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New Chinese Light Tank

Light tank

New Chinese light tank

The new Chinese light tank will be used for reconnaissance and infantry support



Entered service 2014 (?)
Crew 3 ~ 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 30~35 t
Length (gun forward) ?
Hull length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Armament
Main gun 125-mm smoothbore (?)
ATGW ?
Machine guns ?
Elevation range ?
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun ?
ATGW ?
Machine guns ?
Mobility
Engine diesel
Engine power ~ 600 hp
Maximum road speed ~ 70 km/h
Range ~ 400 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.8 m
Trench ~ 2.5 m
Fording ~ 1 m
Fording (with preparation) ?

 

   Recently a new light tank appeared in China. First pictures of the new tank appeared back in 2010. The whole project is being kept in secrecy. There were no official comments regarding this new tank. It's Designation is also unknown. It was developed specially for mountainous terrain, such as Tibet, jungles and river regions. Once in service it will succeed the previous Type 62 light tanks. Other sources report, that this tank is already in service with Chinese Army. Chinese requirement might be for at least 300 new light tanks.

   The new tank has an entirely new design. It weights about 30-35 t. Mobility is the key factor of this new machine. It is intended mainly for reconnaissance and infantry support operations. It will operate in terrains that are not accessible to heavier main battle tanks. It might be also used by airborne troops.

   It is worth noting that the Indian T-72 or T-90 main battle tanks can not go high in to the mountains. At high altitudes air becomes thin and their engines start to loose power. So high in the mountains the new Chinese tank should not encounter any heavily-armored opponents.

   Front of the hull and turret are fitted with modular armor panels. It is likely that front arc provided protection against 12.7-mm or 14.5-mm ammunition. All-round protection is against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. It is possible that this tank uses various countermeasures systems.

   It seems that this tank is fitted with a 125-mm smoothbore gun. Gun of the same caliber is also used on larger Chinese tanks, such as Type 96 and Type 99. It is likely that the new tank can launch laser-guided anti-tank missiles in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. Chinese developed their own gun-launched missiles, based on Soviet technology and are widely using them. These missiles have a range of 4-5 km and hit probability of over 90% against stationary targets. Missiles can also target low-flying helicopters.

   The new tank is powered with a turbocharged diesel engine, developing about 600 hp. It has adjustable hydropneumatic suspension. It is clearly influenced by Russian designs. This new tank is air transportable. It can be airlifted by military cargo aircraft. It is possible that this tank can be paradropped. The new tank is not amphibious.

   It is likely that a whole family of armored vehicles will be based on the new tank.

   It is worth noting that Chinese Marines operate a ZBD-2000 amphibious light tank. This vehicle was specially designed for high-speed swimming. It is armed with a 105-mm gun. Both of these tanks are totally different. Developers had no intention to simplify servicing and maintenance by using interchangeable components. Development of this new reconnaissance tank shows the high level of resources China is devoting towards it's offensive capabilities.

 

 
New Chinese light tank

New Chinese light tank

New Chinese light tank

New Chinese light tank

New Chinese light tank

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