WZ-111 model 5A

The WZ-111 model 5A is a Chinese tier 10 heavy tank.

A prototype of the heavy tank developed in the early 1960s. The 111 project was based on the design of the IS-2 and IS-3 Soviet tanks and was supposed to be similar to the T-10. Among all other variants of the 111 tank, this vehicle featured improved frontal armor. Development was discontinued in 1964.

The Very first Chinese exclusive tank from Chinese server which were added to Live servers as alternate choice of Tier 10 tanks in Chinese HT line. Compared to 113, It offers more reliable protection and better gun handling in exchange with lowered HP, lack of angling ability and worsened accuracy.

The WZ-111 model 5A marks the end of its Chinese heavy line.

Pros and Cons

Pros:
- Great sloping frontal armor with auto-bounce angle and extremely tough frontal turret compared to 113, Side armor is also more reliable

- Great Maximum speed (50 KM/H)

- Its gun handling and alpha is better than 113 as well as its aim time

- Amazing gun elevation, Highest of all HTs (23 degrees)

- Although it's acceleration is lower than 113, Its speed can even overmatched some mediums


Cons:
- Pre-angled hull becames weakspot when angled

- Poor gun depression, Its penetration is only 1 mm higher than 113 with lower RoF and worsened accuracy

- Sluggish turret traverse

- Weak roof armor and low profile makes this tank very vulnerable when facehugging as well as SPGs


- Modules and crews often damaged and/or dies



Historical Info

Summary of Developed WZ-111 project

Weight: 46t

Main Armament: 122mm Y174

Secondary Armament: 12.7mm AA gun & 7.62 coaxial machine gun

Ammo capacity: 32 122mm shells

500 12.7mm shells

2500 7.62mm shells

Engine: an engine based on V-54 design (750hp)

Speed: 50km/h

Hp/t ratio: 16.33hp/t (or 12KW/t)

Ground pressure: 75.1 Kpa

Length (Gun forward): 10.625 m

Width: 3.3m

Height: 2.497m


After Type-59 entered mass production in 1958, the development of light tank and heavy tank became another important mission of Chinese national defense industry. The Central Military Committee thought in order the defeat enemy’s heavy tanks:

“We not only need large numbers of light tanks, but also we need to produce some heavy tanks to defeat enemy armoured forces” (我军除了应装备大量的轻型和中型坦克以外,也应配备一定数量的重型坦克,用以对付敌人的坦克兵团或执行其他突击任务)

“Heavy tank plays an important role in tank warfare, the development of heavy tanks should start as soon as possible” (重型坦克是当时装甲装备体系中的重要配套装备,为完善我军装甲装备结构,重型坦克应当尽早着手研制。)

On October 19th,1960,the order to develop the WZ-111 heavy tank was given by the Committee for Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (国防科工委). The plan was revised by the Committee for Technology of Tanks (装甲兵技术部) on December 24th,1960. After that, the development of WZ-111 has begun. In March 1963, the plan was revised again by the Committee for Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (国防科工委). On June 10th 1964, final plans were made by University of Tank Technology(装甲兵工程学院). In 1965, one prototype (without turret) was created. Later in same year, the prototype of the gun and turret were made, but weren’t tested on the vehicle.

After the prototypes were made, the testing of the vehicle was started immediately. The test mainly focused on the construction of the chassis and suspension in order to uncover issues of the design that weren’t anticipated by the designing engineers.

After the test, the development was going to the next stage, but the research of main battle tank has already begun as well. Committee of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense thought that the development of new anti-tank weapon (smooth bore guns, APFSDS shells) made heavy tanks no longer important on modern battlefield. The development of WZ-111 was discontinued, but it became an important experience for Chinese designers and some elements of the design were used on other tanks later.

Armament

The main gun on WZ-111 is the 122mm gun Y174. It is based on a field gun (Type 60?), but it is hard to find any detailed information about this gun. But according to the 《WZ111重型坦克设计技术任务书》 document, the fire power of the gun should be the same as the Soviet M62 tank gun.

In addition, the gun has advanced hydraulic gun stabilizer, an autoloader (链式输弹机) (SS: from the google translation, I think it’s more like a hydraulic rammer, eg. not a real casette autoloader), an active illumination night vision observation device with electric rangefinder and an aiming system, that allows to hit the target at 1 kilometer accurately.


Mobility

Despite the fact the WZ-111 is a heavy tank, the mobility of the tank is still very good.

The engine of the tank is a Chinese locally developed supercharged engine based on the Soviet V-54. It produces 750 hp, making it the best tank engine in China in early 1960s. The hp/t ratio of the tank is higher than that of Type 59 and Type 69, even just slightly lower than the one of Type 88 MBT. Later, the engine became the basis of WZ-122 and 68G experimental tank’s 650hp engine.

In order to allow the tank to move on bad roads, the suspension of the tank is wide in order to reduce the ground pressure. As a result, the ground pressure of WZ-111 is very low, only 75.1 Kpa, lower than Type 59’s 79.6Kpa and Type 69’s 80.2Kpa, nearly same as the ground pressure light tanks usually have. As for the size, the WZ-111 isn’t very big, it can easily move in difficult terrain just like a medium tank.

WZ-111 is also the first produced Chinese tank using hydraulic vehicle control system. The Hydraulic vehicle control system and Air-cooling/waste gas emission system(not sure how to translate the “废气引射冷却装置”)


Protection

I did n’t translate this part because you already know how’s the armor design of the tank. The thickness of the frontal lower plate is 130mm, but not well angled and it’s interesting that WZ-111 also has NBC protection and a landmine detector (but it is not very effective according to the author of the Chinese text).

Conclusion

It’s evident that there are differences between the WZ-111 1-4 in WOT and the historical WZ-111 project. The historical WZ-111 had a 122mm instead of the 130mm tank gun. It had better engine and was slightlyheavier. It had an autoloader and better optics as well. WZ-111 in WOT might be the tested prototype of WZ-111 produced in 1960s and the proposed further development plan which was designed with a 130mm gun.


The early prototype characteristics were as such:

WZ-111 testbed (WZ-111重型坦克试验车)

Weight: about 44t

Engine: 12150L (520hp) – the 750hp engine still had many technical problems when the prototype were built, so it only has a 12150L engine

Speed: 35km/h

Ground pressure: 71.9kpa

Armament: the Y174 122mm and turret wasn’t finished when the vehicle was built (later the turret and gun were made and tested but unfortunately, there is no test result nor photos preserved) and since the 122mm Y174’s development progress was slow, a 130mm gun was also planned. Or mabe the 122mm Y174 wasn’t as good as PLA expected?