Type 99 Main battle tank

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TETRU Type 99
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Type 99C
Type Main Battle Tank
Place of origin
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Rodarion
Service history
In service 1990-present
Used by
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Papal Army, Papal Defence Corps
Wars Khalifat War of Independence
Rodar-Itailian War
Production history
Designer Papal Design Department
Designed 1994-1998
Manufacturer TETRU Defence
Unit cost USD$2.1 million
Produced 1999-Present
Number built 5,450
Variants Type 99A, 99B, 99C
Specifications
Weight 58 tonnes 99A, 99B
59 tonnes 99C
Length 12.3 m
Width 3.5 m
Height 2.87 m
Crew 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)

Armor rolled homogenous steel-ceramic/steel alloy laminate-rubber-tungsten alloy backing layer Heavy ERA
with laser dazzler, soft kill defense system, hard kill defense system
Main
armament
TETRU 130 mm 52 caliber smoothbore gun
Secondary
armament
1 x PSR STAMP/II stabilized remote controlled turret
1 x 12.7 mm heavy machine gun
Engine TETU 8EP Diesel Engine
1789 hp
Power/weight 20.2 hp/t
Suspension Torsion bar
Operational
range
435 km (With extended tanks - 755 km)
Speed 78 km/h onroad

The TETRU Type 99, also known as TTY-99, is a third generation main battle tank (MBT) fielded by the Rodarian Papal Armed Forces. It is made to compete with other modern tanks. It is the successor to the Type 90 main battle tank but itself was the precursor to the Type 100 MBT, its engines, chasis and weapons systems were used and upgraded with the Type 100, due to this fact the Type 99 is the second most fielded tank in the Papal Armed Forces after the Type 100, the two tanks also operate in complete unison within Rodarian military doctrine.

Design

The development of the new tank was initiated in the early 1990s. Tank designs of the CDI nations were greatly superior to the primary Rodarian tank at the time the Type 90 Main Battle Tank, and initiated a project to develop a new, modern main battle tank which eventually resulted in the highly advanced and successful Type 99. The design was based on the Rodarian Type 90. Features include sloped turret armor and an overall low profile turret for increased protection. The driver's compartment is in the front while the fighting compartment lies directly behind it, with the engine installed in the rear.

To accommodate more equipment and ammunition, the Type 99's turret is slightly larger than that of the Type 90, resulting in a gap between the turret and hull in the front. This could be a major disadvantage in battle, as it acts as a shot trap and exposes the turret ring, increasing the likelihood of hits from the front jamming the turret. TETRU has since provided armor upgrades to the Type 99, which minimizes the gap to avoid a shot trap.

The tank is equipped with an active laser defense system. The laser warning receiver can determine the location of an attacking enemy tank, while the high-powered laser dazzler can temporarily damage the enemy tank's optics. It can also be used as a secure communications device.

Counter Measures and Communications

The type-VHF-2000 tank communication system on the Type 99 has electronic countermeasures, electro-magnetic compatibility and multiple workstation capability. Mounted behind the commander's hatch is a laser communication and IFF system. It is a compact and multifunctional system used for IFF, sending digital command signal, voiced communication and laser detection. its receiver could function as a laser warning system on the wavelength of 0.7–1.02 µm. it has a working range of >3,700m. up and down angle of +45 degree to -10 degree (same as the commander's sight), 360 degree at horizontal level, target detection time is <0.6sec, 60 encrypted IFF code is stored in the system.

Further back on top of the turret is the type-9602 GPS navigation and position signal receiving antenna, its a two channel C/A code receiver and provide 3D military grade coordinates under all weather condition, data on tank's moving direction and speed along with those of the target can be established to provide suitable navigation route. Type-9802 has a relatively low precision of 100m that fell short of some tactical requirement, In 2005 all Type 99s were equipped with the successfully developed GLONSS/GPS navigation and positioning system, with precision increased to 20 meters.

On the back of the gunner's hatch is an active laser suppression system designated JT-1, which is claimed to be designed to directly attack the various guidance systems on the opponent's weapon system. it can be operated by either the commander or the gunner, the laser ray could interfere or permanently damage IR sensor's components (laser ranger; night-vision equipment; TV camera head; telescopic sight; etc.) and has obvious effect against naked eyes. The system consists of a micro-computer control box; target tracking sub-system; laser suppressor and thermal image jammer. The system can be rotated 360 degrees, +90 degree to -12 degree, horizontal tracking speed 45 degree/sec, vertical tracking speed 40 degree/sec, laser energy output is 1.160 MHz, laser pulse's working repetition rate is 18ps, maximum working range is 4,200m, continues working time is 30min, laser beamer has a lifespan of 1.2 million. But other sources suspect it to be ATM guidance device, even a patent description claims it to be laser-based IFF system.In addition, the Type 99's driver is equipped with anti-laser glass for protection from similar systems fielded on an opponent's platform.

The new Type 99A2 variant is believed to be also fitted with a hard kill active protection system, similar to the ARENA active defense system but of indigenous design, as well as new millimeter wave radar defense apparatus.

