Tank WZ-1224, which the Chinese considered as a prototype, began to create in the 1970-ies, using the advanced technology for the time and layout solutions. This machine had a welded turret of complex protective form, 120-mm smooth-bore gun, loader, fire control system and was equipped with a powerful engine that developed around 1000 hp.
The Chinese have long tried to launch the production of tank guns. Prototypes were designed, but things did not go further. The launch of mass production took place only after the appropriate technology was obtained from Israel. However, in this case, not everything went smoothly, so the subsequent types of tanks were equipped with a license-free copy of the famous Soviet 2А46 cannon of 125 mm caliber.
The gun of the tank WZ-1224 was stabilized in two planes. Its trunk was not equipped with a thermowell, but it was equipped with an ejector of Chinese design. There was no machine gun, but the turret was mounted in front of the commander's hatch.
Under the German license in China, the engine of the tank was produced and, according to some data, was used for heavy vehicles in Germany.
Although the car had a fairly powerful booking, the designers tried to make it thicker by lining additional armored plates on the frontal part.
As a result, the whole structure was declared unsuccessful and the design of the Chinese main battle tank continued.
In 1991, as a third-generation tank, a new model was shown, designated the “Type 90-P”. It was based on many of those. solutions used in modern tanks of various countries, including Russia. Specialists of British and French companies took part in the creation of this main battle tank.
Earlier, in the middle of the 1980-s after the project WZ-1224 was closed, the Chinese managed to acquire several Soviet T-72. It was decided on the basis of its hull and chassis to develop its own car. Note that by that time they had managed to launch the production of smooth-bore 2-46-M caliber 125 mm. This tool was installed in the tower. In general, some sources claim that the tank "Type 90-I" has about 10 percent of the units used in the tanks "59", 15 - in "69", 20 - in "85 / 88". For example, the tower is completely borrowed from 85-PM / 88С. The remaining 55 percent of the design was considered domestic those. solutions. It is noted that the equipment for establishing the Chinese tank industry and its modernization was officially acquired abroad or produced under licenses.
Tank "Type 90"
As a result, the “Type 90-M” was created, but the machine did not meet the expectations placed on it; tactical and technical characteristics almost did not improve (except for terrain and speed). Then it was decided to focus the main efforts on the modification of the car in the export version for Pakistan. The Chinese national company NORINCO signed a contract with the Pakistani military command to create for the comprehensive testing of experienced tanks "Type 90-I".
Later, the Pakistani company HIT (Heavy Industries Taxila), having bought the license and set up the production of these tanks under the name "Al Khalid" for the needs of the Pakistani army.
Work on improving the “Type 90-M” in China itself continued in the 1998 year. The resulting sample under the index "Type 98" (ZTZ98) began to produce serially. It is believed that this machine, in most of its characteristics, is close to the main battle tanks produced in leading countries. In 1998, batch production began. About 60 units were manufactured (some sources talk about 100 machines).
"Type 98" (ZTZ98)
For the first time the tank "Type 98" (factory index ZTZ-98) was demonstrated 1 October 1999 year in Beijing. During the military parade of the 50 anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, a column with an 18 "Type 98" was held on Tiananmen Square. Of course, the appearance of such a machine caused a commotion. There is information that the “Type 98” tanks were in service with the 6, 7 and 8 tank divisions of the 38 and 26 army groups of the Beijing Military District.
The tank "Type 98" has a classic layout with front control compartment and rear propulsion. The bow of the hull of the tank repeats the design "Type 90-I" (in fact the Soviet T-72M). The welded body is made of homogeneous steel. In the frontal part of the body reservation is combined. The thickness of the frontal sheet is 480 to 550 mm, the roofs - from 30 to 40 mm, the sides of the hull - from 30 to 100 mm. A bulldozer equipment for self-digging is installed on the lower front sheet.
