The Type 85-II Main Battle Tank (MBT) of the Chinese Army is a further evolution of its Type 80 MBT line. Key changes to the new product include an all-new turret design and improved hull armor protection. The tank is outfitted with 1 x 125mm main gun in the true Soviet style and supports secondary armament of a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun and a turret roof-mounted 12.7mm Anti-Aircraft (AA) gun. Unlike the Type 80 - which utilized a crew of four - the Type 85-II takes on an autoloader which allows it an operating crew of just three - driver, commander and gunner. The drive is seated at front-left with the remaining crew in the powered turret. A command tank version - outfitted with navigational aids and increased communications equipment - is the Type 85-IIA
The Type 85-II showcases a conventional arrangement as combat tanks go with a centralized turret over the hull, a near-horizontal glacis plate and a rear-mounted engine. The sides of the running gear and hull are partially protected over in saw-tooth-style steel side skirts. An auxiliary fuel tank is mounted externally at the rear of the hull for increased operational ranges. The entire vehicle, in typical Soviet design fashion, is of a low-profile approach - making for a harder target to hit at range. Smoke grenade dischargers found along the frontal sides of the turret also provide the vehicle with its own smoke screen when required. NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection is standard as is night vision.
Power to the vehicle is served through a single V12 supercharged diesel-fueled engine developing 730 horsepower. Coupled with the torsion bar suspension system, the tank can reach speeds of 36 miles per hour on ideal surfaces and up to 310 miles in-theater. Overall weight reaches 45 tons with a length of 33.7 feet, a height of 7.5 feet and a width of 11.3 feet.
Internally, the vehicle can house 40 x 125mm projectiles along with 500 x 12.7mm ammunition, 2,000 x 7.62mm ammunition and 12 x smoke grenades.
The Type 85-II has been identified across an A, C and M model. The 85-IIAP is a local Pakistani Army production variant. The Type 85-III is recognized with a more powerful 1,000 horsepower diesel engine while the Type 90-II is a related 48-ton form featuring several modifications to the base design.
Our production total of 2,000 is an estimate.