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The Type 69 is a rank V Chinese medium tank with a battle rating of 8.3 (AB) and 8.0 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision".
At first glance, the Type 69 looks reminiscent of the preceding Type 59. Closer inspection reveals it to be quite an interesting tank. It can be visually differentiated from similar vehicles by the placement of the IR spotlight directly above the gun mantlet (Soviet tanks place the spotlight off to the side), a laser rangefinder next to it, and a unique fume extractor located near the tip of the barrel. It can be thought of as a cross between the Soviet T-55A and T-62. Like the former, it boasts improved mobility and gun handling from the original Type 59/T-54, and like the latter, it has a smoothbore gun firing HEAT-FS and APFSDS rounds. As the product of the PRC's first foray into indigenous technologies, it also boasts night vision, stabilizer, and laser rangefinder systems.
Players coming from the Type 59 will appreciate many of the Type 69's improvements, no longer having to deal with a glacial turret rotation speed, single plane stabilizer, and lack of night vision. However, its firepower is a sidegrade at best. Both tanks can use HEAT-FS, but while the Type 59 could use APHE rounds for instant knockouts against lightly armoured tanks like the Leopard 1, the Type 69 has a poor-quality APFSDS round instead. No miracles should be expected from its gun.
Survivability and armour
The armour layout of the Type 69 is virtually identical to the Type 59 and T-54 (1951), with a rounded turret made of cast homogeneous armour and a highly sloped front glacis. While the frontal protection is good in terms of raw values, the Type 69 will face many tanks with powerful sub-calibre and HEAT rounds that can penetrate its armour with ease. That said, it confers some resistance to the APHE rounds fired by contemporary Soviet tanks like the T-54/55.
Post-penetration survivability is not optimal as the interior of the tank is cramped and plenty of loose ammunition is stored in the turret and fighting compartment. However, the Type 69 has a "wet" ammo rack next to the driver, which is more resistant to detonation by HEAT rounds.
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret roof)
- Cast homogeneous armour (Turret, Gun mantlet)
|Hull||100 mm (60°) Front glacis
100 mm (54°) Lower glacis
|80 mm||45 mm (16°) Upper
30 mm (72°) Lower
|30 mm Front|
20 mm Back
|Turret||160 mm (14-39°) Turret front
200 mm (4-78°) Gun mantlet
|115 mm (45-50°) Upper
155 mm (10-30°) Lower
|65 mm (9-35°)||30 mm|
- Suspensions wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The Type 69 is armed with a 100 mm Type 69 smoothbore cannon equipped with a two-plane stabilizer, capable of firing APFSDS, HEAT-FS, and HE rounds. It reloads 0.1 seconds quicker than the Type 59's rifled gun but this is a negligible improvement.
|100 mm Type 69||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The Type 69's stock rounds are the 1-72-85 APFSDS and the 1-71-74 HE. The APFSDS was at one point the worst round of its type in War Thunder; 220 mm of flat penetration at 10 meters is worse than many AP/APHE rounds. The AUBL/74 HVG's 60 mm APFSDS penetrates more despite having a much lower calibre! It also suffers noticeable dropoff at long distances. However the angled penetration is surprisingly good, topping out at 127 mm @ 60 degrees. For comparison, the T-55A's 3BM25 APFSDS round has far superior flat penetration (up to 335 mm) but only has slightly higher angled penetration (up to 129 mm @ 60 degrees) than the 1-72-85. Penetration aside, it has a good muzzle velocity of 1505 m/s and the post-penetration damage is decent, being an improvement over typical APDS rounds.
The 1-71-74 HE shell is weak and should be ignored. It has a low explosive content and might be able to cause hull-breaks on light targets, but not consistently. Any vehicle with more than paper-thin armour will be immune to it.
The unlockable Type 1973 HEAT-FS is a Tier I modification. Familiar to Type 59 users, it has the same penetration performance as the T-55A's 3BK17M HEAT-FS with a lower TNT equivalent and a slightly lower muzzle velocity. 390 mm of flat penetration at any distance is impressive and will slice through almost all tanks lacking special armour types (spaced, reactive, composite). While it lacks the high velocity of the APFSDS and can be detonated by bushes or fences, the HEAT-FS is still good for dealing with heavy targets that the APFSDS can't penetrate. It has slightly less explosive mass than the HE shell but is more consistent at hull-breaking due to its ability to damage internal modules.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|44||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__|
The DShK is useful against enemy helicopters if they get too close. It can also penetrate lightly armoured targets like certain SPAAs or light tanks.
|12.7 mm DShK|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm SGMT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The Type 69 is somewhat paradoxical. Its laser rangefinder and smoothbore cannon may suggest that it is a good sniper, but the poor penetration of its 1-72-85 APFSDS makes it difficult to pick off well-protected targets from afar. Meanwhile its two-plane stabilizer, improved engine, and faster turret rotation speed are more suitable for an offensive role, though it lacks the APHE enjoyed by the comparable T-55A for instant knockouts.
