The Type 59 is the most numerous in Bangladesh’s ground fleet, serving as the core of the country’s armored force.

Bangladesh is quite dependent on China for military equipment. Bangladesh’s main battle tank fleet includes the MBT-2000, Type 59, and Type 69, in addition to the VT-5 light tanks. The Type 59 is the most numerous in Bangladesh’s ground fleet, serving as the core of the country’s armored force. In Bangladesh Type 59 is locally known as Durjoy.

A total of 174 Type 59 Durjoys are in service with the Bangladesh Ground Forces. It is a deep upgrade made by China on the Type 59 tank for the Bangladesh Army. The tank uses the basic Type 59 hull which is 6.04 metres long, 3.27 metresĀ  wide and has a height of 2.59 metres, and weighs 40 tonnes.

The Durjoy uses a 730 horsepower diesel engine for a maximum speed of 49 km/h, and a range of 450 km. The tank has five road wheels on each side with a prominent gap between the first and second road wheel. The track is driven by a drive sprocket at the rear, with an idler at the front. It is notable that there are no return rollers. The suspension is a torsion bar system. The engine exhaust is on the left fender.

The Durjoy tanks require a crew of 4 people which includes commander, driver, gunner and loader. The primary protection system of the tank is made of a layer of thick steel modular composite armour. To increase protection, there is Chinese 3rd generation explosive reactive armour on the tank’s front and turret. Besides, there is cage armour at the back of the turret to increase the protection level. Smoke grenade launchers are fitted to each side of the turret. A collective fire suppression system is added to increase the crew survivability rate.

The Type 59’s main weapon is a 125 mm smoothbore gun with a dual-axis stabilizer, allowing the tank to fire on the move. This gun is capable of firing APFSDS , HEAT and HE ammunition as well as guided anti-tank missiles. APFSDS can penetrate 500mm RHA armor at a distance of 2 km. Auxiliary armament is a 12.7 mm W85 heavy machine gun and a 7.62 mm Type 86 coaxial machine gun. It also has 81mm smoke grenades.

Durjoy’s fire control system is equivalent to the fourth-generation Chinese tank. Its ballistic computer has an integrated thermal imaging system and laser designator. It also has an independent commander’s sight. Unlike a basic Type 59 tank, these tanks have a combat data link which gives them better situational awareness.

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