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Main Battle Tank (MBT) (1985)

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Right side profile view of the Type 85-II main battle tank

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The Type 85-II is a further evolution of the preceding Chinese Army Type 80 Main Battle Tank.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/09/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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 co-axial 7.62mm machine gun and a turret roof-mounted 12.7mm Anti-Aircraft (AA) Heavy Machine Gun. Unlike the Type 80 - which relies on a full crew complement of four - the Type 85-II takes on an autoloader which reduces the crew commitment to just three - driver, commander and gunner. The drive is seated at front-left with the remaining crew housed in the powered turret. A command tank version - outfitted with navigational aids and increased communications equipment - is the "Type 85-IIA" variant.

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 "skirt" armor. An auxiliary fuel tank can be mounted externally over the rear of the hull for increased operational ranges. The entire vehicle, in typical Soviet design fashion, is of a low-profile approach - making it a harder target to hit at range. Smoke grenade dischargers are found along the frontal sides of the turret provide the vehicle with a self-screening capability as needed. A NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection kit is standard equipment as is night vision support. 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.

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 roads with ranges up to 310 miles in-theater. Overall weight reaches 45 tons with an overall length of 33.7 feet, a height of 7.5 feet and a width of 11.3 feet.

The Type 85-IIM is a modernized form while the Type 85-IIA/Type 85-IIAP are used to designate a Pakistani Army variant. The Type 85-III is features a more powerful 1,000 horsepower diesel engine and support for Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) blocks. It is also given a thermal night sighting device and improved Fire Control System (FCS) for firing on-the-move.

Known operators include Pakistan, Sudan, and Uganda.


Service Year

China national flag graphic


NORINCO (China North Industries Corporation) - China
National flag of Pakistan National flag of Sudan National flag of Uganda Pakistan; Sudan; Uganda
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Main Battle Tank (MBT)
Primary armored ground combat unit of modern armies utilizing speed, protection, and / or firepower to spearhead armored assaults.
Frontline Asset
Frontline unit used to take direct part in forward operating actions against enemy positions / targets.
Engage armored vehicles of similar form and function.

33.7 ft
10.28 m
11.3 ft
3.45 m
7.5 ft
2.3 m
90,390 lb
41,000 kg
45.2 tons
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base NORINCO Type 85-II production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x V12 supercharged diesel-fueled engine developing 730 horsepower driving conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
35.6 mph
(57.3 kph)
310.7 mi
(500.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base NORINCO Type 85-II production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 125mm main gun in turret with autoloader.
1 x 7.62mm co-axial machine gun in turret.
1 x 12.7mm Anti-Aircraft (AA) heavy machine gun on turret roof.
2 x 6 Smoke grenade dischargers.

Supported Types

Graphical image of a tank cannon armament
Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun
Graphical image of a tank heavy machine gun
Graphical image of tank /armored vehicle smoke grenade dischargers

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
40 x 125mm projectiles.
500 x 12.7mm ammunition.
2,000 x 7.62mm ammunition.
12 x Smoke grenades.

Type 85-II - Base production model.
Type 85-IIM - Modernized variant.
Type 85-IIA - Pakistan Army variant designation.
Type 85-IIAP - Pakistan Army variant alternative designation.
"Al Khalid" - Pakistani Army local name for Type 85-II.
Type 85-III - Uprated 1,000 horsepower diesel engine; ERA support; improved FCS; thermal sighting device as standard.

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