One interesting note: the boxes on the side actually contain equipment that interferes with the targetting systems of SACLOS missiles, aswell as laser designators, rangefinders and guidance systems, these can be seen when the tank is viewed from above. ----- The heavier, far stronger pride of the ground forces. ZTZ-99 (A2 variant pictured.) Crew: 3 Weight: 54-60 tonnes depending on variant Powerplant: 1,500 hp turbo charged liquid cooled diesel engine Speed: 80 km/h on roads, 60 km/h off road Range: 600km without external tanks. Armament: ZPT98 125mm L/52 autloaded gun with 8 rounds/minute rate of fire (some sources quote later variants at 11 rounds per minute), higher pressure tolerances, redesigned autoloader and other improvements, this allows it to fire improved ammunition such as far more deadly APFSDS then other 125mm autoloaded gun platforms in the PLA's inventory, it can still fire all other types of rounds aswell, W-85 12.7mm cupola machine gun, 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. Armor: While the exact thickness and composition isn't known, It's known from cutaway photos and some are pubically released information to have a hard spall liner as many other tanks these days, the actual armor composition itself are plates of high strength/toughness maraging steel sandwiching materials such as high hardness Aluminum oxides, aswell as layers of Graphene and unknown materials from there (likely something very dense), the boxes on the side of the turret and on the pike nose on the front are likely addon ceramic armor as opposed to ERA as originally believed and may be hollow to act as spaced armed, aside from the physical armor package, the tank also features ERA, NERA, and active defense systems that jam or alter the trajectory of various types of guided projectiles. So, this is the actual "elite" tank of the PLA to supplement the cheaper 96's, Originally it started out with a modest $2,500.000 production cost, however, as time grew on and they kept advancing it to the lastest standards of a top tier MBT, that sort of spiraled out of control a bit, coupled with the fact that the PLA ground forces don't get the same funding as the PLAAF and the PLAN, and the result was that, while the 99A2 has turned out to be a beast in it's own right, it simply isn't feasible price wise to give every tank crew a Type 99A2, however this is probably one of the most underrated 3rd generation MBTs as it's rarely talked about and theres a fuck ton of misinformation about it (mainly that it's a clone of the T-72/T-80 which is completely wrong) and well, it's goddamn pretty, and that counts for alot. Be sure to check my other topics covering other branches of the PLA http://sturgeonshouse.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/80-the-plan-present-and-future-or-the-rapid-modernization-of-the-chinese-navy-and-marines/- Regarding the Navy, Marines, and Weapons used by them and also land based anti ship defense systems. http://sturgeonshouse.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/71-the-future-of-pla-bullit-spitting-devices-powerful-chinese-weapons-and-units-thread/ - Regarding Infantry, small arms, and infantry support weapons. http://sturgeonshouse.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/87-the-plaaf-and-airborne-a-look-at-the-past-present-and-the-future/- Regarding the PLAAF Aircraft and weapon systems, helicopters, and the Airborne. A special thank you. I'd like to personally honor a few posters who have aided me and provided very solid data and posting in this thread, without them this thread and the other PLA related threads would be far less interesting. These should be the first people in here to ask about something. In no particular order. JimZhangZhang, Lightning, Akula_941, and U-47. And of course LoooSeR for keeping content in this thread when I wasn't able to.
Note: I decided I'll make a separate thread about Taiwan at a later date so it's less cluttered. So yeah, I made a vehicle and vehicle weapons thread, might aswell make a small arms thread dedicated to the PLA too, while the focus is on the newest and upcoming generation, I may add some older designs when I feel like it. 11/28/14 Made some slight updates after receiving new information. So, let's start off with the 5.8x42mm round, which as you probably know, is the latest round issued to front line troops and, while it's in essence a SCHV round, Olifant and I have decided is supposed to act like a GPC in the PLA's doctrine (why GPC advocates think a SCHV is completely incapable of being a GPC is a mystery.) How does it perform? Well, This 6mm projectile (Sorry Olifant, I had to do it!) has 2 main variants, the "Short" standard 72 grain round, the DBP-10, which replaced the older, lighter 64 grain DBP-97/95 rounds in service and will eventually replace the DBP-88. (see below) It features a "special hard" H90 double copper/brass layered steel cored gliding metal jacket, which is very hard by bullet jacket standards and allows it to stay together under high stress, a hard cast lead-antimony fused core and an improved sub caliber hardened tool steel penetrator superior to that from the 87 and 95, the core is approximately 4mm wide which combine to give this round excellent armor/material penetration (12+mm RHA at 300mm, compared to 10mm in the older series) and "barrier blind" characteristics. Because of several aerodynamic improvements over the older 87 and 95 series, This is also a quite accurate round with a flat trajectory and excellent energy retention over long distances. It's also worth noting that, because the pressure is significantly increased in the DBP-10 compared to the older rounds from 42,000 psi to 58,000-60,000 psi, it maintains It's rather impressive velocity of 3,000-3,050 feet per second from standard