Description: The Type 63A, also known as the ZTS63A and WZ213, is an amphibious light tank developed for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) on the basis of the Type 63 amphibious light tank introduced in 1963. The Type 63 tank was Chinese development based on the Soviet PT-76 amphibious light tank of the early 1950s. The Type 63A tank has been designed for river-crossing operations and amphibious landings in hostile shores required to take over an island such as Taiwan. The Type 63A features greater firepower that its predecessors thanks to a 105mm two-axis stabilized rifled gun compared with the 85mm cannon provided to the older Type 63 tank. Its boat-like hull and waterjets make the Type 63A capable of swimming over a distance exceeding 120 kilometers and a maximum speed of 28 kilometers per hour (kph). Typically, these tanks are released at a distance between 5 to 7 kilometers from shore during amphibious assault operations. The PLA fielded the first 20-ton Type 63A amphibious light tanks in 1997 with over 300 units produced so far.
The Type 63A's 105mm gun with 45 rounds on the vehicle's magazine can take out a bunker at a distance of 2,000 meters and pierce 650mm of steel armor. A laser-guided anti-tank missile can be fired from the turret while swimming in order to engage hostile tanks on the shore or low flying helicopters. Besides, the tank is equipped with a 12.7mm roof-mounted anti-aircraft machine gun and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. The tank's computer-based fire control system includes a night thermal camera, laser rangefinder and satellite GPS/GLONASS based navigation system. The Type 63A is powered by a 581-hp diesel engine allowing a top speed of 75 kph and a maximum range of 400 kilometers on land.