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General characteristics
4 peopleCrew
83 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
100 / 80 / 45Hull
220 / 155 / 65Turret
36.5 tWeight
992 hp520 hpEngine power
27.2 hp/t14.2 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
56 km/h forward
9 km/h back
51 km/h forward
8 km/h back
105 mm Type 83 cannonMain weapon
37 roundsAmmunition
8.6 / 11.2 sReload
-4° / 18°Vertical guidance
12.7 mm DShK machine gunMachinegun
250 roundsAmmunition
8 / 10.4 sReload
50 roundsBelt capacity
600 shots/minFire rate
-10° / 60°Vertical guidance
7.62 mm SGMT machine gunCoaxial weapon
3500 roundsAmmunition
8 / 10.4 sReload
250 roundsBelt capacity
600 shots/minFire rate
180000 Rp icon.pngResearch
490000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png5070 / 7544/4900 / 7291/2720 / 4047Repair
140000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
490000 Sl icon.pngExperts
2000 Ge icon.pngAces
214 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
170 % Sl icon.png150 % Sl icon.png100 % Sl icon.png


GarageImage ZTZ59D1.jpg

The ZTZ59D1 is a rank VI Chinese medium tank with a battle rating of 9.0 (AB) and 8.7 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision".

The ZTZ59D1 is a comprehensive upgrade of the venerable Type 59. It includes a large number of modern features on a old chassis, rather like an AK-47 decked out with modern furniture and accessories. The most noticeable difference at a first glance are the ERA arrays on the hull and turret cheeks. The original 100 mm Type 59 cannon has been replaced with a licensed copy of the ubiquitous Royal Ordinance L7 105 mm cannon, and the installation of thermal sights and a laser rangefinder give the tank impressive firepower. Unfortunately it still suffers from many of the Type 59's weaknesses, namely subpar mobility and gun handling. While it is not very suited to the high-speed combat common at its rank, a skilled and careful tanker can still enjoy what it has to offer, and experience gained with this tank can be applied to future Chinese tanks like the CM11 and ZTZ96.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret roof)
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Turret, Gun mantlet)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
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

The base armor of the ZTZ59D1 is exactly the same as the Type 59. The hull and turret armor are quite thick, but the original T-54 armor was designed to counter WWII-era German cannons, and at the ZTZ's rank it will not hold up against sabot or HEAT rounds. The ERA arrays on the turret use ERA comparable to the Soviet Kontakt-1 and have good protection against chemical rounds; unfortunately they do not have very good coverage, and the area around the gun mantlet is heavily exposed. There are also ERA arrays on the upper glacis, and while the coverage is rather spotty due to the tow cable attachment points, the ERA here boasts 120mm of kinetic protection, which may help against APFSDS rounds.

Post-penetration survivability is not ideal. There is an ammo rack behind the fuel tank next to the driver, but unlike the comparable T-55AM-1, they are not "wet" and can be easily detonated by penetrating hits. Loose ammunition is stowed in various corners of the crew compartment. It is a good idea to minimize the number of rounds carried.

Sometimes, if you are lucky, you will survive a penetrating shot that knocked out your gunner / driver, and your fate depends on whether if you can fight back / retreat before the enemy loads the second shell. If your crew cannot replace the dead gunner / driver on time, a split second late and you will certainly get destroyed by the next shell. Therefore it is recommended to max out the "Agility" skill on every crew, it might save your life one day.


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 36.5 806 992 22.08 27.18
Realistic 51 8 460 520 12.6 14.25

Speed is definitely not a strength for the ZTZ59D1. The original Type 59 was not a speedster to begin with, and the upgrades on this tank add an extra ton of weight without any increase in engine power. It is also incapable of turning in place and has a poor reverse speed of only -7 km/h.


Main armament

Give the reader information about the characteristics of the main gun. Assess its effectiveness in a battle based on the reloading speed, ballistics and the power of shells. Do not forget about the flexibility of the fire, that is how quickly the cannon can be aimed at the target, open fire on it and aim at another enemy. Add a link to the main article on the gun: {{main|Name of the weapon}}. Describe in general terms the ammunition available for the main gun. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage.

The -4° gun depression might look too poor, but due to the low height of the vehicle it is actually enough for quite some not-so-hilly terrains. On gentle hills the ZTZ59D1 can peek over safely, exposing only the turret for hull down, for example in certain spots on Jungle and Frozen Pass. However, this gun depression is still not great in very hilly maps like Karelia, forcing the player to ditch the hull down tactic.

