Type 63 Light Amphibious Tank
Gary's Combat Vehicle Reference Guide

IN0534: Type 63
 Type 63
Country of OriginChina
RoleLight reconnaissance tank
Date Of Introduction?
Crew4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)
Combat Weight19.83 tons (36.5-37.0 mt)
Ground Pressure?
Length, Overall 27.673 ft (8.435 m)
Length, Hull 23.45 ft (7.15 m)
Width, Overall 10.5 ft (3.2 m)
Height, Overall 10.24 ft (3.122 m)
Height, Turret Top 8.27 ft (2.522 m)
Ground Clearance15.7 in (400 mm)
 Type 63
Engine400 hp (298 kw) diesel
Range230 miles (370 km)
Fuel Capacity144 gal (545 l)
Road Speed40 mph (64 km/h)
Cross Country Speed?
Swim Speed7.5 mph (12 km/h)
Fording DepthAmphibious
Trench Crossing9.5 ft (2.9 m)
Vertical Wall Climb2.9 ft (0.87 m)
 Type 63
Hull front: 0.43 in (11 mm)
Hull sides, upper: 0.55 in (14 mm)
Hull rear: 0.39 in (10 mm)
Hull floor: 0.39 in (10 mm)
Hull top: 0.39 in (10 mm)
Mantlet: 0.43 in (11 mm)
Applique ArmorN/A
Explosive Reactive ArmorN/A
Active Protective SystemN/A
NBC Protection SystemYes
Smoke Equipment?
Type 63
Type Mount Typical Ammo Load
85mm rifled gun Turret; manual loading 47.
AP, APHE, HE, HEAT, smoke
7.62mm Type 59T machine gun Coaxial to main gun 2,000
12.7mm Type 54 AA machine gun Turret roof 500
 Type 63
Fire Control System?
Main Gun StabilizationN/A
RangefinderLaser on some models
Infrared SearchlightN/A


This is a redesigned version of the Type 60. The Type 63 LAT uses automotive components of the Type 77 series APC, which is the Chinese version of the Soviet BTR-50KP vehicle.

The Type 63 LAT has an all-welded rolled-steel hull divided into three main compartments with the driver at the front, fighting compartment in the center, and the engine and transmission at the rear. The turret is in cast-steel sections welded together. The Type 63 has a four-man crew consisting of the tank commander, driver, gunner and loader. The tank commander sits on the left side of the turret with the gunner on the same side in front and the loader to the right.

The Type 63 is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by two water jets of Soviet design.

The Type 54 machine gun is a Chinese copy of the Russian 12.7mm M1938/46 DShKM.


Type 63 Amphibious Light Tank
Original amphibious tank with 85-mm gun. See data above.
  • A fully amphibious capability.
  • Six rubber-tired road wheels with the drive sprocket at the rear, idler at the front and no track return rollers.
  • A shallow glacis plate.
  • A trim board folded back onto the glacis plate that is erected at the front of the hull before entering the water.
  • A single-piece driver's hatch cover that has three periscopes mounted forward of the hatch.
  • An infrared driving light on the right side of the hull front.
  • A commander's hatch that opens forward and a loader's hatch that opens to the rear.
  • A dome-shaped ventilator mounted in the turret roof to the rear of the commander's and gunner's hatches.
  • Optional fuel tanks that can be fitted on top of the hull to increase operational range.
  • A Chinese designed laser rangefinder (fitted on some models) over the rear part of the 85mm gun. This is identical to the laser rangefinder found on some Chinese Type 59 MBTs.
  • No NBC system or night vision equipment for commander and gunner.
Type 63A Modernized Light Tank
Modernized tank is lengthened with boat-shaped hull for improved swim effects, improved lethality (105mm rifled gun) and protection, and a new welded turret.