Type 99 MBT
Type 99 tank chief designer Zhu Yusheng
Types 99 and 96 tanks at 50th national day parade published an article in memory of Zhu Yusheng, recently deceased chief designer of China’s most advanced Type 99 main battle tank.
When Zhu was appointed chief designer of third-generation main battle tank in 1984, China has not finalized the design of its second-generation tank while the US and Germany have already commissioned their M1 and Leopard 2 tanks. lagged behind by two generations.
When Zhu began research and development of Type 99 tank, he had no designated imaginary enemy to counter or type to copy. At the very beginning, Zhu set the targets of matching and even surpassing world advanced tanks. As a result, 80% of the functions of Type 99 tank are China’s inventions.
For example, in determining the caliber of the tank’s main gun, Zhu wanted the gun to be the best in fire power, protection and maneuverability. He chose a 125-mm gun for the large amount of gunpowder in its cannonball and had enhanced the impetus of the gunpowder.
Zhu was the first in adopting the advanced technology of optic-electronic countermeasure system in the tank. He has made the tank lighter in weight to reduce fuel consumption and leave room for increase in weigh for further improvement. He was the first in the world to successfully developed the active protection technology and had thus shocked the world.
Source: “In memory of Zhu Yusheng, chief designer of PLA’s third-generation main battle tank” (summary by Chan Kai Yee)


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