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ZSD-89 / Type 89 Armored Personnel Carrier
WZ534 / YW-534

The Type 89 APC is believed to be the successor to the older Type YW 531 series of full-tracked vehicles. The Type 89 is almost identical to the Type 85 (Type 89) but the latter has a slightly shorter and narrower hull. The Norinco Type 89 tracked armored fighting vehicle is a Chinese armored personnel carrier. It was developed from the earlier export market Type 85 AFV vehicle. It entered service in the late 1990s and was first shown publicly in 1999. It has the industrial index of WZ534 and although it was mainly developed for the PLA, there is also an export version YW534. In the 1990s a new designator system was introduced in the PLA and the Type 89 armoured personnel carrier is nowadays known as ZSD-89 armoured personnel carrier.

The research and development of the ZSD-89 armored transport vehicle began in 1982, and the national project had not yet been approved when the initial development began. In 1983, to develop the second-generation crawler armored transport vehicle, the factory once started the development work under the code name "YW531F", among which there are two types of prototypes: a 12.7 mm machine gun and a single turret equipped with a 25 mm machine gun. Later it was determined that the factory code was " WZ534 ". Three prototypes were produced in January 1987. From the end of 1987 to 1989, the finalization test was carried out. In July 1990, it was officially named as the ZSD-89 armored transport vehicle . The ZSD-89 armored transport vehicle began to be equipped in batches with the mechanized units of the Chinese People's Liberation Army in the 1990s . It was publicly displayed at the military parade on the 50th anniversary of the National Day in 1999.

The ZSD89 type armored transport vehicle is the second generation armored transport vehicle that China's army began to equip in the 1990s to replace the 63 type armored transport vehicle, basically reaching the international level of the 1970s. However, the car is not only weak in firepower, but also due to the shortcomings of tracked vehicles such as high fuel consumption, slow speed, short life and high cost, it has a tendency to be replaced by wheeled vehicles.

After entering the 1980s, the mechanization of China's army has accelerated significantly. At that time, the massively equipped Type 63 armored transport vehicles had relatively backward performance and were difficult to adapt to the needs of effective coordination of new main battle tanks under high-tech local war conditions. In order to promote the comprehensive mechanization of the army and improve the coordinated combat capability of armored mechanized forces, my country is developing a new generation of main battle armored equipment such as Type 79 and Type 80 main battle tanks and Type 86 infantry fighting vehicles at the same time. The development project of armored transport vehicle. The development goal is to address the problems of low engine power, insufficient power, small interior space, insufficient payload, low reserve buoyancy, weak water maneuverability, weak vehicle firepower, and difficulty in shooting infantry vehicles. Type 63 armored vehicle is the first-generation armored transport vehicle of the People's Liberation Army. It has difficult maneuverability, small buoyancy reserve, congested interior space, and short engine life. It has been seriously behind in the 1980s.

The Type 63 armored transport vehicle is China's first-generation armored transport vehicle. In the 1980s, it had a good export performance due to its relatively low price. Type 63 armored vehicles have obvious defects such as difficulty in handling, small buoyancy reserves, congested interior space, and short engine life. In the 1980s, its performance has been seriously lagging behind.

In 1982, the Central Military Commission decided to start the development of a new generation of armored transport vehicles. After eight years of development, the new vehicle was successfully developed in July 1990, and the armored force began to be equipped in batches. The development of the car is divided into three stages, namely, the demonstration of extremes, the development of preliminary prototypes, and the development of prototypes.

From October 1982 to January 1983, researchers determined the overall tactical and technical performance of the new car. In February 1983, trial production of principle prototypes began. Two prototypes were equipped with 12.7 mm machine guns, and one prototype was equipped with a 25 mm cannon single turret (later developed into a 90-type foreign trade tracked armored transport vehicle). After the severe cold and high temperature test. After summarizing the design and testing of the principle prototypes, three prototypes were produced in January 1987. After strict tests, they ran a 6000-kilometer test, and the prototypes passed the acceptance. From December 1987 to November 1989, three prototype vehicles passed the 6,000-kilometer finalization test and the 4,000-kilometer supplementary test, and passed the military acceptance. In July 1990, it was officially named as ZSD89 armored transport vehicle. In October 1999, it was publicly displayed at the military parade on the 50th anniversary of the National Day.

