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Land Platforms

Details emerge of new Chinese armoured breaching vehicle

26 November 2019
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A still from a CCTV-13 video showing the PLANMC’s new armoured breaching vehicle (background). The platform carries an array of systems designed to ensure that a force can move through obstacles as quickly as possible. Source: CCTV-13

Details have emerged about a new Chinese amphibious vehicle described as an armoured breaching vehicle in a 23 November video released by state-owned broadcaster China Central Television-13 (CCTV-13).

From the video it appears that the vehicle is based on the Type 05 family of amphibious vehicles used by the People's Liberation Army Navy Marine Corps (PLANMC) to conduct both amphibious landings and conventional warfare.

Some elements of the Type 05 design have been carried over to the new engineering vehicle, including a front-mounted engine, with the drive sprockets located at the front of the hull. The front sprocket position is standard for infantry fighting vehicles as it allows the rear of the vehicle to be reserved for personnel and equipment. However, it can lead to increased track wear and greater risk of shedding a track as there is more tension on the top of the track, rather than the bottom as is the case with rear sprocket arrangements.

The rear of the platform shows two water jets, one either side of a lane marking system, which indicates that the vehicle is amphibious. However, it does not appear to carry the frontal bow blade, nor the flat board at the rear of the vehicle that elevates the nose of the ZBD-05 amphibious infantry fighting vehicle, for example, to improve its hydrodynamic characteristics. That said, the front of the vehicle carries the distinctive long nose of the ZBD-05 that enables it to achieve high speeds at sea.

The breaching vehicle is fitted with track-width mine clearing ploughs, each of which has two elements that appear to be hinged, and will likely enable the ploughs to be folded out to clear a wider path. The tines are relatively shallow, which indicates that the system is primarily intended to clear surface or shallow mines.

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