ZPL94 (105 mm)
|This page is about the Chinese ZPL94 (105 mm) cannon. For variants, see L7 (105 mm) (Family).|
The thermal sleeve equipped ZPL94 (94式线膛炮) cannon is a licensed Mainland Chinese 105 mm rifled cannon made by NORINCO, serving as a tank cannon and being one of the longest and most powerful L7 derivatives in terms of barrel length and muzzle velocity.
Vehicles equipped with this weapon
Tell us about the tactical and technical characteristics of the cannon or machine gun.
As this gun was made for the NATO standard cartridge, ZPL94 can fire both NATO and Chinese rounds; currently this gun comes with Type 83 HEATFS, Type 83 HESH, DTW-1 APFSDS and a unique HE-VT shell which can handle careless aircraft.
Comparison with analogues
Give a comparative description of cannons/machine guns that have firepower equal to this weapon.
Usage in battles
Currently, the only tank that is equipped with this gun is T-69 II G, thanks to the relative modernity of the gun (in 1994) and the longer barrel, ZPL94 can pack more punch to enemies and has sufficient velocity to handle enemies at longer range. The variety of ammunition means that this gun can be a jack-of-all-trades: sufficient velocity and penetration APFSDS which can handle most vehicles players may face in battle; HESH and HEATFS for handling light vehicles while HESH alternatively can be used to target enemies behind ridges; and HE-VT for a last-ditch option to send aircraft back to their hanger.
But just like most Chinese tanks, due to the nature of the smaller turret and low profile, the gun depression is quite depressing, at only -5° in T-69 II G's case and it doesn't come with the fastest loader found in its tier, so hilly terrain is your enemy and plan every shot - the reload time can be the culprit of your demise.
Pros and cons
- Higher velocity thanks to its longer barrel
- Access to HE-VT that can handle aircrafts given they are careless
- Subpar reload time to NATO counterparts
- Horrible depressing angle
In the 1970s, after encountering the Soviet Border Troops at Zenbao/Damansky Island and capturing a T-62 from them, PLAGF was in dire need of new cannons to handle the possible masses of Soviet armoured brigades rushing into Mainland China. From that T-62 they developed their own version of T-12 anti-tank gun - the PTP73 100 mm smoothbore AT gun, but its ammunition still struggled to handle tanks; eventually after the Cultural Revolution and the start of economic reform, PLAGF decided to introduce cannons from NATO countries thanks to the improved relationships with them.
In 1979, PLAGF finally got their hands on introducing the famous Royal Ordnance L7, in the form of an L7A3 cannon from Austria and started its chapter of L7 development in Mainland China as a part of Project 3-7 (三七工程).
After ZPL79/81/83(A) came the ZPL94, one of the longest barrel and most powerful guns in the L7 family, the exact length of the gun was unknown but the gun was at 62 caliber; specifically for ZTZ88A and ZTZ59D, with the introduction of tube-launched ATGMs and new APFSDS in the 2000s, this gun gave those older tanks chances to surprisingly knock out well-armoured targets. It also served as the basis of a reduced recoil version of the same gun under different designation.
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|China tank cannons|
|100 mm||PTP86 · Type 59 · Type 69|
|105 mm||Type 83 · WMA301 · ZPL94 · ZPL98A|
|125 mm||Type 88C · Type 99A · ZPT98|
|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)|