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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".

General info

Survivability and armour

Describe armour protection. Note the most well protected and key weak areas. Appreciate the layout of modules as well as the number and location of crew members. Is the level of armour protection sufficient, is the placement of modules helpful for survival in combat? If necessary use a visual template to indicate the most secure and weak zones of the armour.


Write about the mobility of the ground vehicle. Estimate the specific power and manoeuvrability, as well as the maximum speed forward and backwards.


Main armament

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: {{main|Name of the weapon}}. Describe in general terms the ammunition available for the main gun. Advise about how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage.

Additional armament

Some tanks are armed with several guns in one or more turrets. Evaluate the additional weaponry and give advice on its use. Describe the ammunition available for additional weaponry. Give advice on about how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage. If there is no additional weaponry remove this subsection.

Machine guns

Offensive and anti-aircraft machine guns not only allow you to fight some aircraft but also are effective against lightly armoured vehicles. Evaluate machine guns and give recommendations on its use.

Usage in battles

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 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.

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.

Pros and cons


  • Powerful 105mm gun similar to other L7-armed tanks, has access to great APFSDS only outmatched by opponents such as the Type 74 and Leopard A1A1 (L/44)
  • Equipped with ERA on the turret and upper glacis, resistant to chemical munitions
  • Hull ERA setup offers 120mm of kinetic protection
  • Has a two-plane stabilizer
  • Access to smoke grenades, night vision devices and laser rangefinder
  • Night vision includes thermal vision
  • 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
  • Stock APFSDS Shell


  • 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 rather sparse, significant gaps around the gun and on the upper glacis
  • Slow reload
  • No wet ammo storage unlike the comparable T-55AM-1, ammo rack next to the driver is vulnerable to detonation


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".


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

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.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the tank;
  • other literature.

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