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Top 10 Fire Support Vehicles

 

   The fire support vehicles, are artillery systems, specially designed to support infantry with their firepower. They provide direct fire against hostile armored vehicles, buildings and field fortifications. With some degree of success fire support vehicles can even engage main battle tanks. That's why sometimes these military machines are called tank destroyers.

   Most modern fire support vehicles have a highly mobile 6x6 or 8x8 wheeled chassis. These vehicles are relatively light and have high speed and mobility on hard surface roads. Their armor protection is limited. In combat these vehicles often exploit their mobility for shoot-and-scoot type attacks in order to avoid enemy fire.

   Their main advantages over tanks are significantly lower production and operational costs. Also higher level of strategic and tactical mobility. So these can respond rapidly to various threats. Main battle tanks require heavy equipment transporters to relocate them if long distances are involved. So the fire support vehicles have comparable firepower to main battle tanks and in some cases can even supplement them. However their mobility comes at a cost of limited armor protection.

   So which is the best fire support vehicle in the world? Which is the most capable and effective fire support vehicle? This Top 10 analysis is based on firepower, protection, mobility, and some other factors.

   This list includes fire support vehicles, that are currently in service, or will enter service in the near future.

   Currently top 10 fire support vehicles in the world are these:

 

Best fire support vehicle

Nr.1 Centauro 2 (Italy)

 

   The Centauro 2 is a new Italian fire support vehicle. It is a next-generation version of the previous Centauro with a 120 mm gun. This combat vehicle was jointly developed by IVECO and OTO Melara to meet an Italian Army requirement. Development commenced in 2010. The first prototype was ready in 2015. It was first publicly revealed in 2016. Italian Army plans to obtain 74 of these new fire support vehicles to replace some of its Centauro B1 vehicles in medium brigades.

   The Centauro 2 is intended to carry out tactical reconnaissance, fire support of combat units and territorial defense tasks. It can escort convoys and be used for road patrol missions. Once in service with Italian Army the Centrauro 2 will operate in medium brigades alongside Freccia infantry fighting vehicles, and associated combat vehicles based on similat 8x8 wheeled chassis.

   This fire support vehicle is currently the most capable in this class. Most other vehicles are limited by their 6x6 chassis, or carry smaller 105 mm guns. Furthermore this vehicle has an 8x8 chassis, that was purpose-designed to withstand recoil of the powerful 120 mm gun. Most other fire support vehicles use ordinary armored personnel carrier chassis, that are not well suited for this role. Currently there are only few other fire support vehicles, armed with a powerful 120 mm gun. Most of them are demonstrators.

   This fire support vehicle is armed with a more powerful 120 mm high-pressure gun. It is compatible with all standard NATO 120 mm tank ammunition. The gun is fed by an automatic loading system.

   This fire support vehicle uses APFSDS, multi-role, and other munitions. The 120 mm APFSDS round penetrates 600 mm of rolled homogenous steel armor at a range of 3 000 m.

   This fire support vehicle has got a modern fire control system and the latest generation optics. It has a hunter-killer engagement capability. The commander uses a panoramic sight to search for targets. Once the target is selected the gun is laid on the target automatically and the gunner completes al the aiming and firing process. During that time commander looks for the next target. Such hunter-killer engagement method is present on all modern main battle tanks. It allows to acquire and engage targets faster.

   The Centauro 2 comes with add-on composite armor. Its front arc provides protection against 40 mm armor-piercing rounds, while all-round protection is against 14.5 mm rounds and artillery shell splinters. Chassis has a number of design features, that improve protection against mine blasts and improvised explosive devices.

   The Centauro 2 is operated by a crew of 4, including commander, gunner, driver and loader. The loader transfers ammunition form stowage compartment to the autoloader, and loads the main gun manually in case the autoloader fails.

   This fire support vehicle is powered by IVECO turbocharged diesel engine, developing 720 hp. Engine is located at the front. It is mated to an automatic transmission. Steering is provided on the first and second axles and at slow speed with also the fourth axle. Vehicle is equipped with run-flat tyres and fitted with central tyre inflation system

Top 10 fire support vehicles

Nr.2 Centauro with a 120 mm gun (Italy)

 

   The Italian Centauro with a 120 mm gun is an upgunned version of the original Centauro B1. It seems that it first appeared in 2004. At the time of its introduction it was the first vehicle of its class with such a powerful armament. This relatively light vehicle had a firepower of a modern main battle tank. Other fire support vehicles with 120 mm guns were only technology demonstrators, rather. Yet the Centauro with a 120 mm gun was ready for production and awaiting orders from possible customers. This fire support vehicle is reportedly in service with Oman. Some sources report that a total of 9 vehicles were obtained from Italy with an option for 24 more.

