The Type 99A Tank is the latest version of the Chinese Type 99 Tank. It is the most advanced Main Battle Tank in service with the PLA (Peoples Liberation Army) and is classed as a 3rd Generation MBT as it has a hunter killer capability (Commanders Independent Sight).
Visual improvements/changes are a new hull rear, new larger turret, new Active Protection system and changes in the turret front Explosive Reactive Armor. It also features a new Fire Control System with the latest generation of thermal sighting equipment.
Work on the Type 99A was scheduled to start somewhere around 2007 onwards and is now in full production. The vehicle has appeared on state TV during war exercises.
The Type 99A (aka ZTZ 99A in China) has also been named in the West as the Type 99A2.
Type 99A Tank Firepower
The Type 99A uses an improved ZPT98 series 125mm smoothbore main gun. It is a calibre Length 50 and capable of firing a range of rounds including a new APFSDS with a reported muzzle velocity of 1780 m/s. The main gun is also fitted with a muzzle refrence system.
The 1A45T Fire Control System is an improved version of those used in earlier Type 99. It has the latest generation of Thermal Sights, new ballistic computer and DVE-BS cross wind sensors. The Type 99A2 has a Commanders Independent Sight giving it a full hunter killer capability often refered to as a 3rd generation Main Battle Tank.
China is a licence manufacturer of the 9M119M Refleks Anti-Tank Guided Missile. The Type 99A is capable of firing the Refleks through its main gun to a range of 5.5km and is guided via an integrated fire control unit in the main Fire Control System.
Secondary weapons are a 7.62mm coaxial Machine Gun and a 12.7mm Machine Gun mounted on the Commanders cupola.
The main gun is fed by an autoloader similar in design to that of other Type 98/99 Tanks, storing 22 rounds of ammunition with additional rounds stored in the turret in an unspecified location. The autoloader reduces the vehicles crew to x3 (Commander, Gunner and Driver).
Its rumoured that China has been developing a 140mm Main Gun for the Type 99A Tank series, hence its higher turret roof and large gun mantle. It’s not fully clear the status of the project other than there have been complications with cracking in the main gun system.
Type 99A Tank Protection
Featuring an improved composite armor over the front of the hull and turret, the Type 99A has a new shaped modular front on its turret. The vehicle is fitted with a new Explosive Reactive Armour that is believed to be capable of defeating tandem charged (x2 warheads in the missile) Anti-Tank weapons.
The new ERA is mounted along the sides of the turret and continues along the side of the stowage racks for increased protection. The ERA is also mounted across the front of the hull.
The vehicle is equipped with smoke grenade launchers, NBC system and fire suppression system in the fighting compartments.
The new system does not have any visual “hard-kill” launchers. Mounted on the roof is a traversable laser detection and jamming device, which is believed to have a ZM87 capability (the ability to blind an enemy gunner). It has the ability to be elevated to a high angle to jam anti-tank helicopters.
Type 99A Tank Mobility
The Type 99A is powered by a 1500hp diesel engine called the 150HB. Its speculated that the engine is derived from the German MT883 diesel engine that is part of the EuroPowerPack. The Type 99A features a new automatic transmission and uses torsion bar suspension.
Type 99A Tank Communications
Chinese officials refer to the tank as their “first information technology tank” thanks to new on board software that monitors all systems and reports any issues or problems they are having. The crew have new digital quality displays.
It has the latest communications equipment and a battlefield management system that allows for real-time tracking of friendly vehicles and those of the enemy.
Type 99A Tank Operators
China: In production and in service with the PLA (numbers unknown). It was used in the SCO “Peace Mission -2014” which was a multinational joint military exercise and also appeared on Chinese public parades in 2015.
Type 99A Tank Specifications
|Main Gun||125mm, calibre Length 50 smoothbore
Elevation -6 to +14?
|Secondary Weapons||x1 coaxial 7.62mm MG, x1 12.7mm MG|
|Ammunition Storage||x42 125mm, x2,000? 7.62mm, x300? 12.7mm|
|Engine||150HB turbocharged 1500hp Diesel|
|Top Road Speed||80 km/h ?|
|Road Range||600 km (800km with external tanks)|
|Fuel Capacity||1245 litres|
|Water Capability||1m (4.5m with Snorkel)|
|Length Gun Forward||10m|
||3.7m (with side skirts)|
|Height||2.35m (roof top)|
|Weight||58,000kg aka 58 tonne combat|
|Armor Type||Steel/Composite/Modular/Explosive Reactive Armor|
|Active Protection Systems||Yes|