The Type 59 main battle tank is a Chinese-produced version of the Soviet T-54A tank, an early 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. The Type 59 was modified several times during its service. It was also the basis of several later Chinese tank designs including the Type 69 and Type 79 tanks.
- Length: 257.3mm Width: 93.4mm
- Over 520 parts
- Two-directional slide moulded lower hull and turret
- 192 individual tracks links
- Photo-etched parts included