Phòng không T-34
|This page is about the Chinese SPAA Phòng không T-34. For the gift vehicle in the Russian tree, see Phòng không T-34 (USSR). For other vehicles using the T-34 chassis, see T-34 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Xe tăng phòng không 37 mm (37 mm anti air tank), known as the Phòng không T-34 (防空 T-34; Anti-air T-34) for short or by its erroneous designation "Type 65" in Chinese sources, was a North Vietnamese SPAAG created during the mid-1960s for the Vietnam war. It uses the hull of a Soviet T-34-85 but features an original open-top box turret fitted with dual Chinese 37 mm Type 65 cannons. It's likely that the NVA improvised this build during the Vietnam War, since North Vietnam invested heavily in anti-air weaponry to combat the US air support. However no NVA documentation on the vehicle is known and all known information comes from one unit captured by US forces during the war, which is now displayed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The name "Xe tăng phòng không 37 mm" was created for the game as the vehicle's real name is unknown, based on the descriptive names of other NVA vehicles of the time.
Introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision" alongside the initial Chinese tech tree, the Phòng không T-34 is easily recognized because of the box-shaped and open turret on a T-34-85 hull and lacking the single 85 mm main armament, it also has a higher profile than a regular T-34-85. Although the turret's protection is not rated for anything larger than rifle-calibre firearms and close-calls from explosives will very likely disable the vehicle at once, thanks to the higher turret traverse speed, sufficient rate of fire, and HVAP shells, it can serve the team in both air defense and flanking operations.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 45 mm (60°) Upper glacis
75 mm (21-61°) Driver's hatch
45 mm (55°) Lower glacis
| 45 mm (41°) Upper
45 mm Lower
| 45 mm (46°) Upper
10 mm (48°) Lower
|Turret||15 mm (11-29°)||15 mm (8-26°)||15 mm (8-27°)|
- Suspension wheels are 20 mm thick
- Tracks are 20 mm thick
The armour of Phòng không T-34 turret is an easy target to penetrate with it consisting of only 15 mm all-around armour it makes it easy to disable with most type of shells that it might face and machine guns are a danger for it too with the 12.7 mm calibre able to penetrate that thin armour even smaller machine guns can disable the turret. Mainly because the front of the turret got gaps for the gunner and commander where the bullets can easily find its way in and damage the crew. With is being an open-top SPAA makes it as many other open SPAA making it a tasty snack for aircraft machine guns and cannons. One of the drawbacks with the Phòng không T-34 is that 80% of its crew sits in the turret, 2 of them looking up from the turret making them extremely vulnerable to machine gun fire.
The hull is better armoured like a T-34-85 and its strongest armour is the front hull armour, It's missing the hull-mounted machine gun that there is on the T-34-85 making it have an exposed hole on the front left hull when facing it, it's a trap shot location so it would be best to try angle the tank to remove the open machine gun port for easy access for enemy Shells.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The mobility of the Phòng không T-34 is good at its battle rating, easy to manoeuvre on- and off-road. It has similar mobility characteristics as the T-34-85 with an engine that produces 500 hp at 1800 RPM giving it a top speed of 55 km/h (34mph).
Modifications and economy
The Phòng không T-34 has a pair of decent 37 mm autocannons. The full AP belt is great at both anti-tank and anti-air roles. For AT duty, it is capable of penetrating almost all light tanks and SPAAs frontally, such as the M24 Chaffee, M41A1, etc, most medium tanks from the side like the M4A1/2, Panther A/D, Comet I, and some TDs from the side like the Panzer IV/70(V). Upon penetration, the shells create quite a bit of shrapnel which makes wiping out crew very easy. It also works great against planes, especially when shooting those attacking you from head-on. The AP shell can easily go through the engine or armour plates and knock out the pilot. One shell is also enough to instantly snap off the wing spar, destroying the plane. Of course, the full HE belt is recommended for dedicated AA duty. Its large calibre plus the 34 g TNT makes the Phòng không T-34 a lethal threat to almost all planes. Even if the shell hits an unimportant part (e.g. wingtip), it can still blow off parts of the plane while the AP will over-penetrate without doing much damage.
The HVAP belt can become handy when you are facing targets whose armour thickness is right between 70-87 mm, for example the Comet's hull, and the sides of the Tiger H1 and M4A3E2. However, there is only 1 HVAP in a 3-shell clip thus careful aiming must be applied.
Note, when shooting distant targets (tanks 300 m away, or planes around 750 m away) you want to slow down the fire, as the Phòng không T-34 shakes violently in a continuous spray, therefore greatly reducing its accuracy. However the accuracy is very good when firing single shells and waiting for the guns to stabilise before the next shot.
|37 mm Type 65 (x2)||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Mode||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal||Stabilizer||Stock||Upgraded||Full||Expert||Aced||Stock||Full||Expert||Aced|
- Default: ·
|Ammunition||Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|78||66 (+12)||54 (+24)||2 (+76)||No|
Usage in battles
The Phòng không T-34 is an excellent self-propelled anti-air vehicle, but its slow dual 37 mm guns make it hard to hit fast low flying targets if you are not a good shot with SPAA. Its mobility and speed combined with the fast turret rotation make it a deadly opponent for the enemy if ambushed or flanked.
