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Type 85 Main Battle Tank

The Type 85 tank is a modifications of the Type 80, which was in turn based on the Soviet T-54, with an improved turret changed from cast design to welded design. The newest model, the Type 85-III, incorporates features also found in the newer Type 90 tank, including a larger 120mm smooth bore main gun capable of firing APFSDS, HEAT, and HEAT-FRAG. The more recent BK-27 HEAT round offers a triple-shaped charge warhead and increased penetration against conventional armors and ERA. The BK-29 round, with a hard penetrator in the nose is designed for use against reactive armor, and as an MP round has fragmentation effects. If the BK-29 HEAT-MP is used, it may substitute for Frag-HE (as with NATO countries) or complement Frag-HE. With three round natures (APFSDS-T, HEAT-MP, ATGMs) in the autoloader vs four, more antitank rounds would available for the higher rate of fire. A stabilized image intensification sights allows it to engage moving targets while in motion. A GEC-Marconi Centaur fire control system is available. British Barr and Stroud thermal based FCS can be fitted. The Type 85-III uses modular composite armor, and some reports suggest the incorporation of reactive armor.



Designation Type 85-IIM
Date of Introduction 1991
Proliferation At least 2 countries
Crew 3
Combat Weight (mt) 41.0
Chassis Length Overall (m) 10.28
Height Overall (m) 2.30
Width Overall (m) 3.450
Ground Pressure (kg/cm 2 ) 0.771
Automotive Performance
Engine Type 730-hp Diesel
Cruising Range (km) 700/900 with external tanks
Speed (km/h)
Max Road 57
Max Off-Road 45
Average Cross-Country 35
Max Swim N/A
Fording Depths (m) 1.4 Unprepared, 2.4 with snorkel
Radio INA
Armor, Turret Front (mm) INA
Applique Armor (mm) Track skirts. Composite panels available.
Explosive Reactive Armor (mm) N/A
Active Protective System N/A
Mineclearing Equipment Mine plows and roller-plow set
Self-Entrenching Blade N/A
NBC Protection System Yes
Smoke Equipment 12x 81-mm smoke grenade launchers Vehicle engine exhaust smoke system
Main Armament
Caliber, Type, Name 125-mm smoothbore gun 2A46M/ D-81TM
Rate of Fire (rd/min) 4-6/2 in manual mode
Loader Type Autoloader (separate loading) and manual
Ready/Stowed Rounds 22/23 (22 in carousel)
Elevation () -6 to +14
Fire on Move Yes, up to 25 km/h. Depending on the road and distance to the target, most crews may halt before firing.
Auxiliary Weapon
Caliber, Type, Name 7.62-mm (7.62x 54R) Machine gun Type 59
Mount Type Turret coax
Maximum Aimed Range (m) 1,800
Max Effective Range (m)
Day 1,000
Night 800
Fire on Move Yes
Rate of Fire (rd/min) 250 practical, 600 cyclic, 2-10 rd bursts
Caliber, Type, Name 12.7-mm (12.7x108) AA MG Type 54
Mount Type Cupola
Maximum Aimed Range (m) 2,000
Max Effective Range (m)
Day 1,500 ground/1600 for air targets (APDS)
Night N/A
Fire on Move Yes
Rate of Fire (rd/min) 80-100 practical, 600 air targets, 2-10 rd bursts
FCS Name ISFCS-212 (Image-Stabilized Fire Control System)
Main Gun Stabilization 2-plane
Rangefinder LRF
Infrared Searchlight Yes
Sights w/Magnification
Day UI stabilized gunner sight
Field of View () INA
Acquisition Range (m) INA
Night 2nd Generation II sights
Field of View () INA
Acquisition Range (m) INA
Commander Fire Main Gun No
Caliber, Type, Name
125-mm APFSDS-T, BM-42M
Maximum Aimed Range (m) 3,000
Max Effective Range (m)
Day 2,000-3,000
Night 850-1,300
Armor Penetration (mm) 590-630 at 2,000 meters
125-mm Frag-HE-T, OF-26
Maximum Aimed Range (m) 5,000
Max Effective Range (m)
Night 850-1,300
Armor Penetration (mm) INA
125-mm HEAT-MP, BK-29M
Maximum Aimed Range (m) 3,000
Max Effective Range (m)
Night 850-1300
Armor Penetration (mm) 650-750
125-mm HEAT, BK-27
Maximum Aimed Range (m) 3,000
Max Effective Range (m)
Night 850-1,300
Armor Penetration (mm) 700-800
Other Ammunition Types Giat 125G1 APFSDS-T, Russian BM-42 and BM-32 APFSDS-T. The Russians may have a version of the BM-42M with a DU penetrator.

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Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Saturday, June 19, 1999 6:37:33 AM