Norinco Type 90 (WZ-551)

     Notes:  This vehicle is actually part of an AFV family, ranging from APCs and IFVs to mortar carriers, light AFVs, and mortar carriers, as well as some specialist vehicles.  In addition to its use in large (1200+) use by the Chinese Army, it is used by Algeria, Bosnia, Kenya, Pakistan (who have an unknown number, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Iran.  The Type 90 and its descendants, the Type 92 family, outwardly resemble the French VAB in design; as in its early design phases the Chinese was still receiving considerable assistance from France, this resemblance may be more than passing.  The Type 90, however, is longer and heavier than the VAB.  The Type 90 series, in its Type 92 version, ended production only recently in the early 2000s.  The Type 90 began service in 1984, but at this stage it was still in advanced development and field trials.

 

The Type 90

     The driverís compartment of the Type 90 is in a cab in the front of the vehicle, behind bullet resistant windows to the front and sides. The driver has conventional controls.  The commander is to the left of him, and both have hatches atop their positions. The Type 90 comes in several versions, ranging from one with a simple gunnerís station with a pintle-mounted machinegun (often with AV2 gun shields around his cupola) to IFV versions with the same turret as on the Type 86 version of the Russian BMP-1.  Versions with autocannon turrets come in between.  Turreted versions generally come with hatches on the deck for the commander and (if present) the gunner, with the former commanderís position often becoming a only passenger seat (usually for the squad leader).  Turreted versions have three smoke grenade launchers on each side of the turret. The rear section is for the troops carried, with three firing ports in each side and a firing port in the single rear door.  On the sides, the front firing port and the rear door firing port can take a 7.62mm machinegun or an assault rifle; the others take only assault rifles.

     The Type 90 is powered by a 256-horsepower KHD F8L-413F diesel engine, coupled to a manual transmission.  The Type 90 is amphibious, propelled in the water by cowled waterjets with steering vanes in their cowls. The driver has windows to both sides as well as a small one to his front, but has decent vision despite the design of his windows and his compartment.  At the front of the vehicle is a spotlight, steerable by the commander. 

 

The Type 92

     The Chinese put the Type 90 into service, and trialed them for many years under intensive field conditions.  And they were found wanting.  Complaints primarily were against engine power, but cross-country movement and lack of effective armament were also cited as problem areas.  Protection was also considered an issue.  This led to the Type 92 (also called the ZSL-92), which first appeared in a parade in 1991.

     The Type 92 is a large redesign of the Type 90.  One noticeable difference is the cab, which is separated from the rest of the vehicle by an airtight bulkhead with a hatch separating it from the troop compartment.  The driver has conventional controls.  The front windshields are retained, but the driver and commander can also see to the front and sides when the armored shutters are closed by using vision blocks around the overhead hatches. The driver can also use the central vision block opening at night, replacing it with a night vision block. The biggest difference, however, is the use of an updated version of the same engine, developing 320 horsepower, giving it greater speed and agility, and partially to combat the increased weight.  It is coupled to an automatic transmission. The Type 92 has an NBC overpressure system with a collective NBC backup.  The suspension is beefed up, and the vehicle is equipped with run-flat tires. The bare APC is called the Type 92B, while the standard IFV is the Type 92. The Type 86 turret was rejected in favor of an autocannon turret; this was at first a French-built Dragar remote turret (which is a rather large turret), but after French participation in the program ended, it was replaced with a lower-profile turret with better vision devices, and the autocannon replaced with a reverse-engineered version of the M-811.  (The original French/Chinese version was the NGV-1. The NGV-1 did not go into production, except for a few prototypes.) The turret is a one-man design, and the gunner sits partially within the armor envelope of the vehicle.  Turrets on the Type 92 use a four-barreled smoke grenade launcher on each side of the turret. A simple APC version was also devised, similar to the Type 90 APC version. The suspension of the Type 92 was beefed up, and the spacing of the wheels has been changed, so that there is a noticeable space between the front wheels and the two rear sets of wheels; on the lower hull in this space, there is a small hatch on either side of the hull (it would be a tight squeeze for a fully-equipped soldier).

     Recently, a new version of the Type 92 has been seen in China, and is tentatively called the Type 92B.  This uses the same turret as the Type 92, but is armed with a heavier autocannon.

 

Other APC Versions

     The police use a version of the Type 90 called the Type WJ-94, which has a turret similar to the Type 91 ISV above, and is fitted out in a similar manner to the Type 91 ISV.  The WJ-94 is, unlike the military version, a 4x4 vehicle instead of a 6x6 vehicle, and is a little shorter.