The tower was also welded from sheets of different thickness, located at rational angles, with replaceable modular units, combined. There is a deep niche in the stern of the tower, which is covered with lattice screens of cumulative baskets. The armor of the frontal part of the tower has a thickness from 640 to 790 mm, the sides of the tower - from 160 to 200 mm.
Also on the hull and turret can be installed additional armor plates, as well as mounted dynamic protection FY, which was used on earlier samples of Chinese tanks.
The crew consists of three people. The driver is located in the center of the machine in the department of management. Above it is a hatch with a lid, shifted to the right side. The driver uses a periscopic surveillance device mounted in front of the hatch to view the road. At night it can be replaced by a night vision device. In addition, to the right and left of it there are two more surveillance devices.
Jobs tank commander and gunner located in the tower (respectively, in the right hatch and to the left). For communication, crew members use the VIC-8 intercom and the Tour 889В radio station. The tower has a hatch for discharging used pallets of liners. The roof of the tower is used to install the antenna of radio stations, laser irradiation sensor, atmospheric sensor, LWR, LSDW laser system, light signaling devices. On the gunner's hatch there is a built-in hatch, which is intended for mounting the pipe of equipment for underwater driving of tanks, which in the stowed position is attached to the niche of the tower.
One side of the tank's chassis consists of six rubber-coated dual-rolling rollers, four supporting rollers, a drive wheel with removable toothed rims of the rear location (pinching engagement), and a guide wheel. Individual torsion bar suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers on the first, second and sixth suspension nodes. Caterpillar with RMSH, rubber shelves and rubberized treadmill.
The main armament of the tank "Type 98" is a powerful 125-mm smooth-bore gun ZPT-98. This weapon is a Chinese copy of a tank 2А46. The gun ZPT-98 is stabilized in two planes (although the stabilizer is also a copy of the Lilac 2E28). Ammunition consists of projectiles of various types: sub-caliber armor-piercing, high-explosive fragmentation cumulative. Shot - separate-cartridge loading. In some sources, it was noted that China has the ability to produce armor-piercing piercing shells with a core of depleted uranium (in this sense, it was not without the assistance of Israel). Also, it was reported about the acquisition in Russia of guided anti-tank missiles 9М119 "Reflex" equipped with a laser-guided system, and that they will be produced under license in China. The missiles have dimensions corresponding to the shells, and can be launched by a cannon. The range of damage to the enemy's armored vehicles using these missiles is up to 5000 m. The anti-tank cumulative warhead pierces 700-mm armor.
The gun is equipped with a hydro-mechanical automatic carousel loader, which is designed for 22 shot. Automatic charging was also copied from the Soviet sample and previously mastered the production of "Type 85-IIM", "Type 96", "Type 90-II". Ammunition is 41 (42) shot. When using the automatic charge, the rate of fire reaches 8 shots per minute, without it, up to 2 shots per minute. The maximum angle of elevation of the implement is -14 degrees, the declination is -6 degrees.
The barrel of the gun is equipped with a heat-insulating jacket, which reduces its curvature, and an ejector for removal of gases from the fighting compartment when firing.
To the right of the gun in the embrasure is a twin machine gun "Type 86" caliber 7,62 mm. The firing range of it is up to 1000 meters. Ammunition 2000 cartridges. In front of the commander's hatch, an anti-aircraft machine gun W-85 12,7 mm is installed on the turret. To install is a turret anti-aircraft installation with manual control. Ammunition - 300 ammo. The vertical pointing angle ranges from -4 to 75 degrees. Fire on the ground can be conducted at a distance of 1600 meters, on air targets - up to 1500 meters.
Two blocks of five-barreled smoke grenade launchers "Type 84" caliber 81 mm mounted on the sides of the tower. They can be used to shoot not only smoke, but also fragmentation anti-personnel grenades.
The projections of the tower. According to its design, it resembles Western tanks - a developed feed niche, a trellised basket, modern sights, but in terms of its layout it is nearer the Russian vehicles.
