A family of amphibious tanks
The ZBD-2000 built by Norinco to replace the obsolete Type 63 amphibious tank and as the same time to the counterpart of the modernized Type 63A. It was developed especially for extended naval capabilities for the PLA Marines, large-scale seaborne assaults. The main platform was therefore intended as a common basis for several types of vehicles: The ZBD-2000 IFV, the ZBD 05 light tank, and the ZBD 05 IFV and derivative versions like the VN16 & VN18. This vehicle entered service in 2005 and production began at Norinco in 2006, probably still ongoing. Real production numbers are still unknown although 200 ZBD-2000s seemingly has been delivered for most sources. The ZBD was never exported.
ZBD 05 light tank
Design of the ZBD-2000
The ZBD-2000 is an all-welded steel armor, massive vehicle at 5.18m in lenght, 2.74m in width and 3.04m in height (army-technology.com), with sufficient accommodations for housing height to ten equipped marines, a powerful diesel for extended range and exceptional speed when swimming for “over the horizon” assaults, and extra buoyancy. The hull is of prismatic shape, featuring powerful hydro-jets propellers and an hydroplane. It has been compared by some experts to the US Marines Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV). Troops can exit through rear doors or roof hatches.
The basic APC receives a two-man turret armed with a 30mm ZPT-99 (2A72) cannon completed by a 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun, 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, and two HJ-8 missiles mounted on either side of the turret. The ZBD-05 light tank variant is the light tank version for anti-tank protection, featuring the Chinese version of the standard fully-stabilized L7 NATO 105 mm gun in a large three-man turret. This version also have a remote-controlled 12.7 mm heavy machine gun.
This gun is capable of firing Chinese armor piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS), high explosive (HE), and high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds, but ATGMs as well, guided by laser beam which are more accurate than gun rounds due to the motion of the waves when swimming. The turret has 2×4 smoke dischargers sets and a storage rack at the rear also acting as BAR (anti-RPG armor).
The ZBD-05 IFV version resemble the light tank but with newly designed 2-man 30mm KBA-2 30mm automatic (ZTM-1) cannon turret (probably modeled after the Ukrainian Shkval turret) coupled with two iHJ-73C ATGM rail launchers for Hong Jian-73C anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) launchers on the roof plus coaxial 7.62mm MG and AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher. The 30 mm are capable of a 330 rpm, and are fully stabilized, coupled with IR optics, and accurate up to a maximum range of 4,000m.
ZBD 05 IFV
The standard IFV has a plane hull with engine section in front, housing a diesel 550 hp strong, up to 1475 hp for the light tank version, giving an impressive 65kph on road and 30 up tp 45kph on water which is a record for such kind of vehicle, thanks to an ingenious hydraulic-actuated bow with transom flaps that reduce drag an help skimming across the surface of the water. The six unevenly spaced road wheels are suspended by torsion bar suspension units. The drive sprockets are at the front and idlers at the rear.
The vehicle is NBC-protected, probably with Halon automatic fire extinguishers. Standard equipment includes a computerized fire-control system including (computer, commander sight, laser rangefinder, gunner sight with passive night vision) satellite navigation (GPS) and thermal imaging system for all-weather day or night operations. Field tests showed the ZBD 05 could climb a 60% gradient, 30% side slope, or cross a vertical step 0.7m high and 2m large trench.
ZBD CCV, Control and Command Vehicle
ZBD ARV or Armored Recovery Vehicle
Only a limited numbers of these vehicles are in service with well-trained units of the People’s Liberation Army Navy Marine Corps (PLAMC). The ZBD 05 light tank was revealed in 2006 while the IFV variant was first shown in parades in 2009 and 2014.
The ZBD 2000/ZBD 05 on wikipedia
ZBD 05 IFV specifications
|Dimensions||5.18×2.74×3.04 m ( ft)|
|Total weight, battle ready||26/28 tons|
|Crew||3 (driver, cdr, gunner)+8|
|Speed (road)||65/40 km/h (xx/xx mph)|
|Range||500 km (xx mi)|
|Armament||30mm QF gun|
|Total production||200+ (current)|
ZBD 2000 in parade colours, Bejing 2006.
ZBD 05 light tank in marine digital camouflage – @AK-Interactive profile
ZBD 05 light tank in marine camouflage
ZBD 05/105 with an inland digital type camouflage.
ZBD 05 with an army camouflage
Video (CCTV footage)
ZBD 05 in a parade in Beijing
ZBD 05s in a parade in Beijing