     The Type 92 RAV (Reconnaissance Armored Version) version is a reconnaissance variant of the Type 92. This version has enhanced communications gear (one extra long-range radio, which is data-capable), as well as a laser rangefinder and laser designator and other equipment to allow it to spot for artillery and air strikes. Part of the sensor suite is mounted on a raised pole on the turret which contains a night vision, LLTV, and a laser rangefinder and designator.  At the rear of the turret, a GSR is mounted, which can be raised above the turret for use when necessary.  Inside the Type 92 RAV, information from the sensors is fed to the crew and the radios allow for this information to be fed to higher headquarters.  The Type 92 RAV is equipped with a BMS as well as a GPS system, and a 5kW APU to power systems while the engine is off.  The increased weight and unbalancing renders the Type 92 RAV incapable of amphibious operations.  The Type 92 RAV has a reduced crew with only a small dismount team.

     A plain-vanilla version of the Type 92 has also been fielded, with a simple pintle-mounted machinegun surrounded by gun shields like that of the Type 90 APC.  This is the Type 92A.

     The Type WZ-551S is a version of the Type 90 which is fitted out to be a logistics support vehicle.  In this guide, the pintle mount is moved forward to the commanderís position, and the rear deck has large hatches for the loading and unloading of supplies.  A folding crane with a capacity of 2 tons is mounted atop the vehicle.  The rear door is enlarged, and removable ramps are carried.  The interior has retractable rollers and tie-down and lock-down points for cargo and containers.  It is essentially an armored truck.

 

     Twilight 2000 Notes: The Type 92 versions comprised only about a quarter of the total Type 90 family in Chinese service during the Twilight 2000 timeline.  The Type 92 RAV is a very rare vehicle, and the Type 92B does not exist in the Twilight 2000 timeline.

 

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

Type 90 APC

$22,794

D, A

1.4 tons

13 tons

3+10

6

Headlights

Shielded

Type 90 (KPV Turret)

$43,075

D, A

1 ton

14.8 tons

3+8

6

Passive IR (G)

Shielded

Type 90 (25mm Turret)

$60,789

D, A

800 kg

15.3 tons

3+8

8

Passive IR, Image Intensification (G)

Shielded

Type 90 (73mm Turret)

$326,419

D, A

800 kg

15.6 tons

3+7

10

Passive IR (D, C, G), Image Intensification (G, C), Thermal Imaging (G)*, White Light/IR Searchlight

Shielded

Type 92

$161,783

D, A

900 kg

15.3 tons

3+8

8

Passive IR (D, G), Image Intensification (G), Thermal Imaging (G)

Shielded

Type 92A

$31,768

D, A

1.5 tons

14.9 tons

3+10

6

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

Type 92B

$164,822

D, A

1.5 tons

15.3 tons

3+8

8

Passive IR (D, G), Image Intensification (G), Thermal Imaging (G)

Shielded

Type 92 RAV

$517,833

D, A

800 kg

15.5 tons

3+3

9

Passive IR (D, G), Image Intensification (G, Mast), Thermal Imaging (G, Mast), GSR

Shielded

WZ-551S

$24,298

D, A

7 tons

11.3 tons

2

7

Headlights

Shielded

WJ-94

$59,943

D, A

1.2 tons

12.2 tons

3+9

 

Passive IR (G), Image Intensification (G), WL Spotlight (G)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

Type 90 APC

162/82

38/19/3

300

107

Stnd

W(3)

HF5  HS3  HR2

Type 90 (KPV Turret)

142/72

33/18/3

300

122

CiH

W(3)

TF2  TS2  TR2  HF5  HS3  HR2

Type 90 (25mm Turret)

138/70

32/16/3

300

126

CiH

W(3)

TF4  TS4  TR3  HF5  HS3  HR2

Type 90 (73mm Turret)

135/68

32/16/3

300

128

Trtd

W(3)

TF10  TS4  TR4  HF5  HS3  HR2

Type 92/Type 92B

142/72

33/17/3

390

149

Trtd

W(4)

TF4  TS4  TR4  HF6  HS4  HR3

Type 92A

161/81

37/19/3

390

145

Stnd

W(4)

HF6  HS4  HR3

Type 92 RAV

140/71

33/17

390

151

Trtd

W(4)

TF4  TS4  TR4  HF6  HS4  HR3

WZ-551S

186/94

44/22/4

300

93

Stnd

W(3)

HF5  HS3  HR2

WJ-94

173/87

41/20/3

270

100

Stnd

W(3)

HF5  HS3  HR2

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

Type 90 APC/WZ-551S

None

None

Type 85

600x12.7mm

Type 90 (KPV Turret)

+1

None

KPV, PKT

500x14.5mm, 2000x7.62mm

Type 90 (25mm Turret)

+1

Fair

25mm Giat M-811 Autocannon, Type 80

400x25mm, 1000x7.62mm

Type 90 (73mm Turret)

+1

Fair

73mm 2A28 Gun, Type 80, HJ-73 ATGM Launcher

40x73mm, 2000x7.62mm, 4xHJ-73 ATGM

Type 92/Type 92 RAV

+3

Fair

25mm ZPT-90 Autocannon, Type 80

400x25mm, 1000x7.62mm

Type 92A

None

None

Type 85

700x12.7mm

Type 92B

+3

Fair

30mm WZ-10 Autocannon, Type 80

330x30mm, 1000x7.62mm

WJ-94

+1

Basic

35mm Irritant Gas AGL, Type 80

80x35mm (Irritant Gas Only), 1600x7.62mm

*Before 1993, thermal imagers were absent; subtract $20,000 for these earlier vehicles.

