Images have emerged showing what appears to be a new Chinese 8×8 assault gun equipped with a 105 mm main armament and a remote-controlled weapon station reportedly being trialled at what local media identified as the Baicheng Weapons Test Centre in northeastern China.
First released in late January by state-owned China Central Television (CCTV), the images show that the platform's chassis appears to be based on a new development of that used in the Type 09 (the export version of which is known as VN1) family of wheeled armoured vehicles supplied by China North Industries Corporation (Norinco).
In November 2018 an image had emerged on Chinese online forums showing the new chassis armed with a radar-directed 35 mm anti-aircraft cannon. The new chassis seems to be lower than that used by the VN1 armoured vehicle, although it features the same front-engine configuration. The lower height suggests that the new platform has a lower centre of gravity, thus providing more stability when equipped with heavy weapon systems.
No official information has yet to emerge about the designation, size, and performance of the new assault gun. That said, the CCTV images suggest that, given the small size of the 105 mm gun turret, the platform may use an auto-loading system for shells and gun-launched missiles. The assault gun chassis also makes generous use of externally mounted armour that could be upgraded when needed.
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