ZTZ99-III

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This page is about the Chinese MBT ZTZ99-III. For the other version, see ZTZ99-II.
ZTZ99-III
cn_ztz_99_w.png
GarageImage ZTZ99-III.jpg
ZTZ99-III
AB RB SB
10.7 10.7 10.7
Class:
Research:390 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:1 060 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The ZTZ99 Stage III is a rank VII Chinese medium tank with a battle rating of 10.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Direct Hit".

An overhaul upgrade of the older ZTZ99-II, the ZTZ99-III (Stage 3) retained the same firepower, sufficient mobility and tough frontal armour while eliminating some of the design flaws in the previous design. It might not be the top-notch MBT to be utilized, but the ZTZ99-III still provides a reliable top-tier lineup for the Chinese tech tree and a valuable upgrade for its older brother.

General info

Survivability and armour

ERA
Effective action against the cumulative ammunition
Composite armour
Balanced protection against all types of ammunition
Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
ESS
Creation of a smoke screen in the direction of movement of the vehicle
LWS
Notifies about the vehicle's exposure to laser emissions
Armourfront / side / back
Hull100 / 80 / 45
Turret220 / 155 / 65
Crew3 people
Visibility75 %

The major difference between the ZTZ99-II and III is the placement of ERA blocks up the front and side of the turret, where a wave board is presented on Stage III's UFP to deflect water waves in case for river crossing operations; the turret is also redesigned into a welded one, eliminating the bulged part of the turret and thus increasing the survivability of the turret crew. But unfortunately, some flaws still existed in Stage III.

Like the T-80U, the ZTZ99-III continues to use both composite armour and advanced ERA with kinetic protection. Composite armour is present on the turret cheeks and on the upper glacis; it is unremarkable by itself, but the areas with full coverage of both composite armour and FY-4 ERA are even capable of resisting the Leopard 2A6's DM53 APFSDS. Unfortunately, these areas are limited to the turret cheeks and lower portion of the upper glacis. Interestingly, the ERA is resistant to tandem-charge warheads, which allows it to withstand ATGMs that other ERA equipped vehicles can't.

There are plenty of weak spots on the hull. First, the lower glacis has no composite armour or ERA whatsoever and can be penetrated by practically anything, and it also is proportionally larger than on Soviet MBTs. Penetrating shots there have a large chance of detonating the ammo in the autoloader and destroying the tank. The upper glacis composite armour is modeled with a large cutout for the driver's optics, as on the Soviet T-64/72 series, and even the FY-4 ERA there is not enough to save it from powerful APFSDS. Some small portions of the upper glacis are not covered by ERA either.

The turret has its fair share of weak spots as well. The gun mantlet area has no composite armour and penetrating shots will usually take out the gun breech and possibly a crew member. There is a cutout in the ERA array on the left cheek to allow the driver to enter and exit the tank that reduces the protection there. Thanks for the redesign of the new turret, the ZTZ99-III eliminated the bulged, cast part of the turret and thus increasing the survivability of the turret crew; it might still be penetrated by some shells but those are in rare cases.

The ZTZ99-III does not have any ERA on the hull sides and the base hull side armour of 50 mm is thinner than Soviet MBTs, so be careful of IFVs with autocannons. Successful hits to the side will usually total the tank, either detonating the ammo racks or knocking out the turret crew.

The ZTZ99-III's armour protection has enough gaps that it can be considered "trolly" as opposed to "well-protected", but the areas that are well-protected are very strong. It's best to stay at long range and utilize the ZTZ99-III's low profile in conjunction with cover to make it difficult for enemies to hit the weak spots. Putting some bushes near the driver's hatch or gun mantlet might help. Remember that ERA is destroyed upon absorbing fire and the composite armour alone does not have sufficient protection for a top-tier vehicle.

As a last note, the GL-7 laser dazzler is physically modeled on the left side of the turret roof as a laser rangefinder, but its countermeasuring capabilities are not implemented. The ZTZ99-III does not have the capability to spoof ATGMs like the T-90A.

