Eye Candy: China’s New Armored Vehicles

Here are your pics of the day; they show China’s latest infantry fighting vehicle equipped with new, thicker bolt-on armor up close and in action. These new tracs appear to be part of China’s new class of armored vehicles that recently entered service as an eventual replacement of the older Type 86 and 89 armored vehicles. Click here for older posts showing you the command post, engineering, recon and big gun versions of the trac.

Click through the jump for more pics.

Via China Defense Blog.


    New Tank meet Javelin.

    • kknifeman

      Why waste a Javelin. How about New Tank meet MA-DUCE with armour peirceing

      • blight

        Two tracks and a turret does not make a tank.

  • Tim

    These are hardly… “eye candy”. Their performance is dismal as well…

    • Ryan

      I agree, they aren’t much too look at. And mechanically I don’t think this design will do well climbing obstacles. The track height seems rather low, like it is more likely to run into something rather than climb up it.

      • Skyepapa

        And ground clearance is next to nothing… at least it looks that way. In the last picture, the trailing vehicle is running in modest track ruts but the center hump is almost in contact with the undercarriage. I’m sure this thing can push its way through most dirt, but what about rocky terrain? I can’t imagine there’s not a solution to the seemingly low ground clearance though… the Chinese aren’t idiots.

        • blight

          I guess that has to do with the environments the original BMP was intended for. Fulda Gap?

  • blight

    Can’t judge a book by its cover: and its cover looks much like the cover of other books.

  • sdog

    uhhh not seeing much to challenge the Bradley here, could you imagine how 73 easting would of gone without TOW’s?

    • Juuso

      It’s armed with 30mm cannon and 100mm main gun.

      • blight

        The BMP-3’s 100mm gun supports the AT-10 Stabber. Not sure if the PRC has gun-tube ATGMs…

        • Thinking_ExUSAF

          Supposedly the Chinese Type-97’s normal loadout is 22 HE/FRAG and 8 ATGM rounds for the 100mm. And yes, the Chinese missile is said to have been developed from the AT-10.

  • sobriquet

    Variants of these likely pack ATGMs as well; I think we shouldn’t really care. We’re not going to be facing Chinese APCs anytime soon, anyhow.

    • Truman Ash

      Would not be surprised to see these getting exported to folks like Iran however.



    • 4mer03sgt

      probably never have to challenge these pos’s anyway…if they are made as well as the crap we buy at walmart, they may not even make it off base to get into battle!

  • dddd

    any theoretical scenario would pit these against Taiwanese forces, not our own.

    • dddd


    • Lance

      A Taiwanese M-60A3 could kill dozens of these Chinese junk w/o problem. Even there latest tank design is a regurgitated T-72 hardly a successful tank. Many Chinese armored units still have Type 59 and Type 88 which are based on T-55s. Number is China’s main threat in armored warfare.

      • Riceball

        Just about any tank would take these Chinese APCs out, even a Sherman since these are just APCs and no APC is a match (armor wise) for a tank.

      • blight_

        I had to check if they did have the A3-TTS; and apparently they do.

        Maybe we should let them have the M6-2000 and test it. You know, just in case WW3 starts and we need to reactivate thousands of M60 tanks in war stocks, and quickly upgrade them to modern standards using GDLS’ kits.

  • Marcase

    A lovechild of a BMP & CV90 encounter, with attention to IR and RDR signature reduction.

    I’m missing (turret) ATGWs.

    Will be interesting to see what type of Active Defense System - if any - will be installed.

    • MGC

      100mm tube is capable of firing ATGMs, similar to Kornet I believe, as well as HE(AT) much like soviet tanks.

  • Elijah

    An I 4 an I:



    • http://twitter.com/Patrick79x @Patrick79x


  • Juuso

    This vehicles proves that Chinese wan’t to get more protection for their soldiers, their older IFV was smartly (engine in the front etc) modifed BMP-3. It’s said that this new IFV weights over 30 tons empty, that’s 10 tons more than BMP-3.

    It’s more closer to German Marder than any Russian IFV.

    • http://major.rod major.rod

      “closer to German Marder than any Russian IFV.”

      You need glasses and a spec sheet. The additional 10 tons can easily be accounted for by the additional armor bolted on. Curiously both the BMP3 and the ZBD04 both have a 30mm & 100mm mounted in the same turret. They are the ONLY vehicles in the world that have this arrangement. The Marder’s main gun is a 20mm.