Although the Type 89 armored transport vehicle has the same capacity as the Type 63 with 13 people, it is obviously more spacious. The overall structure of the 89 type is similar to that of the 63 type, but the power room is tightly separated from other cabins with thick partitions. The heat and sound insulation effect is obviously better than that of the 63 type, and the occupants/carries are more relaxed. There is a contradiction between the fuel tank of the armored vehicle and the interior space of the vehicle. The 89 type is designed with two rear-mounted external auxiliary fuel tanks, which increases the interior space. The interior space of the Type 89 armored vehicle is 7.58 square meters, and the per capita activity space is 0.505 square meters, which is an increase of 32% compared with the Type 63. Although both armored vehicles are nominally carrying 13 people, in fact the 89 type is more spacious and can fit fifteen or sixteen people when necessary. This also provides convenience for temporary gassing to board leaders and friendly forces.

Soviet-derived engines have always had problems such as high fuel consumption, short life, short overhaul periods, and inconvenient maintenance. After China's relationship with the Soviet Union deteriorated in the 1960s, engine technology remained stagnant for a long time. After China's international relations improved in the 1980s, China was able to introduce advanced Western engine technology. The Type 89 armored transport vehicle uses a BF8L413F engine with international advanced level. It is a four-stroke V-type 8-cylinder turbocharged air-cooled diesel engine imported from Germany's KHD (Deutz) company. It is characterized by high power (320 horsepower, more than 60 horsepower higher than 63), no coolant, good low-temperature starting performance, and basically no drop in power in plateau areas. It is especially suitable for use in plateau alpine and water-deficient desert Gobi areas.

The technology was introduced by North Industries Corporation in the early 1980s and produced by its own factory. The transmission and control system are equipped with a hydraulic system, which is easier to operate than the 63 type. The 89-type cylinder shock absorber has a better damping effect than the 63-type, and the crawler adopts double-pin ear-hook glue technology. The 89-type and 85-type armored transport vehicles have the same design, with two external diesel tanks attached to the rear of the vehicle. The floating mode of the vehicle is self-floating like the 63 type, and it is propelled by crawler paddles.

The previous Type 63 armored vehicles and Type 56 tanks were all water-cooled engines, which required water in summer and refrigerant in winter. This is a big problem in the arid northwest and central and northern deserts. Northern China is severely cold in winter, often with low temperatures below -30. The water-cooled direct-injection diesel engine of Type 63 armored vehicle needs to use a heating pot to slowly preheat the coolant before starting. It takes a long time to start preparation and it is difficult to start in an emergency. When the Type 89 starts, just turn on a few heating switches, and the engine will be able to do it in a while. normal work. Type 89 is obviously more suitable for the rapid response requirements of modern warfare. China faces the threat of India in the direction of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and the 63-type engine is not supercharged, and the "shortness of breath and chest tightness" will suffer from altitude sickness as soon as it is on the plateau. The supercharger technology used in the 89 type compresses the air to 76 kPa, and the dynamic performance is basically unchanged on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The BF8L413F engine is not only advanced in power performance, but also very meticulous and thoughtful in a series of detailed issues. It is more convenient to maintain and repair, and has a long life span. Chinese armored soldiers who are accustomed to Soviet-style engines are amazed.

The Type 89 armored personnel carrier equipped with the 52nd Mountain Infantry Brigade under the Tibet Military Region. Due to the use of supercharging technology, the power performance of the car's German-derived engine remains basically unchanged on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and there will be no "chest tightness, shortness of breath". The biggest feature of the Type 89 transmission and control system is that it is equipped with a hydraulic clutch and a hydraulic shift gearbox. Except for 1st and reverse gears which are mechanical gears, the clutching and shifting actions of other gears are completed by the hydraulic system; The operation is hydraulic manual operation; the large brake is also hydraulic operation. There are many military fans who have driven cars. You can compare driving 212 Jeep and modern automatic transmission cars to imagine the difference between mechanical and hydraulic pressure-in fact, the 63-type and 89-type operation are more different.

