ZTQ-15 and PRC Light Tanks


ChineseToTheBone

New Member
Registered Member
The thing about the design of Type 15 is that while it does have a weaker firepower and armor protection than heavier MBTs, it can go to places where normally a heavy MBT couldn't go, like high up on the Tibetan plateau or in the hilly and watery regions of Southern China. Just as the Chinese military strategist Fang Bing once said about the Type 15: "Those that can defeat it can't go to places where it can go, and those that can go to the places it can go can't defeat it".
Towards an interest of fairness here, in these recent months India has looked abroad for options in countering their potential deployment within mountainous border regions, and importing some existing light tanks from Russia could honestly do just that.

Securing a proper deal will likely take many years at least, but if their leadership really becomes desperate enough this option for importing new armoured vehicles from Russia could eventually be activated.

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The weight of 2S25M Sprut-SDM1 light tanks is roughly half of Type 15 main battle tanks and has the added benefit for India of not complicating their armament logistics by utilizing a similar 125mm gun along with the exact same ammunition as T-90 main battle tanks.

I am no way saying these armoured vehicles will be equivalents of course, but they do in fact have a capable gun despite lacking capable armour, which might not really matter when tanks become glass cannons if they face each other directly anyway.

Now the main question I have would be regarding their mobility in high altitudes, which could indeed be lacking just like T-90 main battle tanks, especially given its relatively low horsepower engine and no special turbochargers or compressors.
 

TK3600

Junior Member
Registered Member
You guys are aware that india is deploying T90s to counter the PLA Type15s already deployed To Tibet, not the other way around right?

The Indian T90 deployment is typically knee-jerk, copy-cat, and all flare and no substance; as we should now come to expect from India.

China showed video of Type15s exercising in Tibet, so India needs to have tanks in the region as well. The T90 is tank with the best mobility in Indian inventories, but it really is a case of least worst rather than best, as is the case with the Type15, which had high altitude performance as a key design feature.

Indian T90s are all for show, and will be of exceptionally limited use if there was actual combat.

They will suffer the same geographical limitations as any MBT trying to operate in the area, and are literally stuck in a naturals cauldron with nowhere to advance to, and only one narrow, poor quality road that the PLA overlooks to retreat from.

It will be incredibly easy for the PLA to simply bottle them up and either obliterate them with long range artillery, or simply wait for them to run out of fuel and get some free T90s to play with or to add to museum collections.

The Type15s, OTOH, will be able to go places the T90 has no chance of following or countering, and are intended to spearhead advances against India bunkers and strong points.

Even where it cannot physically get to, the Type15 would still have a very good chance of getting to high ground overlooking the engagement area to provide direct fire support.

I am doubtful if PLA Type15s would even carry sabot rounds if combat was joined. Instead they will probably just carry a number of ATGMs as anti-tank back up, that will still be fairly effective against bunkers and the like so they are not wasting any ammo slots.

We have to remember that the Chinese Bastion derivatives are only what is being offered for export, and it is pretty much standard practice for the PLA to always keep something better off limits for sales that they rely on themselves.

China already fields top attack conventional ATGMs, so a 105mm tank fired one is certainly not beyond their capabilities, the only question is one of cost and time.

But even with Bastions, a Type15 can give a T90 a good run for its money. Even if a hit doesn’t kill the T90 outright, it will be mission killed at a bare minimum. Bastions far outrange the T90s gun, but even if the T90 does manage to get within range to take a shot, the Type15’s APS has a very good chance of stopping it, so bean riding is not that big of an issue.

But the main point is that Type15s shouldn’t be seeing T90s, and those T90s India are claiming to be deploying can be dealt with easily enough without needing Type15s or Z10s or drones.

A few specops spotters with a radio will be enough to see them obliterated by long range PLA artillery.
Cant t90 use svir?
 

plawolf

Brigadier
Cant t90 use svir?
Sure, but the question wasn’t whether the T90 would be a threat to the Type15, which it absolutely is, but rather whether the Type15’s 105mm main gun is enough to pose a threat to a T90.

