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China Unveils New Armored Vehicle Family

by John Reed on June 8, 2011

Speaking of China’s military modernization, it looks like the PLA is unveiling a whole new family of armored  fighting vehicle in its efforts to rapidly modernize its military.

According to the folks at China Defense Blog, the new armored vehicles may be intended to replace the old Type 89 and 86 AFVs. It sounds like no one is quite sure if this is a brand new vehicle or a heavily upgraded Type 89.

The pictures posted on CDB show a traditional armored personnel carrier variant along with an engineering, command post, recon and 120 mm mortar (pictured above) variants.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

AT4 June 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm

What's with the wavy snake pattern above the road wheels? Looks purely aesthetic. Looks like they figured out not to paint the road wheels white.


hale June 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Oh they will.

When the military parades roll around, you can bet that all rotating circular objects will have their rims painted white.

Which means they'll all be painted white, since the only true purpose of all that Chinese equipment is for parades and endless military exercises.


anon June 8, 2011 at 7:39 pm

possibly the wavy line is to help break up the outline of the shadowed area around running gear – after all, straight lines are rare in nature and tend to stick out

just a suggestion


joe June 9, 2011 at 10:33 am

Looks like something hanging. I'm going to take a guess at some camo material side skirts?


OldTanker June 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

It's a dust skirt to control dust, dirt, and mud picked up by the track from being thrown off on the return track strand. Wavy edges just break up the straight line, since straight lines don't occur in nature. Search for pictures of German Leopards to see these on other tanks. US doesn't use them, because our skirts on Abrams and Bradley are part of the armor solution.


Stephen Russell June 8, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Looks Russian design I assume, Not copying our Stryker vehicles any.


joe June 9, 2011 at 10:43 am

Well – if talking about US designs to copy, there are currently three: Stryker, Bradly and its successor and EFV and its predecessor.

It doesn't look much like the first two, but the hull shape looks like it's got amphibious ops in mind to me. No pictures from the back to see if there's any hydrojets or suchlike fitted – can't make out anything meaningful from the engineering vehicle's rear profile.


Chimp June 10, 2011 at 3:23 am

Yes, it would be interesting to get a good look at the back. There seems to be *something* on both sides of the ramp, and underneath it too.


David Wolf June 8, 2011 at 11:47 pm

I like the low profile. I wonder how long it will take the troops to unfold themselves after egress?


joe June 9, 2011 at 10:40 am

Not as low as it looks, I suspect. After all, it's clearly taller than the driver? officer? standing in front of it, and the latter two variants appear to have a raised back end

Interesting that the engineering vehicle is built on an APC chassis rather than a tank chassis. Either this is a reasonably amphibious vehicle (so it can keep up) or it's got more grunt in its engine than you might think.

Anyone know how hefty are current PLA tanks are?


lik June 9, 2011 at 1:18 am

note the waterline markings, though they might just be there for testing


Stratege June 9, 2011 at 2:12 am

It does not looks like copied Soviet/Russian design


Walter June 9, 2011 at 5:35 am

Mock them all you like but at least the Chinese are capable of producing a new armoured vehicel, cough cough Marine EFV…


Larry June 9, 2011 at 6:43 am
joe June 9, 2011 at 10:36 am

The gun variant, as noted, is probably a high–calibre mortar. 120mm mortars are nice fire support at company level – the Warsaw Pact used to love explosives delivery gear – big calibre mortars issued in large numbers, and grenade machine guns issued as squad fire support rather than NATO-style SAWS.


CSZ June 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Is there any other way? If there is a mature, proven design existing, what kind of crazy/stupid people will NOT copy that and instead waste time and resource just come up with something "original"?


joe June 10, 2011 at 2:54 am

Especially for armoured vehicles. Given the brief of an amphibious armoured personnel carrier, I can't really see what you can do other than shovel prow, tracks and box; if you're got those elements, why not copy ones that work?


Lance June 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

They look more like a upgrade to a Type 86 than a replacement.


TribulationTime June 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I read years back German Nazis build Panther try to make a better T-34. I suppouse it´s more cheap try to make better a vehicle mature design. Other side, Anyone have good to say about it?. And other hand, strategies and tactics make usefull a crap of steel. In the end indeed a M1A1 can be hard hit by "blue fire" incident where a Bradley dissable it, firing in the engine compartiment ( I can be wrong, just I remenber a news about that) with the 25 mm. Luckly crew not was injured, but in logic of others countrys Why I need a survival crew if I don´t have their tank?. Can be other way of thinking.


anon June 9, 2011 at 5:00 pm

The DB prototype was closer to the T-34 than the MAN one, but either way Pzkw V was initiated because the KV series and T 34 were shrugging off hits from short-barrel Pzkw IV and 37mm Pzkw III


Mike June 11, 2011 at 12:39 am

Not much armor plating on it, I came to this conclusion by the way they have two of these APC on a semi flat bed…. I could be wrong, but ever seen two Bradley's on a single trailer? These things must be kind of light…?


luis medina June 11, 2011 at 8:20 am

the v.c won the war in viet -nam because the chinnise help them .i never thrust them anyway.


anon June 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm

For the second image, it looks like a ACAV turret mounted on top of that vehicle.


jhm June 12, 2011 at 7:36 pm

looks ancient and out of date. just imagine one of those pitted against a puma or bradley, bye bye


max December 30, 2011 at 5:39 am

never underestimated your enemies. always be alert. they're always improving and upgrading. the armored vehicles are part of the modernization of the china's military.


Oudin December 30, 2011 at 5:47 am

The chinese armour vehicle better than stryker.


Oudin December 30, 2011 at 5:49 am

The chinese armored vehicle better than stryker.


Chimp June 9, 2011 at 2:49 am

That's a darn good point. Couple of comments… the sides are vertical and almost featureless. The old type 89 had sloped side armour with firing ports and lots of strange attachment points.

This has more running wheels (6 vs. 5) and what looks like a lower profile.
Clearly, there's something different going on with the protection here. Be very interesting to go over this with a camera and a tape measure.


Chimp June 10, 2011 at 3:25 am

Full cream diets for the last generation make that less of an issue. They aren't by any means all six foot four, but they're not the midgets of yore, either.
If the hull is v shaped, it could be very tight inside the troop compartment.


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