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ZTS63 (1980): Nimble Sniper

ZTS63 is a Chinese amphibious light tank created on the Soviet PT-76 platform. The vehicle has an 85 mm rifled gun with a laser rangefinder and armour-piercing fin-stabilised rounds.

ZTS63 (1980), light tank, China, rank V

Features:

  • 85mm gun with APFSDS rounds
  • Decent mobility
  • Light armour
  • Amphibious
History

Modern amphibious tanks have become especially demanded in the People’s Liberation Army of China due to the growing tensions in the southeastern borders. For a long time, obsolete American-made tanks filled this gap, but they were obviously no longer suitable for the conditions of modern warfare. The Chinese military decided to start their own development by reverse-engineering the Soviet PT-76 amphibious tanks imported in the late 50s. During the development, Chinese engineers improved seaworthiness and reliability of the engine.The tank received a domestic 85-mm rifled gun. Type 63 light amphibious tank entered service with the PLA in 1964, it was intensively used in service and actions. During the 1979 upgrade program, the tank, which by that time was designated as the ZTS63, received improved traverse mechanisms, a laser rangefinder, and other improvements. The production of these vehicles was discontinued by 1983.

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The later modification of the ZTS63 will be one of the first rank V armoured vehicles in the Chinese tech tree. Despite the silhouette familiar from the Soviet PT-76, the vehicle offers new combat tactics and will become a good help to move up your armoured setup from the rank IV.

Enthusiasts of Chinese armoured vehicles are familiar with the early version of the vehicle, the Type-63-1 light tank. Unlike the Soviet amphibious PT-76, the vehicle is equipped with a Chinese-made 85mm cannon with punchy HEAT rounds, which most tanks at its rank have no protection against. The later version of the vehicle, ZTS63 (1980) comes armed with an armour piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot rounds with good penetration values, as well as a laser rangefinder. The smooth ballistics of these rounds, coupled with the ability to quickly enter the range corrections, make the ZTS63 a full-fledged sniper that can do deadly damage at long distances.

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Now the light amphibious tank can try deep flanking, long-range camping and will feel more confident against tanks with ERA protection or spaced armour. The Chinese scout does not have any significant armour that would interfere with its mobility, so ZTS63 commanders need to rely on surprise, speed and a good understanding of the battlefield.

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The new Chinese light amphibious tank ZTS63 (1980) will appear in War Thunder hangars with the release of the next major game update. Keep an eye on our devblog where we tell you about the most interesting new vehicles and features of the incoming update. Fresh fare soon!

You can greatly speed up the research on this vehicle with:

Type 96A Prototype Pack
The Kit Includes:
  • ZTZ96A Prototype (Rank VI, China)
  • 2000 Golden Eagles
  • Premium account for 15 days
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