Difference between revisions of "ZTZ59D1"

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(Updated format)
(Updated survivability & armor, turret rotation table, ammunition discussion, usage in battles)
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The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a rank {{Specs|rank}} Chinese medium tank {{Battle-rating}}. It was introduced in [[Update 1.91 "Night Vision"]].
 
The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a rank {{Specs|rank}} Chinese medium tank {{Battle-rating}}. 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]].
+
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 it as a formidable sniper.
 +
 
 +
The ZTZ59D1 is succeeded by the [[ZTZ96]], a significantly more modern design with better firepower, mobility, and protection.
  
 
== General info ==
 
== General info ==
Line 44: Line 46:
 
* Suspensions wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick
 
* 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.
+
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. It is at least fairly auto-cannon proof from the front. 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 with an interesting setup: two layers of ERA separated by an air gap. While the hull coverage is spotty due to the tow cable attachment points, the ERA setup boasts 120 mm of kinetic protection. This is not quite enough against the common 105 mm DM23 APFSDS considering that the ZTZ59D1 lacks composite armor to back the ERA up, but it will stop all 105 mm APDS rounds. Certain APFSDS rounds with especially poor angled penetration like the [[T-55A]]'s 3BM25 and the [[T95E1]]'s T320 will fail to penetrate even at point-blank range. The US 105 mm M735 and 152 mm XM578E1 will occasionally be blocked given some distance and angling. The hull ERA's chemical protection is not as strong as the turret ERA due to the less drastic sloping from the front profile and 120 mm HEAT-FS as fired by the [[Leopard A1A1 (L/44)]] will be able to penetrate.
  
 
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.
 
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.
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<!-- ''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: <code><nowiki>{{main|Name of the weapon}}</nowiki></code>. 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 text within these arrows are not to be deleted -->
 
<!-- ''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: <code><nowiki>{{main|Name of the weapon}}</nowiki></code>. 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 text within these arrows are not to be deleted -->
 
{{main|Type 83 (105 mm)}}
 
{{main|Type 83 (105 mm)}}
 +
 +
The Type 83 cannon is a Chinese produced version of the tried-and-true Royal Ordnance L7 gun used by numerous other contemporary tanks. Unfortunately, since it's mounted in the cramped confines of the Type 59 chassis, the reload speed is about 2 seconds slower than average. The ZTZ59D1 also does not have an upgraded turret drive and the turret rotation speed of at most 10 degrees per second is exceptionally bad for the battle rating. It at least has a two-plane stabilizer, which is a step up from the Type 59's vertical stabilizer.
  
 
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.
 
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.
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|-
 
|-
 
! ''Arcade''
 
! ''Arcade''
| rowspan="2" | 37 || rowspan="2" | -4°/+18° || rowspan="2" | ±180° || rowspan="2" | Two-plane || __.__ || __.__ || __.__ || __.__ || __.__ || rowspan="2" | _.__ || rowspan="2" | _.__ || rowspan="2" | _.__ || rowspan="2" | _.__
+
| rowspan="2" | 34 || rowspan="2" | -4°/+17° || rowspan="2" | ±180° || rowspan="2" | Vertical || 9.52 || 13.18 || 16.00 || 17.69 || 18.82 || rowspan="2" | 11.05 || rowspan="2" | 9.78 || rowspan="2" | 9.01 || rowspan="2" | 8.50
 
|-
 
|-
 
! ''Realistic''
 
! ''Realistic''
| __.__ || __.__ || __.__ || __.__ || __.__
+
| 5.95 || 7.00 || 8.50 || 9.40 || 10.00
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
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|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
 +
 +
The ZTZ59D1's ammunition consists of the typical set for 105 mm guns. The stock Type 83-HEAT is a HEAT-FS round with 400 mm of penetration at any distance that strugglse against enemies with ERA or composite armour. Use it as an interim round until APFSDS is unlocked, but keep a few afterwards since it works for hull-breaking light targets like IFVs, light tanks, and SPAAs. The Type-83 HESH round causes a wide (but not very deep) cone of damage and practically ignores slopes, but only works against thinner plates of conventional armor and has poor ballistics. It may be helpful once in a while to finish off targets that only have a slight portion of their tank exposed, but for the most part it should be ignored. The Type-83 APDS is, despite its name, an APFSDS round with identical performance to the common 105 mm DM23 used by the [[Leopard A1A1]] for example. It has decent performance overall and can dispatch targets with weaker forms of composite armor like the [[XM-1 (GM)]].
 +
 +
  
