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Chinese MBTs

There are two main approaches to designing main battle tanks. The western way… and the Soviet way. A typical NATO tank is a relatively big vehicle operated by a four man crew and armed with a 120mm gun with good elevation. Soviet engineers usually go for a low profile, a densely packed interior and a 125mm gun with an autoloader. All in all, tanks belonging to different schools of tank design are so different both visually and on a technical level, that, in most cases, you can easily tell whether a vehicle was made in the USSR or in the West just by looking at it.

Sometimes, though, engineers decide to walk the middle path, making good use of ideas and design choices of both schools of tank design. That’s basically what happened in the People's Republic of China, where Soviet tanks were eventually used as a base for original local designs.


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