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Vehicles of the PLA: Now with refreshing new topic title!


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Chinese new Light tank, i guess?






Yes, from what I've gathered, it's surprisingly based on a downscaled 99A2, and designed specifically to operate in the desert and swampy regions and in higher mountainous regions like Tibet, where the thin air eventually chokes the life out of heavier vehicles' engines.


Hence why you see it tested near such places alot, like so.





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Well, here's 4 more being transferred from a depot by train, the second to the front is the eternal heavenly emperor of slacking tracks.




The armament is the T83 high pressure 105mm series, considering almost all modern mbts simply can't operate at the altitudes and enviorments this is designed for however, this isn't seen as much of a problem to not use a 125mm gun like the full size 99A2.

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A super roided L7


longer barrel designed for higher pressure combustible cases and with much longer rods then NATO countries used before more or less moving on to 120mm


The DU alloy rounds for said series are quoted at 600mm of RHA penetration at 2km.


Also likely using an autoloader in this case as the crew is still expected to be only 3 men to save on space and weight.


Edit: another interesting note is, despite the caliber, It's capable of firing any ATGM in the Russian Bastion family of missiles which China license produces. other then that they make 105mm HEAT and HEAT-FRAG (HEDP basically) shells for the gun.

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It looks like a commanders sight to me, but it's on the wrong side and he already has one. Maybe a laser dazzler?

     Yes, i heard that ZTZ-99A2 have a laser dazzler. In fact, Soviets were working on several models for tanks and infantry, so it is not something totally new. But this particular device looks little bit different from previous model, so i think Chinese designers updated/improved it or combined with something else.


     Turret design is interesting, i believe that what we see is outside "shell" with ERA for an actual turret. If it is true, this turret should have pretty good roof protection.


     And look at their commnader's panoramic sight. Russian T-72 "Sport" had similar one (rumors say that that panoramic sight is planned to be used on T-14.)




ZTZ-99A2 (sight is under HMG)


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ZTZ-99A2-MBT-4.jpg     Without ERA (?) and side skirts. Look at those white thick cables going to those small devices on top of the gun. I almost 100% sure that those are FCS radars. One for shooting (measure muzzle velocity and deviations from it for later corrections), second one could be for spotting. First 2 rollers also have some sort of shock absorbers. 

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A few notes.

1. That is in fact a Laser dazzler, It's also designed to detect lasers such as those from rangefinders and guided weapons and relay the origin location to the vehicle crew, and as a comms device. The reason it's placed on the roof is so it can elevate high enough to also target helicopters.

2. A few of the places some see as ERA are actually high hardness/density spaced applique armor tiles, this can be seen as they're too big to be ERA and they don't match the appearance of any known PLA ERA design. (The first image obviously Has ERA though.)

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It's also worth pointing out I guess that the device behind the gunner hatch is also connected the the system and is called the JT-1, It's capable of doing thing such as jamming weapon guidance systems and frying IR sensors at close enough range.

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Type_98_main_battle_tank_armed_with_MANP Older model Type 98 modified as a test bed for a side mounted short range air to air missile system, the device on the roof is the targeting and guidance systems.

Note the absence of composite/ceramic tiles, particularly on the turret front for this test model.

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So this "ERA" on frontal part of the ZTZ-99A2 turret is not ERA at all, but ceramics or some kind of composite/NERA. If it is ceramics, it could seriously help with APFSDS at some angles, AFAIK. That way of mounting armor is really different from Russian - in our tanks NERA/ceramics/whatever is placed inside of steel "pockets".




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The array on the turret front is actually hollow.


The latest model ZTZ-99A2s are better armored (and heavier) then older versions of the 99 familty, and even though the shape of the array is different on the ztz-99a2, It's believed to be the same.

It's placed on the outside because, among other reasons, doing so greatly increases the turret fronts resistance to HEAT weapons, And potentially cause kinetic penetraters to yaw or fragment.

That's of course not to say the Ztz-99A2 can't use ERA aswell, as they've been seen doing so, just that the tile array caused some people to confuse them with ERA bricks.

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Leo 2A6 have wedges like this, acting as spaced armor, but Chinese engineers made them better by adding ceramics/NERA blocks on top of those wedges, trying to damage HEAT jet or make it "interrupted", as i understand. If it is ceramics, it would also resist to APFSDS pretty well, causing deformation of tips/caps.

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