11 Desember 2009
Artist's impression of China's Next Generation Tank (image : China Defense Mashup)
Next generation of Chinese tanks will possess all-dimensional attack capability
"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.
Type 99 MBT (photo : Defencetalk)
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 the 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.