   This fire support vehicle is fitted with an OTO Melara HITFACT turret, armed with a 120 mm/L45 smoothbore gun. The main gun is unrelated to Rheinmetall 120 mm gun, which is used on most current Western tanks. The same gun is also used on the new Centauro 2. It is compatible with all standard 120 mm ammunition. It is fitted with a very efficient muzzle brake, which significantly   reduces the recoil.

   This fire support vehicle fires APFSDS, multi-role, and other types of ammunition. The 120 mm APFSDS round penetrates 600 mm of rolled homogenous steel armor at a range of 3 000 m.

   The gun is loaded manually. Ammunition is stored in isolated compartments, separated by ballistic and anti-explosion wall. Around 40 rounds are carried by the vehicle. Around 12 of them are stored in the turret and are ready to use. Other are stored in the manual rack. When this vehicle was introduced, automatic loading system was under development.

   This fire support vehicle has got a modern fire control system. It has a hunter-killer engagement capability.

   Secondary armament consists of a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. Also there are roof-mounted 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm machine guns.

   The Centauro with a 120 mm gun has a higher level of protection than the baseline Centauro with a 105 mm gun. Vehicle has a welded steel armor hull and aluminum armor turret. Also there is an add-on composite armor. Its front arc provides protection against 40 mm armor-piercing rounds. All-round protection is against 14.5 mm rounds.

   This fire support vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, driver and loader.

   The Centauro with a 120 mm gun was some sort of interim vehicle until the next-generation Centauro 2 was developed. It seems that this vehicle was used as technology test bed to spot possible problems related to mounting a powerful 120 mm gun. As a result the Centauro 2 has a number of modifications done to the chassis in order to withstand the violent recoil force.

 

 

Top 10 fire support vehicles

Nr.3 Maneuver Combat Vehicle (Japan)

 

   The Japanese Maneuver Combat Vehicle (MCV) was designed by Japan's state-owned Technical Research and Development Institute. Development commenced in 2008. This fire support vehicle was first publicly revealed in 2013. Official sources claim that the MCV will be produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and deployed in 2016. It is planned that some 200-300 of these vehicles will be built for the Japan's army. These will replace ageing main battle tanks. By acquiring wheeled fire support vehicle Japan plans to reduce the number of main battle tanks from 740 to only 300 units within the few years.

   The Japanese MCV is armed with a 105 mm rifled gun. It is compatible with all standard NATO 105 mm ammunition. For some reason this gun lacks automatic loader and is loaded manually. Around 40 rounds are carried for the main gun. Around 15 rounds are stored in the turret bustle and are ready to use.

   The MCV is fitted with a modern fire control system with the latest generation optics. This vehicle has a hunter-killer engagement capability.

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

   This fire support vehicle is relatively light. It is likely to have a steel armor hull. Also there is modular add-on composite armor. It seems that the front arc withstands hits form 35 mm or even 40 mm guns. Maximum level of all-round protection is likely to be against 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds and artillery shell splinters. Damaged add-on armor modules can be easily replaced in field conditions.

   The Maneuver Combat Vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   This fire support vehicle uses an entirely new 8x8 chassis. It is not based on any existing armored personnel carrier. It seems that it was specially designed to withstand the violent recoil of the main gun. A number of other fire support vehicle are simply created by merging an existing armored personnel carrier chassis with a gun turret. However such designs usually have various problems with excessive recoil, that the armored personnel carrier chassis was never designed for.

   The MCV is powered by unspecified turbocharged diesel engine, developing 570 hp. Powerpack is located at the front of the hull. It is claimed that operational range on roads without refueling is only 400 km. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. Tyre pressure can be adjusted to increase mobility over various off-road terrain.

   This fire support vehicle can be airlifted. Unlike main battle tanks the MCVs can be easily transported by Kawasaki C-2 tactical cargo aircraft. In case of emergency Japan plans to quickly airlift numerous Maneuver Combat Vehicles to remote islands where these are needed.

