NORINCO Type YW 531 H
Armoured Personnel Carrier
(This has recently been renamed the Type 85 series of tracked armoured combat
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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