New Type98/99 MBT thread


KampfAlwin

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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.
To be fair, Leclerc’s turret only has 2 crew members while Abrams has 3. So technically more internal volume for each of the crew.
 

halflife3

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I found the source of the pictures and it specifically covers the Type 99A. This is probably the most in depth coverage of the Type 99A I ever watched. Lots of close ups, interior shots, and crew operations.
 
D

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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.
The reason the Type 99's side armor is weaker or non/existent (which is a highly unlikely claim) can be easily summed up as such:

From a practical point of view, a tank's front is going to be the side that is exposed to enemy fire most of the time. Whether in an urban environment or open field. There is no deliberate decision on the PLA part, and every single designer in the world follows this concept.

Also whether the armor is located on the side or the front matters little with regards to mobility, the only thing that matters is your track's and engine power, that's it.

There is no deep thinking or subtle reasoning behind it, but just plain design sense.
 

dawn_strike

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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.
At that time the equipment update of Russian army is in some sense limited due to its economy if I remember it right, and Russia has no more been the major military threat for China ever since 1990s.
Anyway T90A was not yet something 99/99A cannot handle at all even back then. In some Chinese research paper there were indeed proposals like 1000+ KE protection or 140mm gun but since the introduction of 4th Gen. MBTs seemed nowhere in sight globally such proposals never came into reality.
 

Sardaukar20

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The reason the Type 99's side armor is weaker or non/existent (which is a highly unlikely claim) can be easily summed up as such:

From a practical point of view, a tank's front is going to be the side that is exposed to enemy fire most of the time. Whether in an urban environment or open field. There is no deliberate decision on the PLA part, and every single designer in the world follows this concept.

Also whether the armor is located on the side or the front matters little with regards to mobility, the only thing that matters is your track's and engine power, that's it.

There is no deep thinking or subtle reasoning behind it, but just plain design sense.
There is nothing wrong with the Type 99's armour design for a contemporary MBT. Armour should be concentrated to the front, where the tank is expected to face to the enemy. M1 Abrams without TUSK, K2 Black Panther, and the Type 10 too do not sport extra hull side-armour. It is not a requirement in the doctrines of the PLA, South Korea, Japan, and for the USA in conventional armoured combat.

My issue is that some people criticize the Type 99s side hull-armour by comparing it with the T-80s, T-90s, and the latest Leopard 2s. A good amount of these criticisms happen to come from the War Thunder gamer community, which I think is very silly. I'm sure the Type 99s designers must have thought about adding extra ERA and applique armour to the hull sides. But since it is not needed for the PLA's doctrine, it is just simply not added.
 

Gloire_bb

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M1 Abrams without TUSK, K2 Black Panther, and the Type 10 too do not sport extra hull side-armour
Even basic M1 has significantly thicker(=layered composite) forward skirt plates.
Complete lack of attention to this issue is mostly an east Asian feature for some reason(K2 finally got ERA there, though).
 
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Deleted member 13312

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Even basic M1 has significantly thicker(=layered composite) forward skirt plates.
Complete lack of attention to this issue is mostly an east Asian feature for some reason(K2 finally got ERA there, though).
Calling that armored plates is a little too generous, earlier variants of it are more to keep the dust down and provide a foothold than actual protection.

Also it's not like the omission of side skirts are an exclusive Asian thing, the Soviets too skip side armor from time to time especially in drills and exercise. So did NATO nations.
 

Gloire_bb

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Calling that armored plates is a little too generous, earlier variants of it are more to keep the dust down and provide a foothold than actual protection.
It may not seem so, but forward pieces are actually thick enough.
main-qimg-0f7210136a90ccf7c908ee64f7f8f882.jpeg
And yes, together with hull plating underneath, they're actually intended to provide protection from sharp forward angles, as well as from light autocannons.
 

lgnxz

Junior Member
Registered Member
Side protection in modern day is only concerning the threat from an ATGM, any modern APFSDS will just pierce through any modern tank's side armor no matter how good your ERA or how thick it is. There's already decade old solution for this, which is the hardkill active protection system. Kinda weird that noone is suggesting this earlier, especially since PLA already has this kind of system, yet for some reason is unwilling to use it, merely for foreign export instead.
 

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