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ZBD-97 / Type 97 / WZ502

The ZBD-97 or Type 97 is a Chinese Infantry fighting vehicle. It mounts a turret similar in design to that of the Russian BMP-3, although the chassis is different, with a front mounted engine, and rear troop compartment. A further improved version of this vehicle is known as the ZBD-04 infantry fighting vehicle.

The ZBD-97 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (research and development code: WZ502) is the North China Industrial Group Corporation [NORINCO] development and production of new tracked infantry fighting vehicles, with a certain self-floating ability which can be used in limited amphibious warfare.

The ZBD-97 infantry fighting vehicle weighs 20 tons, has a highest road speed of 65 km/hr, and a highest water speed of 20 km. The maximum range for a full load of fuel oil is 500 km. The vehicle chassis is designed by China, the welding turret is equipped with a 100mm rifle gun and a 30mm machine gun. The fire control system includes a night vision goggles, which has 3 trips and can take 7 infantry. According to media reports, production of the ZBD-97 infantry fighting vehicles began in 2006, with a total production of 650 units.

China is weak due to its own technology, as well as the impact of the poor internal and external environment before the 20th century. Although the country has been concerned about the development of the world armored combat vehicles, the Chinese military has failed to keep up with the pace of the times. Not only is the development of the main battle tanks behind the world's advanced level, but infantry fighting vehicles have not yet reached world standards.

Thanks to the process of normalization of relations between China and the West in the 1970s, China obtained the Soviet-made BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle from friendly countries, and finally decided to imitate a number of equipment troops, including the ZBD-86 infantry fighting vehicle (86-type infantry fighting vehicles). To improve the capacity of the armored forces for further development, advanced infantry fighting vehicles were equipped with accumulated experience and lessons.

In the Sino-Vietnamese self-defense counterattack war, there were no Chinese infantry fighting vehicles. THus, often in the absence of any protection by tanks, the Vietnamese army was able to take advantage of the situation, and cause significant damage.

For a long time, the Chinese military has been good at fighting infantry and motorized infantry. Although equipped with advanced ground weapons, the Chinese army, after all, had no real armored combat experience. For the development and use of infantry fighting vehicles, there was very little fighting experience. The first generation of infantry fighting vehicles ZBD-86 was strictly speaking derived from the former Soviet Union BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle. The significance of the equipment is the advanced technical performance, but more on the infantry fighting combat theory of exploration and practice.

Early in 2006, the CCTV military channel reported the Guangzhou Military Region training for the ZBD-97-type infantry fighting vehicles . This indicated that it had entered batch production and was in the ranks of the People's Liberation Army. Interestingly, according to China's large-scale ground weapons and equipment naming rules, the infantry fighting vehicles through the test time should be 1997, but ZBD-97 did not appear in the 50th anniversary of the National Day military parade, compared with two years later designs of the ZTZ-99 main battle tanks.

The ZBD-97 infantry fighting vehicles, is China's independent development of the second generation infantry fighting vehicles, with strong firepower, good mobility features. The ZBD-97 infantry fighting vehicle performance and BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles roughly the same, but in the ability to carry infantry combat is better than the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles. Compared with the US M2 infantry fighting vehicles, 97-type infantry fighting vehicles as light weight, armor protection performance is better, in the future battlefield survivability worrying, but its comprehensive firepower is better than M2 infantry fighting vehicles.

China ZBD-97 infantry fighting vehicles developed on the basis of their own strategic objectives, based on the Russian BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle technology, from the performance of the car, basically in line with the ground forces mechanized combat international trend of thought. But there are still ZBD-97 infantry fighting vehicles on the landing operations and the South China Sea network operations caused by passive protection of the limited drawbacks of the design ideas and manufacturing process more urgent need to improve the Department.



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Page last modified: 06-12-2017 14:59:27 ZULU