|Manufacturer:||NORINCO - China North Industries Group Corporation - CNGC|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Main battle tank|
Main Battle Tank Series Type 80 is a new type of main battle tank series developed by NORINCO, which has a very strong firepower, advanced fire control system, high mobility and solid armour protection. The tank series type 80 is suitable to fight under modern war condition.
The tanks are equipped with an advanced 105 mm rifled gun and can fire four types ammunition.
The tanks are provided with an advanced fire control system which consists of a laser range-finder, ballistic computer and-bi-directional stabilizer, therefore the tanks have a high first round hit probability.
The tanks are also fitted with various systems and equipment inside the hull and turret for the use of NBC protection, water-crossing submerged, automatic fire-extinguishing, explosion-restraining and night combat.
NORINCO (China North Industries Corporation) started concept studies for a second-generation MBT in 1978 with the first prototypes being completed in 1985. Development was completed in 1988 and it was designated the Type 80 MBT, although it has also been referred to as the Type 88 and the Type 69-III.
Main improvements to the Type 80 compared with the earlier Type 69 MBT include the installation of a new computerised fire-control system for increased first range hit probability, laser range-finder, stabilisation system, 105 mm rifled tank gun, new torsion bar suspension with six roadwheels for increased crosscountry mobility, more powerful diesel engine for increased power-to-weight ratio, passive night vision equipment and the ability to be fitted with a snorkel for deep fording.
The Type 80 MBT can engage moving targets from a stationary firing position.
The hull of the Type 80 is of all-welded steel construction and has the driver's compartment at the front, the fighting compartment in the centre and the engine and transmission at the rear.
The driver sits at the front of the hull on the left side and has a single-piece hatch cover that lifts and swings to the left. In front of this are two day periscopes, one of which can be replaced by an infra-red or passive periscope for driving at night.
Mounted on the well-sloped glacis plate is a splashboard to stop water rushing up and into the driver's compartment while the tank is fording.
To further improve the Type 80's protection a panel of composite armour can be added at the front.
The turret is in the centre of the vehicle with the commander on the left, the gunner forward and below the commander and the loader on the right. Composite armour can also be added to the turret for improved protection.
The commander has a cupola which can be traversed manually through a full 360° and, a single forward-opening hatch cover with two integral periscopes for observation to the sides. Forward of this hatch cover are a further three periscopes for observation over the frontal arc. The loader has a circular hatch cover that opens to the left.
Main armament comprises a 105 mm rifled gun which fires Western- or Chinese-produced ammunition. This has powered elevation from -4.5 to +18° with the turret having powered traverse through 360°. The 105 mm gun, which is similar in appearance to the Western L7/M68, is fitted with a fume extractor and a thermal sleeve. The 105 mm gun fires the following NORINCO-developed rounds: APFSDS-T (muzzle velocity 1,455 m/s), HEAT-T (1,173.5 m/s), HESH (731.5 m/s) and HE (850 m/s).
A 7.62 mm machine gun is mounted coaxially with the 105 mm gun and there is a 12.7 mm machine gun on the loader's hatch for anti-aircraft use.
Mounted either side of the turret are four forward-firing electrically operated smoke grenade dischargers. A stowage basket runs around the sides and rear of the turret. The stowage basket provides some protection against HEAT projectiles as these would be detonated away from the main armour of the turret.
The fire-control system includes a ballistic computer, a laser range-finder integrated into a stabilised sight, sensors and a gun stabilisation system. Night vision equipment fitted is of the second-generation image intensification type. ,
The Type 80 MBT is powered by a Model VR36 diesel developing 700 hp at 2,000 rpm but late production engines develop 730 hp at 2,000 rpm. Type 80 has two circular exhaust outlets on the right side of the hull. Diesel fuel can be injected so that the tank can lay its own smoke screen while moving.
To extend the operational range of the tank two large drum fuel tanks can be mounted at the rear; these can be jettisoned if required. An unditching beam is normally carried at the rear of the hull under the long range fuel tanks.
The torsion bar suspension is new with six dual rubber-tyred roadwheels, drive sprocket at the rear, idler at the front and three track-return rollers. The first, second, fifth and sixth roadwheel stations have hydraulic shock-absorbers.
The upper part of the track is covered by skirts with a wavy lower edge which are hinged up to allow access to the suspension for maintenance.
Standard equipment includes an overpressure NBC system, night vision equipment for the commander, gunner and driver and provision to install a snorkel in the roof forward of the loader's hatch; this allows the tank to submerge to a depth of 5 m and cross rivers up to 600 m wide. An unditching beam is carried at the rear of the hull under the long-range fuel tanks.
Communications equipment installed includes a YRC-83 radio and VIC-8 intercom system. To further increase the tank's survivability on the battlefield, an automatic explosion suppression and fire extinguishing system is fitted.
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