Type 69 Ballistic Target - Replicating An Enemy

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TL;DR: A Type 69 fitted with extra armor on the turret and hull front meant to imitate a T-80U for ballistics testing.

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History:

The Sino-Soviet Split in the early 1960s made relations between the Soviet Union and China rather tense. Even by 1994, this tension had not subsided and the release of the T-80U almost a decade earlier did not help things. Luckily, however, the development of the Type 99 MBT was coming along smoothly, although, there were concerns regarding its ability to defeat a T-80U. To put these concerns to rest, it was decided that ballistic tests on a T-80U needed to be performed, however, at the time, there was no way for the Chinese to get their hands on a T-80U to shoot at. What they could get their hands on were a few details of its armor as they had inspected a T-80U once before. Utilizing this information, they could make a similarly performing imitation. In October of 1994, the Chinese 123 Engineering General Office and The Installation Technology Institute jointly conducted a ballistic trials against a “hypothetical combat target”. These trials would involve the prototype of the ZTZ99 MBT firing at a standard Type 69 fitted with the imitation armor.

The turret armor was as follows (Not necessarily in this order): 200mm of steel, 100mm of steel, 80mm of back plate steel, 20mm of middle layer steel, 100mm of fiberglass, 60mm of fiberglass, and some sort of ERA.

The hull armor was as follows (Not necessarily in this order): 100mm of steel, 50mm of steel, two 45mm fiberglass sheets, 50mm of steel, and some sort of ERA.

In addition to the armor, the Type 69 was equipped with the ZTZ99’s sights and ballistic computer to see how they held up while under fire. (Whether or not the aforementioned tech was actually integrated into the vehicle is ultimately unknown.) The “crew” during this these tests consisted of dogs and goats. Five 125mm HE rounds were fired into the Type 69, with the tank being repaired after each shot. The first shot hit the left side of the turret face, destroying the ERA yet failing to penetrate the turret itself. That being said the main cannon still sustained damage along with the driver and gunner optics. The turret could no longer turn and the “crew” was seriously injured. The second shot also hit the left side of the turret face, which, again, yielded no penetration, however, the barrel and turret rotation mechanisms were damaged. The power unit and sighting device were destroyed. The third shot impacted the upper front plate, not penetrating the hull itself. The gun once again sustained damaged and horizontal control was lost. The fourth shot again hit the left side of the turret face, which yielded similar results to shots 1 and 2. The fifth shot impacted the front right fender and tore off the right track. None of the five shots penetrated the armor, however, it was clear that a penetration was not necessary.

Place In War Thunder:

I am perfectly aware that what I’m suggesting here is far from the norm and pushing the boundaries a little bit. Yes, it is a ballistic target built to be shot at, however, it was also a fully functional vehicle with several improvements over its base design. The armor added provided real protection and the tech it received from the Type 99 was, in essence, an upgrade. Even though this vehicle wasn’t designed for combat, it has a place on the battlefield. Adding to this, we already have non-combat intended vehicles in War Thunder, the most notable of which is the VT1-2, designed specifically to test the concept of dual gun casemates. It’s armor isn’t even armor steel, it’s structural steel. I feel that what I’m suggesting has a place in War Thunder. Depending on the BR bracket you find yourself in, your turret has the potential to take a lot of punishment. It’s protected by a total of 400mm of steel and 160mm of fiberglass. Include the ERA and very few HEATFS and APDS shells will be able to get through. Your hull isn’t as good, however, as it’s only protected by 200mm of steel and 90mm of fiberglass. On top of that, there are very large areas that your added armor does not cover. Ideal playstyle would likely consist of sticking behind cover, only exposing your strong turret, and sniping from a distance. The tech (potentially) inherited from the ZTZ99 prototype would likely make this easier. Considering the nature of this vehicle, I think it’s only fair for it to come to War Thunder as a Chinese event vehicle, similar to the VT1-2.

Specifications:

Armament: 100mm Type 69 cannon and 7.62mm SGMT MG

Dimensions: 6.24m, 3.30m, 2.80m (L,W,H)

Weight: 36700~kg

Armor:

-Hull: Same as Type 69 in-game plus 100mm of steel and 90mm of fiberglass

-Turret: Same as Type 69 in-game plus 200mm of steel and 160mm of fiberglass

Crew: 4

Ammunition: Same as Type 69 in-game

Speed: 45~kph

Horsepower: 520hp

Pictures:

Armor on the turret:

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After the first shot:

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After the second or fourth shot:

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After the fifth shot:

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Sources:

The Dead District: A Type-69 with add on armor to imitate the T-80U MBT, for the ballistic trials in China

Type 69 and Type 79 Chinese PLA Main Battle Tanks (1974)

坦克被炮击如果不被击穿的情况下成员是否能够幸存? - 知乎

Type 69 tank - Wikipedia

关于现实中125毫米榴弹射击坦克的试验 (复制搬运) - 哔哩哔哩

1 Like

Would make an interesting premium/event vehicle! +1

1 Like

Looks quite odd, but also cool. +1

Some diagrams and detail that I think would be of interest:

image
The hull composition, from outside to inside, is:

  • ERA
  • 50mm RHA
  • 45mm Fiberglass
  • 50mm RHA
  • 45mm fiberglass
  • 100mm RHA (base armor)

image
image
The turret is, from outside to inside:

  • ERA
  • 100mm RHA
  • 100mm Ceramic or fiberglass
  • 20mm RHA
  • 60mm Ceramic or fiberglass
  • 80mm RHA
  • 200mm RHA (base armor)

image
Interestingly, this diagram of impacts (numbered 1-5) depicts a Type 79 as the base vehicle, rather than a Type 69.

Source: 杀爆战斗部对坦克目标毁伤研究 - 道客巴巴

3 Likes

It’s a test target vehicle so it’s obviously odd XD

It would be cool to get an update focusing on vehicles modified that were only used on ranges for testing armor or firepower. We’ve had a battlepass season (Armored Board) that touched on it, but it would be fun with an entire update focused on it, since there are so many fun and interesting vehicles that could be added but wouldn’t fit in normally.

2 Likes

That would be a pretty neat update. Pretty much every nation has testbed vehicles that could theoretically work in game. The main issue is finding out to what extent were they operable. For example, a gun test-rig might not have a turret traverse or gun elevation mechanism, which would severely hinder its in-game performance.

good

I feel like this would be a good example of a premium that could be added when compared to the Abrams KVT that was added a short time ago.