|This page is about the gift Chinese medium tank Type 69-IIa. For other versions, see Type 69 (Family).|
The Type 69-IIa (BW121A) is among the best-sellers of Chinese weaponries as the most exported tanks for Mainland China. The tank was based on the Type 69-II design with reverted rifled 100 mm gun due to the inferior performance of the previous smoothbore cannon on the Type 69. The dire needs for foreign exchange to boost the economic reform by the 1980s let the newly-founded NORINCO took Type 69-IIA as their "spearhead" product during military sales to foreign countries, namely Iran and Iraq which happened to acquired thousands of these tanks during their conflicts in 1980s. While the performance was nowhere close to the tanks of NATO/Warsaw-Pact forces, the low price point and rather huge stock made Type 69-IIA a staple in Middle East battlefields with upgrades done by their respective users; although they were also infamous for being the theme of photos during the Gulf War and later Iran War as "coffins of Iraqi tankers", many of these tanks are now part of different insurgents' armoured vehicles inventory.
Introduced during Update "Drone Age" as a premium pack, it was briefly purchasable in the Gaijin store during the 2022 "National Day of the People's Republic of China" mini-event and in-game for Golden Eagles during the 2023 "National Day of the People's Republic of China" mini-event. The Type 69-IIA is an upgraded version of the Type 69-II medium tanks solely for export orders, the Type 69-IIa featured a very similar performance to the T-55A in Soviet service with most of their shells being interchangeable. For players who need an extra tank for their line-up and are used to the performance of Warsaw Pact tanks, the Type 69-IIa will not disappoint players with its variety of shells as well as better FCS for long-range fights. It combines the best qualities of its Type 69 and Type 59 ancestors: the night vision, improved engine, laser rangefinder, and faster turret traverse from the former and the rifled gun with APHEBC shells from the latter, and even has much-needed smoke grenades.
The Type 69-IIa was originally introduced in the Chinese (Tencent) server as a part of "The Might of Type 69" (六九扬威) event during the Update 1.69 "Regia Aeronautica" in 2017 as the National Day gift.
Survivability and armour
The overall appearance resembles a T-54/55 series medium tank, but the tank itself is in fact the domestic modified version of the WZ121 (Type 69) from Mainland China with a very similar appearance; the Type 69-IIa includes side skirts and turret fences for extra protection against HEAT projectiles as a part of the demand of their customers (namely Iraq). Other than that it performs exactly like the main tech-tree Type 69 but armed with a rifled 100 mm gun instead. Since there were no ERA packages or applique armour from Mainland China, the protection and its layout is totally identical to the Type 69; the wet ammo-rack might sometimes do magic against oncoming shots, but do not expect it to save you everytime as the odds of an ammo detonation is still high in this case.
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 100 mm (60°) UFP
100 mm (54°) LFP
| 80 mm Top + 5 mm Side skirts
20 mm Bottom
|45 mm||30 mm|
|Turret|| 200 mm Turret front (Volumetric)
200 mm Gun mantlet (Volumetric)
|165 mm (Volumetric)||65 mm (Volumetric)||30 mm|
|Cupola||100 mm||40 mm|
Although claimed to be an upgrade from the original V-54/12V150L diesel engine, the engine (12V150L7BW) onboard shares the identical rated output at 580 hp as the Type 69, as well as its top speed at 50 km/h; although it is better than some NATO tanks at the era in terms of power-to-weight ratio, in case of faster tanks such as Leopards and AMX-30s, it would be unlikely to outrun them to vantage points.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
Due to the lack of firepower for the original Type 69 100 mm smoothbore cannon, Factory 617 rearmed later Type 69s variants with a Type 69-II rifled cannon of the same calibre which the earlier export tanks opted for as well. Although still being a rifled gun at its tier, the gun itself comes with a variety of Warsaw Pact/Chinese shells and slightly faster gun traverse speed thanks to new gun-laying drivers.
