Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Next Generation of Chinese MBT

Just saw this from today's PLA daily.

Next generation of Chinese tanks will possess all-dimensional attack capability

(Source: www.people.com) 2009-12-08

  “China will produce the next generation of main battle tank which is able to launch all-dimensional attacks and conduct all-directional self-protection with the number of tank crew reduced to 2,” said Mao Ming, director of China North Vehicle Research Institute (CNVRI) when receiving the interview of Tank and Armored Vehicle magazine.

  According to Mao Ming, the most advanced tank in active service in the PLA is type-99 main battle tank, which has 3 crew members after a feeding man is eliminated. He held that the next generation of main battle tank is likely to have only 2 crew members, i.e., a gunner and a driver sitting side by side.

  Mao Ming said that the enhanced information ability will be the most important change to the next generation of tanks. The target detecting device in the tank is connected with a command-and-attack network with many command systems and sensors from which the tank will receive real time useful information about the target. The fire performance of the tank will be further expanded. Besides direct aiming and launching missiles, the tank also has indirect aiming and shooting ability. It can not only hit near-distance and far-distance objects, but also hit aerial targets. Generally speaking, the main battle tank of 他和next generation will combine the direct and indirect aiming to realize all-dimensional attacking.

  When it comes to the weight of the tank, Mao Ming pointed out that China’s main battle tank of the next generation should be lightweight with good strategic mobile capacity which meant rapid deployment in the combat area. The chassis system of the tank will be a general-purpose one with changeable and modularized loads for battles in the city or field battles in north China and in south China.

  By Yang Tiehu

Editor:Ouyang Dongmei


Anonymous said...

Sounds a lot similar to the MGS or Centauro type of armored vehicles being light & highly mobile.

duskylim said...

I for one think that reducing a tank's crew to 2 is a grave mistake.

The absolute minimum crew number should be 3 men.

That is:

- the driver
- the gunner and
- the tank commander

Obviously, the driver should not be required to do anything else.

The gunner should spend all his time seeking out and firing at targets.

The commander would plan and coordinate the tank's movement and direct the gunner to more targets.

It is in the coordinated use of massed armor and infantry along with all other arms that is the heart of the 'Panzer Division' organization.

Without this, what you have is merely individual vehicles roaming the battlefield looking for targets to destroy.

That is the mission of the assault gun or tank destroyer, not of an armored division - which is destruction of the enemy's forces on the battlefield.

It seems to me that this kind of thinking is short-sighted and tactically-oriented.

Coatepeque said...

Maybe it was influenced by the US FCS concept

Anonymous said...

Technology must have been stolen (reverse engineered)from the west.

I am in the Pakistan army and have used some of the Chinese equipement and are not really up to the mark as compared to the US equipement we use.

Coatepeque said...

"I am in the Pakistan army "

I don't think you are.

Anonymous said...

Two person crews simplifies communication as they only need to relay information amongst themselves.

The tank can be roughly separated into gun-turret and the vehicle chassis. A two man team sitting side by side in the main chassis can be relatively sealed off from the gun turrent part of the vehicle, which is where ammunition is stored and most likely to suffer an attack due to it's exposed position.

The new tank should have improved survivability as in the case that the gun-turret component is completely destroyed the engine and crew inside the vehicle chassis will be relatively unharmed and they can retire from the battlefield.

if they modularize the design the gun-turret may even be able to be replaced/repaired quickly.

A fully autonomous tank is not good because communication links can be distrupted.

I don't think they are short-sighted at all, actually.

Anonymous said...

Also the crew sitting side by side can share the same information much easier, and they only need displays in one position of the tank.

Coatepeque said...

Here is a detail write up on the US FCS tank.


The US Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command's future land combat system vehicle is a 40-ton concept based on evolutionary tank design and technology which pushes the two-person crew down and forward into the hull with a remote turret. The crew receives information from on-board target acquisition and hit avoidance sensors. Target acquisition sensors are the gunner's primary sight, a panoramic sight and an auxiliary sight. Hit avoidance sensors are mounted in the four corners of the turret. A high pressure, 120mm gun (XM291) is mounted on the turret.