PTZ89 (120 mm)
The 120 mm PTZ89 gun is a Chinese L/52 smoothbore cannon produced by Factory 447 in Inner Mongolia. With its quick rate of fire and high velocity, this gun packs a real punch and can prove deadly to any enemy it may encounter.
Vehicles equipped with this weapon
Tell us about the tactical and technical characteristics of the cannon or machine gun.
- DYW1 - High penetration APFSDS round
- DYS120 - HE round with subpar explosive mass for its calibre
|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) (kg)
Comparison with analogues
- Rh120 L/44, OTO Breda 120/44, Type 90 L/44, etc. - Similar 120mm guns found on many Western MBTs, rounds are typically lower velocity, but the DM33 round has higher penetration.
- Ordnance BL Tk. L11 and L11A5 - British rifled 120mm guns that fire inferior APFSDS rounds, but have access to HESH rounds that are superior to DYW120, and smoke rounds for versatility.
- 2A26, 2A46M, 2A46M-1 - Soviet 125mm guns, fires inferior APFSDS rounds with similar velocities, with the exception of the 3BM42 round. Has superior HE rounds and access to ATGMs.
Comparing the 120 mm PTZ89 gun to its main analogues, the NATO Rh120 L/44, the British L11A5, and the Warsaw Pact's 2A46M, it shines over them in velocity (thanks to its larger chamber) at 1,740 m/s, which contributes to its high penetration. However, it lacks the versatility of the other guns, lacking HESH, ATGM, or smoke rounds.
Usage in battles
The main feature of 120 mm PTZ89 gun is its raw firepower: it was designed to handle masses of MBTs from range. So the ammunition found on this cannon is filled with lots of propellant, sending its projectile at a whopping 1,740 m/s, making it lethal even at longer ranges. A good way to play with the 120 mm PTZ89 gun is to stay at range and unleash your DYW1 APFSDS at the rate of 5 second between shots. In case of brawling, since it comes with an autoloader, it can also unleash hell to the enemies as well.
But do keep in mind that just like most Mainland Chinese vehicles, the depression angle is poor and the autoloader short reload time increases after all 10 rounds in the tray are fired away, so keep your ammo count in check and at best plan the shots beforehand: it will be embarrassing if you run out of autoloader shots in the heat of battle.
Pros and cons
- Above average shell velocity at 1,740 m/s that gives it flat trajectory
- 5-second autoloader with a ready rack of 10 rounds.
- High penetration for the APFSDS round
- Traverse rate, both vertical and horizontal, is rather slow
- Depression angle is poor
- If the player is trigger-happy, 10 rounds might not sufficient in the heat of battle
In the late 1960s, Mainland China started their development of a new MBT for a possible war with the USSR or the West. A key component of this new tank (the WZ1224) was to be a 120 mm smoothbore gun. But due to technological limits, the cannon didn't start development until the PLA had captured a Soviet T-62 and reverse-engineered some of its more modern features.
When a new MBT had been developed, the smoothbore 120 mm gun developed was not chosen for use, and the prototype WZ1224 didn't make it into production and was abandoned. For the newer ZTZ79 and ZTZ80 tanks, a licensed variant of the NATO 105mm L7 was used, and the PLAGF later acquired a 2A46M gun from Romania which they reverse-engineered for use in their modern MBTs. In an attempt to not abandon years of development, Factory 447 in Batou, Inner Mongolia mounted this gun onto a WZ321 chassis as a tank destroyer. Luckily, this gun made it through state certification in 1986 and was backed by the funding from PRC's 7th 5-year plan. Eventually, the cannon made its way into service on the PTZ89, an almost anachronistic gun-based tank destroyer in an age of ATGM carriers.
After around 3 decades in service, the PTZ89 and its 120 mm gun ended its service in 2015 with the last batches of them decommissioned from 39th Group Army (currently named 79th) in November.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
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|China tank cannons|
|85 mm||Type-62-85-TC · Type 63|
|100 mm||PTP86 · Type 59 · Type 69 · Type 69-II|
|105 mm||Type 83 · WMA301 · ZPL94 · ZPL98A|
|120 mm||122TM · PTZ89|
|125 mm||Type 88C · Type 99A · ZPT98|
|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)|
|73 mm||2A28 (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)|