NORINCO Type YW 531 H Armoured Personnel Carrier

(This has recently been renamed the Type 85 series of tracked armoured combat vehicles.)

Development

The Type YW 531 H armoured personnel carrier was developed at the same time as the Type YW 534 and is believed to be the successor to the older Type 531 which has been in service with the People's Liberation Army for many years. The Type YW 531 H is almost identical to the YW 534 but is slightly lighter, shorter and narrower and does not have the four electrically operated smoke grenade dischargers either side of the forward part of the hull.

Description

Identical to the Type YW 534 fully described in an earlier entry, but has some minor differences such as three firing ports and vision devices in left hull side.

Variants

Type YW 309 Infantry Combat Vehicle

This is essentially the Type YW 531 H fitted with the turret of the WZ 501 IFV which in turn is a copy of the Russian BMP-1. In addition to the single firing port in the rear hull door there are three firing ports and periscopes in the left side of the hull and four firing ports and periscopes in the right side of the hull. The YW 309 has a crew of three and carries eight fully equipped infantrymen. The turret can be traversed through 360 and the 73 mm gun can be elevated from -3.5 to +30.5. A 7.62 mm machine gun is mounted coaxially with the main armament and there is a Red Arrow 73 ATGW launcher over the main armament. This is also called the Infantry Fighting Vehicle Type 85.

Type 85 Armoured Command Post

This is similar to the YW 531 H but has a crew of two and carries six staff officers plus extensive communications equipment for which three radio antennas are provided. The driver sits front left and the commander, who also mans the 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun, is seated to his rear. The command area is at the very rear and has four circular roof hatches, one in each corner. This version weighs 13,800 kg loaded and a four-barrelled smoke grenade discharger is mounted either side of the forward part of the hull.

Type WZ 751 Armoured Ambulance

This is also based on the YW 531 H but has a new and raised hull rear and a new larger commander's cupola to the rear of the driver which is fitted with an externally mounted 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun. This has a crew of two and also carries two medical personnel plus four stretcher patients, eight seated patients or two stretcher patients and four seated patients. In addition to the stretchers, a medical kit, a splint box and an oxygen supply are carried and standard equipment includes an air conditioning system. Loaded weight is 13,800 kg. This is now called the Tracked Armoured Ambulance Type 85.

Armoured Command Vehicle Type 85

This is the basic vehicle with its turret removed for use in the command role, it has a crew of two plus six command staff. It is externally recognisable by its pintle-mounted 12.7 mm machine gun and three radio antennas. Communications equipment installed includes two Type 889 radio sets or VRC-83 radio sets, one Type 892 radio set or VRC-84 radio set, one 70-2B receiver or one SR119 receiver. An auxiliary generator and ventilation fans are also fitted as standard.

120 mm Self-propelled Mortar Type 85

This has a 120 mm mortar mounted in the rear which fires to the rear with a traverse of 14 left and right with elevation from +45 to +80. A total of 50 rounds of mortar ammunition is carried with a maximum range of 7,700 m. This model has a six-man crew, including the commander and driver, and weighs 14,100 kg.

82 mm Self-propelled Mortar Type 85

This is similar to the above but with a slightly different hatch arrangement and the 82 mm mortar can be traversed through 360 with elevation being from +45 to +85. The 82 mm Type 87 mortar has a maximum range of 3,040 m with a total of 120 rounds of ammunition carried. This model has a seven-man crew and weighs 13,800 kg. The mortar is also capable of being deployed away from the vehicle if required by the tactical situation.

120 mm Turret-mounted Mortar

Some years ago it was proposed that the Type 85 APC be fitted with the Royal Ordnance turret-mounted 120 mm breech-loaded mortar system. This version would weigh 16 tonnes and carry a total of 66 rounds of 120 mm mortar ammunition. There has been no recent work on this proposal.

122 mm Self-propelled Howitzer

This is essentially the basic vehicle with its turret removed and the Chinese-built version of the 122 mm D-30 towed howitzer removed from its standard carriage and mounted on the hull rear top. Additional details are given in the Self-propelled guns and howitzers (Tracked) section.

Recovery Vehicle Type 85

This is a basic Type 85 retaining its cupola-mounted 12.7 mm MG but fitted with a hydraulic crane on the left side of the hull with a lifting capacity of a tonne, a generator, welding equipment, special mounting and dismounting tools, a tool cabinet and a five-man crew. Combat weight is 14 tonnes.

Maintenance Engineering Vehicle Type 85

This has a similar hull to the Type 85 ambulance with a raised roof at the rear but is fitted with a cupola-mounted 12.7 mm MG on the roof rather than the forward part of the hull. Equipment includes a generator, a boom, an inertia dynamometer, an air filter cleaner, an oil filter cleaner and other special tools.

Artillery Command Post Vehicle

A version of the YW 531 H with a raised superstructure to the rear of the hull is used as the command post vehicle for the new 155 mm Chinese self-propelled gun/howitzer which is covered in detail in the Self-propelled guns and howitzers (tracked) section. To the rear of the driver's position is the commander's cupola armed with an externally mounted 12.7 mm MG.

NVH-1 MICV

This vehicle, a joint development between NORINCO of China and Vickers Defence Systems of the UK, uses a chassis almost identical to that of the Type YW 531 H APC and was fully covered in Jane's Armour and Artillery 1991-92 pages 357-358. So far it has yet to enter production or service.

COMPANY NAME : Chinese state factories