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T90 Compared with Al Khalid

serenity

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TLDR for you is that PLA tanks 96 and 99 series are based on the past era of frugality and even today PLA's focus on budget allocation places tanks at the bottom of all major platform types. In the past era of frugality, the only protection you can afford is frontal only.

I mean no offense but this has a lot of contradictory and sometimes just straight up false information, and a suggestion would be to lower the word count of your posts, they’re generally very informative but a chore to read with all the repetitions.

First of all, the Type 96 and the Al-Khalid are similar because they both evolved from the same tank (type 85-IIAP) and somewhat the same project (Type 90-II), but that’s where the similarities about end. Because internally these two could not be more different, Al-Khalid series barely has any Chinese parts now (internally).

I doubt either 96 or 96A has better hull or turret base protection than Al-Khalid. However 96A/B definitely has better ERA coverage on the turret and likely better overall protection due to the better ERA. However all Chinese origin tanks have abysmal overall protection in general, including any used by Pakistan (Al-Khalid, VT-4) because they have absolutely no armor anywhere except the front. I strongly doubt the 96, 96A, 96B or Al-Khalid/Al-Khalid-1 have base armor better than T90S. And that tank also has decent ERA coverage with Kontakt-5. Russian metallurgy is hard to beat. And T90S design is much much better than anything China or Pakistan make in regards to angles and side protection. It’s only held back by its age now (Hence T90MS). And no matter what Chinese doctrine says or their generals thing, it’s just incredibly stupidly poor design to not have armor anymore except the front. China (and by extension Pakistan) doesn’t know how to design a good tank, period. Even the ZTZ-99s design only improved a bit because they copied a T72, and even then they failed to improve the side armor (which is something they finally realized with their new light tanks…)

man the first few paragraphs of your also long post is basically exactly what I said. Just you sometimes go into even more detail.

I said AK is derived from 96. AK came after 96 and is based on 90 and 85. Same ancestor tanks but also coming after 96, so saying it is based on 96 is not inaccurate but maybe I should have said based on 96's direct developments.

Armor commentary you are just repeating what I said. Only armor at front and for front shots. Everywhere else there is maybe 5cm to 7cm of armor thickness and that is just there not to stop anything above 12.7mm anti material rounds but really for the structural integrity of front armor dealing with the heaviest of anti tank shots.

If you think it's hard to design good angle and side protection than you aren't giving the designers enough credit. The secret to designing good side and angle protection is adding armor to the forward hull section and turret dealing with +15 degree angle shots. You can do that via geometric direction or even methods similar to Leo 2 and M1 series which is less geometrically elegant (Russian method) but more material intensive and weight costly.

Again the reason Chinese tanks don't bother with side protection or even much angle protection is down to doctrine. When you say it's incredibly stupid not to, honestly I don't even know how to reply to that. Side protection is not hard to design for, doctrine determines how much weight you are getting AND exactly how good front armor needs to be. It is incredibly obvious given the knowns that PLA tanks need that minimum front armor and all the allocatable and allowable weight and armor material has been used up just to meet that frontal armor requirement. The reason for side negligence is not because they can't design a tank with good side protection (like wtf really you think this?) but because each tank designed for a certain weight and size class has to meet front armor requirements. Side is less important because side shots are so much less frequent in the way those tanks are used. If Pakistan wants Rambo tank able to take side shots, it needs to get something like M1 or Leopard 2 or even Challenger 2 which has good side protection or T-90MS if it wants good angle protection.

The difference between your approach and mine is that I'm evaluating the macros whereas you are isolating the tank itself in evaluation.


Al Khalid definitely has better electrical systems than 96. Maybe comparable to 96A. AK-1 is likely ahead of all of them by a considerable margin. The OG 96 is shit, not the OG Al-Khalid. When the Al-Khalid entered service it had basically everything, a panoramic commanders sight (96 doesn’t have that, even in A/B configuration), Full body ERA coverage, LWRs (unfortunately never made it to production), side armor (another thing skipped in production, god knows why) and a modern FCS with auto-tracking. And the AK-1 still definitely holds its own. (Keep in mind this applies for the region, not for the world at large, in that case there are no “good” tanks in South Asia apart from VT-4 and 99A which are just serviceable at best compared to modern European, Russian and American tanks on paper).

Okay I thought OG AK was as shit as 96 but OG AK came out later than 96 and while China uses thousands upon thousands of 96 (can't afford to give it good internals) Pakistan treated AK like it's their M1 sort of. Basically a higher regard, higher importance platform whereas for PLA the 96 is treated as just a vehicle that can take frontal shots and take that gun into battle. First priority for PLA's 96 is mobility so that it can reach places to hold positions. By mobility I don't just mean acceleration top speed, I mean terrain types, weight class, ground pressure, width, range.

