In the 70s of the last century in the leading countries of the world there are several thoughts that have shaped the future development of tank building. New main tanks were equipped with strong armor and combined smoothbore guns. In addition, there were the first models of dynamic systems of protection. All it sought to increase the properties of anti-tank weapons, including artillery. At this time, China began work on a promising third-generation tank. Chinese engineers beheld all the new trends in the field of tank and intended to take them into their own next project. But these steps have led to the abandonment of the construction of the tank and create self-propelled artillery installation.
In the late 70s Chinese defense industry intensively collaborated with western that assist scientists and designers of Asian countries to make a number of new projects. The draft of a promising third-generation main tank to be used smoothbore gun 120mm. China initially planned to order the tank gun in Germany, but the company Rheinmetall pressure control of the country refused shipments. In this regard, Chinese spices had to step up work on creating their own guns in the same class. So Makar, at the end of the 70s, China was planning to do with tank guns of 120 mm caliber.
Drafting a new tank gun began in 1978. Just a year and a half Chinese gunsmiths built the first models of guns. They were used in the tests and have allowed to identify the positive and negative aspects of the project. Yet, for several reasons, first 80s of China’s military commanders concluded great prospects tank guns of 125 mm. Chinese military received from one of the Middle Eastern states Russian T-72 tank and painstakingly researched it. The result of this study was an indication of copying gun 2A46.
Immediately with designing their own version of the 125-mm cannon Chinese spices continued development of the project gun with a caliber of 120 mm. Work in this direction continued plant number 774. In view of the good prospects for this project was not closed, but his latest goal was to create an instrument for self-propelled artillery system. At the end of the project and creation tools SAU took a couple of years: the first self-propelled Type 89 layout (PTZ89) came on tests already in 1984.
As a base for the modern self-propelled artillery / tank destroyer elected tracked chassis Type 321. This chassis is also used as a base for ACS Type 83 and Type 89 MLRS. Chassis Type 321 has a corresponding self-propelled guns for the assembly: the engine-transmission compartment in the front part of armored , Department of Management him fighting compartment in the stern. Type 89 self-propelled gun equipped with a 12-cylinder diesel engine capacity of 520 hp 12150L When fighting machine weight at 31 tons per se engine provides the power density of the order of 16-17 hp tonne weights. Type 89 tank destroyer could accelerate up to speed on the highway 55 km / h Supplies enough fuel for a march of about 450 km. Chassis base chassis consisted of the drive wheel in the front part of the body, 6 rollers and 3 support rollers on each side. Suspension rollers — torsion.
In view of the limited capacity of the base chassis Type 89 ACS received comparable rather weak booking. Plates welded hull and turret self-propelled have a thickness less than 50 mm. There is information about application security modules installed on the tower. For additional protection, fighting machine was equipped with 2 units smoke grenade and laying system.
In the armored turret tank destroyer located in the aft-mounted housing 120 mm smoothbore gun with an ejector and guard. Gun has a barrel length of 50 calibres and is equipped with an automatic chambering ammunition. The latter provides a rate of up to 10 shots per minute. Stacking inside the crew compartment can hold 30 rounds unitary 120mm. According to some reports, as required Type 89 tank destroyer can carry the fire, taking ammunition «from the ground.» To do this, the crew can use the hatch in the stern of armored sheet.
During the tests, a 120-mm gun showed quite highest property. Relatively very long gun barrel allowed to disperse armor-piercing projectiles to velocities of about 1650-1660 meters per second. The highest rate of high-explosive projectile reached 960 m / s. With all this the largest firing range for armor-piercing shells and shrapnel declared at 2.5 and 9 km respectively. During the tests, information brought gun armor-piercing shell, according to available data, from a distance of 2 km past the plate width of 450 mm.
Relevant feature of cerebral weapons ACS Type 89 steel «tank» aiming angles. Due to the specificity of tasks, namely attack armored vehicles, tanks, fighter Chinese might suggest gun at least some angle in the horizontal plane, and the angles of elevation and lowering limited and lie in the range from -8 ° to +18 °.
Unlike other self-propelled guns, made in the 80s, the Chinese Type 89 is not equipped with fire control system. For pointing guns fighting machine equipped with a combined periscope gunner’s sight with day and night channels. Gunner is also equipped with a laser rangefinder. Command a day of self-propelled gun. In addition, in front of the tower was installed auxiliary telescopic sight. As you know, any other systems that are typical of modern ACS have not been applied. Moreover, as part of the equipment tank destroyer Type 89 is not even a stabilizer of guns. In this connection, self-propelled gun fire can not conduct on the go.
Secondary armament ACS Type 89 consists of the 1st anti-aircraft machine gun 12.7 mm placed on the turret hatches of commanding, and 1st 7.62 mm machine gun. According to some sources, the gun caliber rifle is used as a coaxial gun.
Benchmark tests the most experienced fighter tanks Type 89/PTZ89 took several months. According to the results of running and firing tests, it was decided that further work on the project. Some elements of self-propelled guns did not meet the customer’s requirements in the face of the Chinese armed forces. New tests began in 1987. Refreshed and improved version of the ACS arranged military. Mass production of combat vehicles Type 89 began in the last months of 1988. Before the construction of the plant constructors number 774 in order to simplify production little changed shape of the tower.
In 1989, the armed forces of China passed the first batch of 20 self-propelled artillery. It was soon built another 80 cars, then build them over. Type 89 tank destroyers were distributed between several anti-tank battalions tank divisions. Each battalion used 18 self-propelled guns.
Chinese project self-propelled artillery installation of Type 89, designed to combat the modern (at the time of its creation) zabugornom tanks, looks interesting, but at the same time is unclear. Chinese ability smoothbore gun caliber 120 mm, made as a substitute for hard-guns made in Germany, can read about the tremendous achievements of China’s defense industry. With all this gun is virtually the only positive aspect of self-propelled guns. The highest comparable properties guns in certain conditions can one hundred percent offset by the absence of the stabilizer arms and other more fundamental systems.
Another feature of the least diverse ACS Type 89 is the ratio of firepower and protection level in the light of the tasks that should solve this fighting machine. The implication is that self-propelled Type 89 must act in some combat formations to destroy enemy tanks and armored vehicles. With all this, with comparable firepower tanks, self-propelled artillery noticeably lose their protection level. So Makar, Type 89 tank destroyers in danger of being destroyed even before they approach the enemy armored vehicles at a distance of effective fire.
Despite the strange fighting properties, self-propelled gun Type 89 is armed with the People’s Liberation Army of China. The total amount currently being exploited this type of ACS does not exceed 90-100 units. Perhaps as a small amount of built tank destroyers was justified particularly diverse perspectives. Yet, at the end of the 80s of the Chinese army commanders decided on the adoption of Type 89 into service. Prerequisites such solutions do not fully understood, but built machinery operated hitherto.