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Type 99
Type 99 MBT front left.jpg
A Type 99 tank at the China People's Revolution Military Museum in Beijing during the 2007 Our troops towards the sun exhibition.
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin People's Republic of China
Production history
Manufacturer Norinco
Number built 640 Type 98/99
Weight 52-54 tonnes
Length Hull: 7.7 metres (25 ft)[1]
Width 3.5 metres (11 ft)[1]
Height Hull: 2.25 metres (7.4 ft)[1]
Crew 3[1]

Armor Welded turret, ERA, laser dazzler, active defense system
125 millimetres (4.9 in) smoothbore gun with ATGM capability
Type 85 cupola heavy machine gun[1]

Type 59 7.62 millimetres (0.300 in) coaxial machine gun[1]

Engine Diesel
1,500 hp (1,119 kW)
Power/weight 27.78 hp/tonne
500 kilometres (310 mi)
Speed Road: 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph)

Off-road: 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph)

The Type 99 (Chinese: 99式; pinyin: Jiǔjiǔ shì) is a third-generation main battle tank (MBT) fielded by the Chinese People's Liberation Army.[2]



According to, China's third-generation MBT program may have started in the late-1970s, with Norinco receiving the contract in 1989. The prototype, the Type 90, included a Russian 125 mm gun with an autoloader. Analysis of the Gulf War led to further revisions, and ultimately to the Type 98. The Type 98 was based on a T-72 hull lengthened by 1 metre.[3]

According to, the Type 99 is a variant of the pre-production Type 98.[4]

Both the Type 98 and the Type 99 were officially revealed on 1 October 1999 at the National Day parade.[3][4][5]


By 2008, 200 Type 98 and Type 99 tanks may have been deployed to the Beijing and Shenyang Military Regions.[6]


Type 99 from the rear.

The Type 99 is a 52-54 t. tank.[1] It is based on the Type 90-II chassis, and an upgrade of the Type 98. Compared to the Type 98, the Type 99 has Type 99 has conformal 2nd gen ERA, a 2nd generation thermal sight, countermeasure laser dazzler, and a more powerful engine.[7]

Counter Measures and Communications

The Type 99 has an inertial/GPS navigation system and a battle management system.[7] A laser dazzler system may temporarily blind enemy gunners at 5 km. A laser warning receiver is also mounted.[1]

The Type 99A2 inclues an active protection system.[7]


Type 99 from the front

The main armament is a 2-plane stabilized 125 mm. smoothbore gun with a carousel-style autoloader. The gun may be fired under both computerized and manual control. 42 rounds are carried, including 22 in the autoloader. The rate of fire is 8 rounds per minute using the autoloader, and 2 rounds per minute with manual loading.[1] The Type 99A2 mounts an improved 125 mm. gun.[7]

Main gun ammunition includes APFSDS-T, HEAT, Frag-HE-T, and gun-launched anti-tank missiles (ATGM). The gun may fire a range of Russian and ex-Warsaw Pact ammnunition; this includes the BM-42M, for which a version with a depleted uranium penetrator may be available. The Type 99 may fire an ATGM similar to the 9M119 Svir;[1] the Type 99A2 may fire an ATGM similar to the improved 9M119M Invar.[7]


The turret is welded with protection comparable to the T-90A and Western tanks. Track skirts are mounted. Composite panels are available. Conformal 2nd/3rd generation explosive reactive armour are mounted;[1] the Type 99A2 may mount 3rd generation (Relikt-type) ERA.[7]

Fire control and observation

The driver's position.

The fire control system is the ISFCS-212 with an IR automatic target tracker. Also mounted are a laser rangefinder, laser target designator, an IR searchlight, and an improved 2nd generation thermal sight.[1]


The Type 99 is powered by a 1500 hp diesel engine. At a combat mass of 54 t this gives a power-to-weight ratio of about 27.78 hp/ton. The maximum road and off-road speeds are 80 km/h and 60 km/h respectively. The cruising range is 500 km.[1]


Type 98 during rehearsal of the 1999 National Day parade.

  • Type 98: Early version. Powered by a 1200 hp engine.[1] 1st generation ERA may have been an option.[7]
  • Type 99
  • Type 99A2: Prototype testing was underway by August 2007[8] and believed to be the standard deployed Type 99 variant in 2011; upgradable from Type 99. The improved main gun may fire an Invar-type ATGM. It mounts 3rd generation (Relikt-type) ERA, and an active protection system.[7]


 People's Republic of China

  • 40 Type 98A, 500 Type 99, 100 Type 99A as of 2014[9]

Related or preceding designs

Tanks of comparable role, performance and era


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 US Army TRADOC Intelligence Support Activity] (2011:5-45)
  2. US Army TRADOC Intelligence Support Activity] (2011:5-40)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "ZTZ99 Main Battle Tank, China". Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Type 99 Main Battle Tank". 7 June 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  5. "Type 98 Main Battle Tank". 7 June 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  6. United States Office of the Secretary of Defense (2008). Military Power of the People’s Republic of China (Report). p. 5. Archived from the original on 28 February 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 US Army TRADOC Intelligence Support Activity] (2011:5-46)
  8. Weng, Jonathan (24 August 2007). "China trials enhanced Type 99 MBT - Jane's Defence News". Archived from the original on 26 December 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  9. International Institute for Strategic Studies (2014). Hacket, James. ed. The Military Balance 2014. Oxfordshire: Routledge. p. 232. ISBN 978-1-85743-722-5. 

External links

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