Army Recognition reported that Chinese-made Type 59G main battle tank of Chad National Army (Al-Jaish al-Watani at-Tshadi, Armée nationale tchadienne) in the streets of N’Djamena after the death of the president in a battle with the rebels. After the death of President Idriss Déby on 19 April 2021 in fighting with FACT rebels, his son General Mahamat Idriss Déby was named interim president and head of the armed forces.
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 main battle tank that was purchased. 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.
The Type 59 main battle tank is a Chinese-produced version of the Soviet T-54A tank, an early model of the ubiquitous T-54/55 series. Type 59G is an upgrade of the Type 59, featuring a redesigned turret and armor. It uses a turret similar to that of the Type 96A, a 125 mm gun, modern fire control systems, arrow-shaped armor, spaced armor, and possibly third-generation subsystems. The tank formed the backbone of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army until the early 2000s with an estimated 5,000 of the later Type 59-I and Type 59-II variants in service in 2002.
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 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.