The Type 59 main battle tank is a Chinese-produced version of the Soviet T-54A tank, the earliest model of the ubiquitous T-54/55 series. The first vehicles were produced in 1958 and it was accepted into service in 1959, with serial production beginning in 1963. Over 10,000 of the tanks were produced by the time production ended in 1980 with approximately 5,500 serving with the Chinese armed forces. The tank formed the backbone of the Chinese People's Liberation Army until the early 2000s with an estimated 5,000 of the later Type 59-I and Type 59-II variants in service in 2002.
After the signing of Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance, the Soviets agreed to assist China in building a tank manufacturing facility to manufacture the T-54A MBT in 1956. Initially, the tanks were assembled with Soviet-supplied parts, which were gradually replaced by Chinese-made components. The tank was accepted into service by the PLA in 1959 and given the designation Type 59.
Over the years, the Type 59 design was enhanced with various domestically developed and western technologies; When the PLA captured a Soviet T-62 during the Sino-Soviet border conflict in 1969, improvements based on the T-62 were incorporated into the Type 59 design to become the Type 69 MBT. The Type 69 was further upgraded with Western technology and became the Type 79 MBT. The Type 59 was therefore, the first in China's first generation of main battle tanks, the Type 79 being the last. The Type 79 was superseded by the Type 80 second-generation MBT.
The Type 59 MBT is also known as WZ-120 by its manufacturer. Over 10,000 were produced between 1959 and mid 1980s. This tank gained worldwide infamy after the "Tank Man" incident in 1989. The Type 59, and its successor, the Type 69, were widely exported, with thousands sold overseas. Today an estimated 5,000 Type 59 MBTs remain in PLA inventory, but its being supplemented by the more capable Type 96 and Type 99 MBTs
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Aubameyang on Lacazette:
“We really get on well. There is a spark between us when we are both on the pitch together. We look for each other, we saw it against City when he came on. I dont mind playing on the left if Laca is in the centre. We both want to do our best for the team.”
Should Aubameyang and Lacazette start together vs Chelsea? 🤔