|100 mm Type 69-II||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Type 59 APDS||APDS||361||356||335||311||288||267|
|Type 44 AP||APCBC||239||236||220||202||186||170|
|Type 1973 HEAT-FS||HEATFS||390||390||390||390||390||390|
|Type 44 HE||HE||27||27||26||24||23||21|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|Type 59 APDS||APDS||1,432||3.18||-||-||-||75°||78°||80°|
|Type 44 AP||APCBC||887||15.9||1.2||19||100.1||48°||63°||71°|
|Type 1973 HEAT-FS||HEATFS||1,000||10.05||0.05||0.1||1,180||65°||72°||77°|
|Type 44 HE||HE||900||15.6||0.2||0.1||1,460||79°||80°||81°|
The Type 69-IIa shares very similar shells to a Type 59 with a rifled gun, but in the Type 69's case, it has slightly different types of shells. Since it is a premium tank, all the rounds onboard comes researched.
One of the first stock shells, Type 1959 APDS, has high flat penetration but limited angled penetration, good for disabling shots to turret faces and gun mantlets but not the best against thick and well-sloped hull armour. It does have a high muzzle velocity but the Type 69-IIa's laser rangefinder makes it less important.
The other stock shell, Type 44 HE (OF-412), is again found on many tanks with the D-10T cannon; due to its lesser explosive content and penetration compared to other larger calibre shells, it is only good for taking out SPAAGs or light/open-top vehicles.
The first researchable shell, Type 44 AP (BR-412D), is again a common shell for 100 mm rifled guns on both Warsaw-Pact/Chinese tanks; infamous for its explosive content and sufficiently high penetration, any penetrating shots on enemy tanks are very likely to inflict severe damage, if not knock them out right away. This will be the go-to shell for the Type 69-IIa.
The second researchable shell, Type 1973 HEAT-FS, is identical to Soviet 3BK17M. Although it might not have the highest penetration among other HEATFS at its tier, it is still sufficient to take down well-armoured targets with its 390 mm penetration, while very lightly armoured vehicles (often those that would not trigger the fuse on the AP shell) can be overpressured by the explosive content. It is recommended to bring a few for use against both the most lightly and heavily armoured targets.
|44||43 (+1)||38 (+6)||34 (+10)||22 (+22)||20 (+24)||1 (+43)||No|
Like most Chinese tanks of the era, the Type 69-IIa is equipped with a Type 54 HMG on the commander's side of turret; although having only 50 rounds per magazine, the penetration and calibre can make sure aircraft that get too close will not have a good time, and sometimes even score a kill.
|12.7 mm Type 54|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm SGMT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
Players who own a T-55A or Type 69 will get used to the Type 69-IIa very quickly as both of them share many features including a two-plane stabilizer and very similar appearance. The distinctive cage armour is mostly there for appearances but still offers some protection against small HEAT rounds. Other than that, most of its performance is identical to Type 69 aside from being a bit heavier; the overall mobility is identical though. Do note that the overall turret traverse speed is still not as fast as its NATO competitors, so be extra careful in close-quarters brawling; being prepared for any situation is the key to utilising the Type 69-IIa. Although it doesn't have the 3D3 smoke shell at disposal, it does comes with 8 smoke grenades with 2 shots per round which can mitigate the problem.
While it might not be the spearhead of the team, if being used properly, using a mix of HEATFS and APCBC can ensure maximum efficiency out of the Type 69-IIa depending on the scenario; for flanking operations, BR-412D can make sure tanks that showed their sides will meet their miserable end or at least disable them for a while, while HEATFS works fine dealing with heavier targets front-on as well. The tank has access to a laser rangefinder along with automatic ballistic solution, making it more comfortable in long-range engagements. But do not over-extend due to the low reverse speed and worse manoeuvrability than NATO tanks, plan ahead before assaulting enemies; the armour might sometimes save players from total destruction, but do not rely on it as HEAT warheads and APFSDS darts start to be common at later tiers.
