Chinese media confidently stated, Type 99 is the “King of tanks” in Asia, with offensive and defensive power that completely surpasses rivals from Japan, South Korea or India.




In the past, Chinese weapon technology has learned a lot from other countries, usually the Soviet unx. But today, much of China’s hardware is becoming completely localized.


The impetus is to create products that are entirely Chinese in nature, and it has come a long way, although the quality and reliability may still be an issue.


Similar to other weapons, China now has the largest force of tanks on the planet, half of them obsolete. This is changing rapidly as Beijing is actively developing new models and producing them in large quantities. China has a total of about 7,000 tanks, of which the Type 99 is the country’s most advanced main battle tank.


Chinese media confidently stated, Type 99 is the “King of tanks” in Asia, with offensive and defensive power that completely surpasses rivals from Japan, South Korea or India. However, US military analysts say that China’s new tank is actually only equivalent to the first generation M1 Abrams. Comparison of parameters, especially with the latest variant, the M1A2C Abrams, the Chinese tanks are still far behind.

中国媒体自信地宣称,99式是亚洲的“坦克之王”,其进攻和防御能力完全超过来自日本,韩国或印度的竞争对手。但是,美国军事分析家说,中国的新型坦克实际上只相当于第一代M1艾布拉姆斯。从参数上比较,特别是与最新型M1A2C 艾布拉姆斯相比,中国坦克仍然远远落后。



Type-99 is considered the quintessence of China’s defense industry, and the pride of the country. The Type 99 is also known as the ZT99, which originated from the Type 90-II, a prototype developed in the early 1990s to replace the Type 88 tanks.

99式被认为是中国国防工业的精髓,也是国家的骄傲。 99式也被称为ZT99,它起源于90-II型,这是90年代初期开发的用以取代88型坦克的原型。

The Type 90-II was developed based on studies obtained from T-72 tanks: the chassis was based on the T-72’s hull combined with Chinese subsystems. The Type 90-II did not eventually join the People’s Liberation Army service, but it was an export success. It is better known as Al-Khalid, a licensed tank in Pakistan.

90-II型是根据从T-72坦克获得的研究成果开发的:底盘基于T-72的车体并结合了中国子系统。 90-II型最终没有进入中国人民解放军服役,但在出口方面取得了成功。它以授权给巴基斯坦生产的坦克哈立德闻名。

At home, China continued to develop Type 90-II, which led to Type 98 derivative or WZ-123, which were first seen in rehearsals for the 1999 National Parade and were officially disclosed on October 1, 1999. Shortly after, a slightly improved version was named Type 98G, later renamed Type 99 or ZT99.

在国内,中国继续开发90-II型,从而生产出了98型及其衍生品WZ-123,它们首次出现在1999年国家阅兵彩排中,官居方于1999年10月1日正式公开。很快,略微升级的版本的称为98改型,后来更名为Type 99或ZT99。



Basically, the Type 99 is a 54-ton steel block, which looks quite similar to the Russian T-72 series, but a little longer. The Chinese tank has a hull length of 7m (23 ft), a width of 3.7m (12 ft) and a height of 2.35m (7.7 ft).


The tank’s design is a mix of Russia and the West with an angled welded turret. Applique modular armor blocks are evenly spaced along with skirt armor on each side. The frontal protection is comparable to the M1 Abrams.


In the upgraded Type 99A, explosive reactive armor was added to the front of the turret and hull, providing protection against tandem-charge warheads. Also, the weight of Type 99A increased to 58 tons.


Similar to the advanced Western tanks, the Type 99 has a nuclear bio-chemical protection system as well as an automatic fire detection and extinguishing system. The storage baskets on either side of the turret and the rear are buffer spaces, protected by explosive reactive armor.


The suspension system consists of six rubber tired road wheels on each side with power sprocket at the rear. The first, second and sixth road wheels are equipped with special hydraulic shock-buffer. The automatic reloading system reduced the crewman to three, including the driver, gunner and commander. The driver sits in the center front of the hull.






The first Type 99 version was capable of carrying up to 42 shells, of which 22 in the autoloader, the remaining 20 in stockpiles. The rate of fire is extremely good, up to 8 rounds per minute for automatic reloading and 2 rounds per minute for manual reloading.


Like many other modern tanks, the Type 99 main gun is compatible with a variety of ammunitions, including APFSDS-T, HEAT, high-explosive fragmentation, and the old-style 125mm shells used by the Soviet unx and Warsaw Pact countries.


In addition, the gun of the Type 99 is capable of launching ATGM anti-tank missiles, similar to the current Russian tanks, allowing the increase in destroying efficiency to a maximum of 5 km.


Theoretically this ability could be useful for fighting against low-flying helicopters. Most vehicles are equipped with 12.7 mm heavy machine guns and 7.62mm coaxial machine guns.


The Type 99 is equipped with the improved Fire Control System, thus improving ballistic trajectory under adverse conditions. On improved tank versions, equipped with data lixs, global positioning systems and other types of communication equipment, allowing combat coordination with other forces such as aircraft and infantry.




Overall, on paper, the Type 99 is impressive, but the Abrams or T-90s have been exported, and have been proven in combat missions. Weapons that have been experienced through battle always have an advantage, but victory can come to any party that is better trained.

总的来说,从纸面数据上看,Type 99令人印象深刻,但是艾布拉姆斯或T-90s已经出口,并且在实战中得到了证明。经历过战争考验的武器总是有优势的,但是胜利依然由训练有素一方获得。