Gamer Leaks Classified Chinese Intel To Win Argument
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A gamer leaked classified Chinese military schematics to win an argument online.

Gaijin Entertainment, the developers of free-to-play online vehicle combat game, “War Thunder,” host a forum where fans can discuss vehicles, items, realism, and other aspects of the game. One post on May 31 went viral when it revealed what appears to be a real schematic of the Chinese DTC10-125 armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) shell, which inspired an in-game item of the same name. The shell is employed by the PLA’s ZTZ Type 96, 96A, 99, and 99A tanks.

Chinese speaking users of the site have translated the document and it has been circulating online. According to the U.K. Defense Journal, the leak illustrated the shell’s muzzle velocity at ambient temperatures, as well as its efficiency against rolled and homogeneous armor (RHA) and a range of factors that could affect the shell’s trajectory. If the image is authentic, it is the first known internal documentation of “one of the [People’s Liberation Army’s] main tank killing rounds.”

The user appeared to be irritated by inaccuracies in the projected in-game specs of the shell, and wanted the internal statistics updated to match its real world equivalent. Ironically enough, the shell is not yet available in game, and the statistics in question were only placeholder values that would have been updated in the final product, meaning the leaker likely committed treason to correct values that were never meant to be accurate in the first place.

“Our community managers immediately banned the user and deleted his post, as the information on this particular shell is still classified in China,” the Hungarian studio said in an email to PC Gamer. “Publishing classified information on any vehicle of any nation at War Thunder forums is clearly prohibited, and the game developers never use it in their work. While we understand that our players want the game to be as realistic as possible, we’re kindly asking them not to do anything illegal and jeopardize their safety, as well as safety of our community team members.”

This is not the first time classified military intelligence has been leaked on this forum. In July 2021, a self-described captain of a British Challenger II tank leaked classified schematics in the hope that the developers would improve its in-game design. In October 2021, a French Army tank crewman leaked a portion of the Leclerc Main Battle Tank’s classified manual, again for the sake of in-game accuracy.

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