Armour type:

Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull ___ mm ___ mm Top
___ mm Bottom
___ mm ___ - ___ mm
Turret ___ - ___ mm Turret front
___ mm Gun mantlet
___ - ___ mm ___ - ___ mm ___ - ___ mm
Cupola ___ mm ___ mm ___ mm ___ mm

Notes:

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB73 / 6 km/h
RB and SB65 / 5 km/h
Number of gears7 forward
1 back
Weight51.0 t
Engine power
AB2 290 hp
RB and SB1 200 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB44.9 hp/t
RB and SB23.5 hp/t

The ZTZ99-III's mobility is still below average for a top rank vehicle. Although it has a sizeable 1200 horsepower NORINCO Shaanxi Diesel 12V150HB diesel engine, which is comparable to the T-80U's 1,250 hp gas turbine engine and among the most powerful Eastern Blog diesel engines. The tank itself also weighs more than 50 tons, which approaches the weight of the Leopard 2A4 and M1 Abrams. Among contemporaries, the power-to-weight ratio is better than the Challenger 2 and comparable to the Ariete PSO or T-72B3. Though it is quite fast in a straight line, it does need a considerably long time to pick up speed especially when stock or across rough terrain. It also does not have neutral steering due to the design of transmission, and the reverse speed of -5 km/h is truly abysmal. The ZTZ99-III can get into battle reasonably quickly but does not excel at flanking and will struggle to retreat from sticky situations.

Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 73 6 51 1860 2290 36.47 44.9
Realistic 65 5 1061 1200 20.8 23.53

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB2 720 → 4 294 Sl icon.png
RB2 860 → 4 515 Sl icon.png
SB6 200 → 9 789 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications467 400 Rp icon.png
463 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 900 Ge icon.png
Crew training300 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 060 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 100 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 140 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
100 / 140 / 180 % Sl icon.png
238 / 238 / 238 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
25 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
23 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
23 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
31 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
29 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
27 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
27 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Parts
Research:
7 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
FPE
Research:
6 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement cn.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
31 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
29 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods thermal sight.png
NVD
Research:
31 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
29 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods engine smoke screen system.png
ESS
Research:
27 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Research:
27 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
25 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
125mm_china_APDS_FS_ammo_pack
Research:
25 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
23 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods counterMeasures.png
LWS/LR
Research:
23 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
31 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
29 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
27 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
125mm_china_DTW_APDS_FS_ammo_pack
Research:
27 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png

Armaments

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.
Thermal imager
Allows to see thermal radiation in the infrared range day and night

Main armament

Two-plane stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in two planes while moving
Autoloader
Automatically feeds projectiles into the breech. The speed does not depend on the skills of the loader
Ammunition39 rounds
First-order22 rounds
Reload7.1 s
Vertical guidance-5° / 13°
Main article: ZPT98 (125 mm)

The ZPT98 cannon is a 125 mm smoothbore cannon with an autoloader, much like the 2A46 cannon used by the T-72 or the Type 88C cannon used by the ZTZ96, but it is 50 calibres long instead of 48. The reload speed of 7.1 seconds is the slowest of any top-rank vehicle, so destroying or crippling enemies in one shot is important. The gun handling is the same as the ZTZ96 series, being slightly better than most Soviet MBTs barring the T-72B3 but still lower than most Western MBTs.

125 mm ZPT98 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 39 -5°/+13° ±180° Two-plane 28.6 39.5 48.0 53.1 56.5 7.10 7.10 7.10 7.10
Realistic 17.9 21.0 25.5 28.2 30.0

Ammunition

Since the ZTZ99-III is an upgraded ZTZ99-II with some redesigned appearance but not in terms of firepower, both share the same ammunition.

