Back ground The US and Chinese Type 59 Jaguar upgrade
Despite China’s size, it lacked indigenous tank development and production facilities until the mid 1950’s, when it received assistance from the Soviet Union (Russia) as both were communist nations.
Russia had been manufacturing the T-54 from 1946 to 1958 (when production swapped to the T-55) and it was the T-54A that they gave to the PLA for licensed manufacturing for their first tank
The T-54A was a low profile medium battle tank, equipped with a Russian 100mm smoothbore, fume extractor and vertical gun stabilization system. It used a 520hp liquid cooled diesel engine. The vehicle was accepted in to service in 1959 as the Type 59. The vehicle continued production until the mid-80’s despite it being an obsolete design and was well exported.
Development The US and Chinese Type 59 Jaguar upgrade
But by the 1980’s, China was enjoying better relations with the West and subsequently technologies were shared with China such as laser range finders & Fire Control Systems by Western companies.
One such company was the US Firm Cadillac Gage, who teamed up with China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export Corporation in China in developing a significant upgrade package for the obsolete Type 59.
This included a new Detroit Diesel 8V-92TA V8 engine generating 750hp, a M68 rifled 105mm main gun (as used on the M60 Patton series which was a copy of the British L7), a 7.62mm coaxial Machine Gun and a 12.7mm M2HB machine gun on the roof. The main gun and coaxial Machine Gun are fully-stabilized with modern Fire Control Systems such as thermal sights.
There were two distinct prototype models of the Jaguar and was first publicly seen around 1988, but due to strained relations between both countries, it was never adopted due to the upgrades being from the US, who in turn had no success in attracting nations who operated the Type 59 in to buying the upgrade.