The tank has a fully automated fire control system. A high-speed digital ballistic computer and a set of automatic sensors provide highly accurate data output for firing. The gunner has a periscope sight, equipped with an integrated laser range finder, a thermal imaging camera and a display. The tank commander has a periscope combined sight equipped with a panoramic-type head, as well as a display of a thermal imager, which is associated with the gunner's sight. The image is displayed with the multiplicity x5 or x11,4. Both members of the sight have independent stabilization of the line of sight. When the gunner disconnects from control, the commander can open fire himself.
The use of a fire control system significantly increased the possibility of hitting a fixed or moving target from the first shot. In addition, the system of thermal imagers allows you to fire with excessive dust (in desert conditions) or excessive smoke.
Some sources say that the tank fire control system “Type 98” is exactly the same as on “Type 90-II” / “Al Khalid”. The system is made according to Western technologies.
The main feature of the new tank is the use of the original JD-3 laser active defense system built on quantum generators. The system includes a laser warning detector for laser irradiation (Laser Warning Receiver, LRW) and a quantum generator (Laser Self-Defense Weapon, LSDW). They are mounted on the roof of the tower behind the gunner’s hatch and the commander’s hatch.
If the sensor detects a laser beam, which is aimed at the tank, the warning system issues a command to deploy the tower towards the source. The generator produces its own low-power laser beam, which determines the location of the radiating object. In the case of a target, the laser is turned on at maximum power to destroy its optical means, as well as the organs of vision of the enemy operator.
In sources, the range of the effect of the striking beam is not given. But a similar portable Chinese laser machine ZM-1995, demonstrated at the 87 armament exhibition of the year in Manila, was able to hit the human eye at a distance of 10 thousand meters (according to other data, up to 3 thousand meters, and when using 7 thousand m) Judging by how the tank laser system was induced in a vertical plane, there is a possibility that it can be used as a means of destroying low-flying helicopters.
In addition, the Chinese tank "Type 98" is equipped with systems of protection against chemical and nuclear weapons, navigation system, as well as fire detection and extinguishing systems.
After the 1999 Type tank was demonstrated at the 98 parade of the year, Western analysts speculated about mass production of these machines. However, in fact, the Chinese leadership did not intend to re-equip the whole army with such machines due to technical complexity and high cost of living. First of all, they were intended for elite units. Later it became known that the “Type 98” is a prototype, and a more advanced machine will be mass-produced with the designation “Type 99”. Production "Type 98" completed.
Technical characteristics of the tank "Type 98":
Combat weight - 48000 kg;
Crew - 3 person;
- length - 10920 mm (with a gun forward);
- width - 3372 mm;
- height - 2200 (over the roof of the tower);
- clearance - 470 mm;
- base - 5160 mm;
Average ground pressure is 0,9 kg / cm2;
Reservations - combined;
- smooth-bore 125-mm gun 2А46 (ammunition 22 + 19);
- machine gun "Type 86" caliber 7,62 mm (2000 ammunition);
- anti-aircraft machine gun W-85 caliber 12,7 mm (300 ammunition);
Vertical guidance angles - from -6 to + 14 degrees;
Stabilizer weapons - two-plane;
Sights - combined gunner and commander; thermal imager;
Ballistic computer - digital;
Laser range finder - built-in;
Loading mechanism - AZ;
Means of staging chimneys - 2 x 5 grenade launchers;
Active protection tools - JD-3 (LRW / LSDW);
Engine - MTU WD396, diesel, turbocharged, 8-cylinder, four-stroke V-shaped liquid cooling;
Maximum power - 1200 HP;
Power density - 25 hp / t;
Transmission - mechanical, planetary (7 speeds forward + 1 back);
Maximum speed - 65..75 km / h;
Power reserve - 450 ... 600 km;
- rise - 30 hail .;
- roll - 25 ... 29 grad .;
- ditch - 2,7 m;
- wall - 0,85 m;
- ford - 1,4 m (with OPVT - 5 m).
Based on materials: