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Also Known As: ZTZ-96B
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Description: The Type 96A, also reported as Type 90 for export customers, Main Battle Tank (MBT) is an improved derivative of the Type 85 II tank which was developed on the basis of the Soviet-made T-54 chassis. After the Gulf War in 1991, the Chinese military realized that Type 88 was no match to Western-made tanks and launched the development of more advanced MBTs which led to Type 96 and Type 99. The Type 96A MBT, originally known as Type 85 III, was deployed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) at the end of the 1990s replacing Type 59 and Type 69 in PLA's elite units.
The Type 96B is the latest development of the Type 96 main battle tank family featuring a high-performance 125 mm smoothbore gun, an improved, more powerful engine, newly developed transmission gear and a state-of-the-art fire-control system. The new tank may become the backbone of the Chinese armored formations. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) sent the Type 96B tank to the Tank Biathlon, at Alabino training range in Russia, in August 2016. The NORINCO Corporation may produce 2,000 to 4,000 Type 96B tanks as replacement for thousands of Type 59 and Type 69 tanks.
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