There are indeed no good tanks in south Asia. 99A isn't in south Asia unless you mean to say Tibetan plateau. In which case okay if I rank the overall capability of above 40 tonne tanks in south Asia (including Tibetan plateau) it would be 99A above VT-4 and then VT-4 and then Arjun whatever version is most modern, and far from these three you then get T-90S and Type 96A and upgraded Al-Khalids. Much further from this you get OG AK and then another step down, OG 96.

Arjun is shit period, Arjun MK1A has decent electrical systems and FCS, but they’re useless because it can’t fire any modern ammo. An OG Al-Khalid will handily outdo An arjun MK-1A even with its better electrical systems, because the Arjun cannot penetrate the front of the Al-Khalid even if it didn’t have ERA and it’s armored was halved. Yes. I mean that. The T90S has considerably better protection than the Arjun and will most likely stop all but the best Chinese APFSDS if hit frontally on its ERA. Chinese APFSDS is rather average to say the least. No long rod penetrators anywhere.

Arjun has good protection though and I really doubt T-90S frontal is better than Arjun I also don't think angle and side protection of T-90S would be much better if even better than Arjun. Arjun MK1 is nearly 60 tonnes. It has very roughly maybe 10 tonnes more armor overall and 5 tonnes more peripherals than T-90s. But here you understand somewhat what I mean by frontal armor. If your ground forces have good enough everything else you won't let you tanks be engaged from even angles you can't deal with well enough. I know it's better to have the side and angle protection designed into the tank too but PLA is on a budget especially for tank forces.

You should understand that for PLA modernization over the last 40 years or so, tank got the smallest of leftover scraps for development. They made the right choice. They simply cannot afford over 2000 3rd generation tanks with 15% higher costs which would give them okay side and angle protection. When such a cost would mean lower mobility for certain and hundreds of fewer drones and Z-10 and no advanced ATGMs development.

The modernization task of PLA overall placed much more focus on developing new technologies, catching up, modernizing the military industries themselves, buying those other platforms it didn't have and then if there's leftover at all, for tanks, the most worthless platform out of satellites types, carriers, LHDs, destroyers, gunships, UAV UCAVs, fighters, hypersonic glide missiles, intercontinental hypersonic aircraft that can launch weapons!, interceptors, BMD, nuclear submarines, newer missiles, newer EW ESM ECM systems, the dozens of Y-8 and Y-9 electronic attack AWACS early warning anti submarine and signals intelligence aircraft, and the list is on and on and on and on and on. MBTs means nothing except heavy armor that soldiers without ATGM can't do anything about basically.

Yes all these tanks have crap ammo and relatively crap guns with VT-4 and 99A guns being a bit better due to ability for higher pressures while still outlasting the guns not made via more expensive and time consuming steel processing which 2a46 and 96's version of zpt-98 gun does not undergo at least to same extent. I don't actually know about VT-4 but I assume it uses 98's level of manufacturing.

Top protection is most definitely not meaningless in any tank. An APS only works if your tank has enough armor, you can’t put an APS on a Family sedan and expect it to survive a tank shell. An APS reduces the penetration of projectiles to where they can’t penetrate the armor of a tank and are not garunteed to work. If your tank has no top armor but the best APS in the world. It can still die to an obsolete cluster bomb dropped from a crop duster or the remnants of an APFSDS shell after it’s been struck by an APS projectile.

Meaningless for 97 out of 100 cases. If one is rich enough to spend the extra million $ per tank for very heavy duty top armor that can make that 50 out of 100 cases or so, then sure. All things are money and budget, material and doctrine related.

At this price range, there is no tank with good top protection. PLAGF don't plan on letting even India (its most threatening bordering land force) get to a position they can even imagine dropping crop duster onto numerous PLA tanks. I can see maybe isolated cases but militaries don't do design and planning of major platforms for isolated cases.

Type 15 is a welcome change in Chinese tank design and is definitely more useful against india than any other tank China has. And india has no counter to it as of now. Their tank fleet is very old even when compared to Pakistans. The devil is in the details, I’ve talked about how obsolete Indian tank ammo is before.

I’m not even going to get into the doctrinal aspects of your post because it just seems like a mashup of words From a multiplayer video game instead of actual combined arms warfare. I could pick apart your post for hours, but it’s just going to become a mess.