 

 

Best fire support vehicles

Nr.4 Centauro (Italy)

 

   The original Centauro, or Centauro B1, was the first truly successful fire support vehicle with an 8x8 configuration and 105 mm main gun. At the time of its introduction it was officially referred as a tank destroyer and had the firepower comparable to that of the Leopard 1 main battle tank, which was then in service with Italy. The Centauro was adopted by the Italian Army in 1991. By 1996 a total of 400 of these vehicles were delivered to the Italian Army and 300 vehicles are operational to this day. Export operators are Spain which ordered 84 vehicles, and Jordan which received 25 retired Centauro's as a gift from Italy. Also from 2000 to 2002 the US Army leased 16 Centauros. These were assigned to form the first crews for the Stryker Mobile Gun Systems and to acquire more experience with wheeled armored fire support vehicles. The Centauro proved itself well during numerous peacekeeping operations.

   This old vehicle has got such high position on this list because unlike most never vehicles it uses a specially-designed 8x8 chassis. Most newer fire support vehicle might have newer optics, more advanced fire control systems, or integrated battlefield management systems. However they are based on standard production armored personnel carrier chassis, that have numerous problems and limitations related to violent recoil of their main guns. Also the Centauro offers a higher level of protection even comparing with the latest fire support vehicles.

   The Centauro is armed with a fully-stabilized 105 mm high-velocity rifled gun, developed by OTO Melara. It is compatible with all standard NATO 105 mm ammunition. It has an effective range of 3 000 meters. The gun has a very effective muzzle brake, which reduces recoil force by about 40%. This allowed this gun to be used on a wheeled chassis. The gun is loaded manually. A total of 40 rounds for the main gun are carried inside the vehicle; 14 of them are carried in the turret and are ready to use, while the rest are stored in the hull.

   Fire control system of the Centauro is similar to that of the Ariete main battle tank. It has got a hunter-killer engagement capability. This tank destroyer can engage a target 25-35 seconds after spotting it.

   Secondary armament consists of two 7.62 mm machine guns. One of them is coaxially mounted with the main gun and the other is located on top of the turret roof.

   This tank destroyer has a welded hull and turret. In standard configuration front arc of the Centauro is protected against 20 mm rounds. All round protection is against 12.7 mm rounds and artillery shell fragments. Up to three tons of add-on passive or explosive reactive armor can be fitted. During their operational service some vehicles were fitted with add-on armor plates at the rear of the hull in order to increase their protection. It seems that these were the vehicles that took part in various international operation.

   Vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, driver and loader.

   The Centauro tank destroyer is powered by IVECO turbocharged diesel engine, developing 520 horsepower. Engine is located at the front. It seems that it is mated to an automatic gearbox. Steering is provided on the first and second axles and at slow speed with also the fourth axle. Vehicle is equipped with run-flat tyres and fitted with central tyre inflation system. As most vehicles in this class the Centauro is not amphibious.

 

 

Best tank destroyer

Nr.5 Pandur 2 FSV (Austria)

 

   The Austrian Pandur 2 fire support vehicle is a member of the whole armored vehicle family, which includes various wheeled armored vehicles with 6x6 and 8x8 configurations. This whole family of vehicles was developed by Steyr-Daimler-Puch as a private venture.

   This fire support vehicle was developed with a choice of two turret variants. One of them was armed with a CMI Defence CT-CV turret, while the other was fitted with OTO Melara HITFACT turret (the same as used on Centauro B1). Both of these versions were armed with a 105 mm gun. Portuguese Army ordered 30 vehicles fitted with the CT-CV turret, however eventually the acquisition program was suspended due to funding problems. Another version of the Pandur 2 with the HITFACT turret received no production orders.

   The CMI Defence CT-CV 105 mm weapon system has a two-man turret and a low-recoil fully-stabilized 105 mm/L53 gun. This system is compatible with a full range of standard NATO 105 mm ammunition. It is also compatible with smart ammunition and is able to fire guided missiles, that are launched in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. The gun is equipped with an automatic loader. Crew and ammunition compartments are separated. Maximum rate of fire is 8 rpm. The gun can be elevated to 42. This feature allows to adapt vehicle to mountainous warfare. This variant can be recognized by its rounded muzzle brake.

