Combat vehicles / Armored personnel carriers / ZSL92

ZSL92

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Armored personnel carrier

  • ORIGIN
    China

  • NICKNAMES
    WZ551 (industry designation)
    Type 90 (Chinese designation for WZ551)
    Type 92 (Chinese designation for WZ551A)

  • DESIGNED
    Early 1980's

  • DESIGNER
    Norinco

  • PRODUCTION
    1990's - present

  • PRODUCERS
    China - Norinco

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Good firepower with 25mm turret
    Limited production cost
    Good mobility on roads
    Amphibious
    Versatile chassis with many variants
    Limited armor protection
    Average off road mobility

Introduction

The WZ551 is an armored personnel carrier of Chinese origin. It was developed in the early 1980's to replace many of the less mobile tracked armored personnel carriers. As with many APC's the WZ551 chassis used for many different variants including tank destroyers, riot control vehicles and a mortar carrier. The name WZ551 is the name of the chassis with all variants having their own designation.

Layout

The WZ551 is a 6x6 vehicle which looks rather similar to the French VAB. The driver and commander are seated in the front and the engine is mounted in the middle. The troop compartment is located at the rear. The original WZ551 was produced in limited quantities as the ZSL90 (aka Type 90) but was found lacking in performance. The version that was put in quantity production was the WZ551A (aka ZSL92 or Type 92) which has a slightly redesigned chassis, a more powerful engine and improved reliability. A 4x4 version of the chassis is known as the WZ550.

Firepower

The main IFV version is armed with an overhead weapons system 25mm ZPT90 autocannon and a 7.62mm machine gun. The 25mm autocannon has a good range and is effective against most light armored vehicles. Since the armament is not stabilized it is of little use when moving. Most other variants are armed with a one man turret with 12.7mm heavy machine gun. Two tank destroyer variants have been developed that use the HJ-8 and HJ-9 missiles respectively.

Protection

The steel armor protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters. AP rounds fired from a heavy machine gun are able to penetrate the hull. An NBC system is fitted and most variants have two banks of smoke grenade launchers. The tires are of the run flat type and allow travel at reduced speeds for 100 km when punctured.

Mobility

The WZ551 has a good mobility on roads and a reasonable performance off road. A Deutz 320 hp diesel engine provides propulsion. The maximum speed on roads is 90 km/h and the range is up to 800 km. The WZ551 is fully amphibious and is powered in the water by two steerable propellers behind the rear wheels. The 4x4 version is not amphibious and has no propellers.

Users

The main user of the WZ551 is the Chinese military and police. The WZ551 are exported in limited quantities to various nations. The ZSL92A is reportedly produced under license in Sudan although it is more likely it is construced from parts kits. The WZ551 is expected to be supplemented in the future by the improved WMZ 551 chassis which is currently in protoype state.

Variants

ZSL92

The ZSL92 is the standard infantry fighting that is based on the WZ551A chassis. It is fitted with a one man low profile turret with overhead weapons system that mounts a 25mm ZPT90 autocannon and 7.62mm machine gun. The 25mm cannon is powerful but since it is not stabalized it is of limited use when on the move.

TypeArmored personnel carrier
Crew2 + 11 (driver, gunner, 11 infantry)
Length6.73 m
Width2.86 m
Height2.10 m (hull top), 2.89 m (overall)
Ground clearance0.41 m
Weight15.3 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 6x6, 1.9 + 1.9 m wheelbase, 2.44 m track
Turn radius9 m
EngineDeutz BF8L413FC V8 diesel, 320 hp at 2.500 rpm
Power ratio20.9 hp/t
TransmissionZF 6HP500 automatic, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Speed90 km/h on road, 8.5 km/h in water
Fuel400 L
Range600 km on road
Wall0.5 m
Trench1.2 m
Gradient70% gradient, 30% slope
FordingAmphibious
ArmorSteel
NBC equipmentYes
Night visionYes
Smoke2x4 75mm smoke grenade dischargers
Remarks-
Armament25mm ZPT90 autocannon
7.62mm Type 86 machine gun
Weapon125mm ZPT90 autocannon in turret
400 rounds
-8 to +55° elevation, powered
360° traverse, powered
non-stabilized
Weapon27.62mm Type 86 coaxial machine gun
1.000 rounds
traverse and elevation as main armament
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

ZSL92A

The ZSL92A is a modfied version of the the ZSL92. It consists of the WZ551A chassis and a small open roof one man turret with a 12.7mm W85 machine gun, or more likely its QJC88 pintle mount derivative. The ZSL92A is lighter, lower, less complex and cheaper than the original ZSL92. Most export WZ551 are of the ZSL92A type.

