New Type98/99 MBT thread


dawn_strike

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The Type-99 was created in preparation for large-scale tank battles and head-to-head tank battles. Therefore its front armor was very thick, side armor was thin

VT-4 developed for export purposes, it has been redesigned to be sleeker, lighter, highly maneuverable and has comprehensive protection on all sides, suitable for urban battles.

China's military doctrine is to avoid bringing tanks into the city, so they don't care about side armor and active protection.
They don't care about side armor and active protection (x)
They compensate some protection so that the weight would be around 55tons and the budget would not be too high (√)
 

dawn_strike

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Back in the 200x~2010 when 99A was in development, if u are the PLA and u notice more than half of ur land neighbours still operate something like improved Pa'tck in the 200x~2010 when 99A was in development, if u are the PLA and u notice more than half of ur land neighbours still operate something like improved Pattons or T54s, T72s and Mango, u will as well find 99A good enough.
Countering M1A2C or L2A6/A7+? Nah perhaps PLA really did not consider such senario, after all they are not planning on assaulting Europe or something.
The introduction of M1A2T or India buying T90M may give them some motivation though.
 

FangYuan

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The Chinese appreciate the Leopard 2a7 and M1A2 for internal space and tank comfort. If this does not affect the weight and cost of the Type-99a, China could also follow the development direction of Germany and the US.

The Type-96 is lightweight and inexpensive, simple, easy to use, and it can be easily manufactured and upgraded.

The Type-99 has a very thick front armor that makes it an advantage in tank battles. The main problem is that it is complicated, heavy, and expensive

VT-4 inherits the advantages of Type-96 and Type-99. It's modern, strong, not too heavy, with perfect protection on all sides. Of course, it's also much more expensive and complicated than the Type-96, and the front end protection isn't as strong as the Type-99a.
 

LawLeadsToPeace

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Back in the 200x~2010 when 99A was in development, if u are the PLA and u notice more than half of ur land neighbours still operate something like improved Pa'tck in the 200x~2010 when 99A was in development, if u are the PLA and u notice more than half of ur land neighbours still operate something like improved Pattons or T54s, T72s and Mango, u will as well find 99A good enough.
Countering M1A2C or L2A6/A7+? Nah perhaps PLA really did not consider such senario, after all they are not planning on assaulting Europe or something.
The introduction of M1A2T or India buying T90M may give them some motivation though.
However the Russians were operating T90's during that era. Also the Russian-Chinese relationship was as good as the SEA nations' relationship with China at that time, and that relationship was meh. By your logic in regards to motivation, the Chinese would have been motivated by the Russians in that regard, but that contradicts your main statement. I definitely agree with the operational and manufacture costs aspect though. The Chinese economy during that time wasnt as good as that of today. Plus, based on the videos the Chinese media publish and like what @FangYuan suggested, the Chinese's usage of tanks seems to be based on the view that tanks will fight in head to head battles thanks to their terrain. That would explain why the ztq 15 doesnt have era on its sides despite the uptick in defense spending. So in short, money and doctrine are some of the reasons why the 99A's sides are really exposed.
 

Sardaukar20

Junior Member
Registered Member
The Type-99 was created in preparation for large-scale tank battles and head-to-head tank battles. Therefore its front armor was very thick, side armor was thin

VT-4 developed for export purposes, it has been redesigned to be sleeker, lighter, highly maneuverable and has comprehensive protection on all sides, suitable for urban battles.

China's military doctrine is to avoid bringing tanks into the city, so they don't care about side armor and active protection.
I agree. I too believe that this lack of side hull armour on the Type-99 tanks is a deliberate decision. These tanks are expected to be fighting in traditional armoured formations. Where flank protection can be covered by wingman tanks and other units. These tanks are not intended to fight in urban battlefields like Grozny or Fallujah. Since the PLA's doctrine is mainly defensive, there is little need to play the occupying force where urban combat becomes much more common.

Anyway, additional side hull armour is heavy and bulky, thus impacting mobility. If they are not needed, why have them bog down your tanks. We can also see this logic with the other top tier tanks in East Asia. The Type 10s and the K2s. These tanks too generally lack side hull armour in their current configuration. Even the Abrams did not have that impressive side hull armour until they experienced Iraq in 2003 onwards. After that, the Abrams begins to get the TUSK package. Hence, I believe the manufacturer could quite easily have a 'TUSK' package for the Type 99s on the catalogue. An add-on package just in case they these tanks do need to go into urban combat.