Both the 63 armored vehicle and the 59 tank are controlled mechanically. It takes a lot of effort to change the second gear. After a long stretch, the driver feels that it is almost impossible to climb out of the cabin. When the 63 and 59 tanks need to stop or turn on the spot, the driver needs to step on the foot brake or pull a joystick to the second position (the last position); the driver of the 89 version only needs to gently step on the brake. Or press the micro switch on the joystick, and the 14.5-ton armored vehicle will brake or turn on the spot. The spirit of "not afraid of hardship" has been promoted in the past, but it is actually a wrong orientation-easier maneuvering means saving the driver's energy and physical strength to complete other tasks. Too much hardship will cause the driver to become exhausted and destroy the combat effectiveness. The 89 type also retains some mechanical control devices, mainly for cost-saving considerations. At that time, it was also designed to allow soldiers to overcome control difficulties. Soldiers had to adapt to whatever the Chinese military gave them for a long time. Of course, a steering-wheel-type full-hydraulic boxing control system is even installed on the exported 90-type foreign trade armored transport vehicle. The operation is light and convenient and conforms to human habits. This is mainly to please the needs of foreign customers.

The Type 89 Armored Personnel Transport Vehicle (APC) has two crew members including a driver and a commander. The humanized control design greatly reduces the driver's energy and physical consumption. The Type 89 armored vehicle adopts a large number of new technologies such as double-pin ear-hook, full-hung rubber track, rubber-hanging inducer, support pulley, and cylindrical shock absorber, which is regarded as the best among domestic armored vehicles. First of all, the 89 type fast track change. The Type 89, like the Leopard 2 tank, uses double-pin ear-hook glue technology, which makes the link between the tracks very reliable and convenient. Tracks are consumables, 59 tanks and 63 tanks need to use a sledgehammer to replace track shoes and track pins. Comrades are not pleased with their hard work-slow speed. When replacing the track pin of Type 89, loosen the end couplings of the two sections of the track shoe and gently pull the track pin out of the pin hole, which is quick and easy. Secondly, hanging glue means reducing running noise and shock absorption between parts. Crawler rubber has little damage to the road, avoiding damage to the road, and concealing confidentiality. When I was a child, I often saw the new indentation of the 59-type tank track on the country road, and I knew that there was another tank transfer or training. The actual speed of the rubber-mounted crawler is also faster than that of the rubber-free track. Third, the 89-type shock absorption effect is better. The actual off-road speed of a tracked vehicle is not only related to power, but also closely related to the level of shock absorbers. Type 63 uses traditional torsion bearings to absorb shocks, and the effect is poor. When off-road, the occupants are uncomfortable and the speed is slow; Type 89 is much better, and the off-road speed is also improved. The improved comfort of the crew/crew is also conducive to maintaining combat capability after a long-distance attack.

The Type 89 armored transport vehicle body is significantly larger than the Type 63, and the road wheels have also increased from 4 pairs of Type 63 to 5 pairs. The length of the 89 type vehicle is extended to 6634 mm and the vehicle width is widened to 3148 mm, which makes the buoyancy reserve of the vehicle full of personnel and materials (total combat weight of 14.5 tons) reach more than 32%, reaching the marine standard. This is an increase of seven or eight percentage points compared with the 63 type. A large buoyancy reserve means safety on the water, otherwise a wave may hit the car and the car will sink to the bottom. However, as the Type 63 also uses a crawler paddling method, the water speed is only 6.5 kilometers per hour (similar to the walking speed). If the river is rushing, it is likely to be rushed downstream; the landing assault is also too slow.

After the successful development of the Type 89 armored vehicle, it has been continuously improved for more than ten years, and successively improved the engine transmission box, the gearbox shifting device, and the internal fuel tank structure. Based on the Type 89, the ZSD90 armored transport vehicle was developed. It is equipped with a steering-wheel-type full hydraulic boxing control system, which is more in line with human habits, so that those who can drive can quickly learn to drive a tracked vehicle and drive easily. Driver fatigue is greatly reduced. At the same time, the anti-aircraft machine gun and gun turret were cancelled, and the 25mm machine gun single turret (digested and absorbed the technology of the American "Hyper" 25mm chain machine gun) was installed, and the firepower was increased.

