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PLA's 73rd Group Army receives ZBL-09 vehicles

China's ZBL-09 armoured fighting vehicle, seen here from Russia's Victory Day parade, is armed with a 30 mm cannon, a 7.62 mm machine gun, and anti-tank guided missiles. (Russian MoD)

The Eastern Theater Command (ETC) of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has inducted China North Industries Group Corporation's (Norinco's) ZBL-09 (also known as Type 09) armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) in an equipment awarding ceremony in eastern Guangdong.

The official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the People's Daily, reported via its Weibo social media platform that the 145th Medium Combined Arms Brigade of the 73rd Group Army has inducted at least 54 ZBL-09 vehicles.

According to Janes Land Warfare Platforms: Armoured Fighting Vehicles , the Type 09 is the 8×8 family of AFVs designed by Norinco to provide the PLA with a modern and capable vehicle to replace ZSL-92 AFVs in service.

The ZBL-09 is armed with a 30 mm cannon, a 7.62 mm machine gun, and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). The 30 mm cannon is believed to be a copy of the Russian 2A72. It is a stabilised dual-feed cannon capable of firing two ammunition natures while stationary and mobile.

The maximum rate of fire is 330 rds/min and the cannon is effective against medium-weight armoured targets up to a range of 1,500 m. The ammunition includes the armour-piercing discarding sabot (APDS) round, with a muzzle velocity of 1,180 m/s, and the high-explosive incendiary (HEI) round, which has a maximum range of 5,000 m and can be used against lightly armoured or soft targets.

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