Type 73 Armoured Recovery Vehicle
Introduced in the early 1970s, the Type 73 was the first armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) fielded by the PLA. The vehicle was built on the chassis of the Type 59 tank, by removing the turret and adding the vehicle with a winch, a spade, and a manual hoist boom. The development began in 1965 and the vehicle entered the PLA service in 1973. The vehicle has been gradually phased out of current service.
The Type 73 was designed to rescue battle- or mine-damaged as well as broken-down tanks. The vehicle can perform some basic battlefield repairs such as replacing the tank’s engine or turret. It can also tow the damaged tank out of the battlefield for more extensive repairs.
The layout of the Type 73 is generally identical to the Type 59 tank, with the driver compartment in the front, and the engine compartment in the rear. The turret in the middle was replaced by a large crew compartment. The recovery winch and spade are fitted at the rear of the vehicle. Recovery equipments and tools are carried on the side of the crew compartment and on top of the fenders.
The recovery equipments include a recovery winch, which can provide a pulling capacity of 25 tonnes, or 50 tonnes when used in conjunction with two pulleys, and a manually operated hoist boom with a max lifting capacity of 1,000 kg. A spade can provide a max support of 54 tonnes. A set of towing kits is carried on the side of the crew compartment when not in use, and fitted on the rear of the vehicle when being used to tow the damaged or broken vehicle.
The propulsions, protections, communications, fire suppressions, and smoke generation equipment on the Type 73 are generally identical to those on the Type 59 tank.
Armaments on the Type 73 includes a roof-mounted Type 59 12.7mm antiaircraft machine gun (AAMG) with 500 rounds. The vehicle also carries a 7.62mm assault rifle with 300 rounds, and 20 grenades for self-defence.
Chassis: Type 59
Crew: 4 (Commander, driver, and two mechanics)
Combat weight: 31 tonnes
Dimensions: Length: 7.16m; Width: 3.27m; Height: 2.125m (without
machine gun) or 2.45m (with machine gun)
Max speed: 50km/h
Average speed: 27~30 km/h (on road); or 22~25 km/h
Max fuel capacity: 790 litres
Max range: 415~435km
Trench crossing: 2.7m
Max gradient: 58%
Engine: 580hp 12150L
Transmission: Mechanical, planetary
Suspension: Torsion bar
NBC protection: No
Main recovery winch capacity: 32~35 tonnes (without
pulley); or 64~70 tonnes (with pulley)
Winch cable length: 130 m (main winch); or 260
m (auxiliary winch)
Boom capacity: 1,000kg
Boom max lift height: 3.2m
Boom elevation range: 0~60 degree
Boom azimuth range: 200 degree
Weapon: One 12.7 mm Type 59 antiaircraft machine
gun, 500 rounds
Last update: 20 February 2009