Wednesday, December 20, 2017

China is making it's Type 96 MBT its standard tank

Thanks to Miguel for the link!

via 21stCenturyAsianArmsRace.
No country today has as many tanks as China’s bloated armed forces. But as it struggled to modernize its tracked fighting machines across three decades of rapid technological change, a peculiar eclecticism gripped its vast arsenal. In 2016 Chinese state media revealed with utmost certainty that of “more than 7,000 tanks in active service” less than half were considered up to date. These comprised 2,000 Type 96 and Type 96A tanks and 600 Type 99’s.

This is problematic because it leaves the PLA stuck with so many old medium tanks designed after World War 2 mixed with incompatible “third-generation” substitutes. At the forefront of this colorful assemblage is an untested model that relies on constant upgrades. This isn’t the Type 99A/99A2 leading annual parades but the humble Type 96 or ZTZ 96–the racing tank that took on Russia’s T-72B’s in 2014 and 2016.
Story here.

Real nice overview on the state of Chinese tanks and a good view on how they got here and where they're going.

I doubt you find better on the net that isn't behind a classified firewall.  Consider this a must read if you're interested in Chinese armor developments.

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