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105 mm fire support vehicle

ST1 fire support vehicle

The ST1 is a modified export version of the ZTL09, which is used by the Chinese armed forces

Country of origin China
Entered service ?
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 23.6 t
Length (gun forward) 8.8 m
Hull length ~ 8 m
Width 3 m
Height 3.17 m
Main gun 105 mm
Barrel length ?
Maximum range of fire ?
Rate of fire ?
Machine guns 1 x 12.7 mm, 1 x 7.62 mm
Elevation range - 4.5 to + 18 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun ~ 30 rounds
Machine guns ?
Engine Deutz BZ6M1015CP diesel
Engine power 440 hp
Maximum road speed 100 km/h
Range 800 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.5 m
Trench 1.8 m
Fording ~ 1.2 m / Amphibious


   The ST1 is a recent Chinese fire support vehicle. Essentially it is a modified export version of the ZTL09, which is used by the Chinese armed forces. The ST1 was first publicly revealed in 2014.

   In concept the ST1 is similar to the ZTL09. It is based on the VN1 armored personnel carrier chassis, which is an export version of the ZBL-09. However the ST1 has a different turret. Its turret is similar to that of the WMA301 6x6 fire support vehicle, which was also developed specially for export. Also the ST1 has a slightly modified hull.

   The main role of the ST1 is to support combat units with its firepower. This vehicle carry out tactical reconnaissance and territorial defense tasks. It can also escort convoys and be used for road patrol missions. Even though the ST1 can engage main battle tanks, it is not normally used for such engagements.

   The main advantage of the ST1 is its mobility. This highly mobile vehicle can be easily self-deploy using road and motorway network in order to respond to various threats.

   The ST1 is armed with a 105 mm gun. It is compatible with all standard NATO 105 mm ammunition. It fires APFSDS, HEAT and HE rounds. Maximum range of fire is around 3 km. This vehicle can also launch GP2 105 mm anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary munitions. These extend the effective range to up to 5 km. The gun is loaded manually by the loader.

   As mentioned before, this fire support vehicle is not that effective against modern main battle tanks. However this gun penetrates front armor of the tanks like T-55, T-62, and some other, that are widespread in Africa and Southeast Asia - in the regions where these fire support vehicles are likely to be deployed.

   Secondary armament consists of coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and roof-mounted 12.7 mm machine gun.

   The ST1 is reportedly fitted with a thermal imager. So this vehicle can engage targets accurately at night and during adverse weather conditions.

   Hull and turret of the ST1 are of welded steel armor construction. The front arc provides protection against 12.7 mm armor-piercing rounds. All-round protection is against 7.62 mm armor-piercing rounds and artillery shell shrapnel. The ST1 can be fitted with add-on composite ceramic armor kit for a higher level of protection. Once the kit is fitted front arc withstands hits from 25 mm armor-piercing projectiles. Side protection is against 12.7 mm armor-piercing rounds. It is likely that the ST1 has some design elements that improve survivability against landmines and improvised explosive devices. Vehicle is fitted with NBC protection system. Also it is likely to have an automatic fire suppression system.

   The ST1 is reportedly operated by a crew of 4, including commander, gunner, loader and driver. Crew enter and leave the vehicle via rear doors or roof hatches. The rear doors are also used to load ammunition. The previous ZTL09, which is used by the Chinese armed forces has a side-door instead, which is not as comfortable for the crew to use.

   Vehicle is powered by Deutz BF6M1015CP turbocharged diesel engine, developing 440 hp. This German engine is produced in China under license. Though some sources report, that vehicle is powered by a 500 hp engine. Engine is located at the front of the hull. The engine is reportedly mated to an manual transmission. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system for improved cross-country mobility. It seems that amphibious capability is available as an option.

   There is also an ST2 tracked vehicle armed with the same 105 mm turret. It also appeared in 2014. The ST2 is referred by NORINCO as tracked fire support vehicle or tank destroyer. Though it is a light tank by its function. It is being proposed for export customers.


ST1 fire support vehicle

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ST1 fire support vehicle

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ST1 fire support vehicle

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