China Type 99 MBT (ZTZ99A2) – Updated


The Type 99 (Chinese: 99式; pinyin: Jiǔshìjiǔ) is a third-generation main battle tank (MBT) fielded by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.



According to army-technology.com, China’s third-generation MBT program may have started in the late-1970s, with Norinco receiving the contract in 1989. The prototype, the Type 90, included a Russian 125 mm gun with an autoloader. Analysis of the Gulf War led to further revisions, and ultimately to the Type 98. The Type 98 was based on a T-72 hull lengthened by 1 metre.

Finnish_Army_T-72_Ps264-202_sideFinnish_Army_T-72_Ps264-202_rearT-72526dd429bf8d61cc735dfbbe61921b3eComparison of T-72 and T-99

According to globalsecurity.org, the Type 99 is a variant of the pre-production Type 98.

Both the Type 98 and the Type 99 were officially revealed on 1 October 1999 at the National Day parade

type_98_l2Type 98


The Type 99 MBT features improved armor protection over the Type 98. Turret of the Type 99 has a Leopard 2A5-style wedge-shaped modular add-on explosive reactive armor. Damaged sections to be replaced or upgraded when more advanced armor is available. It is claimed that the front protection of the Type 99 MBT is equivalent to 1 000 – 1 200 mm of steel armor. Vehicle is equipped with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.



This main battle tank is fitted with unique active laser protection system, which uses a high-powered laser to disrupt missiles laser or infrared guidance signal, disable enemy observation optics and damage eyesight of enemy gunner. This active laser protection system can also be used against helicopters.

[IMG]Active laser protection system (worlddefence.com)[IMG]Wind sensor (worlddefence.com) The sensor is intended to measure the crosswind speed and provide the relevant information to the tank ballistic computer.My guess is Turret attitude sensor – The sensor is intended to measure the angular position of the turret relative to the hull (turret attitude angle) and provide the relevant information to the tank ballistic computer.type_99_l1


The Type 99 tank is armed with a fully-stabilized ZPT98 125-mm smoothbore gun, fitted with a carousel-type autoloader. Both the main gun and the autoloader were copied from the Soviet/Russian designs. The Type 99 has a rate of fire in 8 rpm using autoloader and 1 – 2 rpm loading manually. It fires APFSDS, HEAT and HE-FRAG rounds. It is reported that this MBT also uses more capable APFSDS rounds with depleted uranium penetrators.

autoloaderAuto-loader (Example)

The Type 99 main battle tank is compatible with Russian 9K119 Refleks (AT-11 Sniper) gun-launched anti-tank guided missiles, fired in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. China produces this anti-tank missile system under license. This missile has a maximum effective range of 4 – 5 km and can target helicopters. Four AT-11 Sniper missiles are carried.

Secondary armament consists of 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun and 12.7-mm anti-aircraft MG.

Fire and Control Systems

The tank is fitted with new computerized fire control system. It incorporates laser rangefinder and automatic target tracker. This MBT can engage moving targets accurately, while on the move. It has a high first round hit probability against stationary and moving targets, while the tank is firing on the move. tank is fitted with advanced thermal imaging and panoramic sights, and has a hunter-killer capability. Fire control system of this tank is clearly superior to those, used by the Soviet T-72 series tanks. It might even be superior to that, used by the Russian T-90 MBT. (Not the T-90MS)

T90-0010T-90Sneak Peek Inside The ZTZ 99 (Type 99) Main Battle Tank Chinese PLA Army export MBT (2)Sneak Peek Inside The ZTZ 99 (Type 99) Main Battle Tank Chinese PLA Army export MBT (1)Gunner stationZTZ99 commander position mbt main bettel tank gunner pla army chinese (4)Commander station

The Type 99 has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver.

Vehicle is powered by a turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 500 horsepower. This engine is based on the German MTU 871 Ka-501 technology. The Type 99 has a high power to weight ratio and subsequently good mobility and cross-country performance. It is worth mentioning that the hull of the Type 99 is very similar to that of the Soviet T-72 main battle tank. External fuel tanks can be carried at the rear of the hull for longer range.

ejc6dsGerman MTU 871 Ka-501

Type 99G, sometimes referred as Type 99A2. It has a number of improvements, related with fire control, targeting and countermeasures systems. It can be identified by autonomous commander thermal imaging viewer;

VT1A a simplified version intended for export. It is in service with Morocco, Peru, and possibly some other countries.


Entered service 2001
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 54 t
Length (gun forward) 11 m
Hull length ?
Width 3.4 m
Height 2.2 m
Main gun 125-mm smoothbore
ATGW 9K119 Refleks (AT-11 Sniper)
Machine guns 1 x 7.62-mm, 1 x 12.7-mm
Elevation range ?
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 41 rounds
Machine guns 2 000 x 7.62, 300 x 12.7
Engine diesel
Engine power 1 500 hp
Maximum road speed 80 km/h
Range 400 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step ~ 0.8 m
Trench ~ 3 m
Fording ~ 1.2 m
Fording (with preparation) 5 m

Source: Wiki, Military Today, Armored Vehicles 

Info_T-99 [IMG]Type-99A2  Type-99A2 


Type 99With a new German Leopard II based, water cooled diesel, this tanks has a power-to-weight ratio of about 27.78 hp/ton, which provides a far great speed than former models. Weight, depending on versions, is about 54 to 58 tons only… The 120 mm ZPT98 main gun can be replaced by a 125 mm capable of firing anti-tank missiles with folded wings. Armour is a standard equivalent to the third generation western and russian MBT, electronics and computerized systems are also of high standard, making this little machine a very expensive one, at 16 million yuan apiece (equiv. to 1,6 M Euro or two M dollars…).Type 99 KM, late version, as shown in the Tian an Men 2011 military parade. Norinco diesel liquid-cooled 2100 bhp (KM)


It seems the export version does not get the latest technology in FCS

Chinese Type 99 ZTZ99 Main Battle Tank (MBT) export bangladesh pakistan iran (1)Notice there the computer touch screen is missing at gunner station Chinese Type 99 ZTZ99 Main Battle Tank (MBT) export bangladesh pakistan iran (2)Note commander position also lack digital computers and screens seen on the Chinese model

Watch Chinese Test T-99 against ATGM

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Check out: T-90MS, T-90

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