Also, it’s noteworthy that Svir, like all Indian imported weapons and munitions, poses India with a fundamental logistical problem in that whatever their first day of war stocks is what they have to fight the whole war with, as Russia will not be suppling weapons or munitions to India if it is still actively engaging in armed conflict with China, as doing so could be considered an act of war, and at a minimum will massively damage Sino-Russian relations. If forced to choose between India or China, its really a no-brainier for Russia to side with China. But in all likelihood, they will claim neutrality, which best serves their interests, but means no weapons or munitions delivery while hostilities are still ongoing.

China, OTOH, makes all of its weapons and munitions, which includes APS rounds and replacement ERA blocks on top of the big ticket stuff like fighters, tanks and all the rest.

Simply put, India will enter the fight at its peak power, and then it’s all downhill from there. Whereas China could not only replenish expended munitions and consumable stocks but actively expand them, and even the number of major combat assets like fighters, tanks, artillery etc. Thus Chinese combat power is going to remain fairly consistent and may even increase as the war rages on, depending on the length of the engagement.

It’s part of China’s full spectrum escalation advantage over India, and why it would be incredibly stupid for India to provoke a war with China.
 

BaiyueRaeuz

New Member
Registered Member
Towards an interest of fairness here, in these recent months India has looked abroad for options in countering their potential deployment within mountainous border regions, and importing some existing light tanks from Russia could honestly do just that.

Securing a proper deal will likely take many years at least, but if their leadership really becomes desperate enough this option for importing new armoured vehicles from Russia could eventually be activated.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The weight of 2S25M Sprut-SDM1 light tanks is roughly half of Type 15 main battle tanks and has the added benefit for India of not complicating their armament logistics by utilizing a similar 125mm gun along with the exact same ammunition as T-90 main battle tanks.

I am no way saying these armoured vehicles will be equivalents of course, but they do in fact have a capable gun despite lacking capable armour, which might not really matter when tanks become glass cannons if they face each other directly anyway.

Now the main question I have would be regarding their mobility in high altitudes, which could indeed be lacking just like T-90 main battle tanks, especially given its relatively low horsepower engine and no special turbochargers or compressors.
Judging by the information you provided, I think the Chinese Type 15 would still have an advantage in terms of armor and mobility.
 

Breadbox

Junior Member
Registered Member
Really nifty light tank didn’t generate as much buzz as it should, many new tank design concepts are adopted on this tank, Hydropeumatic Suspension, modular armour, remote weapon station and the best FCS China could make.

From what I’ve heard it has a single unit cost of higher than that of Type 99, maybe one-day we’ll see upgrade for the Type 99A featuring modular armour, remote weapon stations etc.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
Really nifty light tank didn’t generate as much buzz as it should, many new tank design concepts are adopted on this tank, Hydropeumatic Suspension, modular armour, remote weapon station and the best FCS China could make.

From what I’ve heard it has a single unit cost of higher than that of Type 99, maybe one-day we’ll see upgrade for the Type 99A featuring modular armour, remote weapon stations etc.
Wouldn't surprise me if it were more expensive. We see sensors around the tank for APS too and presumably something better or more modern than the GL-5 since that one's very old now even though it was only shown publicly in the last few years. These sensors are absent on the Type 99. RWS and hydropneumatic suspension on top should make this tank more expensive. If only they could have put the same 125mm gun used by the Type 99, would be one beast of a light tank. Even the lighter Sprut has the strength to carry and point a 125mm. Surprising choice to go with 105mm. Maybe has got to do with the autoloader set up and design.

Type 99 is actually sort of modular with its armour. It uses ERA so by definition it's already a little modular there since older ERA blocks can be replaced by new ERA designs. Type 99's frontal wedge is also modular, Leclerc or modern Leopard 2 modular but not Type 15 modular. The Type 15 is actually rather exciting.
 

Broccoli

Junior Member
It has better and safer autoloader that's for sure.

At least in theory they could update other tanks with similar turret.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
It has better and safer autoloader that's for sure.

At least in theory they could update other tanks with similar turret.
Yep. I feel the "new" layout of the Type 15 is testing some different ideas on a low risk, specialty platform that won't really be manufactured in large numbers like the Type 96. The PLA seems to be incredibly conservative on anything "new". If service eventually shows them this design is better, newer MBTs will probably adopt it along with other changes for the next gen MBTs.
 

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