Terrible APFSDS is still APFSDS, and it does the job against against lightly armoured opponents like the Leopard I and AMX-30. For US or Soviet medium tanks, shooting the hull can work at closer distances. When fighting more resilient targets, such as those that are hull down with good turret armour, the Type 1973 HEAT-FS is a better choice. Take advantage of the laser rangefinder to accurately deliver the HEAT-FS rounds at long distances.
The post-penetration damage of the APFSDS and HEAT-FS are somewhat punctual, so effort should be taken to aim for ammo racks or catch as many crew members as possible in the line of fire. This is especially important since the Type 69's reload is rather sluggish and a damaged target could retreat or retaliate before a follow up shot is ready.
Mobility wise, the Type 69 is about the same as the T-55A. While not agonizing, it certainly won't be the first tank to arrive on the battlefield. Note that the reverse speed of -7 km/h is rather poor and it lacks neutral steering, so be careful about overextending.
Overall the Type 69 is a versatile tank, having tools for most situations at hand and no major weaknesses, though conversely it is not exceptional in any regard. It is best used as a flexible combatant, capable of flanking, pushing aggressively, or sniping as the situation demands. Stay close to teammates and avoid engaging multiple opponents at the same time. Caution should be paid to its substandard mobility, slow reload, and sometimes finicky ammunition.
|I||Tracks||Parts||Horizontal Drive||Type 1973 HEAT-FS|
|II||Suspension||Brake System||FPE||Adjustment of Fire|
|III||Filters||Crew Replenishment||Elevation Mechanism|
|IV||Transmission||Engine||Artillery Support||Laser rangefinder||NVD|
Pros and cons
- One of the earliest tanks in the game with APFSDS rounds
- APFSDS comes stock
- Has a two-plane stabilizer
- Access to night vision and a laser rangefinder
- Improved engine, turret rotation speed, and ammunition capacity compared to the Type 59
- Top mounted heavy machine gun is useful against aircraft
- Wet ammo storage
- APFSDS has abysmal flat penetration for its calibre
- Does not have access to APHE
- Armour is identical to the Type 59, does not hold up very well at its rank
- Not particularly mobile
- Somewhat long reload
- No sources of smoke available
- Can be confused for Soviet tanks at a quick glance
After the Sino-Soviet split, the People's Republic of China was no longer able to receive military technical help from the Soviet Union. The Type 59, a licensed copy of the T-54A, was the the most advanced medium tank available to the PLA, but after a few years it became apparent that upgrades were necessary to keep up with the rapidly advancing technology of the time. The PLA ordered the development of a new "Type 69" tank in 1963 and the first prototype was manufactured in 1966; however, the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in 1966 and the ensuing purges impeded further development of the tank. The early Type 69 featured a smoothbore cannon, IR searchlight, laser rangefinder, and a new engine.
After the capture of a Soviet T-62, the latest Soviet technology was examined, copied, and implemented into the Type 69, creating the Type 69-I variant. During this time the smoothbore gun was found to be rather unsatisfactory, and Type 69 tanks in Chinese service were often refitted with the same 100mm rifled gun as the Type 59. Further development continued through the 1980s, culminating in the Type 79 series, which incorporated a new 105mm gun and numerous Western technologies.
The Type 69 series saw relatively limited service with the PLA but were more popular on the export market, purchased by countries such as Thailand, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. Modified Type 69 tanks were still in the inventory of the Iraqi Army during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, though by this point they were no match for modern MBTs.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
- T-69 II G - export variant to Bangladesh
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- encyclopedia page on the tank;
- other literature.
|China medium tanks|
|Type 59 · ZTZ59D1 · Type 69 · T-69 II G · ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A|
|American||␗M4A4 · M4A4 (1st PTG) · ␗M4A1 (75) W · ␗M48A1 · M60A3 TTS · CM11|
|Soviet||␗T-34 (1943) · ␗Т-34-85 (S-53) · Т-34-85 Gai · T-34-85 No.215 · Т-62 №545|
|Japanese||␗Chi-Ha · ␗Chi-Ha Kai|