TypeArmored personnel carrier
Crew2 + 11 (driver, gunner, 11 infantry)
Length6.73 m
Width2.86 m
Height2.10 m (hull top)
Ground clearance0.41 m
Weight14.9 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 6x6, 1.9 + 1.9 m wheelbase, 2.44 m track
Turn radius9 m
EngineDeutz BF8L413FC V8 diesel, 320 hp at 2.500 rpm
Power ratio21.5 hp/t
TransmissionZF 6HP500 automatic, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Speed90 km/h on road, 8.5 km/h in water
Fuel400 L
Range600 km on road
Wall0.5 m
Trench1.2 m
Gradient70% gradient, 30% slope
FordingAmphibious
ArmorSteel
NBC equipmentYes
Night visionYes
Smoke2x4 75mm smoke grenade dischargers
Remarks-
Armament12.7mm QCJ88 heavy machine gun
Weapon112.7mm QCJ88 heavy machine gun in one man turret
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

HJ-8

The HJ-8 tank destroyer is based on the 4x4 WZ550 chassis and is also known under both those designation. The HJ-8 has a small turret with four HJ-8 wire guided missiles. The turret may retract into the rear of the vehicle to make it lower and to protect the launcher. The HJ-8 was produced in limited quantities with the AFT-9 being the follow on to the HJ-8. The AFT-9 is a similar vehicle with a larger and more complex turret.

AFT-9

The AFT-9 is a tank destroyer based on the 4x4 WZ550 chassis and is also referred to as the HJ-9, Type 92B or SD-1 Lightning. It is based on the earlier HJ-8 but has a more complex turret and fires the laser beam riding HJ-9 anti-tank missile. The HJ-9 is a potent long range missile that is much more capable against modern tanks than older Chinese missiles. Two HJ-9 missiles are mounted at either side of the turret. The turret itself is fitted with the optronics and laser guidance system. During travel the turret is lowered which makes the AFT-9 lower and protects the turret systems and missiles from small arms fire.

TypeTank destroyer
Crew3 (commander, driver, gunner)
Length6 m
Width3 m
Height?
Ground clearance?
Weight13.8 t combat load)
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 4x4
Turn radius?
EngineDeutz BF8L41 V8 diesel, 320 hp at 2.500 rpm
Power ratio23.3 hp/t
TransmissionZF 6HP500 automatic, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Speed95 km/h on road
Fuel400 L
Range800 km on road
Wall0.5 m
Trench?
Gradient?
Fording1 m
ArmorSteel
NBC equipmentYes
Night visionYes
Smoke2x4 75mm smoke grenade dischargers
Remarks-
ArmamentHJ-9 anti-tank missle (4x)
Weapon1Four HJ-9 anti-tank missiles on retractable turret
12 missiles, 4 ready to fire
-10 to +10° elevation, powered
-200 to +200° traverse, powered
non-stabilized
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

WZ901

The WZ901 is a police version of the WZ550 4x4 chassis. It is armed with a fully armored one man turret with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun. The WZ901 was produced in limited quantities and seems to have been supplemented by the 6x6 WJ-03B that has a similar turret but is fitted with additional riot control equipment.

WJ-03B

The WJ-03B is a police version of the WZ551A chassis that is primarily meant for riot control. It has vision blocks instead of gun ports and a fully armored one man turret with 12.7mm machine gun. On the turret there are several types of gas grenade launchers. The WJ-03B is not amphibious.

XJZ92

The XJZ92 is an light recovery and repair vehicle based on the WZ551A chassis. It is also known as the WZ531. The XJZ92 is fitted with a crane at the rear and instead of infantry it carries a variety of tools and spare parts. The XJZ92 is amphibious and has two propellers behind the rear tires.

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