Pros and cons
- Type 44 AP round is devastating when flanking thanks to the high explosive content
- Laser rangefinder with automatic ballistic solution makes distant engagement easy and effective
- Overall sufficient frontal protection at its tier especially against autocannons (e.g. ZSU-57-2)
- Extra turret fences that somewhat helps stopping HEAT projectiles
- Access to smoke grenade launchers
- Inferior optics at its tier (no thermal)
- Cramped interior with high risk of detonation
- Rather slow reload
- Slow turret traverse speed
- Relatively inferior mobility, especially reverse speed, to NATO tanks like Leopard 1, OF-40, etc.
The WZ121/BW121 (Type 69 and 79; coded BW when exported) was a family of medium tanks in Mainland China; their first domestic designs with new technologies introduced during the '70s and '80s. It was also the first commercially exported tank of the newly founded NORINCO, as Mainland China was in dire for arms deals in view of funding for economic reforms in the 1980s. The 69-II variant was the precursor of all export BW121 series with revised fire control system and safety features with automatic fire suppression system. They were first delivered in 1982 and the later batches of BW121A received turret fences and NBC filtering system for the crew. Due to the relatively low price over NATO or even Soviet tanks, the BW121 series received bulks of orders from countries with tight budgets, aside from Pakistan who had licensed production line and others that ordered ranging from dozens to hundreds, Iraq was the largest user of the BW121 series (2,860 69-II series and ARVs), including the later Type 79-based variants with 105 mm gun and western FCS. They were first used during the Iraq-Iran conflicts where oddly enough, both sides owned quantities of BW121; but the later Gulf War and Iraq War also gave the death sentence to these tanks for its overall obsolete design and outdated systems.
While Type 69-IIAs are still being used by the current Iraqi Army in small quantities, insurgents in the Middle East do also own some quantities of Type 69-II.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
- As shown in this PhlyDaily's video on 2017/10/13 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FL-tjWJWOM
|China North Industries Corporation (中国兵器工业集团有限公司)|
|Type 62||▂Type 62* · Type 62*|
|Type 63||Type 63* · ZTS63*|
|Main Battle Tanks|
|WZ120||Type 59* · ZTZ59A* · ZTZ59D1|
|WZ121||Type 69* · Type 69-IIa* · T-69 II G**|
|WZ122||ZTZ88B · ZTZ88A · ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ96A (P)|
|WZ123||ZTZ99-II · ZTZ99-III|
|WZ1001||WZ1001(E) LCT · ZTZ99A|
|Tank Destroyers||AFT09 · PTL02 · WMA301** · PTZ89 · ZLT11|
|SPAA||ZSD63/PG87* · WZ305* · PGZ09 · PGZ04A|
|*Previously Fifth Ministry of Machine Building vehicles|
|China medium tanks|
|Type 59 · ZTZ59A · ZTZ59D1|
|Type 69 · Type 69-IIa · T-69 II G|
|ZTZ88A · ZTZ88B|
|ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ96A (P)|
|ZTZ99-II · ZTZ99-III|
|ZTZ99A · WZ1001(E) LCT|
|Other||Т-34-85 Gai · Object 122MT "MC"|
|Japan||␗Chi-Ha · ␗Chi-Ha Kai|
|USA||␗M4A4 · ␗M4A4 (1st PTG) · ␗M4A1 (75) W · ␗M48A1 · ␗M60A3 TTS|
|USSR||␗T-34 (1943) · ␗Т-34-85 (S-53) · T-34-85 No.215 · Т-62 №545|
|China premium ground vehicles|
|Light tanks||T-26 No.531 · ␗M3A3 (1st PTG) · M64 · WMA301|
|Medium tanks||␗M4A4 (1st PTG) · T-34-85 No.215 · Т-62 №545 · ZTZ59A · Type 69-IIa · T-69 II G · ZTZ96A (P)|
|Heavy tanks||IS-2 No.402|