An image posted on online forums in early February shows what appears to be a next-generation Chinese infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) featuring a new front-engined hull and a possible unmanned turret.
If it is a new prototype IFV, it could be a successor to the China North Industries Corporation's (NORINCO's) ZBD-04 or later ZDB-04A, which are in service with the Ground Forces of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA).
Like the ZBD-04/ZDB-04A, the new IFV hull features six running wheels and an apparent forward mounted engine, but differs in a number of ways, including a less sloped forward glacis.
Posted on 8 February on the Chinese CJDBY website, the image also shows that the prototype IFV features an aft-mounted gun turret, compared to the ZBD-04's manned mid-hull mounted turret, which is equipped with a 100 mm rifled main gun and a 30 mm cannon.
Being aft-mounted increases the possibility that the new Chinese IFV turret may be unmanned, which would allow for unimpeded troop access to the IFV from the rear.
Unconfirmed Chinese media reports suggest that the IFV may be armed with a new cannon using cased telescoped ammunition (CTA).
At the November 2016 Zhuhai Airshow NORINCO revealed that it had developed and tested a 40 mm case telescoped weapon system (CTWS) and its initial suite of ammunition. Jane's reported at the time that the CTWS has an adjustable cyclic rate of fire of between 100 and 200 rounds per minute and that two natures of ammunition had been developed.
The first of these is the 40 mm high-explosive (HE) round, that is designated CS/BTE3 and has a muzzle velocity of 1,000 m/s.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options: ihs.com/contact