ZTQ-15 and PRC Light Tanks


Bellum_Romanum

Colonel
Registered Member
This tank might be useful in a conflict involving India or Vietnam but how likely is that compared to the elephant in the room in terms of ground conflict: Korea 2?

Was making this tank along with the development costs a good choice compared to alternatives like investing more in 100 mm gun IFVs like ZBD-04, more drones, more helicopters, more MLRS, more artillery, etc, which would help universally in ground conflicts?
South Korea has to go through North Korea before they could even think of taking on suicidal war with China.
 

FairAndUnbiased

Major
Registered Member
South Korea has to go through North Korea before they could even think of taking on suicidal war with China.
If South Korea and US attacks North Korea due to an ultranationalist regime, then China will have to intervene directly if North Korea starts losing to the point where they may launch.

The other thing is, why is the Type 15 more useful than investing in more drones, helicopters and existing lighter IFVs that still have large caliber guns and not much worse armor? These are all things that would help in any conflict, not just 2 specific regions.
 

Gloire_bb

Senior Member
Registered Member
Was making this tank along with the development costs a good choice compared to alternatives like investing more in 100 mm gun IFVs like ZBD-04, more drones, more helicopters, more MLRS, more artillery, etc, which would help universally in ground conflicts?
The answer is probably yes.
MBTs have evolved in a very unlucky direction to be everywhere. Capability to mount assaults and provide survivable direct fire support (as well as maneuver options provided by available armor) are essential for infantry.
3 out of 4 main ground forces of today (other than Russia, which still produces a <<50t MBT) went for the "light"(medium is a better term for the role, thou) tank.

existing lighter IFVs that still have large caliber guns and not much worse armor?
They have very different guns and fundamentally worse armor(ZBD-04A in particular).
ZTQ-15 mixes in relatively heavy steel base armor(read - it's as resistant to artillery splinters as an MBT) with a well-known ability to carry high-end heavy ERA.
 

gongolongo

Junior Member
Registered Member
But there's quite the chance that China and the PLA might intervene though.
Tbh I think North Korea is one of the few topics that China and US actually agree on. US knows it's too bloody (and close to China) to fight another Korean War and I don't think China really sees North Korea as something worth it to defend. Both want to stabilize the region and dont want to start any conflicts.

But the ZTQ-15 seems really good at being able to deploy in any sort of environment if it can do extreme altitude mountains, it can do most terrains.
 

FairAndUnbiased

Major
Registered Member
Tbh I think North Korea is one of the few topics that China and US actually agree on. US knows it's too bloody (and close to China) to fight another Korean War and I don't think China really sees North Korea as something worth it to defend. Both want to stabilize the region and dont want to start any conflicts.

But the ZTQ-15 seems really good at being able to deploy in any sort of environment if it can do extreme altitude mountains, it can do most terrains.
China wouldn't have renewed its only defense treaty - with North Korea - if that was the case. North Korea is worth defending if for nothing else, then to not give them a reason to launch.
 

Aniah

Senior Member
Registered Member
If South Korea and US attacks North Korea due to an ultranationalist regime, then China will have to intervene directly if North Korea starts losing to the point where they may launch.

The other thing is, why is the Type 15 more useful than investing in more drones, helicopters and existing lighter IFVs that still have large caliber guns and not much worse armor? These are all things that would help in any conflict, not just 2 specific regions.
Wasn't the whole point of the Type 15 to have a tank on high altitudes or hard terrain where an MBT won't work well? That and the idea you don't put all your eggs in one basket with drones and such. As for investment, I don't think China has a money problem and can invest in all sorts of things if they wanted.
 

Gloire_bb

Senior Member
Registered Member
Wasn't the whole point of the Type 15 to have a tank on high altitudes or hard terrain where an MBT won't work well? That and the idea you don't put all your eggs in one basket with drones and such. As for investment, I don't think China has a money problem and can invest in all sorts of things if they wanted.
While it is a tank optimized for high grounds - it isn't solely deployed there.
Furthermore, Ukraine experience suggests it's just a very right tank to have.
 

gelgoog

Colonel
Registered Member
My main gripe with the Type 15 is that compared with a tank designed with similar design constraints, the Japanese Type 10, it is just way too lightweight. Weaker gun and a lot of other stats, like the transmission, maybe even the armor. It will be barely competitive against current generation MBTs but will likely struggle against the next gen ones. China has a tradition of making these overly light tanks like Type 62 which in practice are highly vulnerable. From what I understand the Type 62, and probably this tank, have these severe weight constraints because they are expected to fight in the marshy jungles of Southeast Asia i.e. on Vietnam. This is also the tank that China might use in an island hopping campaign in the Pacific if it ever came to that. And in fact probably for that reason is already in use with the PLA Marines.

The ZBD-04A is an utterly obsolete design at this point. Russia is replacing its similar BMP-3 with Kurganets-25. Or they will once they ever get it into production. This is much more comparable to similar designs like what South Korea is using.

Given the terrain constrains China has, I think it needs two tank designs, one lighter, and another heavier tank. One for Southern China, and another for Northern China. So I do not think the Type 15 project was a waste of time, but the base specs were probably a mistake.
 

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