      • Juuso

        When I writed “closer to Marder” I meant the weight of this new IFV, and the fact that it’s not amfibious anymore because of it’s weight.

        • http://major.rod major.rod

          Oh, then its just like a Bradley also. LOL

    • Chimp

      I’ve walked around one of these. The armament choice is just plain wierd… the 30mm is supposedly very potent, so not sure why you also need a 100mm. Blowing stuff up is what god invented dismounts for.

      Fit and finish are really nice, and it looks a well sorted machine.

  • Lance

    Looks like a larger and taller BMP-3 knock off. Doubt they replace all of the Type 86 and 89s China still has Type 59s in service.

    Easy meat for a M-1 or M-60 to eat!!

    • Thomas L. Nielsen

      “Easy meat for a M-1 or M-60 to eat!!”

      That’s a bit like saying a C-130 is easy meat for an F-15. It’s true, of course, but so? This is not a tank, it’s an ICV.

      Regards & all,

      Thomas L. Nielsen

    • cozine

      On any new Chinese toys:

      This is nothing but a >>enter derogatory adj.< < knock off of >>enter something superficially similar from the western countries< <. They have >>enter imaginative feel-good scenario where evil Chinese hacked into a non-existing computer system and stole some useless design information< <. But as >>enter lame ‘made in China’ joke< <, it will be >>enter another imaginative feel-good scenario where the subject is brutally crushed by superior western toy in a one-on-one dual<<. Now churn out something more creative, please.

      • Hale

        Yep, pretty much that.

        What scares me is that I’m not sure if people who type that are trolls or being dead-serious.

      • Lance

        I know you must love Chinese arms but most of China’s weapons or copies of other designs show one that isn’t a copy.

        • Thomas L. Nielsen

          “show one that isn’t a copy”:

          QBZ-95, QBZ-95-1 and QBZ-97 assault rifles, J-20 fighter technology demonstrator, ZBD2000 Amphibious Fighting Vehicle.

          Regards & all,

          Thomas L. Nielsen

        • Riceball

          And your point is? A copied weapon design can be just as dangerous as an original. Will a copied weapons kill you any less than something that’s an original design?

          • blight_

            Take Lincolns Axe: It might not be lincoln’s axe after you change the blade and handle a few times, but I can still kill you with it. Or chop wood.

  • bob

    ROFLMAO All you idiots are dismissing one of the main rules of war

    Never underestimate the enemy.

    • Anlushac11

      Never get involved in a land war in Asia? Or never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line?

      • Praetorian

        I would nerver have thought to hear a quote from ” The Princess Bride ” on this thread.

    • Bob

      Or the other rule about narcissism. Which in military terms would be expressed as, “Just cause I fight one one, I assume my enemy will fight me on equal terms in a manner such as I have trained for.”

  • tiger

    Why go with a slab sided design? I thought most armor vehicles want angles to deflect enemy fire?

    • Matt Roberts

      Modern ceramic armour designed to defeat HEAT rounds has to be straight, not sloped. See front of M-1, same deal.

      • blight

        Are you referring to the Chobham in the turret?

        From the dreaded Wikipedia:

        “Ceramic tiles draw little or no advantage from sloped armour as they lack sufficient toughness to significantly deflect heavy penetrators. Indeed, because a single glancing shot could crack many tiles, the placement of the matrix is chosen so as to optimise the chance of a perpendicular hit, a reversal of the previous desired design feature for conventional armour. Ceramic armour normally even offers better protection for a given areal density when placed perpendicularly than when placed obliquely, because the cracking propagates along the surface normal of the plate. Instead of rounded forms, the turrets of tanks using Chobham armour typically have a slab-sided appearance.”

