Asia One.com is reporting that China has begun to phase out their type 89 tank destroyers in favor of other weapons systems such as anti-tank missiles and attack helicopters. This report is based on information published in the PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the People’s Liberation Army. The PLA Daily article included a picture of 18 self-propelled guns that look like Type 89 tank destroyers departing a military base of the PLA Shenyang Military Command’s 39th Group Army. The newspaper said that an official retirement ceremony for the obsolete armored vehicles was held on November 3. The article quotes Senior Colonel Wang Kai, a land armaments expert at the PLA Academy of Armored Forces Engineering in Beijing who notes that:
“With its good mobility and a high automation level, the Type-89 tank destroyer can easily pierce the armor of enemy tanks using a 120-mm smoothbore gun.” “It was brought into service by the PLA around the early 1990s to close the loopholes in the PLA’s anti-tank capability that existed in the 1970s and 1980s.” “Thanks to the past 20 years of modernization, our armored forces have acquired a large number of advanced tanks equipped with large-calibre, powerful guns, which means specialised tank destroyers such as the Type-89 will no longer be needed.”
It is reported that China may decided to export these retired vehicles to developing countries.