The Type 63A is a Chinese Amphibious light tank upgraded from the Type 63, designed for river-crossing operations at inland rivers and lakes.
About this creation
Before the mid-1990s, Chinese ground forces relied on the Type 63 amphibious tank developed in the early 1960s. The low swimming speed and weak firepower of the Type 63 was insufficient to the needs of amphibious assault operations that PLA would conduct. The PLA demanded a replacement for the Type 63 in the early 1990s, which led to the development of the Type 63A in 1997.
The Type 63A is lightly armoured amphibious light tank with a flat, boat-like hull. Suspension is made up of 6 road wheels and lead or return rollers. A redesigned welded turret from the original Type 63 is mounted center of the hull, with the engine positioned in the rear. In the rear of the hull there are to allow 2 large water jets for travelling in water.
Type 63A has an enlarged welded turret replacing the original Type 63 turret, allowing for the fitting of a 105 mm rifled gun. The 105 mm gun, fires armour piercing fin stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS), high explosive (HE), and high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) ammunitions, with 45 rounds carried inside the vehicle. APFSDS round penetrates 650 mm steel armour or destroy a reinforced concrete bunker a distance of 2,000 m.
To overcome the inaccuracy of firing when swimming, the Type 63A uses laser-beam guidance ATGM which isn't affected by the wave motions while swimming. The missile has a maximum firing range of 4–5 km with a first hit probability of 90% against stationary targets. Its secondary functions can engage low-flying helicopters.
Compared to the Type 63, the Type 63A featured five major improvements: The modernised Type 63 to Type 63A has given enhanced sea travelling performance, increased swimming speed, improved fire-control system, ATGM capability, and larger 105 mm rifled gun with dual stabilizers
Weight - 19-20 tones
Length - 7.3m
Width - 3.2m
Height - 2.6m
Crew - 4 (Driver, Loader, Commander, Gunner)
Armor Welded steel
Main armament - 105mm rifled gun w/45 rounds
Secondary armament - 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun
Range - Land 400km, Water 120km
Speed - Land 75km/h, Water 28km/h