|Manufacturer:||NORINCO - China North Industries Group Corporation - CNGC|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Main battle tank|
Early in 1995, NORINCO (China North Industries Corporation) revealed that it was marketing a new version of its Type 85 MBT called Type 85-HI.
This is a further development of the earlier Type 85-II (armed with a 105 mm rifled gun and a crew of four) and the Type 85-IIM (armed with a 125 mm smoothbore gun and a crew of three). The latter is also being manufactured in Pakistan as the Type 85-IIAP, which was first observed in March 1993.
It is understood that some subsystems of this tank are also used in the Type 90-II covered in the previous entry.
As of early 1999 it is believed that volume production of the NORINCO Type 85-III MBT had yet to commence.
The overall layout is virtually the same as that of the Type 85-II, covered in the following entry, with the main improvements being summarised as follows:
(1) Installation of a new power pack consisting of a transversely mounted V-type diesel engine developing 1,000 hp
(2) The complete power pack is integrated and can be removed and replaced in the field in less than 40 minutes
(3) The transmission has been improved and now has hydraulic control and the driver can select either automatic, semi-automatic or manual modes of operation
(4) The composite armour panels on the turret and hull front provide a very high degree of protection against both kinetic and chemical energy attack. The hull front armour is fixed while the turret armour can be replaced with a different armour package if required
(5) Commander and gunner have roof-mounted stabilised (in two planes) day/image intensification (second-generation) night sights and the computerised fire-control system allows stationary or moving targets to be engaged with a high first round hit probability when the vehicle is moving
Main armament comprises a 125 mm smoothbore gun fed by an automatic loader. This is believed to be similar to that fitted to the Russian T-72/T-80 MBTs and has allowed the crew to be reduced to three. Maximum quoted rate of fire is 8 rds/min and a total of 42 rounds of separate loading (projectile is loaded first followed by the charge with its semi-combustible cartridge case) ammunition are carried
The 125 mm gun fires three types of 125 mm ammunition, APFSDS, HEAT and HE-FRAG with the APFSDS having a muzzle velocity of 1,730 m/s and penetrating 460 mm of rolled homogeneous armour at a range of 2,000 m.
Standard equipment includes a collective NBC system, fire/explosion detection/suppression system, bank of six forward firing smoke grenade launchers mounted either side of the turret and the ability to lay a smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust.
The Type 85-III MBT has more recently been offered fitted with a Global Positioning System.
To extend the operational range of the Type 85-III MBT, drum-type long-range fuel tanks can be fitted at the rear.
No variants have been announced although NORINCO has stated that the Type 85-III MBT can be modified into a command post vehicle.
Development complete. Ready for production.
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