PTZ89 (120 mm)

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The 120 mm PTZ89 gun is a Chinese L/52 smoothbore cannon produced by Factory 447 in Inner Mongolia. With its quick rate of fire and high velocity, this gun packs a real punch and can prove deadly to any enemy it may encounter.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

Tell us about the tactical and technical characteristics of the cannon or machine gun.

Available ammunition

  • DYW1 - High penetration APFSDS round
  • DYS120 - HE round with subpar explosive mass for its calibre

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
DYW1 APFSDS 443 442 436 429 422 416
DYS120 HE 30 30 30 30 30 30
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
0% 50% 100%
DYW1 APFSDS 1,740 4.45 - - - 78° 80° 81°
DYS120 HE 900 19.5 0 0.1 2.49 79° 80° 81°

Comparison with analogues

  • Rh120 L/44, OTO Breda 120/44, Type 90 L/44, etc. - Similar 120mm guns found on many Western MBTs, rounds are typically lower velocity, but the DM33 round has higher penetration.
  • Ordnance BL Tk. L11 and L11A5 - British rifled 120mm guns that fire inferior APFSDS rounds, but have access to HESH rounds that are superior to DYW120, and smoke rounds for versatility.
  • 2A26, 2A46M, 2A46M-1 - Soviet 125mm guns, fires inferior APFSDS rounds with similar velocities, with the exception of the 3BM42 round. Has superior HE rounds and access to ATGMs.

Comparing the 120 mm PTZ89 gun to its main analogues, the NATO Rh120 L/44, the British L11A5, and the Warsaw Pact's 2A46M, it shines over them in velocity (thanks to its larger chamber) at 1,740 m/s, which contributes to its high penetration. However, it lacks the versatility of the other guns, lacking HESH, ATGM, or smoke rounds.

Usage in battles

The main feature of 120 mm PTZ89 gun is its raw firepower: it was designed to handle masses of MBTs from range. So the ammunition found on this cannon is filled with lots of propellant, sending its projectile at a whopping 1,740 m/s, making it lethal even at longer ranges. A good way to play with the 120 mm PTZ89 gun is to stay at range and unleash your DYW1 APFSDS at the rate of 5 second between shots. In case of brawling, since it comes with an autoloader, it can also unleash hell to the enemies as well.

But do keep in mind that just like most Mainland Chinese vehicles, the depression angle is poor and the autoloader short reload time increases after all 10 rounds in the tray are fired away, so keep your ammo count in check and at best plan the shots beforehand: it will be embarrassing if you run out of autoloader shots in the heat of battle.

Pros and cons


  • Above average shell velocity at 1,740 m/s that gives it flat trajectory
  • 5-second autoloader with a ready rack of 10 rounds.
  • High penetration for the APFSDS round


  • Traverse rate, both vertical and horizontal, is rather slow
  • Depression angle is poor
  • If the player is trigger-happy, 10 rounds might not sufficient in the heat of battle


In the late 1960s, Mainland China started their development of a new MBT for a possible war with the USSR or the West. A key component of this new tank (the WZ1224) was to be a 120 mm smoothbore gun. But due to technological limits, the cannon didn't start development until the PLA had captured a Soviet T-62 and reverse-engineered some of its more modern features.

When a new MBT had been developed, the smoothbore 120 mm gun developed was not chosen for use, and the prototype WZ1224 didn't make it into production and was abandoned. For the newer ZTZ79 and ZTZ80 tanks, a licensed variant of the NATO 105mm L7 was used, and the PLAGF later acquired a 2A46M gun from Romania which they reverse-engineered for use in their modern MBTs. In an attempt to not abandon years of development, Factory 447 in Batou, Inner Mongolia mounted this gun onto a WZ321 chassis as a tank destroyer. Luckily, this gun made it through state certification in 1986 and was backed by the funding from PRC's 7th 5-year plan. Eventually, the cannon made its way into service on the PTZ89, an almost anachronistic gun-based tank destroyer in an age of ATGM carriers.

After around 3 decades in service, the PTZ89 and its 120 mm gun ended its service in 2015 with the last batches of them decommissioned from 39th Group Army (currently named 79th) in November.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the article about the variant of the cannon/machine gun;
  • references to approximate analogues by other nations and research trees.

External links

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  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.

China tank cannons
30 mm  ZPL02 · ZPZ02
73 mm  Type 86
76 mm  M32K1
85 mm  Type 56 · Type 63
100 mm  PTP86 · Type 59 · Type 69 · Type 69-II · ZPL04
105 mm  88B-105T · Type 83 · WMA301 · ZPL94 · ZPL98A
120 mm  122TM · PTZ89
125 mm  Type 88C · Type 99A · ZPT98
130 mm  PL59A Gai
152 mm  PL66 Gai
20 mm  KwK30 (Germany)
37 mm  M6 (USA)
45 mm  20-K (USSR)
47 mm  Type 1 (Japan)
57 mm  Type 97 (Japan) · ZIS-2 (USSR)
75 mm  M2 Howitzer (USA) · M3 (USA) · M6 (USA)
76 mm  D-56T (USSR) · F-34 (USSR) · M1 (USA) · M7 (USA) · ZIS-3 (USSR)
85 mm  ZIS-S-53 (USSR)
90 mm  M3 (USA) · M41 (USA)
100 mm  D-10S (USSR)
105 mm  M68 (USA) · M68A1 (USA)
115 mm  U-5TS (USSR)
122 mm  A-19 (USSR) · D-25T (USSR)
152 mm  ML-20S (USSR)