Chinese tank loses roadwheel at Tank Biathlon

At the recent Tank Biathlon competition at Alabino training grounds in Russia, the Chinese team suffered a rather embarrassing equipment failure when one of their Type-96B  (ZTZ-96B) tanks lost a road wheel.  The failure forced the Chinese team to withdraw this particular tank and replace it with another, incurring a penalty in the competition.  This was the first year that the Chinese team had brought the Type-96B to the Tank Biathlon event.  In preview years they had brought the similar, but less advanced Type-96A.  The older version of the tank was hampered at previous competitions by it’s 780 hp engine, the newer Type-96B has a more powerful 1200 hp engine.  The Wikipedia entry for the Type-96B notes that it features “lighter, more reliable running wheels.”  It’s probably fair to say that perhaps these new roadwheels are not quite as reliable as advertised?

Photos from Defense Blog:



  1. They didn’t “lose” a road wheel; they invented a new event at the Tank Biathalon! You loosen the bolts on a given road wheel and you drive a straight course of travel in a given distance and you must brake completely by a marked line. The one whose wheel travels the farthest from the “stop line” is the winner in that event!

    One doesn’t need to be Chinese in order to know how to save face!!


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