Manufacturer: NORINCO - China North Industries Group Corporation - CNGC  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Tracked armoured personnel carrier  

The VP1 has a crew of two and can carry up to 13 fully-equipped troops, its all-welded steel armour hull providing protection from small arms fire and shell splinters. Its 320 hp air-cooled diesel engine gives a maximum road speed of 65 km/h and a maximum cruising range of 500 km.

With a combat weight of 14.5 tonnes, the VP1 is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by its tracks; the only preparation required involves erecting a trim vane at the front of the vehicle and activating the vehicle's bilge pumps.

The baseline VP1 APC is fitted with a one-person cupola armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun (MG), with the gunner provided with armour protection to the sides and rear. Mounted on either side of the upper part of the chassis towards the vehicle's front is a bank of 76 mm electrically-operated smoke grenade launchers. Other weapon stations can be fitted on the roof, including a turret armed with a 30 mm cannon and 7.62 mm co-axial MG.

More specialised versions include an ambulance, command post vehicle and self-propelled mortar. The latter incorporates an internally-mounted 81 mm or 120 mm mortar and also carries a base plate for dismounted operations. Some of these versions have a raised roof towards the rear for greater internal volume and payload. All vehicles are fitted with an NBC protection system and an automatic fire detection and suppression system as standard.

A version of the VP1 also provides the basis for specialised support vehicles used with the NORINCO 155 mm/45 calibre PLZ45 self-propelled artillery system. These include the ZCY45 battalion and ZCL45 battery command post vehicles and the GCL45 reconnaissance vehicle. All of these vehicles feature the raised roof line to the rear of the chassis.

In the past the VP1 APC has also been referred to as the Type 89 APC and, also in the past, NORINCO was also marketing the Type 90 APC, but export marketing now seems entirely concentrated on the VP1.

In recent years the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has taken into service a number of new-generation tracked AFVs, including the ZBD-04 infantry fighting vehicle (which has a turret similar to that of the Russian BMP-3), the ZBD-05 amphibious assault vehicle (plus another version with a 105 mm gun) and the ZBD-03 airborne assault vehicle.

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