   Vehicle has got a modern fire control system with hunter-killer engagement capability.

   There is a single coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun.

   Protection of this fire support vehicle is rather limited. All-round protection is against 7.62 mm armor-piercing rounds and artillery shell shrapnel. Optional add-on armor provides protection against 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds. Spall liners, improved mine protection, NBC protection system and automatic fire suppression system were all offered as options. So this vehicle is extremely vulnerable.

   This fire support weapon is operated by a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   Vehicle is powered by a Cummins ICS 350 diesel engine, developing 285 hp. The Pandur II FSV is also available with a 400 hp diesel. The whole Powerpack can be removed and replaced in field conditions within 30 minutes.

 

 

World's best fire support vehicle

Nr.6 ZTL-09 (China)

 

   The ZTL-09 is a Chinese fire support vehicle. Sometimes it is referred as PTL-09. It seems that it entered service with the People Liberation Army in 2009, hence its designation. This fire support vehicle is currently in production. It seems that it is fielded in large numbers.

   The ZTL-09 is based on the ZBL-09 wheeled 8x8 armored personnel carrier chassis and is fielded alongside similar vehicles. Currently China builds rapid deployment units, similar to American Stryker Brigade combat teams. Each unit consists of various armored vehicles with different battlefield roles. All variants are based on the same platform of the ZBL-09 armored personnel carrier. The ZTL-09 supplements the previous PTL-02 fire support vehicle, based on the 6x6 APC chassis. However the ZTL-09 is overall a more capable vehicle, fitted with a more powerful gun.

   Turret of this fire support vehicle resembles that of the ZBD-2000 amphibious light tank. The ZTL-09 is armed with a 105 mm gun. The gun is loaded manually. It has an effective range of over 2 000 m against armored targets. It is speculated, that its HEAT round penetrates between 460 and 500 mm of rolled homogenous steel armor. This vehicle also fires APFSDS, HE rounds. Furthermore the ZTL-09 is also compatible with anti-tank guided missiles. These laser-guided missiles are launched in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. Anti-tank missiles are based on the Russian 9M117 Bastion technology. Missiles have a maximum range of 5 000 m and penetrate 550-600 mm of steel armor behind Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) blocks. Hit probability against static targets is 90%. Missiles can also target low-flying helicopters.

    It is claimed that the ZTL-09 is fitted with modern and accurate fire control system. However it lacks a commander's panoramic sight. So it has got no hunter-killer capability, that is present on most modern vehicles of this class. Still though this fire support vehicle is fitted with digital battlefield management system, that is also present on all recent Chinese armored vehicles. Such system increases situational awareness and improves cooperation between various units on the battlefield.

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

   This vehicle has a welded steel armor hull with add-on ceramic armor modules. Chinese sources claim that maximum level of protection is against 25 mm armor-piercing rounds at the front and 12.7 mm armor-piercing rounds all-round. It is speculated that vehicle utilizes design elements and technologies protecting occupants from landmines and IED blasts. Vehicle is also likely to have NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.

   The ZTL-09 has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   This fire support vehicle is based on the ZBL-09 wheeled armored personnel carrier. However significant changes have been made to the chassis. Engine was relocated. On the ZBL-09 it was mounted at the front. On the ZTL-09 it is just behind the turret. It is possible that the new fire support vehicle uses the same engine as on the APC. In this case it is a Deutz BF6M1015C diesel engine, developing 440 hp. It is a German engine, produced in China under license. Engine is mated to an automatic transmission. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. This system improves mobility over difficult terrain.

   The ZTL-09 is fully amphibious. It is an unusual feature for this class of vehicles. Most other fire support vehicles can not cross lakes and rivers on their own. On water this vehicle is propelled by two waterjets.

 

Top ten tank destroyers

Nr.7 M1128 Stryker MGS (USA)

 

   The M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System (MGS) is one of 10 variants of the Stryker series of wheeled armored vehicles. It was specially designed for low-intensity combats. Deliveries of first pre-production vehicles commenced in 2002. This fire support vehicle entered service with the US Army in 2007. However only relatively small number of these vehicles were built.

