General Dynamics European Land Systems
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Type 59 main battle tank
 
 
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Type 59 WZ120 main battle tank MBT technical data sheet specifications information description intelligence pictures photos images China Chinese identification defense industry military technology
 
Description

The Type 59 is a Chinese made main battle tank which is based on the Russian main battlle tank T-54/T-55. The first production models were similar to the early production Russian T-54 and not fitted with infra-red night vision equipment or a stabiliser for the 100 mm main armament. The Type 59 was modified several times during its service with the replacement of the 100 mm Type 59 rifled gun with a 105 mm rifled gun. The Type 59 was the first PRC-built tank, with a significant number still in service with the PLA today. Some Type 59s have been upgraded to the Type 59D standard, armed with improved main gun, fire-control, and observation systems.

 
Variants
- Type 59-I: Improved variant fitted with a Type 69-II 100 mm rifled gun, as well as a laser rangefinder, hydraulic servo-system, primitive fire control, automatic fire suppression system, and rubber track skirt. The Type 59-I includes several versions with different armour and fire control configurations.
- Type 59-II: Manufacturer designation WZ-120B. Mounts the 105 mm Type 81 rifled gun design provided by Austria, distinguished by the fume extractor midway on the barrel, rather than on the muzzle. Other improvements include new radio and fire suppression system. Produced from 1982 to 1985.
- Type 59-IIA: Fitted with thermal sleeve for 105 mm gun and some composite armor. Variants include MBT, command tank, and made of plastic armour include: B59G and BW120K. The BW120K is fitted with an indigenously developed 120 mm smoothbore gun comparable in general performance to the Rheinmetall 120 mm gun used on the German Leopard 2, American M1A1/A2 Abrams, and other current western main battle tanks.
- Type 59D: Also known as WZ-120C. The Type 59D was developed in the 1990s. Instead of replacing all ageing Type 59s in service with newer models, the PLA decided that they should be upgraded with new technologies to meet the requirements for future land battle. The Type 59D is fitted with explosive reactive armour, a new tank gun, passive night vision, and new fire control. The 12150L diesel engine was also replaced by a 580 hp 12150L7 engine. Variants include Type 59D and Type 59D1. Sudan's Military Industry Corporation (MIC) may have licensed the T-59D for domestic production as the Al-Zubair 2 tank.
- Type 59P: Advanced variant built for the export market, with many high-tech components found in modern third-generation tanks.
- Type 59G: A heavily modernized 3rd-generation variant with a new welded turret similar to the Type 96G replacing the original cast turret and a 125mm main gun with semi-automatic loader. Most advanced version of T 59 tank to date. In service with PLA and recently ordered by Bangladesh Army. Around 300 T59G will be procured and upgraded by the Bangladesh Army. The Type 59G is also in service in Tanzania.
 
Technical Data
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Armament

The turret is armed with a 100 mm cannon, for which 34 rounds are typically carried. A 7.62 mm Type 59T machine gun is mounted coaxially with the main gun. A Chinese 12.7 mm Type 54 anti-aircraft machine gun is provided above the commander's hatch for which 200 rounds is carried. Additionally a Type 59T 7.62 mm machine gun is provided for the driver, which fires through a very small hole in the center of the front hull.

Design and protection

The Type 59 has a conventional layout with the fighting compartment at the front, an engine compartment at the rear, and a cast dome-shaped gun turret in the centre of the hull. The hull is welded steel varying in thickness between 99 mm on the front lower glacis to 20 mm on the hull floor. The turret varies from 39–100 mm thick.

Propulsion
The Type 59 is motorized with a 12150L V-12 liquid cooled diesel engine, which develops 520 horsepower at 2,000 rpm. The engine feeds a manual gearbox with five forward and one reverse gear. A total of 815 litres of diesel can be carried internally in the tank, with a further 400 litres carried externally giving a maximum road range of 600 kilometers, or approximately 430 km using only internal fuel. The tank has five road wheels on each side with a prominent gap between the first and second road wheel. The track is driven by a drive sprocket at the rear, with an idler at the front, there are no return rollers. The suspension is a torsion bar system. Engine exhaust is on the left fender.
Accessories
The standard version of Type 59 main battle tank is equipped with NBC protection system and night vision.
 
Specifications
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Armament
One 100 m gun, one coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun, one, one anti-aircraft machine gun 12.7 mm and one 7.62 mm machine gun for the driver.
Country users
Albania, bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Republic Democratic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Tanzania, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Designer Country
China
Accessories
NBC protection system and night vision.
Crew
4 soldiers
Armor
Protection against small arms firing and shell splinters.
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Weight
36,000 kg
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Speed
40 -50 km/h maximum road speed
Range
440 km, 600 km with external supply
Dimensions
Length, 6.04 m (hull); Width, 3.27 m; Height, 2.59 m
 
Details View
Type 59 WZ120 main battle tank MBT technical data sheet specifications information description intelligence pictures photos images China Chinese identification defense industry military technology
Type 59 WZ120 main battle tank MBT technical data sheet specifications information description intelligence pictures photos images China Chinese identification defense industry military technology

 

Type 59 WZ120 main battle tank MBT technical data sheet specifications information description intelligence pictures photos images China Chinese identification defense industry military technology

Type 59 WZ120 main battle tank MBT technical data sheet specifications information description intelligence pictures photos images China Chinese identification defense industry military technology
 
Pictures - Video
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