The Chinese Type 85 Tank

The Chinese Type 85-III Tank
The Chinese Type 85-III Tank

The Chinese Type 85 Tank

Whilst the Type 80-II portotype was accepted into PLA service as the Type 88, the Type 80-II was also modified and offered to the export market under the designation Type 85. The original Type 85 was simply almost unmodified Type 80-II.

The Chinese Type 85-I Tank

Improved Type 85 with thermal sleeve for main gun.

The Chinese Type 85-II Tank

The Chinese Type 85 Tank
The Chinese Type 85-II Tank, note the Type 83 105mm rifled Main Gun

The most obvious difference from earlier Type 85 is the introduction of a new turret fitted with a composite armor, which is a welded construction compared to the old oval shaped cast metal turret.

At 39 tonnes, the vehicle was powered by a liquid-cooled, turbo-charged 800hp diesel engine and the traditional stick steering was replaced with a steering wheel and was equipped with the same ISFCS-212 image-stabilised fire-control system as used by the Type 88A.

The Type 85-II never simulated any export sales.

The Chinese Type 85-IIA Tank

Developed in the 1990’s as an improved Type 85-II it was equipped with a new 125mm Chinese copy smoothbore and autoloader, which meant the turret had to be enlarged, but retained the same FCS as the Type 85-II.

The Chinese Type 85-IIM Tank

Chinese Type 85-IIM Tank
Chinese Type 85-IIM Tank

Improved protection and improved Fire Control System (Image Stabilized). The weight of the vehicle had increased to 41 tonnes and was powered by a 730hp liquid-cooled, turbo-charged 12150ZL-V12 diesel engine.

The Type 85-IIM Tank Specifications

Firepower: 125mm smoothbore Main Gun, 7.62mm Coaxial MG and 12.7mm MG
Ammo Storage: x40 125mm, x2000 7.62mm, x500 12.7mm
Length Gun Forward: 10.28m
Length Hull: 7.3m
Height: 2.30m
Width: 3.45m
Weight: 41 tonne (Combat)
Engine: 730hp liquid-cooled, turbo-charged 12150ZL-V12 diesel
Top Road Speed: 57+ km/h
Operational Range: 500km
Fording: 1.4m
Vertical Obstacle: 0.8m
Trench: 2.7m
Gradient: 60%
Side Slope: 40%
Armour: Steel/Composite

The Chinese Type 85-III Tank

The Chinese Type 85-III Tank with ERA
The Chinese Type 85-III Tank with ERA

In 1997 NORINCO released a new up-graded vehicle the Type 85-III. It was equipped with ERA on the front of the hull and turret, as well as a new 1000hp diesel engine. The Vehicle served as a prototype/development for the Type 96 Tank.

The Chinese Type 85 Series Operators:

The Type 85IIAP
the Type 85-IIAP

The Pakistani Type 85-IIAP

The Type 85-IIA was exported to Pakistan from 1991 to 92. It had a number of adaptations for local service and built under licence in Pakistan.