ZTQ-15 and PRC Light Tanks


Gloire_bb

Senior Member
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.
It gets [a lot] of strategic mobility for that. For example, two probably fit into the Y-20, much like the MLP. The same applies to watercraft, bridge restrictions, and more.
For a tank that is more or less equally protected in anything but head-on engagement with heavy armor - it's an excellent trade-off.
Weaker gun and a lot of other stats, like the transmission, maybe even the armor.
It isn't maybe, it is true. But. What of it?
Yes, type 10 when configured with internal armor(40t configuration is basically paper) is better at resisting APFSDS coming right from the front. And that's about it - for all other modern threats, they're more or less equal.
Yes, gun is weaker against MBTs. Against other targets it's functionally equal - 105 HE carries ~as much oompf as 120 NATO (or slightly better due to riffled gun), and takes on all the same targets just as well ... but it's safe ammo storage is almost 3 times(!!!) as large.

ZTQ-15 is perfectly mobile as well.

Consider ZTQ-15 for what it is. There is no point comparing it with the lightest MBTs - it's a different vehicle. And the moment you drop the pretense you're an MBT - you can drop a lot from the vehicle.
 

HeroOftheFerelden

New Member
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.

The whole point of the Combined Arm moderization is to improve situation awareness down to every vehicle/every soldier and integrate fire power from Air Force, Army Aviation, artillery, MLRS, ATGM into one big system. There're many better ways to deal with enemy MBTs.
 

Andy1974

Junior Member
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.

As the Type 15 can fight where a MBT can’t then you can’t really compare them? These tanks can fight at very high altitude as well as soft ground.

They can also shoot at targets identified by other Type 15s, from cover.

All we need now is the amphibious version for the Taiwan contingency.
 

gelgoog

Colonel
Registered Member
I think the ZTQ-15 is a giant succes tbh, just the export succes it had in such a short time says enough
Well like I said, it is ideal for Southeast Asia, and Pacific nations. If China tried to sell it to Southern and Central America, it would probably do well there as well. Maybe Africa too. There aren't that many modern tanks suitable for jungle environments.

And its only viable competitor, I think, is the Japanese Type 10. But no one outside Japan will be buying a tank as expensive as that. The Japanese don't know how to manufacture weapons cheaply. None of the countries I mentioned have that much capital to waste on tanks.
 

ficker22

Junior Member
Registered Member
Against other targets it's functionally equal - 105 HE carries ~as much oompf as 120 NATO (or slightly better due to riffled gun), and takes on all the same targets just as well ...


Why is that the case? How does rifling affect the size of the HE content?


AFAIK the Israelis have developed some new 120mm HE which would certainly outclass 105 HE
 

Gloire_bb

Senior Member
Registered Member
Why is that the case? How does rifling affect the size of the HE content?
Strictly speaking, it indeed does - HE shell from a rifled gun doesn't need stabilizers, and those weight&take volume. But it was more of a reference to caliber shells from rifled guns simply being notably more accurate.
AFAIK the Israelis have developed some new 120mm HE which would certainly outclass 105 HE
Yep, it's probably quite possible to make a much more powerful 120mm HE round; 125mm HE are massively more powerful from day 1.
The point is, it doesn't terribly matter. There are a few direct fire missions on the battlefield that are doable with the former and not the latter - 105mm is simply enough for the absolute majority of targets.
And for those that do require more, it's often more prudent to call for indirect support already.
 

InfamousMeow

Junior 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.

China will definitely intervene. The thing is, it will primarily be the job of the Northern Theater Command (previous Shenyang Military District). It is traditionally known for having heavy tanks, not ZTQ-15.

Also, China already has a decently strong drone, helicopter, and light IFV force, it's not exclusive with developing ZTQ-15. It's not like developing ZTQ-15 severely holds back the deployment of other equipments.
 

Gloire_bb

Senior Member
Registered Member
China will definitely intervene. The thing is, it will primarily be the job of the Northern Theater Command (previous Shenyang Military District). It is traditionally known for having heavy tanks, not ZTQ-15.
Korean TO will need those southern and western units, though.
Partially because we're talking about a very big conflict, partially because of the terrain.

p.s. furthermore, let's wait and see where Chinese battle orders will move in the future. Type 96 family is out of production - and since type-96B series haven't materialized, there are quite a few interesting options in the future.
 
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