Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Type 59 Tank by NORINCO

The Type 59 was fielded with a 100mm main gun with later models being seen with a laser rangefinder mounted atop the gun. Both commander and loader were given cupola positions with the loader operating the heavy caliber 12.7mm anti-aircraft gun mounted in the turret. The commander was also given a smaller caliber 7.62mm machine gun for anti-personnel use. Still another 7.62mm machine gun was mounted in a fixed forward coaxial position, this one operated by the gunner. The driver sat front left and some ready-to-use ammunition was sported to his right. Smoke could be generated by introducing raw diesel fuel into the exhaust, thusly no smoke grenades are mounted.

The Type 59 was nothing more than a Chinese copy of the Soviet T-54 main battle tank. The NORINCO-produced Type 59 was actually based on the purchase and subsequent local licensed production of the Soviet T-54 main battle tank (just redesignated as the Type 59 in Chinese service). The system, at least externally, was identical to the Soviet-era design though the inner workings were customized to Chinese specifications.

The Type 59 chassis produced a series of variants, showing off the versatility of the base system. Variants included improved Type 59 models, armored recovery vehicles and models featuring explosive reactive armor for added crew protection.



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