The stock DTP-125 HEAT-FS round has the typical penetration of 480 mm shared by Western MBTs with 120 mm guns, but this is not enough to deal with tanks with composite armour, which are the norm at both ZTZ99's battle ratings. The post-penetration damage is also disappointing. Only use it as an interim shell before APFSDS is unlocked. With 2.19 kg of explosive mass, it is sometimes capable of knocking out light targets like SPAAs and light tanks with overpressure damage, so keep an eye out for those.

The stock DTB-125 HE shell is one of the strongest of any top-rank MBT. It can actually cause more damage to MBTs than the HEAT-FS round if fired at turret rings, hull roofs, and turret cupolas. Well-placed impacts have a good chance of transmitting the shockwave into the crew compartment and knocking the target out instantly, even against the toughest MBTs like the Leopard 2A6. It helps to keep a few HE rounds around even after APFSDS is unlocked as they excel at causing pressure damage to light targets.

The 125-I APFSDS round is a Tier 1 modification. Though it first appeared on the ZTZ96, it is again an option for the ZTZ99-III and eases the stock grind considerably. It has very similar flat penetration and superior angled penetration to the 3BM42 "Mango" round used by Soviet tanks and can penetrate most contemporary opponents through at least the lower front plate and gun breech.

Waiting at Tier 4 is the DTW-125 APFSDS round. It is lethal and very similar in performance to the Leclerc's OFL 120 F1, having high flat and angled penetration along with a quick muzzle velocity. The performance is not sufficient to break through the turret cheeks of heavily armoured MBTs like the M1A2 Abrams, Leopard 2A5/2A6, and Challenger 2, but other MBTs may be vulnerable. It will comfortably penetrate any tank's hull armour and the higher mass compared to the 125-I round produces somewhat more spalling.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
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
DTW-125 APFSDS 552 550 542 532 521 511
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
DTP-125 HEATFS 905 18 0.05 0.1 2,190 65° 72° 77°
DTB-125 HE 850 23 0 0.1 5,460 79° 80° 81°
125-I APFSDS 1,730 4.02 N/A N/A N/A 78° 80° 81°
DTW-125 APFSDS 1,740 4.83 N/A N/A N/A 78° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Full
ammo
Ammo
part
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
7th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
39 Projectiles
Propellants
37 (+2)
39 (+0)
34 (+5)
38 (+1)
31 (+8)
37 (+2)
27 (+12)
28 (+11)
23 (+16)
26 (+13)
N/A
23 (+16)
1 (+38)
1 (+38)
No

Machine guns

Ammunition500 rounds
Belt capacity150 rounds
Reload5.0 s
Fire rate700 shots/min
Vertical guidance-5° / 60°
Ammunition2 500 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reload8.0 s
Fire rate700 shots/min

Same as the ZTZ99-II, Stage III has both a turret HMG and coaxial LMG; the HMG can be used in case of any potential low-flyers and helicopters which are too close to your proximity, it can do short work of them, this also applies to any poorly armoured light vehicles in higher ranks as these ceramic core shots can shatter them with relative ease.

While the coaxial gun is only good for range-finding and disturbing enemies, it can also do short work of any exposed crew or sometimes even surprise kill on helicopters.

12.7 mm QJC88A
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Pintle 500 (150) 700 -5°/+60° ±180°
7.62 mm Type 86
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 2,500 (250) 700 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

Since there wasn't any firepower improvements between ZTZ99 Stage II and Stage III, the playstyle of ZTZ99-III is very similar to its predecessor.

The ZTZ99's main weaknesses are poor mobility characteristics and inconsistent protection, so to mitigate these, it is best used as a sniper or midfielder. Carefully move up to positions that offer cover and a good view. Once in position, the ZTZ99's strengths can be put to good use. The laser warning system and high-quality thermal sights for the commander give the ZTZ99 a large degree of situational awareness, allowing enemies to be spotted and engaged quickly. Try to attack enemies from a distance and while they are in the open; in this situation they will have difficulty targeting the weak points of the ZTZ99 while the ZTZ99 typically only needs to shoot their hull when using the top DTW-125 APFSDS. Be aware of the slow reload, which is up to 50% slower than other top MBTs. If a target is still capable of returning fire after being hit (e.g. gunner, gun breech, turret drive are intact), it might be better to move to cover and wait for teammates to distract or attack them. Although it has a sufficient top speed, it is nowhere among the top-notch at top rank; especially in urban environment where it might struggles when changing position or flanking enemies. Move up when the coast is clear but do not overextend, it is difficult to back out from a bad position due to the bad reverse speed and in the meantime enemies can fire plenty of shots at the ZTZ99.

