The WMA301 is a premium rank VI Chinese light tank with a battle rating of 8.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Red Skies".
Based on the same WZ551 chassis, as the ZSL-92 APC and the PTL02 assault gun, the WMA301 is an export-only vehicle of Mainland China made by the NORINCO Factory 256 at Chongqing. The most noticeable differences from the PTL02 are the newly-designed welded turret that somewhat resembles the ZTZ96A in terms of the arrowhead shape, and the replacement of the original 100 mm smoothbore gun with a standard 105 mm rifled gun. This assault gun saw service in different African countries and in Myanmar, serving as a quick-response assault gun for the buyers and a fast-moving addition to their inventory.
Anyone familiar with the PTL02 can adjust to the WMA301 easily. It is a very similar vehicle for the most part, the main difference lying in its armament. The 105 mm rifled gun has a similar ammunition selection to the T-69 II G with a new addition being the GP105 gun-launched ATGM. The WMA301's APFSDS is less potent that the PTL02's top round, but it has access to a proximity fused HE round for fending off helicopters and a powerful tandem-warhead ATGM for defeating heavy targets, making it a very versatile vehicle. With good positioning and situational awareness, the WMA301 can contribute in almost any situation.
Survivability and armour
Both the WMA301 and its cousin the PTL02 share the very same WZ551 chassis, the WMA301 only having very slight modifications to the fighting compartment. So the WMA301 shares the same flaw of having a very lightly-armoured hull: its hull is armoured by only 6-10 mm of RHA all-round and is not well angled, which makes it very ill-protected. Even rifle-calibre machine guns (e.g. 7.62 mm) can penetrate its hull side when close enough, let alone cannon rounds, missiles, shrapnels, etc. The turret armour is better protected against machine guns, but machine guns only. The sloped 30 mm frontal turret can resist .50 cal bullets at point blank range, however the turret sides and rear are still weak. As a result, any proper anti-armour weaponry will be able to penetrate the WMA301 at any range with ease. Avoid anything with a HMG or any autocannon vehicles (including aircraft) at all costs, because it is very likely you will not have a second chance to return fire and knock the enemy out. On close inspection, it can be seen that WMA301's hull armour uses high-hardness armour in some areas instead of standard RHA, but considering that the plates are still identically thin to the PTL02's, the improvement in protection is negligible.
Also, its overall height is still high, so it will easily be spotted by enemies albeit with the combination of thin armour and large, empty volume will occasionally frustrate enemies firing subcalibre rounds. Penetration is essentially guaranteed, but minimal spalling is created and a hastily aimed shot may not catch many crew members or important modules in the line of fire. On the other hand, HE shells with a high explosive mass will often transmit shockwaves into the vehicle's interior and knock out the crew with overpressure damage. Other chemical rounds like HEAT and HESH might inflict overpressure damage but with a much lower probability. Bombs, rockets, and artillery shells are similarly dangerous.
The WMA301's turret is slightly more resilient than the PTL02's from the front. The turret face is made of high-hardness RHA and the arrowhead shape leads to greater sloping. This does not make a significant difference in practice; at best, it might shrug off some light autocannon fire at a distance.
The post-penetration survivability is also poor, largely depending on the point of penetration. Penetrating shots on the frontal part of the hull may get absorbed by the engine, fuel tank, wheels, or empty space, dealing minimal further damage. The engine placement (overall middle of vehicle) means that it will very likely catch the shots, immobilising the WMA301. Penetrating shells on the back part of the hull are very likely to cause ammo detonations since there are shells placed vertically below the turret, increasing their profile and making them more prone to getting hit. Penetrations through the turret might only result in the gun breech/turret ring getting damaged with 1-2 crew members lost, but in the worst case scenario it can detonate the ammo at the back of the turret.