Type 15 is not "more useful against India than any other tank China has" unless you mean in Himalayas because 15 has better mobility than any tank in the world basically. It sacrifices protection and firepower to achieve this mobility. Its engine is specifically ground up developed and designed for low oxygen and low pressure atmospheric conditions. It then also still has the highest power to weight ratio by a massive league compared to every tank from 30 tonne to 70 tonne except Sprut but Sprut has less than half the protection of 15 and the Sprut has hopeless internals - ballistic computers, LWR, optics, sensors, comms, NVG, rangefinder so on. On the other hand, Type 15 is probably more than 10 times the cost of Sprut if Sprut if bought by Russia in the same volume as PLA buys Type 15 (production scale).

But yeah I know what you mean. This is the only tank in China that has sealed ammo storage with autoloader and blast panels, allowing autoloading AND long one piece ammunition which actually makes its penetration maybe nearly as good as those ZPT-98 fired ammo.
 

Signalian

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Basic Qs:
1. What is the role of modern MBT ?
2. Can it execute a range of day and night missions in open and urban spaces, travel at speeds in excess of 70 km/hr and cover more than 400 km ?
3. Does it have the ability to fight in a nuclear, biological and chemical environment ?
4. How do the sensors and imagers help it survive modern battlefield threats and does it have a reduced radar signature ?
5. Can it still manage to breakthrough enemy lines and continue forward as per commander's plan to reach a destination ?

In case of Indian and Pakistani tanks:
1. Do they have support from other arms to survive and complete their mission
2. Do they have logistical support in terms of maintenance, supply, bridging, mine clearing etc to maintain the offensive.
3. Do they need air cover all the time when operating in enemy territory
4. Do they have daring commanders who are quick on their feet regarding decision making
5. How well are the crews trained to manage, maintain the tank and conduct armored operations under pressure and day/night ops.
6. How well can mechanized infantry give a protection ring to MBTs and vice versa.
7. Can the artillery forces keep up with the tanks during constant maneuvering
8. How effective is the SAM cover for tanks for both armies.
9. How well equipped are the assault engineers to support tanks in various terrains
10. How good are the network centric capabilities of both armies for effective coordination between all arms and also between armored forces themselves
11. Which aviation assets will be supporting tanks in recon, surveillance, intel and also enemy tank plinking.
12. Which army has reinforcements- replacements - reserves available of modern MBTs.
 

iLION12345_1

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See this is why they stopped working on AK-2. Y’all just couldn’t be patient 😂

TLDR for you is that PLA tanks 96 and 99 series are based on the past era of frugality and even today PLA's focus on budget allocation places tanks at the bottom of all major platform types. In the past era of frugality, the only protection you can afford is frontal only.



man the first few paragraphs of your also long post is basically exactly what I said. Just you sometimes go into even more detail.

I said AK is derived from 96. AK came after 96 and is based on 90 and 85. Same ancestor tanks but also coming after 96, so saying it is based on 96 is not inaccurate but maybe I should have said based on 96's direct developments.

Armor commentary you are just repeating what I said. Only armor at front and for front shots. Everywhere else there is maybe 5cm to 7cm of armor thickness and that is just there not to stop anything above 12.7mm anti material rounds but really for the structural integrity of front armor dealing with the heaviest of anti tank shots.

If you think it's hard to design good angle and side protection than you aren't giving the designers enough credit. The secret to designing good side and angle protection is adding armor to the forward hull section and turret dealing with +15 degree angle shots. You can do that via geometric direction or even methods similar to Leo 2 and M1 series which is less geometrically elegant (Russian method) but more material intensive and weight costly.

Again the reason Chinese tanks don't bother with side protection or even much angle protection is down to doctrine. When you say it's incredibly stupid not to, honestly I don't even know how to reply to that. Side protection is not hard to design for, doctrine determines how much weight you are getting AND exactly how good front armor needs to be. It is incredibly obvious given the knowns that PLA tanks need that minimum front armor and all the allocatable and allowable weight and armor material has been used up just to meet that frontal armor requirement. The reason for side negligence is not because they can't design a tank with good side protection (like wtf really you think this?) but because each tank designed for a certain weight and size class has to meet front armor requirements. Side is less important because side shots are so much less frequent in the way those tanks are used. If Pakistan wants Rambo tank able to take side shots, it needs to get something like M1 or Leopard 2 or even Challenger 2 which has good side protection or T-90MS if it wants good angle protection.

The difference between your approach and mine is that I'm evaluating the macros whereas you are isolating the tank itself in evaluation.