   The M1128 Mobile Gun System is fitted with a General Dynamics Land Systems (formerly Teledyne Vehicle Systems) Low-Profile Turret. The same turret was previously used on the Expeditionary Tank. This fire support vehicle is armed with a M68A1E4 105 mm rifled tank gun. It is a modified version of the tank gun, used on the M1 Abrams and M60 series main battle tanks. This gun is fitted with an autoloader. Original autoloader had jamming problems, so in 2005 it was redesigned. The gun is fully-stabilized, so the vehicle can fire accurately while on the move. The Mobile Gun System fires high-explosive, anti-tank and canister rounds. Only 18 rounds for the main gun are carried by the vehicle. Overall there are a number of problems with this vehicle, related to its turret.

   Secondary armament consists of 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm machine guns.

   Armor of the Mobile Gun System protects against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. Interior is lined with Kevlar spall liner. Vehicle can be fitted with add-on composite armor, which provides protection against 14.5 mm projectiles, and add-on slat armor, which protects against RPG rockets. The MGS is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.

   This fire support vehicle has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver.

   The M1128 MGS uses a Stryker 8x8 armored personnel carrier chassis. Vehicle is powered by Caterpillar 3126 diesel engine, developing 350 horsepower. Engine and transmission of the MGS can be removed and reinstalled in less than an hour. Vehicle is not amphibious. The M1128 can be airlifted by C-130 Hercules and larger transport aircraft. The MGS disembarks from the C-130 in combat-ready status.

 

 

Best fire support vehicle

Nr.8 AMX-10RCR (France)

 

   The AMX-10RC Renove, or AMX-10RCR, is a French reconnaissance and fire support vehicle. It is an upgraded version of the AMX-10RC, that was adopted by the French Army in 1979. A total of 284 original AMX-10RC vehicles were delivered to the French Army. Between 2005 and 2010 a total of 256 vehicles were upgraded to the AMX-10RCR standard in order to keep them operational until 2015-2020. In the near future the AMX-10RCR vehicles are due to be replaced by a new armored reconnaissance and combat vehicle.

   Upgrades includes add-on armor kit for a higher level of protection, Galix self-protection system and LIRE infrared jamming system. Upgraded AMX-10RCR tank destroyers are also fitted with a battlefield management information system, and identification friend or foe system. Automotive system upgrades include new automatic transmission and new suspension control system. However upgraded vehicles lost their amphibious capability.

   The AMX-10RCR has seen service during various military conflicts. The main role of this vehicle is reconnaissance and fire support of friendly units. It can also escort convoys, patrol, and perform territorial defense tasks. The AMX-10RCR can engage armored vehicles, buildings, field fortifications and other targets. The original AMX-10RC was even called a tank destroyer. However this vehicle is not normally used to engage tanks. Even though it can penetrate front armor of the older tanks, such as T-55 and T-62, modern main battle tanks would be a tough nut for this vehicle.

   Vehicle is armed with a GIAT F2 105 mm rifled gun. It fires APFSDS, HE, HEAT and smoke rounds. The range of effective fire is over 2 000 meters. A total of 38 rounds are carried for the gun.

   The AMX-10RCR has two 7.62 mm machine guns. One of them is mounted coaxially with the main gun, and another is mounted on top of the roof.

   The AMX-10RCR can open fire just after 10 seconds when the target is spotted. Vehicle has a high first-round-hit rate. However it can fire the main gun accurately only when stationary, as the gun is not stabilized. Vehicle has got a panoramic commanders sight. It seems that it provides this vehicle a hunter-killer engagement capability, which is present on most modern main battle tanks and fire support vehicles. Upgraded AMX-10RCR fire support vehicles are also fitted with a battlefield management information system, and identification friend or foe system.

   Hull and turret are of welded aluminum armor construction. Upgraded vehicles were fitted with add-on armor kit for a higher level of protection. Vehicle withstands hits from medium-caliber weapons and artillery shell splinters. Cage armor can be fitted for protection against anti-tank rockets, such as RPGs. Upgraded AMX-10RCR vehicles were also fitted with Galix self-protection system and LIRE infrared jamming system. Vehicle also has an NBC protection system.