The Phòng không T-34 is an excellent self-propelled anti-air vehicle, but also a great vehicle for ambushes on the enemy side and rear armour. Be aware that all the tanks and aircraft it will oppose are deadly opponents to it, the exposed crew makes it an easy target from both air and ground.
One way to tactically use the Phòng không T-34 is to stay behind the main force and cover them from possible air threats or light flanking tanks. Its dual 37 mm will make quick work of the air and lighter tanks that you will face. Another way is when enemy players are distracted by your teams player you can use your speed and manoeuvrability to flank around and hit them from the side or rear with AP-T or HVAP-T rounds.They will deal with most side armour. Flanking might not work as well in Arcade Battle as in Realistic or Simulator Battle.
Some players might find this tank hard to hit aerial targets, since the Phòng không T-34 's guns have rather slow fire rate and velocity. A good tactic is to find a place that is not too far away from the frontline (planes usually go for the crowded frontline) but also not too close to it (easier to get shot by tanks), so you can fully concentrate on planes and not worry about tanks. The place should have a hard cover that is wide and tall enough to hide from strafing aircraft. Then just wait til the enemy begins to spawn in planes. You want to hold fire and let them close in to around 1 km from you. If their target appears to be a teammate near you, then utilise your head-on techniques as this is a slanted head-on. Even if you did not hit you will still get their attention. Most ground pounders in ground RB will do loops / high yoyos a lot (dive at a target, pull up vertically, dive again). If you see a plane pulling up, climbing to its peak, aim carefully but hold fire. When it reaches the peak and begins to slowly fall down, spray shells at it, because that is when the plane has the slowest speed, making it an easier target. If you lured a plane into diving on you, aim slightly above it (usually aim near the cockpit) and fire continuously, there is a good chance of hitting and crippling it. Head-on is the most effective yet most risky way to get kills. Overall, for the Phòng không T-34, do not fire until the target is around 1 km or closer.
Enemies worth noting:
- Wirbelwind: This SPAA is equipped with four fast-firing 20 mm autocannons, allowing it to fire a dense barrage of shells in a matter of seconds. This means that the Wirbelwind can quickly knock out all 4 crew in the Phòng không T-34's turret, making it defenseless. Plus the Wirbelwind has a more stable chassis that wobbles less in a brake, meaning that in a sudden encounter the Wirbelwind is more likely to stabilise its guns and fire first. Therefore, if you know a Wirbelwind is somewhere near, be very alert and try to spot it before it spots you. Aim at the turret to disable its gunner first. Note: your firing speed depends on the distance, as the Phòng không T-34 shakes violently when firing. So if you are face to face with the enemy, fire continuously. If it is more than 200 m away, only fire in short bursts or even single shots to avoid missing due to the shake. Wait for the guns to stabilise before firing the next salvo.
Pros and cons
- Destructive damage upon hitting an aircraft
- Fast turret rotation of more than 40°/sec allows it to deal with agile targets easily
- Powerful engine/weight ratio gives it good manoeuvrability
- Has a crew of 6, can replace unconscious ones multiple times which increases survivability.
- Good gun elevation of 85°, crucial for an SPAA
- Multiple belt types allows flexible gameplay: full HE belt for anti-air. Full AP belt can penetrate common tanks' side, e.g. M4, Panther A/D, Chi-Ri. HVAP belt (mixed with HE) for side of heavy targets up close, like Tiger H1/E, Ho-Ri, Ferdinand.
- Open turret exposes 4 crew directly to enemy fire. Very vulnerable to top attacks.
- High profile makes it easier to be seen & hit
- Below-average gun depression of -5° combined with the high mount makes it useless in hilly terrains
- Guns are super unstable during continuous fire. Can only fire short bursts to maintain accuracy. The Wirbelwind and Ostwind II (also twin 37 mm), in comparison, are way more stable.
- Thin turret armour of 15 mm is prone to be penetrated by heavy MG/shrapnel. SPAA like Wirbelwind and M16 can easily disable all turret crew
- Awkward to place bushes on upper front hull due to the obstruction of MG port and driver's optics
The Xe tăng phòng không 37 mm is a bit of an enigma as no official known North Vietnamese documentation exists concerning its design or construction. Even today, almost half a century after the type first became known, little is known about it. What is known comes from a single unit captured by US-forces during the Vietnam war, which have miraculously survived the test of time. Thus it is important to first focus on what little is known about this unique T-34-based SPAAG, before going into theories.
