Fuel Tank Explosions in Chinese vehicles - a discussion

My main nation on War Thunder at the moment is China, and I’ve been using the ZTZ99 Stage II, Stage III, WZ1001 and VT-4A1 a ton lately. But something that I can’t help but notice is the insanely high rate of fuel tank explosions basically every time they get hit - and nobody seems to be talking about it lately. So, with the addition of a new top-tier Chinese vehicle that is especially affected by this due to its lighter armour, I wanted to bring this to people’s attention and start a discussion about it to see if something could be done about it. Even if Gaijin will ignore this, there’s no reason not to try.

Practically every time your armour gets penetrated in a Chinese vehicle, the round will inevitably pass through a fuel tank. These fuel tanks are placed where they are because they are meant to absorb spalling/shrapnel, and to dispel the jets of shaped-charge warheads - this part is modelled completely fine in War Thunder. Diesel fuel is specifically used because, while it is possible for it to happen, it is much less likely to catch on fire or to explode. This is why they are placed where they are.

However, in War Thunder, there’s an entirely different situation - in-game, the fuel tanks themselves are the hazard now, often moreso than the ammo. I can count on my hands the number of times in the past few days I’ve had my fuel tanks hit and not died instantly, and I’ve played maybe hundreds of matches in the process of grinding to the VT-4A1 and hundreds more getting its modifications. In practice, your fuel tanks are more explosive than your ammunition charges are and will explode more often than your ammunition does - and I feel this is a huge issue that outright ruins these vehicles. A round passing through the front side of your vehicle, which would normally hit nothing vital apart from the driver, will more than often cause the fuel tanks there to explode and instantly kill you - but if you try this on any Western vehicle in the game, the rate of fuel tank explosions is significantly lower, and this probably will not happen.

I think it’s not alright that the last time this was even mentioned was over half a year ago, and the fact that most people don’t have access to Chinese high tier makes it all that much worse, because there will never be any big debacle caused by this issue - it’s just been something we’ve been forced to put up with that, in my opinion, has to change. You can play as well as you want in these vehicles, but if every stray APFSDS round that passes through the corner of the vehicle (where it should do no damage) and detonates the fuel tank, what are you supposed to do? It’s gotten to the point where shooting the fuel tanks around corners when you can’t see the rest of the tank is the most effective way to destroy these vehicles, and it’s worked for me numerous times when playing as other nations.

So, I started this thread for a few reasons:

  • To see if this is something that persists with people who spend even more time on these vehicles than I do
  • To share potential ways this could be fixed or gotten around that can be submitted in a suggestion/bug report
  • To share strategies used in-game to prevent this from happening

Anyhow, that’s my summary of the issue over. Perhaps, working together, we can come up with a coherent bug report/suggestion to submit, and perhaps a proper test to see exactly how frequently this happens to include in this - that, compared with real-life statistics on the topic, is probably the best way to see change.



I agree,

Not only China, also USSR/Russia have this issue in top tier only.

On low tier like in T-34s and KVs series tank, the fuel tank works more like a ERA than any kind of other component, most of time absorbing spall for most type of ammunition in this BR range.

Edit: No, this doesn’t apply for China or USSR/Russia only, there’s a small chance for dying due Fuel Tank Explosion on NATO/Western tanks, but it’s almost nothing compared to Eastern ones.

imagine what happens when super-heated copper hits a flammable pressurized tank fuel of fuel that near enough ammo / propellant to blow up an entire building to rubble…

fuel tanks go BOOM https://youtu.be/izcCCebKwto do you all actually think diesel won’t explode when hit?

gaijin explained this months ago, its all working as intended

I have a paper here about China’s use of explosion suppression materials for military fuel tanks and diesel fuel compatibility, but he mentioned the explosion suppression method of this material in this paper


gaijin doesn’t model things like this, unless its a special type of armor or fuel tank.

No need for modeling, he can prove that military fuel tanks do not have the same high probability of fuel explosion as in games

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well currently… theres a certain war going on, and those tanks are exploding.

Compared to fuel explosions, I think the higher probability is ammunition


Im not sure what the russian / chinese engineers were thinking when they put propellant/charges inside the fuel tank …

Convenient to carry ammunition, and the fuel tank can act as a wet ammunition rack to reduce the probability of explosion (which is actually higher in the game)

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a propellant charge in diesel fuel inside of a tank will ignite and explode if air in added to the tank.

There are too many contrasting aspects between reality and games, and this game can only be used for cosplay


The picture I provided points out that the explosion suppression filling material in military fuel tanks will separate the space inside the tank. Even in the event of an explosion, the complex three-dimensional structure of the material will destroy the flame front. At the same time, the explosion suppression material will consume the free radicals of the combustion reaction, thereby reducing the reaction intensity until it extinguishes

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so… how is it going to stop the super heated fragments of a Depleted Uranium round hitting the tank, or the jet of copper from a Heat-fs shell?

The method of fuel tank explosion suppression material is not to block ammunition, but to rapidly and continuously reduce the intensity of the combustion reaction, making it unable to reach the intensity of the explosion.

However, one thing is that the fuel in the tank has a certain CE protection for HEAT, which is equivalent to oil cooling.

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