Type 80 Tank Prototype Type 80-II

Type 80 Tank Prototype: Type 80-II

The First Type 80 Tank prototype was built-in 1985. It was developed as a potential replacement of the Type 59 Tank following previous designs such as the Type 69 Tank initially being rejected by the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army. The Type 80 was the last Chinese tank built that used a 105mm main gun.

The Type 80 upgraded prototypes were the Type 80-II and Type 80-III. The Type 80-II was accepted in to PLA service in 1988 under the designation “Type 88” and it in itself would later receiver further upgrades resulting in different Type 88 Marks. The Type 80-III was also eventually developed into the Type 85 series for the export market.

Type 80 Tank Firepower

The Type 80 tank used a 105mm (Bore Calibre) Rifled Main Gun called the Type 83. It has a fume extractor in the centre of the barrel and a thermal sleeve to regulate the barrel temperature for increased accuracy.

The Type 83 main gun was fully stabilised  and had a modern Fire Control system with laser range finder called “Light Spot”.

Type 80 Tank Protection

The Type 80 was a steel construction. If required an external bolt on layer of composite armor could be fitted to the glacis plated (front of hull) for improved battlefield survivability. The vehicle has an NBC system and external smoke grenade launchers.

Type 80 Tank Mobility

The Type 80 used the 730hp VR36 diesel engine and torsion bar suspension. The engine compartment is located in the hull rear. Operational range could be increased when x2 fuel drums were mounted on the hull rear.

Type 80 Tank Prototypes: Type 80-II

The Type 80-II was a modified Type 80 prototype. The laser range finder was moved and integrated in to the gunners sight freeing the frontal part of the turret so newer armour could be added at a later date.

The existing storage racks were extended around the turret and a new NBC system was installed. Another new system was BIT, AKA Built-In-Test system for the identification of malfunctions of the vehicles systems.

The Type 80 had a x4 man crew, the Loader stood on the right of turret read to load the breach, with the Gunner on the left side and Commander behind him in an elevated station. The Driver sat on the front left side of the hull.

Type 80 Tank Prototypes: Type 80-III

The Type 80-III was a prototype reportedly fitted with a 125mm smoothbore and autoloader.

Type 80 Tank Models: Type 88

Following other modifications, the Type 80-II was accepted into Chinese PLA service (Peoples Liberation Army) as the Type 88 Tank.

Type 80 Tank Specifications

Main Gun Rifled 105mm Type 83, Elevation -4 to +18
Secondary Weapons Coaxial 7.62mm MG, x1 12.7mm MG
Ammunition Storage x44 105mm, x500 12.7mm, x2,250 7.62mm rounds
Engine 730hp VR36 series Diesel
Transmission Manual
Top Road Speed 65 Km/h
Suspension Type Torsion
Road Range 430 km (600 km added fuel tanks)
Fuel Capacity 1000 Litres (+ x2 200 Litre fuel tanks)
Vertical Obstacle 0.8m
Water Capability 1.4m (Snorkel 5m)
Trench Crossing 2.7m
Gradient 60%
Side Slope 40%
Length Gun Forward 9.32m
Length Hull 6.32m
Width 3.37m (including skirts)
Height 2.29m
Ground Clearance 0.48m
Weight 38,000kg aka 38 tonne combat
NBC Protected Yes
Armor Type Steel, Sloped, Appliqué Composite
Active Protection Systems None




ISBN: 978-0710626868