ZBD-03

ZBD-03
Type 03 IFV
AirbornePlatoon2018-50.jpg

ZBD-03 at Airborne Platoon 2018, part of the International Army Games
Type Infantry fighting vehicle
Place of origin China
Service history
In service 2003–present
Production history
Designed 1998
Produced 2000–present
Variants ZBD-03
ZBD-03 Command Post
ZBD-03 ATGMS
Specifications
Mass t (8.8 short tons; 7.9 long tons)[1]
Length 5.6 m (18 ftin)
Width 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in)
Height 2.2 m (7 ft 3 in)
Crew 3
Passengers 5

Armor Welded steel protects against small arms and shell splinters.
Main
armament
30 mm autocannon
Secondary
armament
7.62 mm coaxial machine gun
1 x HJ-73C anti-tank missiles
Engine diesel 210 hp
Suspension Hydropneumatic suspension
Operational
range
500 km (310 mi) to 600 km (370 mi)
Speed ZBD-03:
68 km/h (42 mph) (land)
6 km/h (3.7 mph; 3.2 kn) (water)

The ZBD-03 or Type 03 (industrial designation WZ506) is a Chinese airborne infantry fighting vehicle. It features a light-weight chassis and hydropneumatic suspension for airborne operations. Early prototypes received the designation ZLC-2000.[2][3]

Development[edit]

The ZBD-03 was designed to replace the BMD-3 and was in service as part of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. The vehicle was designed to be air-dropped from medium-sized aircraft such as the Xi’an Y-20 if necessary. Available variants include the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), armored recovery vehicle (ARV), and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

Design[edit]

Type 03 (left) is lighter yet larger than BMD-2.

The ZBD-03 bears some external resemblance to the BMD-3, particularly with regards to its main armament. However, the chassis and internal subsystems possess a different layout. The ZBD-03 retains the Russian parachute system for landing from an Il-76 transport aircraft. The ZBD-03 has a crew of three (a commander, a driver, and a gunner) and is able to carry five infantry passengers in a troop compartment. The gunner is seated in the single-man turret located in the middle of the chassis. The driver and commander are located in tandem to the left of the power compartment in the front right of the chassis. The troop compartment is located in the rear with two overhead hatches and a rear exit.

The suspension system of ZBD-03 consists of a 5-lightweight ridged ice rinks and a 3-roller-type support wheels. The drive wheel is a front-mounted. Hydropneumatic suspension has variable ground clearance, minimum exhibited in the commission of landing the plane in order to reduce the force of impact on the ground.

The ZBD-03 is equipped with a single-man turret with a 30mm gun capable of firing armor-piercing round. A missile rail launcher at the top of the turret is included as part of the HJ-73C anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). Secondary weaponry includes a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun and three smoke grenade dischargers mounted to each side of the turret.

The ZBD-03 armor protection is limited by its weight restrictions necessary for air dropping. With a combat weight of 8 tonnes, the vehicle’s armor is thin and sloped to maximize resistance to small caliber weapons.

The gunner has a day/night thermal scope and an emergency back-up day sight. The gun system is fully stabilized. The driver and commander has their own observation instruments installed on the hatch.[4][5]

Variants[edit]

ZLC-2000
Designation for ZBD-03 prototype.
ZBD-03
Standard variant.
ZBD-03 Command Post
The command and control version features a higher rear hull to accommodate staffs.
ZBD-03 ATGM Carrier
Armed with the HJ-8 ATGM anti-tank guided missile.

Operators[edit]

 People’s Republic of China

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Related development
  • ZBD-04 – tracked infantry fighting vehicle developed by China
  • ZBD-05 – amphibious fighting vehicle developed by China
  • ZBL-08 – wheeled infantry fighting vehicle developed by China
Similar ground systems

References[edit]