Type 99 Tank – Comparing The Type 98 (Top) to the Type 98G (Middle) and Type 99 (Bottom)

The Type 99 Tank is a Chinese 3rd Generation Main Battle Tank in service with the Peoples Liberation Army. The Type 99 is a further development of the earlier Type 98 and Type 98G Tanks.

The Type 99 uses the same hull of the Type 98/Type 98G and has a new turret, which lacks the raised dome section between the Commanders and Gunners hatches of the Type 98/Type 98G turret.

In the West we have called this tank “Type 99A1”. In China it’s named either Type 99 (ZTZ 99) or Type 99G. Some Western sites say these designations are wrong or don’t exist, but are clearly named this on Chinese media and military sites.

The Type 99 Tank retained the same Main Gun, Fire Control Systems, armor package and Active Protection System as the Type 98G and are added during manufacturing of the tank as standard.

Type 99 Tank Firepower

Type 99 Tank

The Type 99 Tank uses the ZPT-98 125mm calibre Length 50 smoothbore main gun

The Type 99 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 99 uses a carousel-style autoloader which holds 22 rounds, with the remaining 20 stored in the hull. This reduces the vehicle crew to x3 (Commander, Gunner and Driver). 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.

Type 99 Tank Protection


Type 99 Tank Turret Armor

The Type 99 uses the same modular armor package as the Type 98 on the front of its turret, which contains some form of composite armor.

In addition, the front and sides of the modules are covered Explosive Reactive Armor just like the Type 98G (but in a different arrangement) giving it a similar distinct wedge shape.

The front upper glacis plate of the hull has a composite armor with additional ERA over the upper glacis plate.


Type 99 Tank Turret Armor

The side storage racks on the turret have also been fitted ERA tiles for added protection. A bank of x5 Smoke Grenade Launchers is fitted on either side of the turret and in addition the tank can generate its own smoke screen by pumping diesel into the hot exhaust.

Other improvements included the standardization of adding the JD-3 Active Protection System behind the Gunners hatch on the turret rear. This system is a “Soft Kill” relying on laser designation detection and jamming technology.

Type 99 Tank Mobility

The Type 99 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 transmission is manual and the vehicle uses torsion bar suspension.

Type 99 Tank Operators

China: Development of the Type 99, based on the Type 98G started in 1999. First deliveries of the Type 99 to the Peoples Liberation Army started in 2001. The exact number built isnt know, with some Western sources stating 80 as off 2007 and Chinese Blogging Sites saying several hundred. Development and production has now swapped to the more advanced Type 99A Main Battle Tank.

Type 99 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
Transmission Manual
Top Road Speed 80 km/h ?
Road Range 400 km (600km with external tanks)
Fuel Capacity ?
Vertical Obstacle ?
Water Capability 1.4m (5m with Snorkel)
Trench Crossing ?
Gradient 60%
Side Slope 40%
Length Gun Forward 11m
Length Hull ?
Height 2.3m (roof top)
Ground Clearance ?
Weight 54,000kg aka 54 tonne combat
NBC Protected Yes
Armor Type Steel/Composite/Modular/Explosive Reactive Armor
Active Protection Systems Yes

See Also:

Type 99 Images Page

Type 99A Tank Page

Type 98G Tank Page

Type 98 Tank Page