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- High-hardness rolled armour
- Cast homogeneous armour
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 10 mm (33°) Driver viewport glacis
10 mm (78°) Upper Glacis
10 mm (40°) Lower Glacis
| 8 mm (25°) Top
10 mm (6°) Bottom
8 mm (27°) Wheel wells
| 6 mm (4°) Upper plate
6 mm (48°) Lower glacis
| 10 mm (12°) Front glacis |
6 mm Driver hatch
6 mm Centre
|Turret|| 30 mm (54°) Upper turret front
30 mm (30°) Lower turret front
30 mm (0°) Gun mantlet
| 20 mm (21°) Frontal
20 mm (4°) Rear
|15 mm (5°)|| 10 mm (12°) |
10 mm (13°) Centre
|Cupola||10 mm (cylindrical)||10 mm|
- 5 mm structural steel storage boxes covering the turret rear
- Lower hull sides, driver viewport glacis, lower glacis, driver's compartment cupolas, rear turret side armour, rear hull armour, and turret front consist of high-hardness RHA
- Gun mantlet consists of cast homogeneous armour
- Wheels are 10 mm thick
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The WMA301's mobility is overall satisfactory. Since the WMA301 is essentially a PTL02 with a different turret, the whole power train and the suspension system are totally the same as the latter, powered by the same Deutz DBF8L413F and ZF 5S-111GPA transmission, so they share the same top speed at 85 km/h. Surprisingly, it has the same weight as the PTL02 despite the new features.
The acceleration is adequate. Like other wheeled vehicles, it is able to reach an average top speed of ~65 km/h on paved roads or other hard surfaces like dry grassland, which is quite fast compared to tracked vehicles. However this speed is very average when comparing with wheeled counterparts like the Rooikat and R3 T106. The turn radius is quite small, allowing it to steer agilely in confined areas such as in a city, increasing its flexibility.
Like its domestic cousin, to make the most out of the good top speed, it will need to navigate on hard terrain (roads, urban surfaces) for best results. If players must be used on hilly and soft terrain maps, try your best not to get stuck since the lack of mobility will absolutely be the death sentence of this vehicle.
Its first and most noticeable disadvantage is the extremely awful reverse speed. Capped at -7 km/h, the WMA301 will not be able to quickly reverse into cover which is usually fatal for a light tank player. This is very much unlike other wheeled counterparts, significantly limiting the WMA301's overall mobility. This also forces the player to turn the entire vehicle around to comfortably manoeuvre/position, wasting time. The power-to-weight ratio is also average: weighing 19 tons and powered by a 320 hp (RB) engine, 16.84 hp/ton is just a bit lacklustre when travelling over uneven or loose terrains, making the WMA301 very sluggish at doing so. The suspension is soft and bouncy, resulting in the hull wobbling a lot after breaking. This does not affect the cannon as it is stabilised, however the binoculars will shake with the hull, which may throw off the crosshair. This is most impactful when the player is trying to scout with binoculars as an unstable view can cause a failed scout, and you will have to wait for its long cool-down.
Modifications and economy
Since the WMA301 is an export vehicle and the compatibility to mainstream ammunition is essential, it chose a 105 mm gun as its main armament; based on the ZPL94 gun found on T-69 II G but with lower recoil. It can fires both NATO and NORINCO's 105 mm ammunition ranging from HEATFS to APFSDS, as well as HE-VT rounds.
|105 mm WMA301||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|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
- The Type 83 APFSDS round is the same as found on the ZTZ59D1 and shares all traits of it, which is still sufficient for its BR but it might struggle when it faces Soviet MBTs with higher protection at longer ranges. For example, a fully spaded T-72A with the add-on armour can be difficult to penetrate outside of the standard Soviet weak spots of the driver's port and lower glacis, whereas the PTL02's DYW PT86-100 round can penetrate the T-72's hull quite easily. The APFSDS is still the best all-purpose round since it has a high muzzle velocity and is a kinetic projectile that will not be disrupted by bushes, fences, and contemporary ERA.
- During the late 1990s, Mainland China has acquired 100 mm gun-launched ATGM technologies from Russia, so the WMA301 also comes with a powerful GP105 tandem ATGM which owners of BMP-3 may find familiar. The statistics are identical to the 9M117M1 Bastion: good travel speed, high TNT equivalent mass, and a tandem warhead for bypassing ERA which makes it a very deadly threat to tanks with early ERA like AMX-30B2 BRENUS. However heavy ERA like Kontakt-5 can still detonate the entire missile, though they are usually found on higher BR MBTs. When the APFSDS starts to lose effectiveness at long range, this missile is a strong backup choice. Thankfully, the WMA301 does not suffer from the BMP-3's massive reload penalty for ATGMs. The GP105's whopping 750 mm of penetration can take down practically anything it will ever meet at its BR. This is less than the ZBD86's HJ-73E ATGM, but still more than generous - even high-tier Soviet behemoths like the T-64B or T-72B, featuring ERA and strong composite armour, can be defeated by the GP105. As a beam-riding missile, the GP105 is immune to IRCM and can be guided on the move if necessary, meaning the WMA301 can be unlike other missile carriers and fire while moving, increasing its survivability.
