WZ550 ATGM Carrier
During the parade held in Beijing to mark the 50th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on 1 October 1999, the PLA revealed for the first time its HJ-9 vehicle-mounted anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system. The system is based on the WZ550 4X4 wheeled armoured vehicle developed from the NORINCO ZSL92 (WZ551A) 6X6 wheeled armoured vehicle, with a retractable weapon station that carries four ready-to-launch missiles. The weapon system is deployed in the artillery regiments organic to armoured or mechanised infantry divisions.
The WZ550 has an integrated weapon station containing an observation/fire-control unit and four tube missile launchers. When the vehicle is in travelling mode, the station can be retracted back to inside the troop compartment. There are 4 ready-to-launch missiles on the weapon station and 8 spare missiles carried inside the vehicle. The fully-stabilised weapon station has an elevation from +10 to -10 degrees with +/-200 degree traverse. The observation/fire-control unit includes day/night sight, TV goniometry, and laser command transmission systems.
The weapon operator controls the missile inside the vehicle via a semi-automatic laser command guidance. The weapon operator searches and locates the target using a periscope optical sight (7km range) in day light, or a thermal imager at night or in bad weather conditions. Once the missile is launched, the operator continues aiming its sight at the target. The TV goniometry measures the angle deviation between the missile and the line of sight. The correction command is sent to the missile via the laser transmission unit (5.5km range). During the flight of the HJ-9 missile, the operator only needs to keep the sight's cross-hair on the target, and the system automatically transmits the laser command signal to the missile until it hits the target.
The vehicle has a crew of three (driver, commander, and weapon operator). The driver has three periscopes and a light-enhanced night vision. The crew is protected by a collective NBC protection system and an automated fire suppression system. A 4-barrel 75mm smoke grenade launcher is fitted on either side of the vehicle. The vehicle has a combat weight of 13.75t, and is powered by a 320hp turbo-charged diesel. The maximum road speed is 95km/h.
Combat weight: 13.75t
Max road speed: 95km/h
Max swimming speed: 4.5km/h
Missiles: 4 ready-to-launch + 8 spare
Last update: 20 February 2009