Armament

The TTY-99's main armament includes a dual-axis fully stabilised 130 mm/52 calibre long TA80 tank gun with a carousel-style autoloader, a thermal sleeve, and a fume extractor. The gun can be fired by either electronics or manual control. The gun barrel can be replaced within 45 minutes. Loading is mechanical with 41 rounds carried inside the turret and vehicle hull while 22 rounds are stored within the autoloader. The gun can fire about 10 rounds per minute using autoloader and 3~4 rounds per minute with manual loading. Ammunition includes armour-piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS), HEAT, LAHAT and HE-FRAG projectiles. Rodarion has also reportedly manufactured AT-90 laser-guided anti-tank missiles to be fired from the 130 mm gun for enemy tank with Explosive Reactive Armour, with an effective range of 4.6 km. In addition, the Rodarians have developed depleted uranium (DU) rounds for their tanks and these may be available for the Type 99. Its muzzle velocity is 1780 m/s. The 3rd generation kinetic energy armour-piercing ammunition for the 130 mm tank gun is the APFSDS round with a 30:1 length/calibre heavy tungsten alloy penetrator and is claimed to be capable of penetrating 890 mm steel armor at a distance of 2,000 m. A HEAT shell was able to defeat 1100 mm rolled homogenous armor. A depleted uranium (DU) APFSDS round is available which is claimed to be able to penetrate 1050mm steel armour at a distance of 2,220 m.

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Type 99B tanks during the Enduring Peace and Harmony wargames in 2011

All Type 99 variants, are armed with a TA87 130 mm smoothbore gun with a length/calibre ratio of 53:1. The barrel is made of high-intensity PCrN13NoV. Hydraulic self-strengthening technology has resulted in a much stiffer barrel, the length is 6,412 mm. The thermal sleeve is of a double aluminium plate structure with air gap, it consists of 5 non-interchangeable parts, its effective rate is 70%. A severely damaged TA87 can have its parts repaired and/or replaced on the battlefield within 45 minutes.

Armour

Currently, the actual armor composition of the Type-99 remains unknown. There are public photos of experimental Rodarian composite armors, specifically Al233 under test. The armor didn't sustain any significant damage after being shot by a Type-90C 125 mm armament seven times or a 105 mm armament nine times in a range of 1,800 meters. Due to the classified nature of the Rodarian military, the RHA steel equivalency of the main armor cannot be accurately determined, though judging by the weight and dimensions, it would be at least on par with most other 3rd generation main battle tanks.

According to some theories and investigations into the Type 99, it is surmised that the armour is RHA with explosive reactive armour with a steel alloy laminate-rubber-tungsten alloy backing layer. The Papal Army has shown some concern over weight issues that stem from the use of ERA blocks during wartime, especially with the Papal Army wanting a tank with a capable speed and firepower, allowing the tank to remain a central player in its shock-offensive doctrine. A secondary reason for opposition to the use of ERA blocks is that the blocks are too large to be effectively used as ERA, since one detonation leads to a large unprotected area. Further support is given in the fact that some armies had two armor packages after the introduction of ERA. Live ERA blocks for wartime and composite blocks for peacetime, as maintaining ERA blocks during operational conditions is both expensive and hazardous as well as leading to an increase in weight.

Fire Control and observation

Fire accuracy is attained by the laser rangefinder, wind sensor, ballistic computer, and thermal barrel sleeve, while essential muzzle reference system is invisible in released photographs. Dual axis stabilization ensures effective firing on the move. The commander has six periscopes and a stabilized panoramic sight. Both the commander and gunner have roof-mounted stabilized sights fitted with day/thermal channels, a laser rangefinder and an auto tracker facility. The commander has a display showing the gunner's thermal sight, enabling the commander to fire the main gun. The Thermal Imaging System (TIS) with cooled detector using processing in the element (SPRITE) technology has narrow field of view magnification of ×11.4 and ×5 in wide field of view.

The Type 99 is also fitted with a computerized onboard information processing system, which can collect information from vehicle navigation (Inertia/GPS), observation systems and sensors, process it in the computer and display it on the commander's display, giving the ability of real-time command and beyond-vision-range target engaging.

Engine

The Type 99 is powered by a liquid cooled, turbocharged 1,789 hp diesel in the form of a TETU 8EP Heavy Diesel Engine. At its current battle weight of 59 tons, this gives a power-to-weight ratio of about 20.2 hp/ton. The maximum speed on road is 78 km/h and is claimed to be 60 km/h on cross country. Acceleration from 0 to 32 km/h takes 12 seconds. The transmission provides seven forward and one reverse gears.

Variants

  • Type 99A1: The first improved variant of the TTY99 that features a laser warning system, newly designed observation and active protection system (APS). The commander viewer of the new tank appears to be slightly larger than that of the basic variant TTY99, suggesting a possible independent commander thermal imaging viewer.
  • Type 99B: While the earlier Type 99 that entered service several years ago had additional armor packages on the original Type 90 turret and the chassis, the Type 99B has its turret top reshaped, having the hump on the turret's top removed by thickening it. This might be the result for changing the height of the turret itself to improve more protection or more space for the tank commander and gunner. Other distinct details are the armor packages on the front and at its sides, the ERA panels have been extended. The Type 99A1 might also have received further upgrades in terms of targeting computers etc.
  • Type 99C: The much-improved Type 99 variant, with many major upgrades and improvements. Some of the improvement and upgrades include a longer-barreled gun, a reaction improved aiming system, a digital battlefield information terminal, a newly designed arrow-shaped armor, a larger turret, an expanded tail chamber, a new commander's periscope, an Integrated Propulsion System, a hard kill defense system and an Active Protection System mounted on the turret with millimeter-wave radar that will replace the laser defence system. And introduction of a Remote weapon station.