Type 85-II

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


Early in 1989, NORINCO (China North Industries Corporation) stated that it had developed two new MBTs based on the Type 80 MBT chassis (qv), the Type 85-II and the Type 85-IIA.

These MBTs were developed to meet the operational requirements of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) with firing trials carried out in mid-1989.

All previous Chinese MBTs had a cast steel turret but the Type 85 has a welded steel turret with compound armour for improved battlefield survivability. In addition it has an enhanced computerised fire-control system which, when used with the independently stabilised sighting system, allows the gunner to engage moving targets when the tank is in motion.

The actual difference between the Type 85-II and Type 85-IIA has not been disclosed although the latter is slightly heavier at 39.5 tonnes and slightly shorter in length.

Main armament of the Type 85-H and Type 85-IIA is the same as that of the earlier Type 80, a 105 mm rifled tank gun with the Type 85-II carrying 46 rounds and the Type 85-IIA carrying 44 rounds of ammunition.

The original Type 80 MBT has an individual NBC system while Types 80-II, 85-H and 85-IIA have a collective system. The Type 80-II, 85-II and 85-IIA also have a Type 889B radio system.

In mid-1991, it was announced that the Type 85-H MBT was to be co-produced in Pakistan (qv).

Late in 1992, NORINCO revealed ' it was manufacturing another version of the Type 85 called the Type 85-IIM; this is similar to the earlier models but is heavier and is armed with a 125 mm rifled tank gun which is fed by an automatic loader which feeds the projectile and then the charge into the weapon.

Recent information has indicated that the version of the Type 85 selected by Pakistan is designated the Type 85-IIAP. This made its first appearance during a parade held in Islamabad in March 1993.


The layout of the Type 85-IIM MBT is conventional with the driver's compartment at the front, fighting compartment in the centre and engine compartment at the rear. The basic hull and turret is of welded steel armour with an additional layer of composite armour added to the glacis plate and the turret front and sides for improved battlefield survivability.

The driver is seated at the front left and has a single-piece hatch cover and periscopes for forward observation, one of which can be replaced by a passive periscope for driving at night.

The gunner is seated on the left of the turret with the commander on the right. The gunner has a single-piece hatch cover which opens forwards. It has a circular opening forthe installation of a snorkel for deep fording as well as an observation periscope. The gunner's sight is mounted in the turret roof forwards of the hatch cover.

The commander has a cupola and a periscope that can be traversed a full 360. Mounted on the turret roof is a 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun which can be used by the commander or gunner. This weapon is believed to be the Chinese NORINCO 12.7 mm tank anti-aircraft machine gun Type 59 which has been made under licence by Pakistan Ordnance Factories.

Main armament comprises a 125 mm smoothbore gun which is fitted with a fume extractor and thermal sleeve. This is fed by an automatic loader which has enabled the crew to be reduced to three; it uses three types of separate loading (projectile and charge) ammunition, APFSDS, HE and HEAT.

The APFSDS projectile has a muzzle velocity of 1,730 m/s and is claimed to penetrate 500 mm of rolled homogeneous armour (RHA) at 0 incidence at a range of 2,000 m. The projectile itself is 546.5 mm long and weighs 7.34 kg.

According to NORINCO, this round can also be fired from the 125 mm smoothbore gun installed in the Russian T-72 MBT.

A 7.62 mm machine gun is mounted coaxially with the main armament and a bank of six electrically operated smoke grenade dischargers is mounted either side of the turret. In addition the vehicle can lay its own smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust.

The Image-Stabilised Fire-Control System (ISFCS) includes a laser range-finder integrated into the stabilised gunner's sight, control panels, ballistic computer and sensors which give a high first round hit probability against both stationary and moving targets while the Type 85-IIM is stationary or moving. Second-generation image intensification night vision equipment is standard for the commander, gunner and driver.

The supercharged V-12 diesel engine develops 730 hp and is coupled to a transmission of an undisclosed type. It is possible that the power pack is the same as that installed in the Type 80 MBT. The earlier NORINCO Types 59, 69 and 79 MBTs have their exhaust outlets located on the left side of the hull, just above the last roadwheel station as on the Soviet T-54, T-55 and T-62 MBTs. The hull of the Type 85-IIM is a new design and does not appear to be based on the Type 80 MBT.

The suspension either side consists of six dual rubber-tyred roadwheels with torsion bars, an idler at the front, drive sprocket at the rear and track-return rollers. The upper "part of the suspension is covered by a skirt. The steel tracks have replaceable rubber pads.

Standard equipment includes a Type 889B radio system, NBC system and explosion detection/suppression system.


There are no known variants of the Type 85-IIM MBT. Further development by NORINCO has resulted in the Type 85-III MBT which is covered in the previous entry. It is possible that there are variants of the Type 85 series chassis under development, including an armoured recovery vehicle.

Property Value
Weight (kg)
Length (mm)
Width (mm)
Height (mm)
Ground clearance (mm)
Power-to-weight ratio (h.p./t)
Main weapon caliber (mm)
Ammunition of the main gun
Elevation (degree)
Depression (degree)
Auxiliary gun calibre (mm)
AA gun caliber (mm)
Engine power output (h.p.)
Max. road speed (km/h)
Gradient (%)
Trench (mm)
Vertical obstacle (mm)
Fording depth (mm)

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