- The Type 83 HEATFS round is nothing special, only having very slight improvements over the Type 1973 HEATFS used by the PTL02. Against most targets it is simply less useful than the APFSDS. HESH rounds have low penetration and poor ballistics, successful impacts creating wide but shallow sprays of spalling. The HEATFS and HESH rounds are generally obsolete, as their only advantages over the APFSDS are their ability to cause overpressure damage through their explosive content, but the aforementioned GP105 can perform the same role as well; in fact, GP105 has a higher TNT equivalent than both the HEATFS and HESH. Using HESH rounds as an last-ditch option to knock out hull down vehicles by splashing turret roofs might occasionally be viable.
- Last but not least is the DTB-1 HE-VT round, seen previously on the T-69 II G. Although it is useful to deal with helicopters or low-flying aircraft in very shallow dives, this should be done with caution since anything that flies is the last thing the WMA301 wants to face. For anti-helicopter duties, locate the target using the WMA301's thermal sights, lase them with the laser rangefinder, and fire the round with enough lead to catch them comfortably within the proximity fuse radius. It is recommended to measure the range for every shot. Keep in mind that DTB-1 has a rather low muzzle velocity and it is difficult to hit helicopters that are moving unpredictably and/or staying at long range. Actual aircraft are difficult to hit since the WMA301 doesn't have as much gun elevation as a proper SPAA. Serious anti-air duties are best left to the WZ305 or PGZ09.
|30||22 (+8)||13 (+17)||1 (+29)||No|
The turret-mounted 12.7 mm QJC88A HMG has already become the standardized HMG for most PLAGF vehicles after the 1990s and this exported assault gun was no exception. The main usage of the HMG is to deal with lightly protected vehicles and low-flying aircraft including helicopters. It can also effectively damage gun barrels, tracks, optics, MG, and ERA to assist teammates in destroying enemies, though this may require a lot of fire. Players who dealt with the paltry 50-round belt capacity of the 12.7 mm DShK machine guns of previous PLA vehicles will be happy to know that the QJC88A has a much more generous 150-round belt capacity.
The 7.62 mm MG, on the other hand, is only useful in clearing obstacles such as fences, marking out enemy positions on the minimap, or knocking out exposed crew on certain vehicles (e.g. M113 TOW). It lacks the penetration to pierce through even lightly armoured vehicles.
|12.7 mm QJC88A|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm Type 86|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
Like its domestic cousin, the WMA301's main advantages lie in its mobility and gun sight. As such one of the tactics the WMA301 can utilise is long-range engagements. Since it has an excellent second-generation gunner thermal, great APFSDS, and a laser rangefinder, it can comfortably sit behind and snipe. To be an effective sniper the player must have adequate map knowledge and memorise sniping locations on different maps. Because the WMA301 has very poor gun depression and slow reverse speed, these constrains place further limitations on the available spots, and unfortunately the player would not be able to use certain spots that other nations' wheeled vehicles can use.
Usually suitable sniping spots for the WMA301 include some following characteristics:
- Be at around 800-1,800 m from target area: long distance will not be a barrier for the WMA301, instead it protects its fragile body. The thermal sight makes searching distant targets extremely easy, and the high velocity of the APFSDS eases leading. The shell still retains enough penetration at ~1,000 m to go through most tanks around this BR.
- Overlooks a key passageway: an accurate sniper at a good spot can cut off the enemies' vehicle supplies, leading to less enemies threatening your teammates at the frontline and therefore making the victory easier.
- Has little to no slopes/hills: the WMA301 cannot fight in hilly terrains due to its poor gun depression, thus the spots you pick must be overall flat. The WMA301 also accelerates very sluggishly on slopes, so if you are spotted you will not have enough speed to retreat in time.