 
==== [[Ammo racks]] ====
 
==== [[Ammo racks]] ====
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<!--''Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but instead give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).'' -->
 
<!--''Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but instead give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).'' -->
  
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 ZTZ59D1 might have a lot of modern features, but there is really no disguising the fact that it is a Type 59 at heart. The Type 59 at 8.0 already struggled with its poor gun handling and the ZTZ59D1's upgraded two-plane stabilizer is not much of a consolation considering that it will almost entirely face enemies with two-plane stabilizers and superior mobility. 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. 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.
 +
 
 +
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. Situational awareness is very important on the ZTZ59D1 to compensate for its poor gun handling and reload, and certainly being able to spot and shoot enemies first is helpful. Make good use of the laser rangefinder as well.
  
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.
+
The ZTZ59D1 has better protection than the average 8.7 MBT, but it is by no means immune or even consistently resistant to enemy fire. Poorly aimed 105 mm HEAT-FS can be resisted by the hull and turret ERA and very poorly aimed 105 mm APDS or weak APFSDS can be resisted by the hull ERA. The turret is vulnerable to any kind of kinetic round, though turret penetrations are less likely to knock out the tank in one hit. Count yourself lucky if you survive any form of incoming fire and treat it as a second chance.
  
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.
+
Helicopters are a major threat to the ZTZ59D1. ATGMs will typically go right through its ERA and even helicopters with unguided rockets, who typically need to fly closer to the battlefield, are difficult to destroy given the ZTZ59D1's bad gun handling. Stay out of sight if possible and take advantage of the smoke grenades if caught in the open. Lightly armored helicopters can be harassed with the heavy machine gun if they fly too close.
  
 
=== Pros and cons ===
 
=== Pros and cons ===
Line 192: Line 204:
 
* Access to smoke grenades, thermal sights, and laser rangefinder
 
* Access to smoke grenades, thermal sights, and laser rangefinder
 
* Top mounted DShK heavy machine gun is helpful against light targets and aircraft
 
* 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
+
* Low profile
  
 
'''Cons:'''
 
'''Cons:'''

Revision as of 22:16, 15 January 2021

RANK VI USSR
T-72AV (TURMS-T) PACK
ZTZ59D1
cn_type_59d.png
GarageImage ZTZ59D1.jpg
ZTZ59D1
AB RB SB
9.0 8.7 8.7
Class:
Research:180 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:490 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

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 it as a formidable sniper.

The ZTZ59D1 is succeeded by the ZTZ96, a significantly more modern design with better firepower, mobility, and protection.

General info

Survivability and armour

ERA
Effective action against the cumulative ammunition
Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
Armourfront / side / back
Hull100 / 80 / 45
Turret220 / 155 / 65
Crew4 people
Visibility83 %

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

Notes:

  • 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. It is at least fairly auto-cannon proof from the front. 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 with an interesting setup: two layers of ERA separated by an air gap. While the hull coverage is spotty due to the tow cable attachment points, the ERA setup boasts 120 mm of kinetic protection. This is not quite enough against the common 105 mm DM23 APFSDS considering that the ZTZ59D1 lacks composite armor to back the ERA up, but it will stop all 105 mm APDS rounds. Certain APFSDS rounds with especially poor angled penetration like the T-55A's 3BM25 and the T95E1's T320 will fail to penetrate even at point-blank range. The US 105 mm M735 and 152 mm XM578E1 will occasionally be blocked given some distance and angling. The hull ERA's chemical protection is not as strong as the turret ERA due to the less drastic sloping from the front profile and 120 mm HEAT-FS as fired by the Leopard A1A1 (L/44) will be able to penetrate.

