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Type 63

Armored personnel carrier

Type 63 APC

The Type 63 armored personnel carrier is little more than an armored steel box on tracks

Entered service 1964
Crew 2 men
Personnel 13 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 12.6 t
Length 5.47 m
Width 2.97 m
Height 1.88 m
Machine guns 1 x 12.7-mm
Engine Deutz BF8L 413F diesel
Engine power 320 hp
Maximum road speed 65 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 6 km/h
Range 500 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step 0.6 m
Trench 2 m
Fording Amphibious


   Development of the Type 63 APC commenced in the late 1960s and was an entirely Chinese project involving German Deutz diesel engine. This vehicle has been known by other designations such as YW 531 and at one time was known in the West as the M1967 from the first year in which it was observed.

   The overall design is basic, being little more than an armored steel box on tracks. There are only four road wheels each side, but the cross country performance is stated to be excellent. and the overall design is robust and adaptable even if some refinements such as an NBC protection system are absent.

   Apart from large scale service with the Chinese armed forces the Type 63 has seen action with the North Vietnamese Army, with Zaire forces in Angola and with Tanzanian Army against Uganda. A batch was also delivered to Iraq at one point.

   Other nations known to be using the Type 63 include Albania, Sudan and North Korea. As an APC the YW 531 series is armed with a single external 12.7-mm MG, although only one sub-version provides any protection for the gunner. Various subvariants with differing  communication suites have been observed (Types YW 531C, D and E all APCs). The Type YW 701 is a command post vehicle, while the Type YW 304 is an 82-mm mortar carrier. There is also a 120-mm mortar variant. A much revised and larger variant, known as the Type 54-1 self-propelled howitzer carrier a 122-mm artillery piece while another artillery variant, the Type 70 MLR, carries a 19-barrel rocket launcher array. The basic APC may be fitted with a small turret carrying four Red Arrow anti-tank missiles ready to launch, plus further reload missiles inside the hull.

   Other variants, such as a propaganda vehicle with loudspeakers, are known to exist. Production of the Type 63 has ceased  in favor to the Type 89.


Type 63 APC

Type 63 APC

Type 63 APC

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