Chinese-made Type 59G main battle tanks in service with Chad armed forces
According to pictures released on Twitter showing Type 59 MBT (Main Battle Tank) in the streets of N’Djamena after the death of the president in a battle with the rebels. China would have delivered an undisclosed number of Type 59G main battle tanks to Chad. According to the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute arms trade database, Chad has ordered in 2007, 30 main battle tanks from China, without specifying the type of tank that was purchased.
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Chinese-made Type 59G main battle tank of Chadian armed forces in the streets of N’Djamena after the death of the president in a battle with the rebels. (Picture source Twitter account Yuri Lyamin)
The Type 59G is an upgraded version of the Chinese-made Type 59 MBT (Main Battle Tank) which is a Chinese version of the Russian T-54A MBT. The design of the tank is very similar to the Russian version with the engine compartment at the rear and the turret mounted in the middle of the hull. It has a crew of four including the driver, commander, gunner, and loader.
The first version of Type 59 is armed with one 100mm cannon while the Type 59G is fitted with a fully stabilized 125mm smoothbore main gun able to fire different types of ammunition such as HEAT and Armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot (APFSDS). The type 59G is also equipped with a semi-automatic loading system.
One of the main features of the Type 59G, is the new armor package that includes new Explosive Reactive Armor mounted at the front and sides of the hull as well as around the turret. The Type 59G seems to be fitted with the same turret that the Chinese-made MBT Type 96G.
The Type 59G keeps the same suspension as the original Type 59 which has been reinforced to compensate for the additional weight of the tank with e new armor package. The suspension consists on each side of five single rubber-tired road wheels with a distinct gap between the first and second road wheels. The drive sprocket is at the rear and the idler at the front. There are no track return rollers. The upper part of the suspension is covered by armor plates.
The Type 59G is motorized with a Perkins Condor V-12 Diesel engine developing 1,200 hp coupled to a David Brown TN54 transmission with 6 forward and two reverse gears. The tank can run at a maximum road speed of 56 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 450 km.