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Type 98 Tank

Type 98 Main Battle Tank

Type 98 Tank
Unveiled / Entered Service
Type 98 Tank
In Service
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Steel Aces Play for free
the highly anticipated MMO tactical tank shooter for 2024.


The Type 98 Tank is a Chinese 3rd Generation Main Battle Tank that was built-in limited numbers and would eventually be matured into the 3rd Generation Type 99 Main Battle Tank series currently in service with the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army.

Whilst the PLA Type 96 Tank was another improved version of a continuing line of tanks, the Type 98 was a new design, more sophisticated and a different weight class.


There are differing accounts on the development of the Type 98 Tank dating back to the 1970’s. Some publications state that China experimented with a standard Western tank layout of a 4 man crew and a 120mm smoothbore main gun, whilst others emphasise the development focused on Soviet Tank design, of a 3 man crew, an autoloader and 125mm main gun, which was the eventually selected layout.

During its development, advances were made in composite armor, different engines were trialled as were Fire Control Systems over a number of prototypes. The West got to finally see the new Type 98 as a number formed the military procession in a 1999 parade.


The Type 98 Tank main gun is the ZPT-98, a 125mm calibre Length 50 smoothbore capable of firing Anti-Tank Guided Missiles. This is not the same 2C46M-1 125mm calibre Length 48 smoothbore used on the Type 96 Tank series. It can fire a range of 125mm APFSDS-T, HEAT and Frag-HE-T rounds.

The Type 98 uses a carousel-style autoloader which holds 22 rounds, with the remaining 20 stored in the hull. Secondary weapons are a 7.62mm Coaxial Machine Gun and 12.7mm MG on the Commanders Cupola.

The Gunner has a modern Fire Control System, consisting of a laser range finder, atmospheric sensors and targeting computer, with a dual channel day and night sight. The Commander has an Independent Sight that only appears to have a single day channel. The main gun is stabilized for firing on the move.


The Type 98 is made of all steel and welded construction. The front upper glacis plate is sloping and has some form of laminate or composite armor. The front of the turret, either side of the main gun is an armor module.

This serves not only as a form of spaced armor against HEAT rounds but also means the composite armor inside the module can be up-dated at a later time or replaced with ease if damaged.

The vehicle has NBC protection systems, fire suppression, x2 banks of 5 Smoke Grenade Launchers and was also photographed with the JD-3 Active Protection System at the rear left side of the turret.


The Type 98 is powered by a 1200hp, WD396 turbocharged Diesel engine and used torsion bar suspension. Operational range can be extended by mounting of x2 external fuel drums on the rear of the hull. Visible on the front upper glacis is a large V-shaped trim used to divert water, debris and ice when entering water.


China: A 2008 US Military paper on the Chinese Military states that 200 Type 98 and Type 99 tanks are in PLA service. Janes stated in 2006 that only 80 Type 98 had been built. An up upgraded version designated the Type 98G Tank (G Chinese “improved”) has also been produced (mistakenly called Type 99 on some Western publications).


Main Gun
125mm, calibre Length 50 smoothbore Elevation -6 to +14
Secondary Weapons
Coaxial 7.62mm Machine Gun, commanders 50 cal machine gun
Ammunition Storage
x42 125mm, x2,000 7.62mm, x300 12.7mm
WD396 turbocharged 1200hp Diesel
Top Road Speed
65 km/h ?
Road Range
500 km (650km with external tanks)
Fuel Capacity
1000 Litres
Vertical Obstacle
Water Capability
1.4m (5m with Snorkel)
Trench Crossing
Side Slope
Length Gun Forward
Length Hull
2.4m (roof top)
Ground Clearance
50 tonne combat
NBC Protected
Standard Armor(s) Type
Steel, Composite, Spaced, Modular
Optional Add-on Armor(s) Type
Active Protection Systems
Commander, Gunner, Driver