 

Norinco WZ-523

     Notes: This wheeled 6x6 APC is a ďbasic boxĒ sort of personnel carrier, an armored version of the Hanyang HT-472 6x6 heavy truck.  The vehicle does have a surprisingly small turning radius for a vehicle of its size, making it quite useful in urban warfare Ė one reason why it was deployed (in its Type 91 form) to Hong Kong in 1997 and later Macau, even though it was never accepted for official Chinese Army service.  The appearance of the WZ-523 is similar to the South African Ratel, though this similarity is coincidental and the two vehicles are not related.  The WZ-523 is marketed by Norinco, but it is actually a product of the Second Automobile Plant.  The few WZ-523s built were produced starting in the early 1980s; they were first seen by the West in a parade in 1984, leading to a short-term designation by the West as the M-1984.  For the most part, the WZ-523 was not accepted by the Chinese Army, with production cancelled in favor of the WZ-551. The WZ-523 does not appear to have been exported.

     The driver and commander sit partially atop the engine and transmission in a cab with a large two bullet-resistant windshields (side-by-side); armored shutters may be lowered over the windshields, with each shutter having a vision slit in it.  The cab also has side windows, which may also be covered with armored shutters.  The driver does not have night vision per se, but the vehicle has night vision goggles as standard for him. At about the center of the rear section is a gunnerís station armed with a heavy machinegun; this station has vision blocks in the front, sides, and rear, though there are considerable gaps in their vision arcs.  The station is not a turret, but more of a cupola surrounded by AV2 gun shields. Behind the turret is a pair of large hatches for standing troops. To the rear of the first roadwheel, on the right side, is a door; there is another door in the rear of the vehicle.  The rear door has a firing port, and there are two firing ports in each side. The engine, oddly for a modern military vehicle, is an EO-6105 165-horsepower engine fueled by gasoline instead of diesel fuel.  The suspension is an off-road 6x6 suspension with, as noted above, a very small turning radius; it can, for example, take a sharp turn down an alley.  The front wheels are under the cab, with a large space between this pair and the rear four wheels. Tires are run-flat. The WZ-523 is amphibious, propelled by waterjets in the water.

     The Type 91 (ZFB-91) version was accepted for limited production, as an ISV (Internal Security Vehicle) which can be quickly converted for use as an APC (though this has not yet been done). The Type 91 is heavily modified from the basic WZ-523, most markedly with a larger turret on the roof where the gunnerís station was.  The turret is nonetheless small; the gunner sits primarily inside the hull, though he has a hatch atop the turret. The vision blocks still have the problem with limited arcs of vision for the vision blocks, though it is improved somewhat, and the vision blocks are wide-angle. This turret is armed with a special automatic grenade launcher designed to fire only CS or CN grenades, and not able to fire other types of 35mm Chinese grenade launcher ammunition; it also has a coaxial machinegun.  If an APC mission is called for, the grenade launcher can be replaced with a heavy machinegun. On each side of the turret are three smoke grenade launchers.  Other modifications include a siren with flashing lights, a 300-watt searchlight, and on some vehicles, a front-mounted dozer blade to clear obstacles (itís not strong enough to clear mines or dig fighting positions). The blade can be controlled by the driver or commander. Firing ports are increased to three per side.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

WZ-523

$17,349

G, A

1.2 tons

11.2 tons

3+9

6

Headlights

Enclosed

Type 91 ISV

$41,573

G, A

1.1 tons

11.6 tons

3+9

6

Passive IR (G), Image Intensification (G), WL Spotlight (G)

Enclosed

Type 91 APC

$38,878

G, A

1.1 tons

11.6 tons

3+9

6

Passive IR (G), Image Intensification (G), WL Spotlight (G)

Enclosed

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

WZ-551

127/64

29/15/2

255

85

Stnd

W(4)

HF5  HS3  HR2

Type 91 ISV/APC

123/62

28/14/2

255

88

CiH

W(4)

TF2  TS2  TR2  HF5  HS3  HR2*

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

WZ-551

None

None

DShK

600x12.7mm

Type 91 ISV

+1

Basic

35mm Irritant Gas AGL, Type 80

75x35mm (Irritant Gas Only), 1500x7.62mm

Type 91 APC

+1

Basic

Type 85, Type 80

240x12.7mm, 1500x7.62mm

*If equipped with a dozer blade, add 70 kg to the weight of the vehicle (negligible for game purposes) and $293 to the price.  Frontal hits are 25% likely to hit the blade; if so, add 1 to the frontal AV.