The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


ZBL-08 "Snow Leopard" wheeled armored vehicle

The ZBL-08 is a classic wheeled 8x8 IFV, somewhat resembling the Canadian Stryker. The NORINCO (China NORth INdustries COrporation) "ZBL-08", also known as the "Type 08" in sources, is in active service with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and Marine forces of China as well as a few other operators. Unlike some other modern Chinese vehicles, the ZBL-08 is also offered for export under the designation of VN-1 and successfully, it seems.

As of 15 May 2021, Google referenced 25,000 attestations of "ZBL-08" versus 91,000 attestations of "ZBL-09". includes separate references for the ZBL-08 and ZBL-09. The Tank Encyclodpedia has a section on the ZBD-09, but nothing on a ZBL, either 08 or 09. Some major sources incorrectly call the ZBL-08 the ZBL-09, based on the year it was first shown in public during the 1st of October 2009 National Day military parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China, operated by crews belonging to the 54th Group Army from the Jinan Military Region. As recently as May 201, Janes referenced the "ZBL-09 (also known as Type 09) infantry fighting vehicle (IFV)." Other sources claim that its called Snow Leopard, although this name was most likely made up in the west, driven by the need to assign designations that make the vehicles easier to refererence.

As early as 2015 the official Chinese military website had one reference to the ZBL-09, while as recently as 2019 the official Chinese military website had 5 references to the ZBL-08. The reference to the ZBK-09 seems in error, as the photographs in the article depict a tracked vehicle, not a wheeled vehcile. The ZBL name is a military designation, referring to: Z Armored; B Infantry Fighting Vehicle; and L Wheeled.

This 20-ton wheeled armored vehicle is mainly used for armored infantry to carry out mobile offensive and defensive combat tasks. The vehicle has higher maneuverability, better protection ability, comfortable man-machine environment engineering and water floating ability. It has the characteristics of easy operation, comfortable driving, stable driving, good maneuverability, low fuel consumption, compact structure, reasonable layout, and high reliability and maintainability. The vehicle weapon system is a built-in single-operated turret. The vehicle can strike at stationary and moving targets in a stationary and short-stop state, effectively destroying enemy light armored targets, suppressing and destroying enemy soil, wooden fortifications and active forces within 4000 meters, and at the same time diving into the enemy at low altitude Airplanes and armed helicopters are capable of shooting and have certain air defense capabilities.

The new combat vehicle has excellent tactical and technical performance and has become the main weapon of the PLA. In the construction of the armored fighting vehicle, the traditional layout was used: the front is the driver and power system, and the back is the crew compartment independent of the tank cockpit.

The design looks similar to the VAB but is consistantly heavier (basic configuration of the VAB is 4x4), and larger. The hull is made of welded steel RHA, protected against 12.7 mm cal. rounds, with an overall combat weight of 15.3t, divided in three sections (front driver compartment, middle left engine compartment, rear troop compartment). The hull is NBC-proof, with an automatic fire suppression system and is fully amphibious, thanks to two rear propellers. A nose-mounted trim vane can be erected when swimming. The crew of three comprise the driver, commander and gunner, and 9 infantrymen are seated at the rear.

The vehicle adopts a modular design and consists of six basic modules: power, transmission, action, manipulation, car body and top-mounted weapons. Through the combination of different modules, various chassis variants can be realized, so as to match and integrate with various combat needs. The use of modular design can improve the interchangeability of car families, which is conducive to logistics maintenance. ZBL-08 "Snow Leopard" adopted international standard arrangement of wheeled vehicle, power front design, this layout can be installed in the rear of the vehicle door large size, containing members on and off quickly and safely. Furnished with three crew members and seven out. Between the various compartments inside with noise, noise reduction, insulated bulkhead. Containing members of the cabin with shooting holes, enhanced ride equipped infantry combat abilities and fighting off their fire support capability.

ZBL-08 "Snow Leopard" features armored all-welded high-strength steel double turret, the main weapon for the 30 mm cannon, auxiliary weapons, including improved "Red Arrow"-73C anti-tank missiles and vehicle 7.62 mm parallel machine gun. Vehicle in stationary state short stop on stationary and moving targets in combat, and can effectively destroy enemy light armored targets, to suppress, destroy the enemy within 4000 meters of soil, wooden fortifications and effectives, but can also dive enemy aircraft at low altitude and helicopter gunships firing, with a certain self-defense against air combat capability.

The new wheeled armored vehicles provide sufficient load-bearing quality and space for vehicle-mounted weapon systems, special equipment and passengers, and are conducive to vehicle modification, such as wheeled armored command vehicles, wheeled armored reconnaissance vehicles, and various wheeled armored vehicles Artillery vehicles, wheeled armored rescue vehicles and wheeled armored ambulances, etc. The carrying mass reaches more than 6 tons, and the effective carrying space in the car generally reaches more than 14 m2.

Join the mailing list

Page last modified: 29-05-2021 13:21:26 ZULU