Welcome to Dragon Rising, Bear Resurgent , a blog I am using to record my Post Cold War wargaming projects. These are focused on expeditionary operations by Chinese, Russian, American and NATO forces in the post Cold War era, all modelled and gamed in 20mm. The blog includes links to various resources useful to the 21st Centuary Cold War Gamer.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Equipment - PLA Vehicles, Tanks

I have never really focused on Equipment to much previously, principally because there is so much information elsewhere and the names of the vehicles are so well known that it is relatively easy for anyone with an interest to readily uncover the information.  The modern Chinese army is however less well known such that a basic discussion of the vehicles and equipment may well be useful if only to collect together the names.

In addition where Western and Chinese naming conventions existed side by side and there was a lack of clarity when trying initially to understand the lineage of a new vehicle a fairly significant amount of confusion exists.  I have tried to confine the remarks to significant war-games features of the vehicles, Gun Calibre, Fire Control, Target Acquisition systems and Armour.  Where possible I have given indicative numbers of vehicles at points in time.

Of the Sources consulted Sinodefence.com was about the best.  This first post will look at Tanks and subsequent ones at other vehicle types of vehicles.

Type 59

Type 59; Chinese built T-54 with 100mm Gun, no longer in service.

Type 69: a Chinese design based on the Type 59, probably entered Chinese service in 1969 first identified at a parade in 1982, initially equipped with a 100mm smooth bore this was later upgraded to 105mm Rifled gun.
Type 79: based on the Type 69 hull but with a new 105mm Gun (Type 83) which was a copy of the L7 105mm rifled Gun.  The vehicle included improved fire control and night vision equipment. The Type 79-II included a LRF. Other weapons carried were a Co Axial 7.62mm MG, and commanders 12.7mm MG. Around 300 are left in service as at 2013.

Type 79

Type 80/88A/88B; a development of the Type 69/79 hull,  armed with a 105mm Rifled gun, and including improved running gear and suspension. The vehicle incorporated modern systems including, stabilisation, optics, computerised fire control and LRF.  The vehicle can be fielded with composite add on armour packs. Around 1000 were still in use in  2008.

Type 80

Type 85/88C/96; Initially armed with a 105mm Gun and based on the Type 80 hull.  The vehicle  had western fire control systems and night vision equipment.  It was upgraded to a 125mm gun capable of firing T-72 ammunition from an autoloader.  The vehicle includes Steel Laminate armours and a turret of welded construction. Around 1,500 vehicles were in service by 2008.
Type 96G  The Type 96G first appeared in 2006 and is a Type 96 with add on armour packs on the turret front and ERA blocks on Hull Front and Turret Basket

Type 96

Type 96G

Type 90; Based on T-72 hull, limited numbers are in Chinese Service, 125mm Gun, Steel composite and reactive armour, thought to be capable of firing Chinese version of AT-11 Sniper
Type 98/99; Development of Type 90 with up-armoured Turret of welded construction mounting the 125mm gun and an autoloader, thought to include DAS and digital fire control and communications equipment, entered service in 1999, capable of firing tube launched missile system. Around 130 were in service by 2008.

Type 98

Type 99

So after you have sorted through it all about 4 Different Tanks to worry about all of which look quite different, which was not something I had managed to sort out before undertaking this exercise. Whats very interesting here is that the Chinese have thousands of tanks in the Cold War the Soviets had 10's of thousands of tanks.

Updated 28/07/13 to include Type 96G


Janes World Armoured Fighting Vehicles
The Encyclopaedia of Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles

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