Unlike top Soviet MBTs, the ZTZ99 does not have access to gun-launched ATGMs, making it more difficult to swat helicopters or low-flying aircraft from the sky. Stay within the coverage of friendly SPAA vehicles (ZPRK 2S6 Tunguska, PGZ04A, ADATS, etc.) if possible, and if no support is available, use the smoke grenades and engine smoke system to hide.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Sturdy frontal armour on turret cheeks and upper glacis, can withstand most APFSDS shells
  • The new welded turret eliminated the previously bulged weak spot on the turret and further enhanced its protection over ZTZ99-II
  • Gunner and commander thermals with sufficient resolution are very useful to spot targets
  • Powerful 125 mm APFSDS, can frontally penetrate most MBTs' weak spots
  • Silhouette is quite low, allowing it to conceal itself behind cover or vegetations
  • Has laser warning receiver which can inform the player that they are being targeted

Cons:

  • Weak spots in the armour: driver's port, lower glacis, and gun mantlet. Can be penetrated by lower-ranked tanks
  • Extremely slow reverse speed of -4 km/h won't get it out of danger quickly
  • Thin side armour, can be penetrated by IFVs (eg. Type 89) and aircraft
  • Frontal turret ERA are in large pieces, which will leave larger holes once destroyed
  • Fixed gunner sight 8x zoom is limiting for ranged shooting

History

After the commission of ZTZ99-II (WZ123 or ZTZ99 Mod. 2003, 99一期改, ZTZ99 "二类定型状态" in game; erroneously known as 99G), Factory 617 kept on revising the design and eliminated some of its design flaws, such as replacing the bulged cast turret with a brand new welded turret, as well as re-positioning the existing applique armour of turret front and lengthening the side ones; the UFP was also redesigned to fit FY-4 in a more reasonable positioning. It was then finalized just a year later and in the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of PRC in 2009, the new ZTZ99-III (WZ123B or ZTZ99 Mod. 2004, 99二期改, ZTZ99 "三类定型状态" in game; erroneously known as 99A1) showed up as the leading column of vehicle phalanx (numbered 01-01 to 01-18 from 334th Regiment, 112th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, 38th Army Corps), serving as the new spearhead of PLAGF elite armoured brigades.

Eventually, just a year later; a titular successor of ZTZ99-III - the completely redesigned ZTZ99A (WZ1001; erroneously known as 99A2), passed state certification and in mid-2010s, it started to replace ZTZ99-III as the most advanced vehicle of PLAGF and served in elite armoured brigades in Northeastern China.

Media

Skins
Videos

See also

Other vehicles of similar configuration and role

External links


Norinco (中国兵器工业集团有限公司)
Light tanks  Type 62* · Type 63-I* · ZBD86
Medium tanks  Type 59* · ZTZ59A* · ZTZ59D1 · Type 69* · T-69 II G**
Main battle tanks  ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ99-II · ZTZ99-III
SPAAG  ZSD63* · WZ305* · PGZ09 · PGZ04A
Tank destroyers  PTL02 · WMA301** · PTZ89 · ZLT11
  *Previously Fifth Ministry of Machine Building vehicles
  **Export vehicles

China medium tanks
Type 59/69  Type 59 · ZTZ59A · ZTZ59D1 · Type 69 · T-69 II G
ZTZ96  ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A
ZTZ99  ZTZ99-II · ZTZ99-III
ROC  CM11
Other  Т-34-85 Gai
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