From War Thunder Wiki
Revision as of 08:36, 30 July 2020 by AUJason (talk | contribs) (Usage in battles)

Jump to: navigation, search
9.7 9.7 9.7
Research:250 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:690 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game


GarageImage ZTZ96A.jpg

The ZTZ96A is a rank VI Chinese medium tank with a battle rating of 9.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.97 "Viking Fury".

A much-improved tank over ZTZ96 makes it more competitive especially at higher tier battles. The ZTZ-96A features a strong turret that is impenetrable to many APFSDS rounds, added ERA on upper glacis that can resist hits (both kinetic and chemical-based hits) and much needed thermal sights.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull ___ mm ___ mm Top

___ mm Bottom

45 mm (10°) 20-30 mm
Turret ___ - ___ mm Turret front

___ mm Gun mantlet

___ - ___ mm 5 mm 20-30 mm
Cupola 30 mm 30 mm 30 mm 30 mm

The design of the ZTZ96A's turret is a further drastic departure from previous the Chinese and Soviet dome turret design. It has an angular arrow shape design reminiscent of the German Leopard 2A5; however, the armour stops short at the coaxial gun port, providing a weak spot for the enemy to exploit. Shooting this area does not usually result in an instant kill as it will only disable the gun breech and take out the commander or gunner (depending on which side is shot). On the sides of the turret, a noticeable addition is a row of FY-4 ERA on the bustle rack. In the game, this additional armour doesn't yield much use as most of the time the shots are not from the sides of the turret but rather on the side of the hull where the carousel style autoloader is a well known weak spot that will result in instant ammo explosion.

As for the hull, the added FY-4 ERA on the upper glacis increases the survivability of the tank. Even a direct shot from most APFSDS can be resisted.

The ZTZ96A has a much-improved armour layout over its predecessor due to strengthened armour in critical areas of the tank. Survivability is improved but the vehicle still suffers from the same weaknesses as its predecessor and similar Soviet tanks.


Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 66 7 42.8 1240 1526 28.97 35.65
Realistic 60 6 708 800 16.54 18.69


Main armament

Main article: Type 88C (125 mm)

The ZTZ96A makes up for its drawbacks in mobility with a superb gun. The 125 mm Type 88C smoothbore gun is capable of firing APFSDS, HE and HEAT-FS ammunition. For its battle rating, the 125-I shell performs very well, offering 466 mm of flat penetration at point-blank and dropping only to 434 mm at 2 kilometres. It's angled performance is exceptionally good at 269 mm at 60 degrees, outperforming even the best Soviet APFSDS round, 3BM42 whose angled penetration is only 248 mm. For reference, the 125-I performs comparably to Western long-rod sabot rounds such as DM33. The HEAT-FS round is nothing special with a standard 480 mm of penetration that is only really effective at destroying lightly armoured vehicles such as SPAA. The HE round is of the Soviet-style, packing a whopping 5.4 kg of TNT equivalent that can deal devastating damage against Western tanks' weak spots of the hull and turret roof and turret ring. It's recommended to entirely ditch the HEAT-FS for HE as it arguably performs better in the anti-tank role, ironically.

Although the ZTZ96A uses a similar autoloader system to the T-72, its reload time of 7.5 seconds is slightly longer than the T-72's 7.1 seconds.

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 ZTZ96A has a different playstyle than most MBTs do. Instead of being a king of mobility, this tank trades speed for improved armour protection. The tank's mobility is improved from that of the ZTZ96, but it is still below average for this battle rating. It can keep up with some IFVs, but against MBTs, this tank can't match their speed and acceleration. It also has a poor reverse speed, which can make getting out of sticky situations difficult. This lack of mobility means that the ZTZ96A can't rush objectives or favourable locations at the beginning of battle like faster vehicles can. Additionally, it takes longer to relocate around the map to deal with enemies or to attack and defend capture zones. Flanking manoeuvres are also difficult. However, the ZTZ96A's below-average speed doesn't hinder its abilities to brawl in close quarters situations or to snipe from afar.

