The Type 99A2 Main Battle Tank

The Chinese Type 99A2 Main Battle Tank
The Chinese Type 99A2 Main Battle Tank

The Type 99A2 Main Battle Tank Description

The Chinese Type 99A2 is the most modern Main Battle Tank in service with the Peoples Liberation Army.  Development started in 2003 with trials of the vehicle starting sometime in 2007 or thereafter.

In comparision to earlier Type 99 Tanks it has a number of changes in terms of firepower, mobility, protection and technology resulting in dimensional changes in the hull and turret sizes.

 Type 99A2 Firepower

The Type 99A2 uses an improved ZPT98 series 125mm smoothbore main gun. It is a calibre Length 50 and capable of firing a range of rounds including a new APFSDS with a reported muzzle velocity of 1780 m/s.

The 1A45T Fire Control System is an improved version of those used in earlier Type 99. It has the latest generation of Thermal Sights, new ballistic computer and DVE-BS cross wind sensors. The Type 99A2 has a Commanders Independent Sight giving it a full hunter killer capability often reffered to as a 3rd generation Main Battle Tank.

China is a licenced manufacturer of the 9M119M Refleks Anti-Tank Guided Missile. The Type 99A2 is capable of firing the Refleks through its main gun to a range of 5.5km and is guided via an integrated fire control unit in the main Fire Control System.

Secondary weapons are a 7.62mm coaxial Machine Gun and a 12.7mm Machine Gun mounted on the Commanders cupola.

The main gun is fed by an autoloader similar in design to that of other Type 99 and is cable of storing 22 rounds of ammunition with additional rounds stored in the turret in an unspecified location.

China has been developing a 140mm Main Gun for the Type 99A2, hence its higher turret roof and large gun mantle. It’s not fully clear the status of the project other than there have been complications with cracking in the main gun system.

 Type 99A2 Protection

Type 99A2 Turret Armor
Type 99A2 Turret Armor

Featuring an improved composite armor over the front of the hull and turret, the Type 99A2 has a new shaped modular front on its turret. The vehicle is fitted with a new Explosive Reactive Armour that is believed to be capable of defeating tandem charged (x2 warheads in the missile) Anti-Tank weapons.

The new ERA is mounted along the sides of the turret and continues along the side of the stowage racks for increased protection. The ERA is also mounted across the front of the hull.

Type 99A2 Turret Overview
Type 99A2 Turret Overview

The vehicle is equipped with smoke grenade launchers, NBC system and fire suppression system in the fighting compartments.

There has been much speculation on the type of new Active Protection System the Type 99A2 would be installed.

The new system does not have any visual “hard-kill” launchers. Mounted on the roof is a traversable laser detection and jamming device, which is believed to have a ZM87 capability (the ability to blind an enemy gunner). It has the ability to be elevated to a high angle to jam anti-tank helicopters.

 Type 99A2 Mobility

The vehicle has been fitted with a new transmission and 1500hp engine. It’s not 100% clear if this new engine is based on licenced production (China builds a lot of components under licence for commercial and military adaption) or if it’s a new indigenous engine. The vehicle has increased cross-country capabilities compared to earlier Type 99 models and China considers the overall mobility on par with Western and Russian tanks.

 Type 99A2 Technology

Chinese officials refer to the tank as their “first information technology tank” thanks to new on board software that monitors all systems and reports any issues or problems they are having. The crew have new digital quality displays.

It has the latest communications equipment and a battlefield management system that allows for real time tracking of friendly vehicles and those of the enemy.

 Type 99A2 Status

Type 99A2 Comparison with Type 99G
Type 99A2 Comparison with Type 99G

In production and in service with the PLA (numbers unknown. It was used in the SCO “Peace Mission -2014” which was a multinational joint military exercise.

 Type 99A2 Designations

The tank has different designations in China from those used outside of China. Rather than “Type” China says “ZTZ 99”. Whilst outside of China called It the “Type 99A2” in China its referred to as the “ZTZ 99A” or sometimes ZTZ 99A2.

 Type 99A2 Specifications

• Combat weight: 58 tons
• Unit pressure: 0.9 kg / cm
• Length (gun forward): 10.0 m
• Hull length: 6.9 m
• Width (without side skirts / side skirts plus): 3.3 m /3.7 m
• Hight (to turret top): 2.35 m
• Ground height: 0.5 m
• Track ground length: 4.3 m
• Track centre distance: 2.6 m
• Maximum road speed: 80 km / h
• Cross Country Maximum speed: 60 km / h
• Operational range (no additional fuel tanks): 600km (with an additional fuel tank): 800 km and 0-32 km / h acceleration time: 5.5 seconds
•Fuel Capacity: 1245 litres
• Wading depth: 1.0 m (unprepared), 2.0 m (prepared), 4.5 m (latent cross deep)
• Climbing degree: 60 degrees
• Side graduate: 30 degrees vertical climbing wall
• Vertical climb: 1.3 m
• Trench Crossing width: 3.0 m

Chinese Type 99A2 Photo Gallery