service rifles (18.5 inch barrel and 20.5 inch respectively) despite the heavier round. Giving it an overall muzzle energy of around 1,500 ft/lbs or just over 2,000 joules. for comparison, the 5.56x45mm M855A1 weighing 62 grains gets 2,970 feet per second from a 14.5 inch M4A1 barrel for 1215 ft/lbs or around 1650 joules (I Don't know how fast it travels from the M16 unfortunately), and the 5.45x39mm 7N22 from a 16.5 inch AK-74M barrel achieves 3,000 feet per second, for 1140 ft lbs or around 1550 joules (math is rounded mind you, I'm lazy), so while the 5.8x42mm does get slightly higher raw performance then It's 2 main counterparts as advertised, which is helped by the longer barrel lengths used by the PLA's service weapons, It's not a massive advantage really. And, while the DBP-10 does have alot going for it, it does also have it's flaws, the most prominent being that the design that gives it excellent material penetration and barrier blind ability means it doesn't tend to shatter like other high velocity rounds upon hitting softer flesh, usually ice picking right through a target leaving an exit hole only slightly larger then the entrance, the DBP-10 is noted to have slightly better terminal effectiveness then the 87 and 95 (partially due to the longer, more tail heavy bullet being more likely to yaw/causing a bigger wound channel when it does in soft flesh and when shattering bone), though this wasn't a massive priority in the design. And the "Long" Heavy round meant for MGs and Sniper/DM Rifles, the DBP-88. This 77 grain projectile can't be used in the standard QBZ-95 rifle, carbine, or the QBZ-03 rifle due to the fact it's about 6mm longer then the standard projectile on account of the extended tool steel penetrator that starts in the nose as opposed to the base like the DBP-87 and 95, however, this heavy, long bullet is perfect for sharpshooters and machine guns that can suppress from far away, as the bullet offers even better energy retention, flatter trajectory, very good accuracy, and retains it's penetration power quite well compared to the DBP-87 and 95, being able to still punch through 3-4mm of RHA at 1km (may not sound like much, but for a small round that's pretty good.) this particular version is set to be scrapped as the PLA wants ammo standardization between all weapons, However, There's some evidence that a dedicated "Match Grade" round will be made for 5.8mm DMRs and Sniper rifles, previously thought to be an Ap round but that's no longer believed to be the case. Updates: I've found some new documentation that surprisingly suggests the DBP-10 isn't just a compromise round between the DBP-95 and DBP-88, but actually outperforms it in basically every category, almost assuring the DBP-88 will infact be retired as planned/ First off, the main service rifle, the QBZ-95-1, aka the best Bullpup style AR.ever. QBZ-95-1 Rifle and QBZ-95G Carbine QBZ-97 Export model with a flat top kit. (note the STANAG mag well and how much deeper it runs.) Actual FTU kit installed on older QBZ-95. With various accessories. (a vertical and angled foregrip also exists but isn't shown here.) So yeah, bow down inferior bullpup rifles to your clear overlord, the QBZ-95-1 is, as you may have guessed from the name, an improvement from the older QBZ-95 first seen in 2010, mainly addressing feedback regarding ergonomic comfort and controls, aswell as some other improvements like a thicker barrel with an improved muzzle brake,this rifle will rule you, it has plenty of accessories for almost any mission yet keeps modularity to a reasonable level, is very reliable and quite durable, pretty accurate (not amazing, but for a service rifle its quite decent) while also featuring light recoil due to it's well made recoil buffering system, and is quite light and rather spacious, and somewhat simple, however easy to use iron sights. The Carbine variant is mostly the same, however it does fire notably faster under the same circumstances as the full size rifle, one oddity however is that the front handguard is so short on the carbine variant it actually has nowhere to mount the 35mm grenade launcher or bayonet the full sized rifle can. Specifications to sperg over Caliber - 5.8x42mm DBP-10 (5.56x45mm using STANAGs in the QBZ-97 export variants) Official rate of fire - 650-750 rpm for older variants, 700-750 for QBZ-95-1 on fully automatic. (800-900 rpm for QBZ-95G) Action - Gas operated, rotating bolt with short stroke piston. Fire modes - Semi automatic - 3 round burst (optional) - fully automatic. Magazine capacity - 30 round box magazine Barrel Length - 20.5" (14.5" for QBZ-95G) Overall length - 745mm (610mm for QBZ-95G) Weight - 3.00 kg (6.6 lbs) (2.7/6.0 lbs for QBZ-95G) Unchambered with an empty magazine inserted. Effective Range - 600m point targets (400m for QBZ-95G) Note to the above, I made a mistake on the weights and quoted the older versions which are heavier, it's been corrected. ------ I'll add content as I feel like doing so. Be sure to check my other topics covering other branches of the PLA http://sturgeonshouse.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/80-the-plan-present-and-future-or-the-rapid-modernization-of-the-chinese-navy-and-marines/- Regarding the Navy, Marines, and Weapons used by them and also land based anti ship defense systems. http://sturgeonshouse.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/10-vehicles-of-the-pla-or-glorious-fear-mongering-about-china-over-wars-that-will-probably-not-happen-now-with-content/- Regarding land based vehicles, armor, and weapon systems http://sturgeonshouse.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/87-the-plaaf-and-airborne-a-look-at-the-past-present-and-the-future/- Regarding the PLAAF Aircraft and weapon systems, helicopters, and the Airborne.