- Has hard covers or vegetation: hard covers can provide some much-needed protection in case the WMA301 gets spotted. Vegetation, on the other hand, will partly conceal the tall profile of the vehicle, blending it into the background which can be effective against foes without thermal optics.
At the spot, scan across the battlefield using the gunner thermal. Since its field of view is limited, the smallest zoom is recommended to increase the view arc. Commander's binoculars do provide superior field of view, however it does not have access to thermal therefore heavily reducing the effectiveness of target searching. If you spot white heat signatures (whether it be engine smoke or the vehicle itself) behind obstacles, remember to scout it (note that scouting will not work if target is too far away). If the target can be shot at, simply range-find the distance, the cannon will quickly elevate to said distance. All you have to do is to point the centre of the crosshair at it and fire. The post-penetration effect of the APFSDS is enough to knock out most if not all crew if it hits the fighting compartment, however if the aim is a bit off the crew damage is likely be minimal. You must be very skilled at leading moving targets to ensure single-shot knock-outs since the gun only adjusts itself vertically. Not finishing off a target within 2 shots will not only allow it to fight back, but will also expose your position which can be fatal.
Note: if a target is moving towards you in the distance, after rangefinding and having your cannon adjusted, aim the crosshair down a bit since the target has moved closer after you measured the distance. If it is moving away, aim a bit higher.
With its 85 km/h speed, flanking is the key to avoid any direct fire from pretty much any vehicle armed with at least a heavy machine gun. Because of the negligible protection found on this vehicle, take all precautions and avoid rushing into direct fire at all costs, you will not have the luxury of having the second chance to return fire. Being one of the slowest wheeled assault guns in the game, taking vantage points might not be possible considering the inferior top speed that only gets worse in off-road situations. The thin armour and poor reverse speed punish poor positioning, so think carefully about what spots allow the WMA301 to spot and engage enemies without being overly exposed to incoming fire. Complicated terrains are problematic for this vehicle and it tends to do better in urban combat. Any aircraft is a lethal threat, with either guns or rockets, so keep away from their sight. Use smoke grenades to mask your position if there are no buildings or other forms of large cover to hide behind. Helicopters in particular will have an easy time spotting and destroying the WMA301, so do not attract their attention and make use of the heavy machine gun, gun-launched ATGM, and as a last ditch, HE-VT if they get very close.
Whatever the situation, APFSDS and ATGM are a must for the WMA301 and they come with the tank as it is a premium vehicle. The Type 83 APFSDS can handle most targets at its BR and anything else with ERA or strong composite armour can be dealt with by the ATGM. With the same 2nd generation thermal gunner's sight and a laser rangefinder found on the PTL02, being a mid-field runner for hit-and-run attacks or staying behind and sniping careless targets are both viable roles for the WMA301.
- Enemies worth noting
- Rooikat, Centauro, M1128: these wheeled vehicles perform a similar flanking role on the battlefield. Therefore you will often encounter them while flanking or on your way to flank. These vehicles are generally faster, both forwards and backwards, have better gun depression or better optics/ammo, so they may already be at a cap point before you. If this is the case, ambush around their location and passively hunt them down, as the WMA301's rather slow acceleration and bad reverse prevents it from being offensive in terms of mobility. The Rooikat lacks thermal sights, making it easier to spot and destroy preemptively. The M1128 has an unmanned turret, good thermal sights for all crew members, and slat armour that occasionally interferes with HEATFS rounds. A well placed APFSDS round to the turret or crew compartment may be able to knock them out instantly, but if they survive, a follow-up ATGM should be able to finish the job.
- AMX-10RC: a contemporary French 6x6 wheeled light tank armed with a 105 mm gun, APFSDS rounds, and thermal sights for the gunner. The AMX-10RC has a rather low profile compared to other wheeled tanks and can be a dangerous sniper. Unlike the other wheeled vehicles mentioned previously, the AMX-10RC does not have any sort of gun stabilizer. Try to attack it when it is on the move and cannot shoot accurately.
- Gepard, Type 87, M3 Bradley, BMP-2, etc.: these vehicles are fast and armed with fully-stabilized autocannons that will very easily rip through the WMA301. Keep a safe distance and try to ambush them.