Okay I thought OG AK was as shit as 96 but OG AK came out later than 96 and while China uses thousands upon thousands of 96 (can't afford to give it good internals) Pakistan treated AK like it's their M1 sort of. Basically a higher regard, higher importance platform whereas for PLA the 96 is treated as just a vehicle that can take frontal shots and take that gun into battle. First priority for PLA's 96 is mobility so that it can reach places to hold positions. By mobility I don't just mean acceleration top speed, I mean terrain types, weight class, ground pressure, width, range.

There are indeed no good tanks in south Asia. 99A isn't in south Asia unless you mean to say Tibetan plateau. In which case okay if I rank the overall capability of above 40 tonne tanks in south Asia (including Tibetan plateau) it would be 99A above VT-4 and then VT-4 and then Arjun whatever version is most modern, and far from these three you then get T-90S and Type 96A and upgraded Al-Khalids. Much further from this you get OG AK and then another step down, OG 96.



Arjun has good protection though and I really doubt T-90S frontal is better than Arjun I also don't think angle and side protection of T-90S would be much better if even better than Arjun. Arjun MK1 is nearly 60 tonnes. It has very roughly maybe 10 tonnes more armor overall and 5 tonnes more peripherals than T-90s. But here you understand somewhat what I mean by frontal armor. If your ground forces have good enough everything else you won't let you tanks be engaged from even angles you can't deal with well enough. I know it's better to have the side and angle protection designed into the tank too but PLA is on a budget especially for tank forces.

You should understand that for PLA modernization over the last 40 years or so, tank got the smallest of leftover scraps for development. They made the right choice. They simply cannot afford over 2000 3rd generation tanks with 15% higher costs which would give them okay side and angle protection. When such a cost would mean lower mobility for certain and hundreds of fewer drones and Z-10 and no advanced ATGMs development.

The modernization task of PLA overall placed much more focus on developing new technologies, catching up, modernizing the military industries themselves, buying those other platforms it didn't have and then if there's leftover at all, for tanks, the most worthless platform out of satellites types, carriers, LHDs, destroyers, gunships, UAV UCAVs, fighters, hypersonic glide missiles, intercontinental hypersonic aircraft that can launch weapons!, interceptors, BMD, nuclear submarines, newer missiles, newer EW ESM ECM systems, the dozens of Y-8 and Y-9 electronic attack AWACS early warning anti submarine and signals intelligence aircraft, and the list is on and on and on and on and on. MBTs means nothing except heavy armor that soldiers without ATGM can't do anything about basically.

Yes all these tanks have crap ammo and relatively crap guns with VT-4 and 99A guns being a bit better due to ability for higher pressures while still outlasting the guns not made via more expensive and time consuming steel processing which 2a46 and 96's version of zpt-98 gun does not undergo at least to same extent. I don't actually know about VT-4 but I assume it uses 98's level of manufacturing.



Meaningless for 97 out of 100 cases. If one is rich enough to spend the extra million $ per tank for very heavy duty top armor that can make that 50 out of 100 cases or so, then sure. All things are money and budget, material and doctrine related.

At this price range, there is no tank with good top protection. PLAGF don't plan on letting even India (its most threatening bordering land force) get to a position they can even imagine dropping crop duster onto numerous PLA tanks. I can see maybe isolated cases but militaries don't do design and planning of major platforms for isolated cases.



Type 15 is not "more useful against India than any other tank China has" unless you mean in Himalayas because 15 has better mobility than any tank in the world basically. It sacrifices protection and firepower to achieve this mobility. Its engine is specifically ground up developed and designed for low oxygen and low pressure atmospheric conditions. It then also still has the highest power to weight ratio by a massive league compared to every tank from 30 tonne to 70 tonne except Sprut but Sprut has less than half the protection of 15 and the Sprut has hopeless internals - ballistic computers, LWR, optics, sensors, comms, NVG, rangefinder so on. On the other hand, Type 15 is probably more than 10 times the cost of Sprut if Sprut if bought by Russia in the same volume as PLA buys Type 15 (production scale).

But yeah I know what you mean. This is the only tank in China that has sealed ammo storage with autoloader and blast panels, allowing autoloading AND long one piece ammunition which actually makes its penetration maybe nearly as good as those ZPT-98 fired ammo.
I mean no offense, but I’m not going to reply to this because it’ll just be me repeating my last post. I don’t think we agreed on much contrary to what you believe, because there’s just a lot wrong with your post.
I suggest you to read up more about the tanks in question and tank doctrines. “But PLA has modernized like XYZ” is just a very poor explanation for how Chinese tank design is bad. I genuinely don’t mean this in an insulting way, I’ve learned a lot about PLAs aircraft systems from you, but your knowledge about tanks is simply not at the same level.

And no. AK is NOT derived from ZTZ-96.
 

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