Type 69-IIa

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This page is about the gift Chinese medium tank Type 69-IIa. For other versions, see Type 69 (Family).
Type 69-IIa
GarageImage Type 69-IIa.jpg
StoreImage Type 69-IIa 003.jpg
Type 69-IIa
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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 Ge icon.png 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.[1]

General info

Survivability and armour

Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
Creation of a smoke screen in the direction of movement of the vehicle
Armourfront / side / back
Hull100 / 80 / 45
Turret200 / 160 / 65
Crew4 people
Visibility83 %

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 type:

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



Speedforward / back
AB56 / 9 km/h
RB and SB51 / 8 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
1 back
Weight36.7 t
Engine power
AB1 107 hp
RB and SB580 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB30.2 hp/t
RB and SB15.8 hp/t

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)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 56 9 36.7 899 1,107 24.5 30.16
Realistic 51 8 513 580 13.98 15.8

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB3 162 Sl icon.png
RB3 446 Sl icon.png
SB4 734 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts550 000 Sl icon.png
Aces1 300 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 600 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 140 / 200 / 250 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 208 / 208 / 208 % Rp icon.png
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Mods new tank filter.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Mods tank reinforcement cn.png
Crew Replenishment
Mods engine smoke screen system.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Mods tank ammo.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Mods night vision device.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Mods tank ammo.png
Mods tank laser rangefinder.png
Laser rangefinder


Laser rangefinder
Reduces the error and increases the maximum measurable distance of the rangefinder
Night vision device
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.

Main armament

100 mm Type 69-II cannon
Two-plane stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in two planes while moving
Ammunition44 rounds
First-order19 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
9.7 → 7.5 s
Vertical guidance-5° / 18°
Main article: Type 69-II (100 mm)

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)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 44 -5°/+18° ±180° Two-plane 14.3 19.8 24.0 26.5 28.2 11.05 9.78 9.01 8.50
Realistic 8.9 10.5 12.8 14.1 15.0


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
Type 59 APDS APDS 361 356 335 311 288 267
Type 44 AP APCBC 239 236 220 202 185 170
Type 1973 HEAT-FS HEATFS 390 390 390 390 390 390
Type 44 HE HE 27 27 26 24 23 21
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
Type 59 APDS APDS 1,432 3.18 - - - 75° 78° 80°
Type 44 AP APCBC 887 15.88 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.

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Type 69
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
44 43 (+1) 38 (+6) 34 (+10) 22 (+22) 20 (+24) 1 (+43) No

Machine guns

12.7 mm Type 54 machine gun
Ammunition500 rounds
Belt capacity50 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate600 shots/min
Vertical guidance-4° / 82°
7.62 mm Type 59 machine gun (coaxial)
Ammunition3 000 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate600 shots/min

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
Pintle 500 (50) 600 -4°/+82° ±180°
7.62 mm Type 59
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 3,000 (250) 600 - -

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.



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 series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


  1. As shown in this PhlyDaily's video on 2017/10/13 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FL-tjWJWOM

China North Industries Corporation - NORINCO 中国兵器工业集团有限公司
Light Tanks/IFV 
WZ501  ZBD86
WZ131  ▂Type 62 · Type 62
WZ211  Type 63 · ZTS63
WZ502  ZBD04A
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
Export MBT  MBT-2000** · VT4A1**
Tank Destroyers  AFT09 · PTL02 · WMA301** · PTZ89 · ZLT11
SPAA  ZSD63/PG87* · WZ305** · PGZ09 · PGZ04A
  *Field modifications
  **Export vehicles

China medium tanks
ZTZ59  Type 59 · ZTZ59A · ZTZ59D1
ZTZ69  Type 69 · Type 69-IIa · T-69 II G
ZTZ88/96  ZTZ88A · ZTZ88B
  ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ96A (P)
ZTZ99A  ZTZ99A · WZ1001(E) LCT
Export series  MBT-2000 · VT4A1
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) · ␗M41A3 · 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