Armor: July 25, 2000


: China has begun fielding the Type-98 Main Battle Tank, previously profiled in StrategyPage. This is (in the most basic sense) a variant of the T-72. The basic Russian two-man domed turret is wrapped in a slab sided steel box for extra protection. Two huge blocks of armor provide protection to the turret front. It mounts several weapons: the standard Russian-designed 125mm smoothbore cannon, a coaxial 7.62mm machinegun, a 12.7mm machinegun on the turret roof, and an offensive laser. For defense, it has a laser detector, a laser dazzling system to deflect enemy missiles, and smoke grenade launchers. The engine is apparently different from the T-72 as the Type-98 lacks the left-side exhaust vent.-- Stephen V Cole


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