The Type 99 or ZTZ-99 is a Chinese third generation main battle tank (MBT). The vehicle was a replacement for the aging Type 88 introduced in the late 1980s. The Type 99 MBT was China's first mass-produced third-generation main battle tank. Combining modular composite armour and tandem-charge defeating ERA, 125 mm smoothbore gun with ATGM-capability, high mobility, digital systems and optics, the Type 99 represents a shift towards rapid modernization by the PLA. The Type 99 is based on the Soviet T-72 chassis. The tank entered People's Liberation Army (PLA) service in 2001. The People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) is the sole operator of the Type 99. Three main versions of the Type 99 have been deployed: the Type 98 prototype, Type 99 and the Type 99A. The Type 99 forms the core of China's modern maneuver combat capabilities, with over 1,200 tanks built for the past two decades.