Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported that the 81st Group Army of the People’s Liberation Army has recently taken delivery of what appears to be a battalion set of Type 99A2 main battle tanks. The 81st Group Army is a military formation of China’s People’s Liberation Army and one of three active group armies belonging to the Beijing Military Region and act as a reserve for the rest of China. It is based in Zhangjiakou, Hebei and is composed of the 193rd Division, an artillery division, an armored brigade, two motorized infantry brigades, and an anti-aircraft artillery brigade.
The Type 99A2 or ZTZ-99A2 is an improved version of the Type 99 main battle tank designed and manufactured in China by the local defense industry. It has the latest generation of Thermal Sights, new ballistic computer and DVE-BS cross wind sensors.Featuring an improved composite armor over the front of the hull and turret, the Type 99A2 has a new shaped modular front on its turret. The vehicle is fitted with a new Explosive Reactive Armour that is believed to be capable of defeating tandem charged (x2 warheads in the missile) Anti-Tank weapons.
The 81st Group Army of the PLA has recently taken delivery of what appears to be a battalion set of Type 99A2 MBTs, according to footage from CCTV-7. It is part of the Central Theatre Command with responsibilities to protect Beijing and act as a reserve for the rest of China. pic.twitter.com/k1CQ3Y6O9r
— Sam Cranny-Evans (@Sam_Cranny) July 10, 2020
The Type 99A2 uses an improved ZPT98 series 125mm smoothbore main gun. It is a calibre Length 50 and capable of firing a range of rounds including a new APFSDS with a reported muzzle velocity of 1780 m/s. The 1A45T Fire Control System is an improved version of those used in earlier Type 99. China is a licenced manufacturer of the 9M119M Refleks Anti-Tank Guided Missile. The Type 99A2 is capable of firing the Refleks through its main gun to a range of 5.5km and is guided via an integrated fire control unit in the main Fire Control System.
The Type 99 is a Chinese third generation main battle tank (MBT). The vehicle was a replacement for the aging Type 88 introduced in the late 1980s. The Type 99 MBT was China’s first mass-produced third generation main battle tank. Combining modular composite armour and tandem-charge defeating ERA, 125 mm smoothbore gun with ATGM-capability, high mobility, digital systems and optics, the Type 99 represents a shift towards rapid modernisation by the PLA. The main battle tank entered People’s Liberation Army (PLA) service in 2001.