Z13 Bull demon king
|Z13 "Niu Mowang"|
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The Z13 in 2016 drills
|Type||Main Battle Tank|
|Place of origin||Akai|
|Manufacturer||Qi heavy production branch|
|Unit cost||NSD$8.45 million|
|Number built||465 (More in production)|
|Weight||49.0 metric tons|
|length||10.8 m (gun forward)|
|Crew||3 (Driver, gunner and commander)|
|Armor||Modular composite protection addition to soft-kill and hard-kill anti-missile defense systems|
|125 millimetres (4.9 in) HP-9M15 smoothbore gun with ATGM capability (45 rounds)|
| 1×12.7×108mm Wuqi ZJQ-49 (1,200 rounds)
1× 6.7x39mm GR-94 LMG (6,000 rounds)
|Engine|| 4-cycle, 12-cylinder water-cooled diesel|
1,500 hp (1193.12 KW)
|Suspension||Hydropneumatic active suspension|
|460 kilometres (280 mi)|
|Speed|| Paved road: 80 km/h (47 mph) |
Cross country: 50 km/h (34 mph)
Acceleration from 0–32 km/h (0–20 mph) in 7 seconds
The Z13 Niu Mowang (Bull demon king) (Nuú nógháng) is an Akai fourth generation Main Battle Tank which shall be replacing the old Z90 tanks used by the regular forces of Akai. Mass production began in 2015, on the day of Ditor Jieke’s birthday (13th of October) with a planned total of 2300 tanks intended to be made in future as well as the possibility of export being raised. They were first deployed in the January 2016 live drills.
The Orders of National Defence’s Bureau of Defence Development (Akai: 国防发展主席团)(Romanized Akai: Guofang fazhan zhuxituan) (Akai: Giaóráng rācthhǎn cthhǔgnísiaán) was approached by the High Command of the OND to see if it would be possible for them to create a tank which would further modernise the equipment used by Akai. It’s design specifications were, modular , under 50 tons if possible, capable of fighting NW Acheronian and South Acheron tank designs in a variety of terrain as well as also being produced to be compatible with current Order of the Field (OF) equipment.. This was done to find a solution to Akai’s own arms industry and further push it forwards. The emphasis placed on it being adapted to Akai’s existing weapons systems was one which was debated thoroughly however it was decided that it would be easier for the logistics of the nation to not have to deal with creating an entirely new set of ammunition for this vehicle.
Early variants featured various new technologies, such an unmanned turret to increase the protection for the crew although it was dropped due to concerns on how long it might take to repair it if the turret became damaged. A proposal to change to a 152mm smoothbore cannon was also considered and tested however due a variety of reasons such as the impracticality of such a powerful weapon combined with the limited ammunition and the issue of incompatibility it posed lead the bureau to decide against it. The design chosen was the HP-9M15 design was a new design made especially for the Z13 and yet it underwent extensive modifications to increase the power and lethality of the design. Combined with the fact that the other more experimental variants never were truly stopped means that the 140mm and ummaned designs could very easily become variants upon request.
After an unknown amount of time spent in development, the first production ready variants of the Z13 began to appear although due to serious issues with corruption being investigated by the SIA, the advancement of the project was heavily hampered until 2011. With delays with Wzu V12 engine being domestically produced by the Wzu automobile group, the test beds used a foreign engine too while the Cangbai group provided the suspension. The OND kept the Z13 as a secret until 2014 where it was showcased in a military which occurred in July of that year before Ditor Jieke I Huieke Lazin in Xuanjing with an announcement of that production would begin in 2015. The design featured a faster rotating unmanned turret than the then standard Z90 designs, reloaded faster, possessed higher accuracy and penetration and advanced soft & hard kill defences which made it superior to the designs used then.
The main armament of the Z13 is a 125mm (4.92 inches) HP-9M15 to serve as a heavily modified replacement for previous designs featured on Akai tanks. It possesses a firing rate of 12 rounds per minute, carrying a total of 45 rounds being carried by it as demonstrated by the variants at the 2015 testing facilities. It features a vertical carousel loader designed to take advantage of the increased space within the turret and hull with various ammunition being featured. The turret was designed to be unmanned to provide extra space for munitions in the first place, forcing the tank to embrace a crew in hull design. This in particular allows it to It is also able to use ATGMs and guided missiles if need be as well, giving the Z13 far greater tactical flexibility than might be expected. The weapons system can serve in the role of limited air defence if need be as well as being able to target low flying aircraft. Variants are also known to have radial cooling featured in the design, to reduce recoil and increase the rate of cooling in the tank.
The Z13 uses several types of ammunition such as a tungsten sabot round with a penetrator of 850mm which has been designed to penetrate with more energy than previously thanks to superior heat treatment provided by new developments in SSJ 20051
Another advantage of the Z13 is its capability to use the Akai Smart Strike Munition (ASSM), a fire-and-forget, top-attack anti-tank munition which has been tested to be effective at particularly long ranges of two to eight kilometres. It was designed especially for the Z13 as a means of achieving a means of long range targeting which could eliminate tanks. It works by being fired by the Z13’s main gun at a high trajectory, with an arc similar to that of a mortar. One it is over its designated target’s location it it deploys a parachute which allows it to use its sensors to track stationary or moving targets. One a suitable target has been found, an explosively formed penetrator is fired from a top down position to exploit the fact that top armour on tanks is traditionally weaker than it would be elsewhere. Target acquisition is usually done through the crew via a remote link although the process can be automated. The advantages of not being able to reveal your position when firing, gives the Z13 a considerable advantage over comparable tank designs, as well as it being able to provide indirect fire support if needed.
