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ZBD 2000

Amphibious light tank

ZBD 2000 light tank

The ZBD 2000 light tank is a member of new Chinese high-speed amphibious vehicle family

Country of origin China
Entered service 2006
Crew 4 men
Troops at least 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight ?
Length (gun forward) ?
Hull length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Main gun 105-mm rifled
Machine guns 1 x 7.62-mm, 1 x 12.7-mm
Elevation range ?
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun ?
Machine guns ?
Engine diesel
Engine power 590 hp on land / 1 580 hp on water
Maximum road speed 65 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 25 km/h
Range ~ 500 km
Range on water 90 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.7 m
Trench ~ 2 m
Fording Amphibious


   The ZBD 2000 amphibious light tank was revealed in 2006 and is already in service with the PLA Marine Corps. This armored vehicle is sometimes referred as the ZLT05 or ZTD05. It is a successor to the Type 63A amphibious light tank. It is a variant of the ZBD 2000 amphibious IFV. Development of this new high-speed amphibious vehicle family shows the high level of resources China is devoting towards the amphibious assault capabilities. This vehicle is being proposed for export customers. Its export designation is VN16. This amphibious light tank has been exported to Venezuela.

   The ZBD 2000 is similar to the US Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle in concept, though fitted with heavier armor protection. Vehicle has a large welded hull, specially designed for high-speed swimming.

   Vehicle is armed with a fully-stabilized 105-mm rifled gun. It is the same gun, found of the Type 63A. It has effective range of over 2 000 m against armored targets. It is speculated, that its HEAT round penetrates between 460 and 500 mm of steel armor. This gun is loaded manually. It also fires APFSDS, HE rounds and gun-launched anti-tank guided missiles. These laser-guided missiles were developed from the Russian 9M117 Bastion technology and are fired in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. Maximum range is 4-5 km and hit probability is 90% against static targets. These missiles can also target low flying helicopters. The ZBD 2000 can fire both ordinary rounds and anti-tank guided missiles while swimming.

   Secondary armament consists of coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun and another 12.7-mm MG, mounted on top of the roof.

   The ZBD 2000 has a crew of four and provides accommodation for at least four troops. Troops dismount through the rear exit door.

   The ZBD 2000 light tank uses the same hull as the infantry fighting vehicle. It is claimed, that front turret armor of this light tank withstands 25-mm armor-piercing rounds at 1 000 m range. All-round protection is against 7.62-mm armor-piercing rounds.

   Engine is located at the front of the planning hull. It develops 590 hp on land and 1 580 hp on water. Vehicle has a hydraulically-activated bow, transom flaps and is propelled on water by two waterjets. When actuated, bow and transom flaps form a planning surface together with the bottom of the hull. This light tank is planning on water, rather than pushing through. Vehicle has a 90 km cruising range on water.

   The ZBD 2000 has a maximum amphibious speed on water of 25 km/h. Vehicle can travel 10 km or more at sea. It may not reach the swimming performance of the US EFV however it is considerable improvement over US AAV7. Eventually the US Marine Corps cancelled the EFV program. Currently China is the only country to operate such unique high-speed amphibious tank.




   VN16 is an export version of the ZBD 2000. It has been exported to Venezuela.


Video of the ZBD 2000 amphibious light tank

ZBD 2000 light tank

ZBD 2000 light tank

ZBD 2000 light tank

ZBD 2000 light tank

ZBD 2000 light tank

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