The "Big Viper" artillery technology is the "welfare" of the Sino-US NFV-1 tracked infantry fighting vehicle cooperation plan (terminated in 1989) in 1986. It is high-level and dual-purpose. It can fire a variety of ammunition such as armor-piercing bombs and anti-explosive bombs. The gun can be single-shot, 3 rounds, 5 rounds, continuous fire mode, and the maximum rate of fire is 200 rounds per minute. The initial velocity of the armor-piercing projectile is as high as 1325 m/s, which is higher than the initial velocity of the armor-piercing projectile used by the Type 59 (T55) tank, and the effective range is more than 1500 meters. In the Gulf War, the US military even used it to shoot the T55, destroying the T55 with multiple bursts of fire. The firepower is really powerful. The most valuable thing is that it has a day and night gun-length low-light sight, which realizes the ability of night vision and night combat. The 90-type foreign trade armored transport vehicle is also considered cash in the third world. In addition, the 89 type has also developed a variety of variants: ZDF89 type crawler anti-tank missile launcher, ZJX93 type crawler armored rescue vehicle, WZ752 crawler armored ambulance, GBL130 crawler throwing blasting vehicle, ZHB94 crawler armored vehicle Supply vehicle, WZ731 tracked armored reconnaissance vehicle, etc.

As the second-generation armored transport vehicle in my country, the Type 89 armored transport vehicle still has many shortcomings. First of all, when designing at that time, the problem of using city power to charge the battery and supply power to the electric appliances in the car was not considered, and the 220 volt city power of the army barracks was wasted. Charging/powering the engine every time it starts not only consumes the life of the engine, but also wastes military expenses. Secondly, the rear view mirrors and headlights at the front of the car body are not fully reinforced, and attention can be paid to prevent damage during training. However, during combat, they are likely to be scratched, rubbed, or crashed by branches, brick walls, etc. The third is to equip China's army for many years, without any improvements such as additional armor, and no informationized combat equipment such as electronic maps. Fourth, there is no night combat capability.

The rear mirrors and headlights on the front of the Type 89 armored car were not fully reinforced, and they were almost bare. This is very susceptible to damage during wartime. In the "Peace Mission 2009" Sino-Russian joint military exercise, the People's Liberation Army still did not see any improvements to its armor. In addition, up to now, the Type 89 armored vehicle has not been equipped with night vision equipment, which makes it not capable of night combat.

In terms of static main indicators, the Type 89 armored vehicle in China is not much different from the crawler armored vehicles of other countries in the 1960s. In fact, the biggest problem with the Type 89 armored vehicle is the development of Western wheeled armored vehicles in the 1980s. Fast and good. At that time, China's army decided to develop a tracked armored vehicle, which was ideologically behind the trend of the world. The 15-ton wheeled armored vehicle is equipped with adjustable pressure tires, which can deflate the tires when passing through sand or mud, increasing the ground contact area, and can already pass most of the terrain that originally required tracked vehicles. my country and the 1990s were equipped with Type 89 tracked armored vehicles in batches, which has clearly fallen behind the times. Fortunately, China also started the development of wheeled armored vehicles in the 1980s, and the results of WZ551 wheeled armored vehicles were finalized and exported. The Type 89 armored vehicle has been modified from the Red Arrow 8 launch vehicle, but the Red Arrow 9 has abandoned it and switched to WZ550. Due to the relatively large number of equipment, the Type 89 armored vehicle will be in service in China's army for a long time, waiting for the new wheeled armored vehicle to replace it.

"With its good mobility and a high automation level, the Type-89 tank destroyer can easily pierce the armor of enemy tanks using a 120-mm smoothbore gun," Senior Colonel Wang Kai, a land armaments expert at the PLA Academy of Armored Forces Engineering in Beijing, said. Many weapons researchers said that the Type-89 was once the most lethal anti-tank weapon in the world, as it had the strongest smoothbore gun and most powerful armor-piercing shell in the 1990s, capable of destroying every type of tank in use at that time. However, the weapon has some shortcomings: Its firing range is short, the armor is thin, the maintenance costs are comparatively high and it can only be used against tanks, according to Wang.

There are many variants of the ZSD-89 armored transport vehicle. At the beginning of the 21st century, it was still the main armored vehicle of many troops of the People's Liberation Army, and many armed police and export orders were added. New modified and upgraded versions appeared until the 2010s. China maintained roughly 300 Type-89 APC's in operation as of 2020. The Type 89 has been exported to or fielded by Albania, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zaire.

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Page last modified: 04-11-2021 18:39:50 ZULU