China's Three Generation of Tanks - VT-1A MBT for Export




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Published on Oct 21, 2011

Visiting China's Inner Mongolia Baotou 1st Factory's tank museum, one can wittness China's three generation of main battle tanks.

The first generation were the Type 59/ZTZ59 and Type 69 tanks, that are pretty straightforward copies and improved copies based on the soviet T-54.

The second generation, the Type 80/ZTZ80 series of tanks, are already more indigenous, with home-grown electronics, like fire control system, gun-stabilization and night-sighting equipment, although the chassis is still inspired by the venerable T-54 and its Chinese offsprings.

The third generation of tanks, on the other hand, are completely indigenous and approach world-class standards in both protection, mobility and firepower. The ZTZ-99 series of tanks attest to that fact.

Featuring now, is the prototype of the upgraded version of the VT-1A enhanced third generation export tank being ordered by the Armed Forces of Peru, who were promissed an entire makeover of the VT-1A to meet their strict demands.

The result can be seen in this video: The enhanced VT-1A features an entirely new arrow-shaped turret armour and reactive tiles on the glacis, while internally, it has all the most modern firecontrol, night-fighting and C3I systems. Even the driver has an LCD displays showing vehicle camera feeds and GPS map for better situational awareness.

Furthermore, it is said that China currently is already researching and developing the "4th generation" of tanks, that will further increase combat effectiveness with next-generation high velocity tank guns, high-tech armour and electronics that will increase its defensive capabilities against all threats, including enemy aircrafts.


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