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.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB56 / 9 km/h
RB and SB51 / 8 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
1 back
Weight36.5 t
Engine power
AB992 hp
RB and SB520 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB27.2 hp/t
RB and SB14.2 hp/t
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.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB2 630 → 3 913 Sl icon.png
RB4 300 → 6 398 Sl icon.png
SB4 580 → 6 815 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications147 200 Rp icon.png
239 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 400 Ge icon.png
Crew training140 000 Sl icon.png
Experts490 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 000 Ge icon.png
Research Aces890 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
110 / 150 / 160 % Sl icon.png
214 / 214 / 214 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
8 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
9 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
9 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
8 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Parts
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
FPE
Research:
2 700 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement cn.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
8 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
8 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
105mm_TYPE83_HESH_ammo_pack
Research:
8 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
9 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
8 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Research:
8 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
105mm_china_APDS_FS_ammo_pack
Research:
8 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods tank laser rangefinder.png
Laser rangefinder
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods thermal sight.png
NVD
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
410 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
Ammunition37 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
11.2 → 8.6 s
Vertical guidance-4° / 18°
Main article: Type 83 (105 mm)

The Type 83 cannon is a Chinese produced version of the tried-and-true Royal Ordnance L7 gun used by numerous other contemporary tanks. Unfortunately, since it's mounted in the cramped confines of the Type 59 chassis, the reload speed is about 2 seconds slower than average. The ZTZ59D1 also does not have an upgraded turret drive and the turret rotation speed of at most 10 degrees per second is exceptionally bad for the battle rating. It at least has a two-plane stabilizer, which is a step up from the Type 59's vertical stabilizer.

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 34 -4°/+17° ±180° Vertical 9.52 13.18 16.00 17.69 18.82 11.05 9.78 9.01 8.50
Realistic 5.95 7.00 8.50 9.40 10.00

Ammunition

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
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
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
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°

The ZTZ59D1's ammunition consists of the typical set for 105 mm guns. The stock Type 83-HEAT is a HEAT-FS round with 400 mm of penetration at any distance that strugglse against enemies with ERA or composite armour. Use it as an interim round until APFSDS is unlocked, but keep a few afterwards since it works for hull-breaking light targets like IFVs, light tanks, and SPAAs. The Type-83 HESH round causes a wide (but not very deep) cone of damage and practically ignores slopes, but only works against thinner plates of conventional armor and has poor ballistics. It may be helpful once in a while to finish off targets that only have a slight portion of their tank exposed, but for the most part it should be ignored. The Type-83 APDS is, despite its name, an APFSDS round with identical performance to the common 105 mm DM23 used by the Leopard A1A1 for example. It has decent performance overall and can dispatch targets with weaker forms of composite armor like the XM-1 (GM).


Ammo racks

Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
37 __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __

Machine guns

Ammunition250 rounds
Belt capacity50 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate600 shots/min
Vertical guidance-10° / 60°
Ammunition3 500 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate600 shots/min

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° ±__°
7.62 mm SGMT
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 3500 (250) 600 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

The ZTZ59D1 might have a lot of modern features, but there is really no disguising the fact that it is a Type 59 at heart. The Type 59 at 8.0 already struggled with its poor gun handling and the ZTZ59D1's upgraded two-plane stabilizer is not much of a consolation considering that it will almost entirely face enemies with two-plane stabilizers and superior mobility. 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. 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.

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. Situational awareness is very important on the ZTZ59D1 to compensate for its poor gun handling and reload, and certainly being able to spot and shoot enemies first is helpful. Make good use of the laser rangefinder as well.

The ZTZ59D1 has better protection than the average 8.7 MBT, but it is by no means immune or even consistently resistant to enemy fire. Poorly aimed 105 mm HEAT-FS can be resisted by the hull and turret ERA and very poorly aimed 105 mm APDS or weak APFSDS can be resisted by the hull ERA. The turret is vulnerable to any kind of kinetic round, though turret penetrations are less likely to knock out the tank in one hit. Count yourself lucky if you survive any form of incoming fire and treat it as a second chance.

Helicopters are a major threat to the ZTZ59D1. ATGMs will typically go right through its ERA and even helicopters with unguided rockets, who typically need to fly closer to the battlefield, are difficult to destroy given the ZTZ59D1's bad gun handling. Stay out of sight if possible and take advantage of the smoke grenades if caught in the open. Lightly armored helicopters can be harassed with the heavy machine gun if they fly too close.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • 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
  • Low profile

Cons:

  • 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

History

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".

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See also

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China medium tanks
  Type 59 · ZTZ59D1 · Type 69 · T-69 II G · ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ99
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