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PLA's 80th Group Army receives armoured vehicles

China's ZBL-09 infantry 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. The country has deployed 18 such vehicles in Eastern Theatre Command. (Russian MoD)

Northern Theatre Command (NTC) of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has inducted several ground force components including ZBL-09 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), ZSL-10 armoured personnel carriers (APCs), and ZTL-11 fire support vehicles (FSVs).

A video clip of the equipment-deploying exercise released by state-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) confirms the delivery of at least 34 armoured vehicles in the 203rd Medium Combined Arms Brigade of PLA's 80th Group Army.

The delivery comprises 18 ZBL-09 IFVs, six ZTL-11 FSVs, four ZSL-10 APCs, four ZBL-09 communication platforms (CPs), and two ZBL-09 bridging platforms (BPs).

According to Janes Land Warfare Platforms: Armoured Fighting Vehicles, the ZBL-09 is China North Industries Group Corporation's (Norinco's) 8×8 family of IFVs designed to provide the PLA with a modern and capable vehicle to replace ZSL-92 armoured fighting vehicles in service.

The ZBL-09 is an amphibious vehicle. It weighs 21 tonnes when ready for combat. It is capable of a maximum road speed of 100 km/h and can cruise for 800 km from its integral fuel tanks, and its cross-country speed is averaged at 40 km/h.

The ZBL-09 has 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 stationary and mobile ammunition natures.

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