New Type98/99 MBT thread


HelloBrigador

Just Hatched
Registered Member
Type 99 has been in production since about 2001 while Type 99A was introduced in service around 2017/18. 250 units of Type 99A in about 2 years of production. Your dates are very far off. Wiki has it wrong. I think the source of confusion is the 99A. 99A is the official new large turret version which was introduced just a couple of years ago and there's been at least three main Type 99 variants.

Type 98 is not counted but the first 99 came as some ERA addition to what is basically a Type 98. That's V1 in 2001 where the turret has a very obvious circular curvature just after where the frontal ERA wedge blocks end. The second 99 we can call V2 doesn't have this bulge anymore and is perfectly flush with the ERA wedge block. This second one came around 2007. The third variant V3 circa 2018 is what is now officially called the 99A. It has a distinctly taller turret and a new wedge block geometry. So 600 Type 99 is V1+V2 while 250 units of 99A is V3. I'm pretty sure there's more than 600 Type 99s, I think Richard clarified this before. Anyway production of 99A seems to be all in with at least 250 units already in just two years or so.
Thank you for pointing it out.
I double-checked the article I used. It seems quite a few of the article has mistaken the phase 2 (or V2) production date for the initial production date.
It looks like in Chinese literature the phase 1 and Phase 2 tanks are both called Type 99, Phase 3 tanks are called Type 99A, while in English literature the phase 2 tanks are called Type 99A and phase 3 tanks are called Type 99A2?
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
Thank you for pointing it out.
I double-checked the article I used. It seems quite a few of the article has mistaken the phase 2 (or V2) production date for the initial production date.
It looks like in Chinese literature the phase 1 and Phase 2 tanks are both called Type 99, Phase 3 tanks are called Type 99A, while in English literature the phase 2 tanks are called Type 99A and phase 3 tanks are called Type 99A2?
In both English and Chinese literature it was the case when the tall turret V3 came out that the Type 99 was the one with the circular bulge, Type 99A was the flush V2, and the Type 99A2 was the newest V3 but ever since the official designation of Type 99A was given to the V3, it has since become referred this way by both Chinese and English literature although some 99A2 designation remains in some English ones.
 

HelloBrigador

Just Hatched
Registered Member
In both English and Chinese literature it was the case when the tall turret V3 came out that the Type 99 was the one with the circular bulge, Type 99A was the flush V2, and the Type 99A2 was the newest V3 but ever since the official designation of Type 99A was given to the V3, it has since become referred this way by both Chinese and English literature although some 99A2 designation remains in some English ones.
I see, looks like my information are very much out of data.
In both English and Chinese literature it was the case when the tall turret V3 came out that the Type 99 was the one with the circular bulge, Type 99A was the flush V2, and the Type 99A2 was the newest V3 but ever since the official designation of Type 99A was given to the V3, it has since become referred this way by both Chinese and English literature although some 99A2 designation remains in some English ones.
I see.
Thank you for your explanation. This type of information has proven to be pretty hard to find using google alone.
 

BaiyueRaeuz

New Member
Registered Member
Type 99 has been in production since about 2001 while Type 99A was introduced in service around 2017/18. 250 units of Type 99A in about 2 years of production. Your dates are very far off. Wiki has it wrong. I think the source of confusion is the 99A. 99A is the official new large turret version which was introduced just a couple of years ago and there's been at least three main Type 99 variants.

Type 98 is not counted but the first 99 came as some ERA addition to what is basically a Type 98. That's V1 in 2001 where the turret has a very obvious circular curvature just after where the frontal ERA wedge blocks end. The second 99 we can call V2 doesn't have this bulge anymore and is perfectly flush with the ERA wedge block. This second one came around 2007. The third variant V3 circa 2018 is what is now officially called the 99A. It has a distinctly taller turret and a new wedge block geometry. So 600 Type 99 is V1+V2 while 250 units of 99A is V3. I'm pretty sure there's more than 600 Type 99s, I think Richard clarified this before. Anyway production of 99A seems to be all in with at least 250 units already in just two years or so.
Type 99A has already been introduced to service in 2014 at the latest. I think there should be more than 300 of them now.
 

Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
Here's what Military Balance 2020 says about tank numbers:
"MBT 5,850
300 ZTZ-59;
650 ZTZ-59-II;
600 ZTZ-59D;
200 ZTZ-79;
300 ZTZ-88A/B;
1,000 ZTZ-96;
1,500 ZTZ-96A;
600 ZTZ-99;
500 ZTZ-99A;
200 ZTQ-15"

That's the Army. Under the Marine corps it adds "Some ZTQ-15"

Now, Military balance publication is not very precise. Usually it's some years behind in info. But it's a rough outline.
I guess the only way a better set of figures could be had is if someone could track photos coming from all the units, somehow recognize which unit the photo is of, and when new tank types appear one can assume that within half a year or so the transition to new tank type is likely to be complete. Of course, one would also have to be able to be sure of all the units that exist, so if no photos of some units are trickling in, then at least one could say "data unavailable for this unit. it possibly has XY tanks".
 

plawolf

Brigadier
I've noticed something Chinese tanks do in all the pictures: What's the deal with having one headlight exposed and one covered?
One is full beam for maximum illumination, while the other is hooded so the light is directed downwards to the road to make the lights much softer and harder to detect from the air. You can see the narrow slit that is designed to allow just enough light out for the driver to see by. WWII vehicles all had them as standard, by most western tanks have deleted them these days owing to night vision.

The PLA just retains the headlights as it’s essentially a costless addition, but gives the tanks a bit more flexibility and also allows them to save on using night vision, as IITs all have a finite useful life in the number of operating hours, after which they start to loose sensitivity and need to be replaced.
 

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