US capture and evaluation
During the 1972 Spring-Summer Offensive of the Vietnam War, a single example of a SPAAG was captured by the 4th Infantry Regiment of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam on August 13th 1972. This vehicle was subsequently transferred to the United States military, who eventually shipped it to the Aberdeen Proving Ground for technical evaluation. After testing was concluded, the vehicle was put on display at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, where it stood until the early 2010s when it was transferred along with the rest of the collection to the Air Defence Artillery Museum in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Evaluation of this single example showed that it consisted of a T-34-85 chassis which was made at UTZ 183 (Uralsky Tankovij Zavod) in the USSR sometime between 1944 and 1947, featuring a number of modifications. The most important one concerned the removal of the turret, with a solid reinforced steel slab being bolted onto the turret aperture on top of which a twin AA gun was mounted. Other modifications included the removal of the hull-mounted 7.62 mm machine gun, and the removal of part of the engine top deck to allow the gun turret to freely rotate.
The main weaponry of the vehicles consisted of a Chinese 37 mm Type 65 twin gun system, a Chinese-built variant of the Soviet 37 mm M1939 (61-K). NORINCO of China copied the original Soviet single design and produced it under the Chinese designation 37 mm Type 55 (most likely after the year it was first constructed). The Chinese would later update the design by developing a twin mount around the same gun, designated 37 mm Type 65. Such guns were supplied to the NVA by China to help them counter the US air supremacy during the war.
As mounted on the tank, the Type 65 gun mount was surrounded by a box-like open-topped structure composed of 16-mm thick armour plates, large enough to house both the gun and a crew of five. Similar in concept to the US-built M42 Duster, the vehicle lacked any advanced aiming system or power-assisted gun traverse or elevation, making it less efficient in use against low-flying high-speed jets, but still deadly to slower attackers and helicopters.
Name and creation
The vehicle is commonly called the Type 63 or the Type 65, however the vehicle's real name is unknown. The origin of the names comes from the lack of any official documentation on the vehicle, which has lead to a lot of speculation regarding its creation and history.
Since the vehicle was fitted with a Chinese-built AA gun, the US Military speculated that this vehicle was a Chinese-built dedicated SPAAG. As such, the vehicle commonly became known as the Type 63 SPAAG, this name first appearing in the 1987 publication A Compendium of Armaments and Military Hardware by Christopher Chant, after the assumption that the Type 63 was a variant of the Type 65 specifically built for use on this SPAAG. However, more recently the vehicle has become known as the Type 65 - or Type 63/65 - after the NORINCO-built gun. However there exists no real indication that the Chinese had anything to do directly with the creation of this vehicle.
With the lifting of the US embargo on North Vietnam in 1994, new information about the Vietnam War from (formerly North) Vietnamese sources finally became available, and visitors to the Vietnam People's Air Force Museum in Hanoi noticed a photograph on display which gives an entirely different turn to the "Type 65's" story. This singular photograph, with the texts three SPAAG's moving to the front in English, and "improvised 14,5 mm, 37 mm, 57 mm self propelled anti air gun tanks on their way to the front" in Vietnamese, shows three tank-mounted anti-aircraft guns, one mounted on a T-34-85, the two others on the chassis of an SU-76. The nature of their construction seems to indicate that they - and the captured "Type 65" - were in fact locally-built improvised vehicles, combining the hulls of discarded or damaged tanks with AA guns to increase the number of available anti-aircraft guns for use against US forces, the Hanoi-displayed picture showing a T-34-85 hull with a 57 mm S-60 AA gun rather than the 37 mm Type 65 AA gun used on the captured vehicle.
As such, it can be concluded that the captured vehicle was in fact an improvised locally-built SPAAG, possibly an attempt at creating a cheap alternative to the more advanced Soviet ZSU-57-2, using the hulls of T-34-85s that had been delivered to North Vietnam in 1965.
The Xe tăng phòng không 37 mm was originally implemented into War Thunder with the name Type 65, due to the lack of historical NVA sources. This was later changed to the current names Xe tăng phòng không 37 mm (English: 37 mm anti air tank) and Phòng không T-34 (English: Anti-air T-34), a shortened name for the research tree. This Change was done as it seems the NVA lacked a proper indigenous designation system during the war and instead gave vehicles descriptive names, for example "anti-air gun truck", etc. Such descriptive names can be found on a lot of name signs in Vietnamese war museums featuring vehicles and weaponry. However in some cases it seems the NVA also used the original designations of the equipment they received, such as the ZSU-23-4 (although spelled 3CY-23 from the Cyrillic name "ЗСУ-23"). However since the vehicle in question most likely is an original creation by the NVA, this cannot be applied here. Thus the vehicle received its current name.
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.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
|China anti-aircraft vehicles|
|Gun and Missile SPAAG||PGZ04A|
|Other||ZSD63/PG87 · WZ305|
|North Vietnam||Phòng không T-34|
|USA||CCKW 353 (M45) · ␗M42|