Tank «Type 99A2.» Cannon revolution or ordinary MBT?

In recent months, in press zabugornoy not once appeared photo of a Chinese tank. Tipo their armored vehicle was displayed new «Type 99A2.» The existence of this tank became clear a few years back, but showed photos have allowed some professionals to come to the conclusion to start serial production. Yet, at the moment there is information directly contrary to those conclusions. According to information from the Chinese news agency CNW News, the new tank is still at the testing stage that, but has come to an end.
These data allow us to imagine that in the next couple of years, the park armored vehicles People’s Liberation Army (PLA) gained another tank. It should be noted, according to an open disk imaging, a certain number of prototypes of the tank «type 99A2» came into trial operation in 2009. Judging by the new information, the test specimens had a lot of combat vehicle defects, making debugging and testing was delayed.
Now about the tank «type 99A2» not very much clear, and this will allow them to create a full picture. New «Type 99A2» differs significantly from the initial tank «99». Finalization undergone virtually all units fighting machine because «Type 99A2» can recognize the latest model technology, and not the previous modernization. Yet, the available data and some aspects of the project raise questions. So, there is information on the application of modern power plant and boxes. In contrast to the «Type 99», on the new tank diesel engine is not located along the body, and across. This allowed tangibly reduce the length of the hull. Properties of the power plant at all it remained. Engine «Type 99A2» has a capacity of more than 1,500 horsepower. When fighting weight, estimated at 55-58 tons, the tank is still fairly good specific power: 25-27 hp weight per tonne.

Tank «type 99A2», as seen in the photo available preproduction samples resettled torsion bar suspension and has 6 road wheels on board. Driven wheels located at the rear of the housing. Engagement caterpillars — lantern. With such a power plant and chassis new Chinese tank was allegedly able to accelerate on the highway up to 75-80 miles per hour. Relative supplies stroke clear data are lacking. Yet, on the basis of recognizable features of the «Type 99» disk imaging and greater combat weight of the new tank can come to the conclusion that a certain decrease in this indicator.

Greater interest is the set of weapons tank «Type 99A2.» At different times, there are several rumors, in one way or another contradicts each other. According to one of them was a new tank should get refreshed sighting system. Armament with all this remained the same: 125 mm smoothbore gun-launcher, which is a Chinese version of Russian / Russian guns 2A46, as several machine guns. According to others, especially for the new tank was created in China and has been collected brand new 140 mm cannon. In past years, several leading states of the world have tried to make such a weapon, but did not have gained particular success.

According to Chinese media, Chinese engineers still managed to make his huge caliber tank gun, which has the highest property. In addition, there is information about the development of armor-piercing projectiles feathered with the uranium core of the respective caliber. On tests such projectiles penetrated some 10 cm s-homogeneous armor and even mastered some analogue of the frontal armor of the South American tank M1A2 Abrams. Plausibility of these results may be a prerequisite for debate, but large caliber cannon allows us to assume the proper fighting properties.

Fighting properties 140-mm guns have long lured tank designers all over the world, but these guns have a number of relevant shortcomings. If China will bring a similar weapon to mass production, it will be the beginning of a revolution in the field of main battle tanks. At the same time, there is reason to hesitate in the successful completion of this project. Existing photo preproduction tanks «Type 99A2» shows that machine guns manned smallest caliber. Maybe Chinese copy 2A46 was modified and modernized, but with all this tank was not entirely new abilities.
It must be admitted that the «Type 99A2» possibly can get the newest gun in the future. The fact that the tower tank refreshed markedly different in shape from the basic combat unit «Type 99». First, in the eyes throws a large aft recess. From this fact it is possible to come to a conclusion about the ability to equip a combat vehicle for laying a 140-mm rounds. In addition, in the Chinese sources mention the creation of a new autoloader. Maybe he will be able to create transactions with larger shells and liners. In this case it appears that the tank «type 99A2» was created with the expectation of installing big and strong 140-mm gun, but prepyadstviya with its development and testing forced at least temporarily, to return to normal caliber of 125 mm.

CWN News claims on developing a set of tools that enhance the vitality of the new tank. According to the agency, «Type 99A2» the least exposed to the anti-tank mines. In addition, in Armor machines will be installed brand new Dynamic highest protection with more features, and the tower will install radar active protection system. Principle acts last has not been announced. Most likely, it will work the same way as similar zabugornye system. With active, dynamic and combined armor protection «type 99A2,» are said to be immune to the 120-mm tank shells and several NATO standard anti-tank missiles.

Chinese tank builders want to equip its latest development of modern sighting means. First celebrated thermal channel commander and gunner sights, which will allow to create goals for distances up to 8-9 km. Navigation satellite system is meant to use the GPS (in the first years of service) and combined receivers GPS / Beidou in coming. In the long term all the tanks will be equipped with equipment for work only with the Chinese state-navigation system Beidou.

From the available data to create memories that «Type 99A2» is a modern third-generation tank, on its characteristics is not inferior to a number of armored vehicles zabugornyh. Certain issues causing the main armament of the tank. When you save a 125-mm guns machine will not have virtually no advantage over rivals. If Chinese gunsmiths will bring to mind the latest 140 mm caliber gun, it will bring a new tank for a leading position in the world. Larger caliber gun with appropriate features capable of leveling the lag in other units of the tank, such as a power plant or a reservation electronics.

And yet, even with the new weapon tank «type 99A2» has diverse perspectives. Like no matter what other armored fighting vehicles of its own class, it is very complex and expensive. Mass production of tanks «Type 99» began in the first half of two-thousand years, but so far has collected less than 500-600 of these machines. Total: preparation of a new «Type 99A2» has not started yet and you can not read about his pace. Most likely, the new and more than sophisticated tanks will be collected at the lowest rate than already mastered «Type 99».

For this reason, in subsequent years, the most popular and vserasprostranennym tank PLA will remain an old, less perfect, but earned in the production of «Type 96». Minorities tanks «Type 99A2» if they get new 140-mm gun, then get the role perfectly armed means breakthrough enemy defenses. If these tanks will remain carriers of 125-mm guns, they will be destined to have type-1 armored vehicles, which in the distant future will be able to become a major quantitative nuance.
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