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Type 86

Infantry fighting vehicle

Type 86 IFV

The Chinese Type 86 infantry fighting vehicle is an unlicensed copy of the Soviet BMP-1

 
 
Country of origin China
Entered service 1992
Crew 3 men
Personnel 8 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 13.3 t
Length 6.74 m
Width 2.97 m
Height 2.16 m
Armament
Main gun 73 mm gun
ATGW 1 x HJ-73 missile launcher
Machine gun 1 x 7.62 mm
Ammunition load
Main gun 40 rounds
ATGW 5 missiles
Machine guns 2 000 x 7.62 mm rounds
Mobility
Engine Type 6V-150 diesel
Engine power 298 hp
Maximum road speed 65 km/h
Maximum speed on water 7-8 km/h
Range 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.8 m
Trench 2.2 m
Fording Amphibious

 

   The Soviet BMP-1 IFV became one of the most influential of Soviet post-war armored vehicle designs, having been either directly copied or license-produced by several countries, a typical example of the later being the Romanian MLI-84. The Chinese also decided to produce the type but their starting point was reportedly a BMP-1 supplied to China via Egypt. Once acquired, the original was dismantled and copied, with various local modifications being introduced to meet local requirements and manufacturing methods. The end result, the Type 86 IFV (industrial designation WZ 501). Visually it resembles the BMP-1 but there are numerous detail differences between the two. A small batch production commenced in 1987. The Type 86 entered service with the Chinese army in 1992. By this time the design had become obsolete. It is estimated that the PLA forces operate about 1 000 of these IFVs. It has also been exported to Burma, Iran, Iraq and Sri Lanka.

   The base Type 86 retains the same 73 mm low velocity gun. However this gun is non-stabilized is has poor accuracy on longer ranges. It has a maximum aimed range of 1 300 m, but direct range of fire is only 765 m. Also it can not engage air targets and has limited elevation. The gun is fed by a semi-automatic loader. Maximum rate of fire is 8-10 rounds per minute. A total of 40 rounds are carried for the main gun. There is also a co-axial 7.62 mm machine gun.

   There is a rail for HJ-73 anti-tank guided missile. The HJ-73 is a locally produced copy of the Soviet Malyutka (Western designation AT-3 Sagger) anti-tank missile. This missile has a maximum range of up to 3 000 m and indifferent performance. Four missiles are carried inside the turret and the fifth one is ready to launch.

   It seems that the Type 86 has thinner armor than the Soviet BMP-1. Front arc withstands hits from 12.7 mm armor-piercing rounds and all-round protection is only against 7.62 mm rounds. Vehicle is fitted with an NBC protection system.

   As the Soviet original the Type 86 retains the same cramped internal layout. It accommodates a crew of three plus eight dismounts. Troops enter and leave the vehicle via rear doors or roof hatches. There are some firing ports and associated vision blocks provided for the troops to fire their individual weapons.

   The Type 86 is powered by a 6V-150 diesel engine developing 298 hp. Engine is located at the front. Powerpack, including engine and gearbox can be easily replaced in field conditions. The Type 86 IFV is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by its tracks.

   China developed a range of modified variants of the Type 86.

 

Variants

 

   WZ 503 prototype armored personnel carrier. It is fitted with a 12.7 mm externally-mounted machine gun in place of the turret. Vehicle has seats along the hull walls (in the Type WZ 501 the troops are seated centrally, back-to-back, to face outwards).

   WZ 504 prototype anti-tank missile carrier. It is armed with four HJ-73B Red Arrow anti-tank missiles in retractable weapon station. Vehicle carried 16 reload missiles inside the hull.

   WZ 505 infantry fighting vehicle, with a more effective 25 mm cannon and a coaxial 7.62 mm MG in a turret identical to that employed on the Type 92 IFV.

   WZ 506 command vehicle.

   NBC reconnaissance vehicle.

   Ambulance, with a two-man crew,  a raised superstructure roof and internal accommodation for four stretchers.

   Type 86B, amphibious IFV, in service with the PLA Marine Corps. It has improvements, including a front wave fence and external boat motor, resulting in improved swimming performance.

   NFV-1 prototype infantry fighting vehicle. It was a Chinese and US co-operation project, which used a Type 86 chassis allied to an American-designed turret, armed with a 25 mm Bushmaster cannon. This vehicle did not pass the prototype stage.

   Type 86G, improved variant, fitted with new one-man turret, similar to that of the ZLC 2000 airborne combat vehicle. It is armed with a 30 mm cannon and HJ-73 ATGM launcher. Chinese Army is currently upgrading its Type 86IFVs to the improved Type 86G standard.

 

Improved Type 86G infantry fighting vehicle

 
Type 86 IFV

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Type 86 IFV

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Type 86 IFV

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Type 86 IFV

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Type 86 IFV

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Type 86 IFV

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