|Manufacturer:||NORINCO - China North Industries Group Corporation - CNGC|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
In 2001/2002 China revealed that it had developed a whole series of new wheeled AFVs, although none of these has yet made an appearance in public and it is probable that none of these are yet in quantity production or service with the People's Liberation Army.
These new Chinese wheeled AFVs included a 122 mm (8 × 8) self-propelled howitzer, 120 mm (8 × 8) tank destroyer, 120 mm (6 × 6) self-propelled mortar system (based on the WMZ 551B 6 × 6 armoured personnel carrier chassis) and a 105 mm (6 × 6) armoured car (covered in a separate entry).
As of mid-2007 it is understood that quantity production of this vehicle had yet to commence.
Early in 2002, China revealed yet another 120 mm 8 × 8 tank destroyer/armoured car which is quite different to the 120 mm 8 × 8 model first revealed in 2001, which has a very high hull and a much larger turret. Details of this are given in a separate entry.
This latest 120 mm 8 × 8 system appears to be based on a new chassis of all-welded steel construction with the drivers compartment front left, diesel engine compartment front right and the fighting compartment extending to the rear.
The all-welded steel hull provides the occupants with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters and it is considered probable that a fire detection and suppression system is fitted as standard. The hull line is above the road wheels with the upper and lower parts of the hull sides sloping inwards.
The driver has vision blocks to his front and sides and above his position is a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the left. There is believed to be another crew position to the immediate rear of the driver.
The engine compartment is to the right of the driver and separated from the remainder of the vehicle by a bulkhead. The engine air inlet louvres are believed to be in the hull top with the air outlet louvres in the right side of the hull. The exhaust pipe, with two distinct silencers, runs along the right side of the hull to the rear.
The large turret with sloped front and sides is mounted in the centre of the hull with the turret bustle extending to the rear. The space at the rear of the hull could be used to carry additional ammunition or several troops for dismounted operations.
Given the overall weight of the complete system, it is considered that the new vehicle is not amphibious and there does not appear to be any water jets mounted at the hull rear, as with some of the earlier Chinese wheeled AFVs. Between the second and third axles, on the left side, is a small door that can be used as an emergency exit or for ammunition resupply purposes.
Turret traverse and weapon elevation is powered and it is understood that main armament comprises a 120 mm smoothbore gun which is fitted with a thermal sleeve and compact fume extractor.
A slotted muzzle brake is fitted to reduce recoil forces when ammunition of the Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot (APFSDS) nature is being fired. It is considered probable that an automatic loader for the 120 mm gun is not fitted and that the turret has a crew of three.
Considering the role that the new vehicle is to undertake it is probable that an advanced fire control system is fitted that includes a weapon stabilisation system, day/night sights and a laser range-finder which feeds information to the fire-control computer.
It is probable that a machine gun is mounted coaxial with the main armament and there is also a 12.7 mm machine gun on the right side of the turret roof for local and air defence purposes. A bank of electrically operated smoke grenade launchers is mounted either side of the turret, firing forwards.
Standard equipment probably includes powered steering on the front four road wheels, NBC system and a central tyre pressure-regulation system that allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressure to suit the terrain being crossed.