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Infantry fighting vehicle


The ZBD-08 is an improved IFV with improved protection, but reduced amphibious capabilities

Country of origin China
Entered service 2008
Crew 3 men
Personnel 7 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 24 ~ 25 t
Length ~ 7.2 m
Width ~ 3.2 m
Height ~ 2.5 m
Main gun 100 mm gun, 30 mm cannon
Machine guns 1 x 7.62 mm
Ammunition load
Main gun 30 x 100 mm, 500 x 30 mm
ATGW 8 missiles
Machine guns ~ 2 000 x 7.62 mm
Engine diesel
Engine power 590 hp (?)
Maximum road speed ~ 65 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 6 ~ 8 km/h
Range ~ 500 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step ~ 0.7 m
Trench ~ 1.8 m
Fording Amphibious


   The ZBD-08 is a new Chinese infantry fighting vehicle. Its industrial designation is the WZ502G. It is a revised and improved version of the previous ZBD-04, which is already in service with the PLA. The new improved vehicle appeared in 2007. It seems that the ZBD-08 IFV, together with its numerous variants, is being produced in large numbers for the Chinese army. It is replaces the Type 86 IFV, which is a copy of the Soviet BMP-1.

   The new ZBD-08 has a number of improvements. Its hull was slightly redesigned in order to improve armor protection at a cost of reduced amphibious capabilities. The previous ZBD-04 IFV has great amphibious capability and can operate at Sea State 2-3. However this feature is not required by typical army units. Overall height of the vehicle was reduced. Also the new vehicle is heavier due to increased armor.

   The ZBD-08 infantry fighting vehicle has a welded steel armor hull. Baseline armor is thicker and presumably offers better protection. Add-on modular armor can be fitted for a higher level of protection. It is claimed that front arc withstands 30 mm armor-piercing rounds. Sides withstand 14.5 mm rounds. Turret roof and rear end provide protection from 7.62 mm armor-piercing rounds. Side skirts were added for improved protection. Also it may be fitted with indigenous active laser protection system.

   The new IFV retains turret of the ZBD-04. It is a complete Russian BMP-3 turret, which is now license-built in China. It has similar firepower comparing with the BMP-3 and in these terms outperforms most current IFVs. Its 100 mm gun has an effective range of 4 km. This gun can fire both ordinary projectiles and anti-tank guided missiles. It is compatible with Chinese indigenously designed ATGMs, derived from the Soviet AT-10 Stabber, are capable of penetrating up to 600 mm of armor behind ERA blocks and pose serious threat to main battle tanks. It is claimed that hit probability of the missile is at least 80%. The 30 mm cannon has an effective range of 1.5-2 km. The ZBD-08 is also fitted with a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun.

   The 100 mm cannon is completed with an autoloader. It has a rate of fire of 10 rounds per minute. Vehicle carries a total of 30 rounds for the 100 mm gun, including 22 ordinary HE-FRAG rounds and 8 anti-tank guided missiles.

   The ZBD-08 has improved sights and fire control system.

   The new IFV has a crew of three and accommodates 7 fully equipped troops. Passengers enter and leave the vehicle via the rear doors, or roof hatches. Also there are some firing ports for the troops.

   It is known that the new IFV uses the same engine as the ZBD-04. It might be a BF8M1015CP diesel, developing 590 hp. Other sources claim that vehicle is powered by a copy of the BMP-3 engine, developing 500 hp. Engine is mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox. Suspension is broadly similar to that of the BMP-3. Despite a re-arrange engine layout and increased weight the ZBD-08 is still fully amphibious. It lacks waterjets, however on water it is propelled by its tracks. It can still ford lakes and inland rivers, but it no longer capable to operate at sea.

   A whole host of variants has been developed for the Chinese army. Both the ZBD-08 and its variants are fielded in large numbers.




   Infantry fighting vehicle with add-on armor. Pictures of this new IFV appeared in 2014. It seems that this armored vehicle was developed specially for export. It is armed with a 30 mm cannon and HJ-73 anti-tank guided missiles. This armored vehicle lost amphibious capabilities due to increased armor.

   Armored personnel carrier with the turret removed and armed with externally mounted 12.7 mm machine gun.

   PLZ-05A 120-self-propelled mortar system. It is similar to the Russian 2S31 Vena.

   Command vehicle, armed with a raised superstructure and armed with a single 12.7 mm machine gun for self-defense.

   ATF-10 anti-tank missile carrier. It uses HJ-10 anti-tank missiles.

   Short-range air defense missile system.

   Reconnaissance vehicle with surveillance radar. It seems that radar is a copy of German design.

   Artillery radar carrier.

   Multipurpose armored cargo vehicle. It is fitted with a crane and is used to carry ammunition and other supplies to the frontline.

   Satellite communication vehicle.

   Unidentified shortened variant with 5 road wheels.



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