        And the relevant citations:

        Chang, Albert L. and Bodt Barry E., “JTCG/AS Interlaboratory Ballistic Test Program — Final Report”, Army Research Laboratory - TR-1577 - December 1977 p. 12
        ^ Chan, H.M., “Layered ceramics: processing and mechanical behavior”, Ann Rev Mater Sci 1997; 27: p. 249–82
        ^ W.S. de Rosset and J.K. Wald, “Analysis of Multiple-Hit Criterion for Ceramic Armor”, US Army Research Laboratory TR-2861, September 2002
        ^ Bruchey, W., Horwath, E., Templeton, D. and Bishnoi, K.,”System Design Methodology for the Development of High Efficiency Ceramic Armors”, Proceedings of the 17th International Symposium on Ballistics, Volume 3, Midrand, South Africa, March 23–27, 1998, p.167-174
        ^ Hauver, G.E., Netherwood, P.H., Benck, R.F. and Kecskes, L.J., 1994, “Enhanced Ballistic Performance of Ceramics”, 19th Army Science Conference, Orlando, FL, June 20–24, 1994, p. 1633-1640
        ^ V. Hohler, K. Weber, R. Tham, B. James, A. Barker and I. Pickup, “Comparative Analysis of Oblique Impact on Ceramic Composite Systems”, International Journal of Impact Engineering 26 (2001) p. 342
        ^ D. Yaziv1, S. Chocron, C.E. Anderson, Jr. and D. J. Grosch, “Oblique Penetration in Ceramic Targets”, 19th International Symposium of Ballistics, 7–11 May 2001, Interlaken, Switzerland TB27 p. 1264
        ^ Yiwang Bao, Shengbiao Su, Jianjun Yang, Qisheng Fan, “Prestressed ceramics and improvement of impact resistance”, Materials Letters 57 (2002) p. 523
        ^ Chu, Henry S; McHugh, Kevin M and Lillo, Thomas M, “Manufacturing Encapsulated Ceramic Armor System Using Spray Forming Technology” Publications Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls, 2001

      • Riceball

        But, as far as I know, they don’t use ceramics in the armor of APCs and IFVs. Marine Corps LAVs and Amtracs have a aluminum armor and I imagine that Bradley’s and Strykers do too. I imagine that most APC/IFVs have slab sides to maximize interior space for carrying troops.

        • blight_


          The hull of the M2 is constructed of welded aluminium and spaced laminate armour. In addition, the M2A2 / M3A2 Bradleys have appliqué steel armour with provision for additional passive armour or explosive reactive armour (ERA). General Dynamics Armament and Technical products has developed an enhanced-capability reactive armour package for the Bradley. 150 sets have been delivered and a follow-on contract for 168 sets was placed in July 2005.

  • Guest

    And you “idiot” are looking at china as an enemy

    • ptitz

      potential adversary?

  • ptitz

    Hah, looks cheap! They could probably roll em out like pancakes if they want to. Also, EFV much?

    • oops

      Also, try do that and see what happens.

  • cy-coe

    Yet another reason the a-10 needs to stick around.

    • tiger

      Sadly, about half of the A-10’s are headed to the bone yard. under USAF budget cuts.

  • Jayson

    “”Let China Sleep, for when the Dragon awakes, she will shake the world.”

    Let them build whatever toys they like even if they’ll fall apart after a week of playing with them. If they enter a conflict they’ll learn fast and quality will jump up to our levels even faster.

    Let them play soldier in their borders.

  • Woody

    Who are all of you people making judgements on Chinese IFV’s…..are you all in Chinese R&D?…..Generals?…..ever drove one?, went up against one?….no?…just be silent….

    • Mark

      What fun would that be?

    • http://major.rod major.rod

      Actually some of us have come close (BMP2s) and have other qualifications that might make our comments more credible than most.

      What “woodpecker” got in your skivvies and upset you?

  • itfunk

    Looks like the Chinese have incorporated modern AFV design principals. It makes the Bradley look distinctly old fashioned

    Every 10 years China rolls out another generation of weapons and we cancel another round of failed projects.

    • Tim

      One could only wonder about your sense of judgement if you actually thought the Bradley look ‘old fashion’ comparing to these…

      But then again, if war fighting was all about ‘fashion’ then Italy would remain a military superpower all these past 2000 years.

      • itfunk

        Bradley looks like last generation which is exactly what it is. The fact that we are stuck with it because of repeated program failures.

        • blight

          This looks pretty much like the BMP family of vehicles, which is a little newer than the M113 the Bradley was based on. If you are suggesting retro is new, we may as well go with Egypt’s AICVs, which use mini-Bradley turrets on the MTVLs.

          I won’t pretend Bradleys aren’t legacy vehicles, but most of the world’s militaries are content with legacy vehicles. The BMP and T-72 family lives in in its foreign copycat cousins, as does the American M113, M60 and M1. Even the Taiwanese are still using Walker-Bulldog, though South Korea appears to be striking out on their own in terms of new ground vehicles not wedded to either Soviet or American designs.

