skip to main content

China deploys new infantry fighting vehicles along Taiwan Strait

The Type 19 IFV feature a hull identical to the ZBL-09 IFV (pictured above) in service with the PLA and a new turret. (Russian MoD)

The Eastern Theater Command (ETC) of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has inducted a new type of 8Γ—8 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) in an equipment awarding ceremony in eastern Guangdong.

According to a video recently released by state-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), the 145th Medium Combined Arms Brigade of the 73rd Group Army under the ETC inducted an unknown number of new IFVs – probably Type 19 (also designated as Type 22) – in the ceremony.

The 73rd Group Army is headquartered in Xiamen – roughly 10 km from Taiwan's Kinmen Islands in the Taiwan Strait – and is responsible for handling disputes that may arise in the stretch of water.

The new vehicles – deployed for the first time with the PLA – feature a hull identical to the ZBL-09 (also known as Type 09) IFV in service with the PLA and a new turret.

Although the vehicle's specifications have not been disclosed, it is possible that the new hull features redesigned suspension and automotive components to support a higher gross vehicle weight (GVW).

The higher GVW allows the vehicle to carry a greater payload than the ZBL-09, possibly resulting in better armour protection and heavier mission systems deployed on the platform.

This new design is consistent with Western design trends, where the maximum GVW of 8Γ—8 IFVs has typically increased from around 21 tonnes – as in ZBL-09 – to over 35 tonnes.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...