Some of the loudest voices that I have heard bashing the Type 99 for its lack of hull side armour are from the War Thunder players. They think that by driving a tank in a video game, they have suddenly become tank experts. This is laughable. For example, a tanker in War Thunder could target and snipe out individual 'weak points' of an enemy tank. But a tanker in real life could only make out an enemy tank's profile on his FLIR at 1800m out. He could hit the enemy tank, but he won't be able to pick out which part of the tank he wants to hit. Not to mention the other 'game balancing' things that distorts the realism even more. Hence, War Thunder is not real life, and we should not take it too seriously.
 
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FishWings

Junior Member
Registered Member
I agree. I too believe that this lack of side hull armour on the Type-99 tanks is a deliberate decision. These tanks are expected to be fighting in traditional armoured formations. Where flank protection can be covered by wingman tanks and other units. These tanks are not intended to fight in urban battlefields like Grozny or Fallujah. Since the PLA's doctrine is mainly defensive, there is little need to play the occupying force where urban combat becomes much more common.

Anyway, additional side hull armour is heavy and bulky, thus impacting mobility. If they are not needed, why have them bog down your tanks. We can also see this logic with the other top tier tanks in East Asia. The Type 10s and the K2s. These tanks too generally lack side hull armour in their current configuration. Even the Abrams did not have that impressive side hull armour until they experienced Iraq in 2003 onwards. After that, the Abrams begins to get the TUSK package. Hence, I believe the manufacturer could quite easily have a 'TUSK' package for the Type 99s on the catalogue. An add-on package just in case they these tanks do need to go into urban combat.

Some of the loudest voices that I have heard bashing the Type 99 for its lack of hull side armour are from the War Thunder players. They think that by driving a tank in a video game, they have suddenly become tank experts. This is laughable. For example, a tanker in War Thunder could target and snipe out individual 'weak points' of an enemy tank. But a tanker in real life could only make out an enemy tank's profile on his FLIR at 1800m out. He could hit the enemy tank, but he won't be able to pick out which part of the tank he wants to hit. Not to mention the other 'game balancing' things that distorts the realism even more. Hence, War Thunder is not real life, and we should not take it too seriously.
Honestly having reinforced roof armor might actually prove more useful than side hull armor, especially with all the talk about swarms of drones (or at least large numbers of them). True, a layered ADS network and especially having won air superiority through the use of fighter jets will eliminate the threat of larger drones such as GJ-2 or MQ-9. But for the small and low-flying drones that are harder to detect, the threat is not as easily eliminated, especially in more urban environments where they can literally fly out of a window, go several hundred meters until it is vertically straight up above your tank, and drop an AT bomb in similar fashion to this:

isis-drone-m1-abrams-tank.jpgcdfd5ce39d7e6f3af0e5777f461f4385.jpeg

Granted, first image is an extremely small bomb that probably did negligible damage, and second image is not on a tank (but it dropped a far larger bomb, and the M1 could have been the target instead). I don't believe PLA is actually going to lose tanks to improvised DJIs, but they definitely still pose a threat. IDF also had to deal with similar threats from Hamas. And of course, the threat of top-attack ATGMs or self-targeting munitions such as CH-901 or Switchblade will also necessitate reinforced roof armor, as it has already been established that APS cannot be relied on 100% of the time. Lastly, the threat of artillery is another major tank killer. Of course having a strong enough roof to survive a Smerch or even Grad rocket is out of the questionable, same goes for guided conventional shells such as Krasnopol-type munitions. But a roof strong enough to withstand hits from a standard battalion-level infantry mortar should be the minimum at least. Believe it or not, more than just a few tanks in Donbass and Syria were unlucky recipients of an 82mm straight through the turret roof, with terrible results.

That said, 99A seems to have some sort of reinforcement to the turret roof (possibly ERA?), and they don't look like simple bullet breakers. ZTQ for sure has ERA on the roof, and it seems to be heavy-ERA also which is a plus. But not enough for the 99A even though it probably also is ERA, and IMO if it was one or the other (and especially so given the doctrine), spending the weight on a reinforced roof is preferable to having reinforced hull sides.
 

by78

Brigadier
Inside of a Type-99A tank.

View attachment 70049

Two additional images from the same sequence.

51050811022_287394194e_k.jpg

51050811002_a5c05f7784_k.jpg

51050001203_b6ccb4443f_k.jpg
 

Laviduce

New Member
Registered Member
Oh that's pretty nice, almost reminds me of LeClerc's interior.

Certainly looks roomier than Abrams, since they don't have a loader.
It is Leclerc not LeClerc. The interior of the Leclerc is not roomy for the crew: At around 9 cubic meters, It has a smaller internal crew volume than the Abrams which has around 11 cubic meters of internal space.
 

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