China trials enhanced Type 99 MBT
By Jonathan Weng
China is testing a prototype version of the Type 99 Main Battle Tank (MBT) - designated Type 99A2 - which, it is understood, will soon enter production for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) with a possible in-service date of 2008/2009.
Details of Type 99A2 were released in a recent issue of 'Modern Weaponry', issued by the Chinese No 201 Institute of China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO), which claims that this is a "Chinese Third-Generation MBT". No 201 Institute is said to be an intelligence organisation to gather information on foreign land warfare systems.
The Type 99A2 MBT has been enhanced in a number of key areas including the installation of explosive reactive armour (ERA) on the glacis, turret front and turret sides.
The baseline Type 99 MBT's chassis armour is constructed of steel, to which advanced passive armour has been added over the frontal arc. By adding ERA, the Type 99A2 MBT has a very high level of protection against anti-tank weapons fitted with a tandem HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead. 172 of 556 words
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