105 mm Type 83 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 37 -4°/+18° ±180° Two-plane __.__ __.__ __.__ __.__ __.__ _.__ _.__ _.__ _.__
Realistic __.__ __.__ __.__ __.__ __.__


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-83 HEAT HEATFS 400 400 400 400 400 400
Type-83 HESH HESH 127 127 127 127 127 127
Type-83 APDS APFSDS 337 335 330 322 314 306
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
Type-83 HEAT HEATFS 1,173 11.00 0.0 0.1 1,270 65° 72° 77°
Type-83 HESH HESH 730 15.00 0.4 0.1 4,310 73° 77° 80°
Type-83 APDS APFSDS 1,455 3.79 N/A N/A N/A 78° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
37 __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __

Machine guns

Main article: DShK (12.7 mm)
The ZTZ59D1 features two MGs: one roof-mounted 12.7mm heavy MG, and a 7.62mm coaxial MG. The 12.7mm MG, with its maximum penetration of around 30mm, can do quite well against poorly armored vehicles such as the R3 T20 / T106, and the AUBL 74. It can also damage or even destroy the opponent's gun barrel or track with around 5 seconds of continuous fire. Against low-flying aircraft it can easily get you some critical hits with the correct lead. However its magazine empties very quickly and it does not carry enough ammo for prolonged MG fire comparing to the infamous M2HB.

The 7.62mm, on the other hand, can only damage fully exposed crew which are not commonly seen at this BR, or clear up light obstacles. Its low penetration greatly limits its usage in battles.

12.7 mm DShK
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Pintle 250 (50) 600 -10°/+60° ±__°
Main article: SGMT (7.62 mm)
7.62 mm SGMT
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 3500 (250) 600 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

The ZTZ59D1 is best used as a support tank or sniper to take advantage of its good firepower and decent protection while minimizing the effects of its poor gun handling and mobility. Ideally one can stay behind the front lines, moving up when prudent, and allow other teammates to push forwards. Enemies that appear or reveal themselves can then be dispatched at a safe distance, and incoming fire can be countered by the ERA with some luck. However one must be on the lookout for flanking enemies, as the gun handling is not adequate for responding quickly to unexpected threats. For this reason close range brawling should also be avoided. The mobility is also quite poor for its rank and it pays to be vigilant when moving up to sniping positions - enemies may be already present.

The APFSDS ammunition is well suited for the tank's intended role due to its high velocity. The HEAT-FS and HESH rounds are functionally identical to those available to other L7-armed tanks, but considering the 59D1's slower reload, using them regularly nullfies the firepower advantage over its contemporaries. It may still be a good idea to bring some for hull-breaking light targets.

A nice feature of the ZTZ59D1 is its access to thermal vision. While not of particularly high resolution, it helps with spotting targets significantly in both day and night battles and aids its sniping capabilities. However it is not the only tank with thermal vision at its rank, so this is not an absolute advantage.


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts Horizontal Drive Type-83 HESH
II Suspension Brake System FPE Adjustment of Fire
III Filters Crew Replenishment Elevation Mechanism Smoke grenade Type-83 APDS
IV Transmission Engine Artillery Support Laser rangefinder NVD

Pros and cons


  • Powerful 105mm gun is a major step up from the Type 69's cannon
  • Equipped with ERA on the turret and upper glacis, resistant to chemical munitions
  • Hull ERA setup offers some kinetic protection
  • Has a two-plane stabilizer
  • Access to smoke grenades, thermal sights, and laser rangefinder
  • Top mounted DShK heavy machine gun is helpful against light targets and aircraft
  • Rubber side skirts, turret storage racks offer some protection from chemical munitions


  • Mobility is slightly worse than the original Type 59, quite inadequate at its match-making position
  • Turret traverse and base armor are the same as the Type 59, gun handling is painful in close quarters and APFSDS will go straight through much of the tank
  • ERA coverage is sparse, significant gaps around the gun and on the upper glacis
  • Turret ERA will get destroyed in large patches, not piece by piece, upon getting hit by chemical rounds
  • Not particularly mobile; reverse speed in particular is quite slow
  • Poor gun depression greatly limits its capacity in hilly terrain
  • Slow reload compared to Western MBTs
  • No wet ammo storage


The Type 59 tank was the primary tank of the People's Liberation Army in the Cold War era. While reliable, easy to manufacture, and available in large numbers, the design began to show its age as time went on. Improved derivatives like the Type 69 were not used extensively by the PLA. In the 1980s the large inventory of old Type 59s was in need of modernization, but defrosting relations with the Western world around that time allowed the purchase, use, and study of foreign technology, greatly aiding in the improvement of existing vehicles and development of future models. The first Type 59 model to benefit from these upgrades was the Type-59-II, which boasted a 105mm rifled gun based on the ubiquitous Royal Ordinance L7 and improved vision systems. The Type 59D1 variant was a further development, adding on modern computerized fire-control systems, passive night vision devices, an improved gun with thermal sleeve, and explosive reactive armor. Other variants of note include the similar Type 59D, which has a longer gun and support for gun-launched ATGMs, the Type 59G, an overhaul featuring a welded turret and 125mm gun similar to the modern Type 96, and the Jaguar, a joint Sino-American project with a heavily overhauled turret and hull.

Later Type 59 variants are still present in the inventory of the PLA at present, though they have been replaced over time by the Type 99 and Type 96 tanks. While outdated, they are still useful for reserve or training purposes.

The designation/acronym "ZTZ" is used at times by the Chinese military for its main battle tanks. In Mandarin, the first Z stands for "armored vehicle" or "armor", the T stands for "tank", and second Z stands for "main battle". This term is generally used to describe modern Chinese MBTs, but for the most part it can be interchanged freely with "Type".



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

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