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Type 63 (WZ211) Amphibious Light Tank (1963)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 6/26/2011

The Chinese Army Type 63 is a light amphibious tank design based on Soviet origin.

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The Chinese NORINCO-built Type 63 is in many ways a relative to the Soviet-designed and built PT-76 troop carrier. The weapon system is fully amphibious, utilizing water bilge pumps at a fording speed of up to 12km/h (propelled by dual water jets).

The main gun can fire a variety of ammunition including HE, HEAT and smoke. Traversal is a full 360 degrees with +18/-4 capability. Self-defense equipment includes a single-mount .50 caliber machine gun for anti-aircraft defense and a coaxial anti-infantry .30 caliber machine gun.

Newer variants of the system have been upgraded with a more potent 105mm main gun and a redesigned and reengineered turret system. These upgraded Type 63s are designated as Type 63A.

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Specifications for the
Type 63 (WZ211)
Amphibious Light Tank


Country of Origin: China
Manufacturer: China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) - China
Initial Year of Service: 1963
Production: 1,550


Focus Model: Type 63 (WZ211)
Crew: 4


Overall Length: 27.66ft (8.43m)
Width: 10.50ft (3.20m)
Height: 8.27ft (2.52m)
Weight: 20.3 US Short Tons (18,400kg; 40,565lbs)


Powerplant: 1 x Model 12150-L 12-cylinder water-cooled diesel engine generating 400 horsepower @ 2,000rpm.


Maximum Speed: 40mph (64 km/h)
Maximum Range: 230 miles (370 km)


NBC Protection: Yes
Nightvision: Yes - Infrared


Armament:
1 x 85mm Type 62-85TC main gun
1 x 12.7mm Type 54 anti-aircraft machine gun
1 x 7.62mm Type 59T coaxial machine gun
1 x 7.62mm Type 59T general purpose machine gun (optional).


Ammunition:
47 x 85mm projectiles
500 x 12.7mm ammunition
2,000 x 7.62mm ammunition


Variants:
Type 63 (WZ211) - Base Series Designation; initial production model.


Type 63-I

Type 63-II

Type 63A - Standard upgrade program designation for all Type 63 base models. Features 105mm main gun and all new turret design and production.

Type 63A-I

Type 63A-II

Type 63 HG

Type 77

Type 77-1

Type 77-2

Type 76 ARV

Type 89

Type 7402 Torpedo Launcher


Operators:
Albania; Cambodia; China; Myanmar; North Korea; North Vietnam; Pakistan; Republic of the Congo; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Tanzania; Vietnam