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Chinese main battle tanks

2015-07-04 23:00   Editor:admin   
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Core Tip: Developing a powerful armored force has been a priority of the national and military leaders since the founding of the Peoples Republic of China in 1949. Xu Guangda became the Peoples Liberation Armys first armored troop commander in 1950.

    Developing a powerful armored force has been a priority of the national and military leaders since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Xu Guangda became the People’s Liberation Army’s first armored troop commander in 1950. “The army must be modernized. Based on our actual situation, we cannot have a mechanized force right away. But we can start with tanks,” Chairman Mao Zedong told Xu.

    59 series

    China adopted the Soviet Union’s T-54A tank in 1955. The Soviet Union offered all the design graphics and manufacturing expertise to China in 1956. With the help of Soviet engineers, China started to build its first tank factory in April 1956. In late 1958, the first China-assembled T-54A rolled off the line, but all the components were provided by the Soviet Union. A year later, Chinese factories could independently make T-54A tanks. On Oct. 1, 1959, the National Day parade featured 32 China-made T-54A tanks. Officially named the “1959 Series Medium-sized Tank,” these formed the armored force of the PLA.


 

    The 59 Series served as the main vehicle for PLA armored troops in the following decades. The 59 Series still appears occasionally in PLA training today. The 59 Series demonstrated outstanding firepower, defense and mobility compared with its contemporaries. The light weight, small size and simple structure made it reliable and easy to maintain. It weighed 34 tonnes and carried four people. It moved at a maximum speed of 50 km/h to a maximum range of 560 kilometers. The tank was equipped with one 100 mm gun, which could fire four shells a minute, as well as a 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun and two 7.62 mm machine guns.

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