- Dardo, M3A3 Bradley: these IFVs can sling a pair of powerful top-attack TOW-2B ATGMs that can easily destroy the WMA301 even if it is hiding behind cover. The TOW-2B also has 4.10 kg of TNT equivalent and a 3 m proximity fuse, which is very bad news - the operator only needs to send a TOW-2B in the WMA301's general location to trigger lethal overpressure damage. The Dardo is particularly dangerous since it does not need to deploy its launcher before firing and has a very quick autocannon that can mow down the WMA301 down in a heartbeat. If these IFVs are on the field, hang back and be very cautious, only attacking when they are distracted. If they become aware of your position, immediately deploy smoke grenades and retreat as quickly as possible behind tall terrain features.
Pros and cons
- Deadly 105 mm cannon with high velocity, adequate rate of fire and great accuracy
- Gen 2 gunner thermal greatly enhances search-and-destroy ability
- Various ammunition: from APFSDS to unique HE-VT to gun-launched tandem ATGM
- Superior tandem ATGM carrier (can fire on the move, with the same reload time as conventional shells and can carry a high number of ATGMs)
- Competitive top speed on hard surfaces
- Roof-mounted HMG is lethal against helicopters and light vehicles (e.g. M113)
- 2 salvos of smoke grenades provide helpful concealment
- Turn radius is quite small for a wheeled vehicle, beneficial in urban areas
- Has laser rangefinder to assist long-range shooting
- Abysmal reverse speed of only -7 km/h, fatally slow for a wheeled vehicle
- Poor agility on soft terrain like mud, sand and snow
- Poor gun depression
- Bouncy suspension, hard to aim when driving on rough terrain
- Extremely thin hull armour, can be easily penetrated by 12.7 mm HMG fire
- Tall profile, easy to get spotted and shot at
- APFSDS is less powerful at ranges exceeding 2,000 m and will struggle to penetrate well-protected tanks (e.g. T-62M-1, T-72A)
- Has no commander fire control
In the early 1980s, the Factory 256 (currently known as NORINCO Chongqing Tiema Industrial Cooperation) started their version of a domestic wheeled APC program coded WZ551. The factory decided to built the APC based on Mercedes-Benz 2026 off-road truck which has just been introduced into Mainland China, the program didn't go well as they decided later on to make major changes to the propulsion system and therefore the WZ551 was delayed. This delay caused the withdrawn of funding from the 7th 5-year project and Factory 256 needed to export this APC in order to recoup their investment. However, in 1986, the prototype of the WZ551 was approved by the PLAGF and was selected as their future wheeled APC. The WZ551's appearance resembled the French VAB APC, which may have influenced the former's design. It was approved for production in 1988 and designated as ZSL90 and later ZSL92 with improved propulsion. The WZ551A chassis was then designed to mount different weaponry ranging from riot-suppression equipment, mortar, IFV turret and anti-tank weaponry.
Two decades after its introduction, based on the PTL02 wheeled assault gun, NORINCO introduced a version of it with an improved turret and new low-recoil 105 mm gun for potential customers with needs for a fire-support vehicle with mobility. First sold to Myanmar in early 2010s, this wheeled assault gun was then exported to different Asian/African countries, serving as their quick response vehicle in heated conflict zones.
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|China North Industries Corporation (中国兵器工业集团有限公司)|
|Light Tanks/IFV||▂Type 62* · Type 62* · Type 63-I* · ZBD86|
|Main Battle Tanks|
|WZ120||Type 59* · ZTZ59A* · ZTZ59D1|
|WZ121||Type 69* · Type 69-IIa* · T-69 II G**|
|WZ122||ZTZ88A · ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ96A (P)|
|WZ123||ZTZ99-II · ZTZ99-III|
|Tank Destroyers||AFT09 · PTL02 · WMA301** · PTZ89 · ZLT11|
|SPAA||ZSD63/PG87* · WZ305* · PGZ09 · PGZ04A|
|*Previously Fifth Ministry of Machine Building vehicles|
|China light tanks|
|Type 63||Type 63-I|
|Type 62||Type 62|
|WZ551||PTL02 · WMA301|
|ROC||M41D · M64|
|USA||␗M8 LAC · ␗M3A3 Stuart · ␗M3A3 (1st PTG) · ␗M5A1 · ␗M24 · ␗M18 GMC|
|USSR||␗T-26 · T-26 No.531 · ␗PT-76|
|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|