Type 79

Manufacturer: NORINCO - China North Industries Group Corporation - CNGC  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Main battle tank  


This made a brief appearance in the October 1984 parade in Beijing when it was referred to simply as a Main Battle Tank. Its chassis is similar to the Type 59/Type 69 but has the towing eyes under the nose and a headlamp arrangement similar to the Type 80 MBT.

The Type 79 MBT is a further development of the Type 69-II MBT with development being carried out by No 617 Factory. According to Chinese sources, the main improvements of the Type 79MBTareintheareas of firepower, fire control, night vision equipment and communications equipment. As far as is known, the Type 79 MBT has not been exported and is no longer being marketed.

Some sources have also given the Type 79 MBT the designation of the Type 69-III with 800 vehicles being manufactured for the PLA.


The turret is slightly different from the Type 59/Type 69 as there is a new large rectangular window located ahead of the commander's cupola which could be an internally mounted laser range-finder.

Mounted either side of the turret is a bank of four electrical smoke grenade dischargers, which are very similar to the German Wegmann 76 mm type and, to the immediate rear of these, is a metal stowage box which is believed to house additional grenades.

Main armament comprises a 105 mm rifled tank gun which is provided with a fume extractor and a thermal sleeve. A 7.62 mm machine gun is mounted coaxially with the main armament and a 12.7 mm machine gun is mounted on the loader's cupola for local and anti-aircraft defence. There are slight differences in the rear of the hull which indicate a different power pack.

Chinese sources state that the Type 79 weighs 37.5 tonnes compared to the 36 tonnes of the Type 59 and has a maximum road speed of 50 km/h. Standard equipment includes a simplified fire-control system and night vision equipment for commander, gunner and driver.

The upper part of the suspension of the Type 79 is covered by five removable skirts. The tank has also been observed fitted with new tracks with removable rubber pads in place of the more usual all-steel track fitted to other older Chinese MBTs.

A stowage basket runs around the rear half of the turret from just forward of the smoke grenade launchers and it is claimed to provide some protection against HEAT projectiles by detonating their warheads before they reach the turret.

Standard equipment on the NORINCO Type 79 MBT includes NBC system, unditching beam and long range fuel tanks which are carried at the rear.

The Type 79 can also lay its own smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust outlet on the left side of the hull.


Production complete. In service with the Chinese Army (estimated 800 vehicles).

Property Value
Weight (kg)
AA gun caliber (mm)
AA gun caliber (mm)
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Has folowing part:
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DTW2 (Projectile)

Type 79 quantities:
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Type 79