Type 88C (125 mm)

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This page is about the Chinese tank cannon Type 88C (125 mm). For other uses, see Type 88 (Disambiguation).
The 125 mm Type 88C on the ZTZ96A gun mantlet.


The Type 88C is a 125 mm smoothbore cannon manufactured by Factory 617, Norinco during the late 1980s. Serving as the PLAGF's early model of Warsaw Pact calibre equivalent cannon with the sufficient velocity and the projectile's penetration, this gun can show its power through eliminating enemies with its varied shells.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

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

Available ammunition

The basis for this gun was Warsaw Pact's 2A46M-1 cannon, so it can theoretically fire most of its shells, while there are a few domestic options like the DTP-125 HEATFS, DTB-125 HEATFS and later 125-I APFSDS shells.

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
DTP-125 HEATFS 480 480 480 480 480 480
DTB-125 HE 45 45 45 45 45 45
125-I APFSDS 466 464 458 450 442 434
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
0% 50% 100%
DTP-125 HEATFS 905 18 0.05 0.1 2.62 65° 72° 77°
DTB-125 HE 850 23 0.3 0.1 5.46 79° 80° 81°
125-I APFSDS 1,730 4.02 - - - 78° 80° 81°

Comparison with analogues

For the NATO equivalent Rh120 L/44 and its basis 2A46M-1, the Chinese Type 88C shines over in terms of projectile velocity at 1,730 m/s, but considering the subpar reload speed at 7.1 seconds just like his Soviet cousins, this gun is somewhat average at its tier while still sufficient to handle most targets.

Usage in battles

Since the gun was based on the 2A46M-1 cannon, players of Soviet tech tree might find themselves at ease using the Type 88C cannon, as they share many traits and flaws. Its overall higher velocity and access to HEATFS, as well as slow (albeit still faster than the former) traverse speed and subpar reload compared to NATO manually reloaded guns. Its velocity and penetration help players knock out most of the targets it may face thanks to the 125-I APFSDS, also DTB HE does worth mentioning with their bit more explosive mass and penetration which also makes enemies be extra caution not to overpressurized by this shell. Overall the gun is very similar, if not the same as 2A46M-1 found on many Soviet/Russian tanks, aside from the reload time, and the playstyle should be similar as well.

Pros and cons


  • High velocity that makes it comfortable at sniping
  • 125-I found on this gun has enough penetration to stop most of its targets
  • Access to powerful HEFS that can over-pressure even the heaviest MBTs
  • Domestic autoloader that reloads even with loss of crew members


  • Subpar reload rate like the T-72 series
  • Subpar traverse speed albeit still faster than his Soviet Cousin
  • Comes with no tube-launched ATGM


The attempt of Chinese domestic smoothbore cannon goes back to the late 1960s.

During the 1980s, Mainland China has acquired a T-72U-1 "Ural" , aka Model 64, from Romania, in exchange to some industrial equipment; meanwhile there was the competition from Factory 447's 120 mm smoothbore gun of early Project 122 tanks, Factory 617 had a better progress on reverse-engineering this gun alongside with its AZ-172 autoloader, eventually in 1986 this gun passed state certifications and was used on a prototype of the ZTZ85II-AP/M export tank and the ZTZ90 as their main cannon. Later with its official introduction into PLAGF service, it made its way into becoming the main gun for the ZTZ88C (later renamed the ZTZ96) and its upgrade, the ZTZ96A. Completed with NATO alloy technologies from Rheinmetall, this gun served as a more accurate and powerful option for PLAGF to handle any future tanks they may encounter.


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

See also

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

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

China tank cannons
30 mm  ZPL02 · ZPZ02
73 mm  Type 85
76 mm  M32K1
85 mm  Type-62-85-TC · Type 63
100 mm  PTP86 · Type 59 · Type 69 · Type 69-II · ZPL04
105 mm  Type 83 · WMA301 · ZPL94 · ZPL98A
120 mm  122TM · PTZ89
125 mm  Type 88C · Type 99A · ZPT98
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)