Both of these playstyles benefit from the tank's strong armour protection, which features ERA on the front of the hull and turret. The turret cheeks and upper glacis are especially well-defended--even a direct APFSDS shell can't always penetrate. In general, the tank is hard to damage from the front. This does not mean that it has no weakpoints, though: the gun breech is exposed and unprotected, and a shot there can do great damage inside the turret compartment. In addition, the vehicle sports an ammunition carousel in the bottom of the hull; a side shot here will very often detonate the ammo storage, causing immediate destruction of the tank. And finally, the ZTZ96A only has three crew members, so long-term endurance is lacking. Even one crew member being knocked out makes taking any more damage much riskier.

The ZTZ96A also makes up for its mobility drawbacks with its powerful cannon. Its APFSDS shell has high penetration against both flat and angled armour, and can perform even at long ranges. The gun also makes use of a very powerful HE shell which can deal devastating damage if fired at the roofs of enemy tanks. This gun is reloaded by an autoloading system, which can get a new shell in the breech every 7.5 seconds. The reload speed is worse than that of many MBTs, and skilled players will be able to take advantage of this to destroy the ZTZ96A. It is important to try to destroy the enemy in one shot, or else there may not be enough time to try again. And, the slow reload means that dealing with multiple enemies in quick succession is more difficult than normal. Be careful about the gun's poor turret elevation speed. It can take longer than expected to get sights on a target. The ZTZ96A is equipped with thermal sights which help visibility in night battles.

This vehicle is armed with a roof machine gun for use against aircraft and lightly-armoured ground targets.

This tank is a good sniper thanks to its strong frontal armour and powerful gun. When sniping, poor mobility is not an issue and the long reload rate doesn't overly hurt the ZTZ96A's performance. If firing from behind ridgelines, remember that the gun depression is below average, at only -6 degrees.

The ZTZ96A is also effective in close-quarters brawls, where its armour provides a great advantage against the enemy.

For players grinding the APFSDS in assault mode, it is recommended to bring full ammo, with around half HEAT and half HE. As the countdown goes at the start of the match, quickly find a spot where you will not get shot from every direction and stay there until you run out of ammo or die. The HEAT is great at one-shotting weakly armored (relatively) cold war tanks, while the HE is capable of killing those heavily protected top tier MBT. Given that you do not have APFSDS therefore lacking the ability to knock out some AI frontally, you will have to rely on assists to get scores. Firing HEAT / HE at tracks, roof mounted MG, turret ring, cannon barrel, etc can at least immobile / disarm the AI, granting you an assist. The 7.5 second reload will be quite slow when facing a huge wave of AI so you must aim each shot carefully, but other times it is generally fast enough. The ZTZ96's armor can take quite some beating but is also prone to ammo rack explosion, or penetrating shots from the lower front plate and gun mantlet.


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts Horizontal Drive
II Suspension Brake System FPE NVD Adjustment of Fire
III Filters Crew Replenishment Smoke grenade Elevation Mechanism Laser rangefinder
IV Transmission Engine ESS Artillery Support 125-I

Pros and cons


  • Same powerful gun with access to high-penetrating APFSDS as ZTZ96
  • Autoloader reloads the cannon even when putting out fires or replacing crew members
  • HE shell is currently the most powerful available to any high-rank MBT, can cripple or outright destroy enemies with a good shot
  • Low profile
  • Very strong turret cheeks armour
  • Strong upper glacis armour
  • Combinations of strong armour and very fast and high penetrating APFSDS makes it a good sniper
  • Roof-mounted heavy machine gun is useful against aircraft and light targets
  • Relatively-faster turret rotation speed, compared to contemporary Soviet tanks
  • Thermal Sights
  • Improved mobility over predecessor ZTZ-96


  • Mobility is below average at its rank
  • Autoloader carousel is a giant ammo rack
  • Poor reverse speed
  • Below average gun depression (-6°)
  • Only 3 crew members
  • No ATGM capability, unlike the T-64B and T-72B
  • Relatively slow reload compared to other MBT


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the vehicle in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).


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

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