When posed with the question of attacking targets such as infantry, light mechanised forces and low flying aircraft such as helicopters the Z13 uses a specialised multi-purpose HEAT round to destroy those targets. The need for this particular extra was considered by the BDD to reduce the need for a variety of armoured vehicles, keeping the total numbers of tanks needed for a particular operation minimal.
The secondary armament of the Z13 consists of a 12.7×108mm Wuqi ZJQ-49 machine gun and a 6.7x39mm GR-94 LMG produced under an assisted overseas production agreement with the Estovakivan Gernadiev Arms Manufactor. The former carries which carries 3,200 rounds while the latter possess 12,000 rounds. All secondary weapons use remote controlled systems, to increase the safety of the design. In order to reduce and avoid visual impediments the 12.7mm is mounted above the commander’s sight on the roof while the front of the turret is the location of the smaller GR-94 machinegun.
The Z13 also features a particularly advanced fire-control system (FCS) linked to an Extremely High Frequency radar system which is added on the frontal arc of the turret as well as the usual laser rangefinder and crosswind sensors to further increase the accuracy of the design although it isn’t the primary means of target location. The system is capable of locking onto specific targets at a range of over 9 kilometers thanks to a thermographic camera which facilitates the firing while moving. It also allows the targeting of low-flying aircraft as well, further increasing the tanks capabilities.
The FCS featured includes an advanced gun stabilization system as well as trigger delay system to further improve accuracy while present in uneven terrain. The trigger when pulled at the moment the tank arrives at an irregularity in the terrain it will cause a temporary misalignment between subsystems until it is realigned - increasing the chances of hitting the target. The advanced Primary sight and Panoramic sight systems as featured on the preceding Z90 modernised tank designs as well as including advanced sensors and armaments to augment the power of the vehicle.
The commander of the tank possesses the command to override the control of the gun and turret from the gunner in case of an emergency, allowing the Z13 to rely on one or two crew members at a time if the tank is damaged, allowing it to be taken back to a safe location for repairs if it still salvageable. .
Defences and protection
The armour of the Z13 is one which is particularly suited to the needs of the Order of the Field and the Order of the Seas. In particular the desire for lightweight protection above all else was the main goal of the design and facilitated a particularly long period of testing. The tank was ultimately designed with expeditionary operations in mind, ones which could in time be able to maintain combat effectiveness against advanced fourth generation tanks as well as other cheaper modernised designs. This combination of goals led to the development of the Kaijia armour system. The profile of the tank is supposed to be slightly angular to help reflect the energy of impacting devices as well as also low as well, providing the Z13 a particular advantage there with comparable tanks.
The Kaijia system makes use of modular composite components across the armour which allows far greater protection than that provided in the previously used Z90. The exact composition is combination of modular ceramic composite armor, nano-crystal steel (Triple Hardness Steel) and lightweight explosive reactive armour used to reduce the weight of the armour while allowing it to retain similar levels of protection. The design is focused on protecting the turret as well, allowing the device to make use of its weight reducing functions and not losing protection simultaneously. The vehicle’s armour being modular provides the ability to have varying levels of protection which means that the weight and defensive ability of it can vary greatly when used with the base model only weighing 40 tonnes while it can weigh 55 tons when fully equiped. Other modifications have increased the weight to be far heavier thanks to heavier ammunition, which are still being tested against other targets for possible future developments. ERA can also be added to the design, thanks to the modularity of it, further increasing its protection, while also providing tank users with tactical flexibility.
The Z13 also makes use of an automatic fire suppression system which would put out any fires found inside and which may occur, as well as featuring full CBRN protection. Dry, filtered, temperature controlled air is provided through Chichu system’s air protection systems.
Another form of defences is hard and soft kill anti-missile systems which serve defense against incoming missiles is provided by a soft-kill anti-missile system. The active protection system is known as Shenzhoufeng is designed to protect the tank from a variety of similar threats. It uses a millimeter band radar, tracking radar and three-dimensional detection, to track threatening munitions and provides that information rapidly to the rest of the system. The system responds with firing a defensive rocket to deal with the threat and at distance of 10-15 meters away, detecting them at a range of up to 150 meters away. The design is intended to protect the tank from all sides when in combat as well as neutralise RPGs and anti-tank missiles.
The millimeter band radar system mounted on the turret is capable as serving as a Missile Warning System. The vehicle’s computer is capable of thusly triangulating incoming projectiles to instantaneously warn the crew and fire off grenades which inhibit Visual and Infrared detection known as Detection Inhibitor Grenades (DIG). This effectively blocks optical, infrared and radar signatures with its cloud. It also carries a Radar Warning Receiver and a radar jammer.Four Laser Warning Receivers are also on the tank to alert its occupants when they’re being targeted and can deploy DIG grenades if needed.
Sensors and communications
It also features a C4U (Command control communication and control uplink), GLS (Global Locating satellite) uplink and a SIF (Selective Identification feature) system. All systems were domestically produced to ensure that Akai would not need to rely on foreign systems for its combat effectiveness.