VN-12 infantry fighting vehicle
The new Chinese VN12 tracked armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle IFV debuted at Zhuhai AirShow China 2014. At the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition 2014 (AirShow China), the Chinese Defense Company NORINCO (China North Industries Corporation) presented the latest generation of tracked vehicle.
It is an improved export version of the Type 97 (ZBD-97) or the upgraded ZBD-04A, fitted with a different turret and bolt-on applique armor. It is not known if this armor is a kind of (ceramic) composite armor or consists of (spaced) metal plates. This might enough to provide ballistic protection similar to STANAG 4569 level 4 or 5 at the front and level 3 or 4 all-round.
The VN 12 tracked infantry fighting vehicle is a newly developed heavy-type IFV by NORINCO based on rich experiences of armored vehicle development and manufacture. By integrating high mobility powerful armament, reinforced armor protection and sophisticated information warfare system, VN 12 completely fulfills the requirements in future warfare.
As an infantry fighting vehicle, VN 12 is capable of cooperating with main battle tanks or completing missions independently. Besides a crew of three, VN12 can also carry seven fully equipped soldiers into battle field and provide fire cover. Due to comprehensive fire power of 30 mm cannon and ATGMs, the VN 12 IFV is a formidable weapon system designed to provide fire support, destroy enemy tanks, light armored vehicles and even defend against armored helicopters. All of these features and advantages endow VN 12 with significant value in the battle of regional-conflicts, local wars, as well as in anti-terrorism and peacekeeping operations.
The turret of the VN-12 might be the main difference compared to the Type 97/ZBD-04A. Instead of using a BMP-3-like turret, the VN-12 is fitted with a turret that is conceptual closer to the BMP-2's turret or the ones used on Western IFVs. The tandem arrangement of 100 mm low-recoil gun and 30 mm autocannon has been dropped in favor for a single 30 x 165 mm autocannon. Asymmetric turrets are actually common on IFV's the German Puma IFV has a Double Asymmetric turret meaning that the Turret is offset to the left but the main cannon is off set to the right centering the cannon. by placing the turret off centerline, it opens up space for other uses like the engine or access between the crew and infantry compartments.
Another version of the VN-12 seems to be fitted with the turret of the Type 86G IFV, an upgraded version of the Type 86 (the local production variant of the BMP-1). The Type 86G turret is also armed with a single autocannon chambered in the 30 x 165 mm caliber, but it seems to be a considerable downgrade to the VN-12 turret in other aspects.
|Manufacturer||NORINCO - China North Industries Group Corporation - CNGC|
|Product type||Armored Vehicle|
|Max. road speed (km/h)||70|
|Engine power output (h.p.)||600|
|Main weapon caliber (mm)||30|
|Auxiliary gun caliber (mm)||7.62|
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