      • Hale

        He’s mainly complaining about why don’t all of our armored vehicles look futuristic like Merkavas IVs or Leopards 2s. Looks don’t dictate function. The Apache is an ugly piece of work, but it is the fiercest.

        As long as we keep upgrading them, they’ll remain the best.

        Though I do wish that our programs would fail less and that we’d get some new vehicles out.

    • http://major.rod major.rod

      funk - you must not know much about the BMP3. It was fielded in ’87, five years after the Bradley and is very similar lines to the BMD/PT76 from the 60’s. Later versions of the BMP3 had thermals (doubtful here). None have an independent commander’s sight.

      Don’t think it so much makes the Bradley look old as you may be partial to Soviet style.

  • Uranium238

    Why the hell does it look like the bolts holding that thing together are from Home Depot’s hardware section?

    • Skyepapa

      Home Depot sells grade 5 hardened steel bolts. Maybe that’s why.

  • Black Owl

    It looks like it still uses the chassis of a BMP-3.

  • steveo

    I wonder if you can buy them at Wal-mart.

    • gosh

      you’re not in the army, are you?

  • Ron

    Looks like a combination of vehicles. Weapon system is from a BMP3 turret looks like it’s from a warrior or that Swedish IFV and the hull for the German Marauder. The main weapon is limiting the size of the warhead for the HEAT round to a 100mm the TOW is 152mm that a % 50 bigger warhead. 100mm heat round has no chance vs frontal armor of modern MBT. This vehicle does not match the same threat level as say the Bradley.

    At 30 tons it has some armor would like to see that a 25mm bushmaster would do to it?

    • blight

      BMP’s weren’t meant to be survivable tanks (much to the dismay of those inside!). However, their firepower gives them anti-tank punch if they need it, just as Bradleys died to Iraqi tanks but could still dish it out with TOWs.

  • nigg

    Those would be fun to blow up with an Abrams

  • Ron of the tenth cav

    Lets buy some and test them against our a-10’s and see who drives away. doesn’t looke to have much armor on top, Hell fires won’t have any trouble with these things .

    • http://major.rod major.rod

      We have some BMP3s

  • chockblock

    After seeing this..the best the PLA can put out..the US army has the Ground Combat Vehicle program..why?

    • blight

      What GCV program? It’s legacy Abrams and legacy Bradley and legacy Stryker versus BMP copies and T- variant tanks.

  • Mike Wall

    Gee, Looks like China has WAR on its Mind, thats what you need to look at.After all WE have made them a Power House. I think making the last Bastion of Communism .As X Pres said “Most Favored Nation” IS THE MOST Ignorant thing we as a Free Nation who has sent tens of thousands of our Men to Die Fighting is insane.Hang on to our shorts America the Commys have Money and they dont spend it on there people they keep them on a tight oppressive leash.

    • justsaying

      Defense Tech Demographic:
      Age: 40+
      Race: White
      Political Orientation: Neocon

  • Jimmy

    When you have a ratio of 100 to 1 on the battlefield it won’t make much difference how high tech you are.Sherman tanks were outgunned against German tigers in WW11 but the numbers made the difference.

    • yaynumbers

      I think we all fail to give credence to the fact that by 1944 the army in the west was being ground to dirt by Thunderbolt strikes and insufficient supplies; and the priority of keeping those Bolsheviks out of the German heartland. Vast amounts of German hardware were abandoned during the Falaise encirclement, and that is what made the difference more than simply pitting hardware against hardware. By the time the war got to Germany proper, they had used up all their last tanks and didn’t even have fuel anymore.

      A Sherman was equal to the low-velocity Pz 4’s and the Pz 4 did the lion’s share of fighting and dying.

    • Riceball

      But that was more out of necessity than actual planning or intent. You have to remember that Shermans were not built or initially meant to fight other tanks but was instead meant to be an infantry support vehicle which was why it had a low velocity 75mm gun. The job of killing tanks was meant to be the job of tank destroyers but it was soon realized that their thin armor put them at a disadvantage against true tanks.

