ZSL92 Wheed Armoured Fighting Vehicle
The ZSL92 (also known as Type 92) 6X6 family of wheeled armoured vehicles has been developed and manufactured by China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO). The vehicle is based on the WZ551 (ZSL90) 6X6 wheeled armoured vehicle first introduced in the mid-1980s, but with an improved diesel engine for better performance. The ZSL92 has been operational with the PLA ground forces since 1995, with a number of variants produced for a variety of combat and support mission tasks. The vehicle has also been exported to Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
In 1986, NORINCO introduced the WZ551 (PLA designation ZSL90) wheeled armoured vehicle based on the chassis of the Southwest Automobile Works Tiema XC2030 6X6 truck, which is a Chinese copy of the German Mercedes-Benz 2060. However, this variant did not enter the PLA service due to unsatisfactory performance. Instead, NORINCO developed the improved WZ551A in the early 1990s. The first two WZ551A prototypes were completed in August 1991. Following a total of 30,000km road tests, the vehicle was certified for design finalisation in 1994. The infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) variant designated ZSL92 (Type 92) entered the PLA service in 1995. The ZSL92A armoured personnel carrier (APC) variant entered the PLA service in 1997.
The ZSL92 IFV has an overall combat weight of 15.3t. The hull of the vehicle comprises three sections: the driver compartment in the front, the powerpack compartment in the middle left, and the troop compartment in the rear. The vehicle is fully amphibious, propelled by two propellers . There are six firing ports in the vehicle hull, three on each side of the vehicle.
The ZSL92 is fitted with a collective NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) protection system and automatic fire suppression system as standard. Armour protection against 12.7mm calibre weapon systems is provided all round.
The driver has three optical periscopes. The central periscope can be replaced by an image intensifying periscope (effective range 200m) for night vision. The commander also has three optical periscopes. The gunner has a a dual-use (to-air and to-surface) periscope for fire-control, and four periscopes for observation. Communications equipments include a VRC-83 radio set and VIC-83 telephone.
The ZSl92 is powered by a German-designed BF8L413F 4-stroke, 8-cylinder, turbo-charged, air-cooled diesel engine with a standard power of 235kW (320hp) at 2,500rpm. The vehicle is capable of a maximum speed of 85km/h on paved road and 8km/h when afloat. The capacity of the fuel tank was increased by 90 litre to fulfil the PLA's requirement for a fuel endurance range of 600 to 800km.
The vehicle has 9 forward and 1 reverse gears, with a German-designed 5S-111GPA mechanical gear box and power assisted steering. All wheels are fitted with independent suspension, and hydraulically operated disc brakes. The central inflating system can adjust the tire pressure according to road conditions. The tires can support the vehicle to travel 100km at a speed of 30km/h after being damaged. In addition, the vehicle is fitted with two propellers at rear for swimming.
The IFV variant has a crew of three (driver, commander, and gunner) and carries nine infantry soldiers in its troop compartment. The main armament is a ZPT90 25mm automatic cannon mounted on a one-man turret. The cannon has a full 360° traverse with an elevation of -8° ~ 55°. Ammunition load for the cannon is 400 rounds, with 200 rounds carried inside the ammunition cartridges, and an additional 200 (120 high-explosive rounds and 80 armour-piercing rounds) carried in the turret. The gun can fire single, 3-round burst, 5-round burst, or fully automatic. The max rate of fire is 100r/min or 200r/min. Secondary weapon is a coaxial 7.62mm Type 86 machine gun with 1,000 rounds. A four-barrel 76mm smoke grenade launcher is fitted on either side of the turret.
Recently an improved variant of the ZSL92 IFV has been spotted. This variant is armed with a 30mm cannon turret developed by NORINCO.
ZSL92A Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC)
The armoured personnel carrier (APC) variant ZSL92A is exactly identical to the ZSL92 IFV, except its main armament being a 12.7mm machine gun. The gunner’s hatch is protected by a sphere-shaped, open top shield. The APC variant has a slightly better travelling performance compared to the ZSL92 IFV due to its reduced combat weight (14.9t).
All variants use the same chassis configured in one of the two chassis configurations: 4X4 and 6X6 or 8X8.
The 6X6 variants include:
- WZ551 - IFV armed with a 25mm automatic cannon. Prototype only
- WZ551-1 - IFV armed with a 73mm smoothbore gun. Prototype only
- WZ551-2 - APC armed with a 12.7mm machine gun. Prototype only
- ZSL92 - Production variant IFV with 25mm cannon
- ZSL92A - Production variant APC with 12.7mm machine gun
- PTL02 - 100mm assault gun
- NGV-1 - IFV with a Giat DRAGAR one-man 25mm cannon turret. Prototype only
- WZ554 - Twin-23mm self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery gun. Prototype only
- WZ551D - PL-9 surface-to-air missile system. Prototype only
- WZ901 - Police anti-riot vehicle
- WZ901F (Type 86) - Patrol vehicle
- XJZ92 - Armoured recovery vehicle (ARV)
- Armoured command vehicle
- Armoured ambulance
- Armoured reconnaissance vehicle
- Artillery reconnaissance vehicle
- ‘Yitian’ air defence missile system. Prototype only
The 4X4 variants include:
- WZ91 - HJ-8 ATGM carrier. Prototype only
- WZ550 - HJ-9 ATGM carrier
- WJ94 - Police anti-riot vehicle
Last update: 20 February 2009