   Vehicle is operated by a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   This fire support vehicle is based on a purpose-designed 6x6 wheeled chassis. It uses a number of automotive components of the AMX-10P infantry fighting vehicle. Automotive system upgrades include new automatic transmission instead of the manual one. It is possible that the old 280 horsepower engine was also replaced by a modern unit. Vehicle has a hydropneumatic suspension with adjustable ground clearance. The ground clearance can be adjusted from 0.6 to 0.2 m. Furthermore the vehicle can "sit", "stand", "kneel" or "lean" in any direction. Upgraded AMX-10RCRs have a new suspension control system. Vehicle is also fitted with a central tyre pressure system, which improves mobility over difficult terrain. Vehicle can continue to move when one or two tyres are totally destroyed. However upgraded vehicles lost their amphibious capability. The rear sprinkler and front breakwater were removed.

 

 

Best tank destroyers in the world

Nr.9 WMA301 (China)

 

   The WMA301 is a Chinese fire support vehicle. It is a modified export version of the PTL-02, which is widely used by the Chinese army. The WMA301 can be identified by a wedge-shaped turret. It is in service with Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Myanmar, Senegal, and possibly some other countries. This vehicle saw action during various military conflicts.

    The WMA301 is based on existing technologies, thus maximally reducing its development and production costs. It uses chassis of the Type 92 armored personnel carrier and most of the parts are interchangeable. It is armed with a 105 mm rifled gun, which is compatible with all standard NATO ammunition. It is worth noting that the original Chinese PTL02 fire support vehicle has a smaller 100 mm gun.

   The WMA301 fires APFSDS, HEAT and HE rounds. It can also launch 105 mm anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary munitions. These extend the effective range to up to 5 km. Vehicle carries around 30 rounds for the main gun.

   Fire control and observation systems of the WMA301 are rather simple. It lacks hunter-killer capability, which is present on most modern fire support vehicles.

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

   As mentioned before, this 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 deployed.

   Vehicle has a welded steel armor hull and turret. All-round protection is from 12.7 mm machine gun fire. Also it seems that vehicle is fitted with an NBC protection system and automatic fire suppression equipment.

   It looks like that this fire support vehicle has a crew of five.

   Chassis of the WMA301 is almost identical to the Type 92 armored vehicles and most of the parts are interchangeable. Vehicle is powered by the Deutz BF8L413F turbocharged diesel engine, developing 320 horsepower. Engine is located in the middle. It is mated to a manual gearbox with 9-forward and 1-reverse gears. Two front pairs of wheels are steerable. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre pressure regulation system, which improved mobility over difficult terrain, such as sand, snow or mud. It looks like amphibious capability is proposed as an option.

 

 

Tank destroyers

Nr.10 PTL-02 (China)

 

   The PTL-02, or Type 02, is a Chinese fire support vehicle. It is based on the Type 92 wheeled armored vehicle and is fielded alongside similar 6x6 armored vehicles. The main goal was to create a low cost but highly mobile fire support vehicle. This fire support vehicle is based on existing technologies, thus maximally reducing development costs. The PTL02 was first introduced in 2002-2003. Its production for the Chinese army began in 2004-2005. Currently it is widely used by the Chinese army.

   Vehicle has a welded steel armor hull. It provides all-round protection from 12.7 mm machine gun fire. It is also fitted with an NBC protection system and automatic fire suppression equipment.

   The PTL02 is armed with a 100 mm high-pressure smoothbore gun, developed from the Type 86 towed anti-tank gun. It fires APFSDS, HEAT and HE rounds. Vehicle carries 30 rounds for the main gun. This gun can engage lightly armored vehicles, however is not that effective against modern main battle tanks.

   Fire control and observation systems of the PTL02 were developed from the Type 88 main battle tank and are rather simple.

   Secondary armament consists of coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun, mounted on top of commander's cupola.

   Vehicle is operated by a crew of five.

   Chassis of the PTL02 is almost identical to the Type 92 armored vehicles and most of the parts are interchangeable. Vehicle is powered by the Deutz BF8L413F turbocharged diesel engine, developing 320 horsepower. Engine is located in the middle. It is mated to a manual gearbox with 9-forward and 1-reverse gears. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre pressure regulation system. This tank destroyer lacks waterjets and is presumably not amphibious, unless fitted with special floatation kit.

   The PTL02 is typically used alongside similar vehicles with 6x6 configuration. It can be rapidly deployed using road network. The PTL02 can be also airlifted. A Chinese Y-8 tactical transport aircraft can carry two such vehicles, while the Y-20 can carry three.

 

 

 

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