      Also consider what yaynumbers pointed out, the Sherman was a match for German PzKw. III’s & I’V’s and it wasn’t until the introduction of late model IV’s and the Panthers and Tigers that the Sherman was really outclassed. And as yay pointed out, the PzKw. IV was the workhorse of the German armor corps and with addition of the skirtzen armor a lot of tankers mistook IV’s for Tigers which made it seem like the Germans fielded far more Tigers than they actually did.

    • blight_

      What’s also interesting is if you look in Intelligence Bulletin (conveniently available on LoneSentry), is that the Americans encountered a lot of hardware late in the game. They even encountered the Tigers long after they had been tested at Kursk with the Tiger tank, and didn’t encounter Panthers until they were well on their way into Germany proper.

      And I don’t think the ratios were 100:1 for Americans to Germans. If anything, both were closer in terms of combat available troops than people give the Germans credit for.

      However, the Germans had a ton of Ostruppen and had units pinned down protecting Calais and Cherbourg and presumably Paris. They were on the tail end of a supply chain favoring the eastern front. The Allies had England offshore, but were logistically and geographically bottlenecked as to how many troops they could put into Europe.

      Yay is probably thinking of late ’44 post-Falais when Paris was liberated and the Allies were beginning to feel the logistical bottlenecks of insufficient resupply themselves.

      And going back into LoneSentry…most of the Tiger fights were already taking place in Italy, Sicilly and the like. Places where the American war machine did not have mass quantities of vehicles available as they were for Overlord.

      More interestingly is the idea that if the Sherman were upgunned that things would be dandy. Tigers were present in Sicilly.The Shermans were paired with tank destroyer. Ominously, there is this snippet about them…

      “Later in the Battle of Normandy, the M10’s gun proved to be ineffective against the frontal armor of the newer German Tiger and Panther tanks unless firing HVAP rounds”

      Of course, specialized rounds are always short. So if the Shermans had this TD gun, would it have made a difference? The M36 Jackson is fielded later…and like the Pershing, a little too late to be decisive; but certainly not too late to see combat.


      It appears that the preliminary work on the 76mm gun was underway by early ’44; and that 76mm Shermans did appear in American tank units by Overlord; or shortly after. It appears that a combination of 76mm Shermans (using the M1 76mm) and the M18 (using a different 3″ or 76mm gun) were insufficient against the Panther/Tiger/JagdPanzer team.

      On strategic terms. If we chose to wait for the better Pershing, the consequence might’ve been delaying Operation Torch, the invasion of Sicilly and the liberation if Italy. Or a compromise would involve a more limited North African campaign, possibly of the same strategic consequence. Hard to say if a one front war would’ve given Hitler his win in Russia; but who wants to take chances? And all for ensuring that “Americans have the best tanks”? Not worth it, especially if the Germans can bring Tigers and SS units to the beaches of Normandy instead of Ostruppen and weaker units.

      It’s worth fleshing out the comparison properly. Does the 75mm gun allow the Sherman to compete against the Pz3 and Pz4? It /seems/ from notes that it would overmatch the long-barrel 50mm, and the short-barrel Pz4, though I’m not sure if it is “even” or “inferior” to the long-barrel 75 on a Pz4 such that it would be significantly at a loss. The 75mm Sherman is totally outclassed by the Tiger and Panther at all ranges.

      As a tangent, there is the M7 gun shipped with the tank destroyer meant to supplement the 75mm Sherman. Would it have done well against the Tiger and Panther? Hard to say from the data. The platform of the M10 certainly was not up too the challenge. It probably would’ve not done much better against Pz3 (tin foil) or Pz4, but might’ve been useful against its Jagd or Stug counterparts.

      Then there is the QF that came on the Firefly.

      Then there is the M1 76mm that perhaps we all think should’ve shipped at the beginning.

  • BrahMos

    The Indian’s have more to worry than the Americans. But Nag and Javelin could do the trick for us.

  • Papi1960R

    So they made some new vehicles. They could buy the Whole US Army with all the US T-bill they have that have ALREADY hit maturity. The REAL enemy is in Washington DC and on Wall street. Chicago, Dallas, New York, Boston and LA in 2017 are going to make the riots and fires in Athens this week look like a Cub scout wiener roast.

    • blight_

      They could, but the real fear is that the United States could easily default or announce a refusal to pay. The PRC needs the US as an export market.

  • Calvin

    so a suited up bmp? great work China, maybe you should think of your own ideas…

  • Liam

    oh how i miss the Marines EFV… we seriously need that back