Combat vehicles / Infantry fighting vehicles / ZBD04A


General Facts

  • TYPE
    Mechanized infantry combat vehicle


    WZ502G (factory designation)
    ZBD08 (incorrect but widely used designation)

    Mid 2000's


    2007 - present

    China - Norinco



    Well armed
    Improved protection level over ZBD04
    Good all terrain mobility
    Limited amphibious capability


The ZBD04A is a modern mechanized infantry combat vehicle of Chinese origin. The ZBD04A is the succcessor of the ZBD04 and trades in its amphibious capability for an increased protection level. Some sources use the name ZBD08 for this vehicle, but apparently that designation is not used by the PLA.


Although the ZBD04A looks quite different from its predecessor, it basically is the same vehicle. The engine is located at the front right and the drive is seated on the left. The turret is located in the middle and crew compartment is located at the rear. Roof hatches and a rear door allows the 7 infantrymen to enter and exit the vehicle. Compared to the ZBD04 the hull is more squared, interior space is increased since the water jets have been removed and the turret is larger. The chassis is also used for a range of specialist vehicles.


The ZBD04A is well armed with its 100mm cannon and coaxial 30mm autocannon and 7.62mm machine gun. The 100mm main gun can fire HE-Frag shells and may launch anti-tank guided missiles. Since it is stabilized it may fire on the move. For the 30mm autocannon a total of 500 rounds of AP-T and HEI-T are carried.


The ZBD04A is the first Chinese mechanized infantry combat vehicle with a more than basic protection level. Both hull and turret are made of welded steel. Applique armor can be fitted to the hull front, sides and turret front. The claimed protection level is against 30mm autocannon rounds over the frontal arc and 14.5mm rounds all around. Smoke grenade dischargers are fitted to the turret sides and a NBC protection system is present.


The tracked chassis provides the ZBD04A with good cross country performance. This allows the ZBD04A to keep up with modern main battle tanks such as the ZTZ99. Due to the improved armor package the ZBD04A no longer has the same amphibious capabilities of the ZBD04. However, it remains amphibious and is capable of crossing calm water propelling itself with its tracks.


The ZBD04A is used by the Peoples Liberation Army and it complements the ZBD04 for use by mechanized infantry. Thus far the ZBD04A was not featured in export brochures.



ZBD04A: The ZBD04A is a mechanized infantry combat vehicle designed to accompany main battle tanks at the front line. The square hull and larger turret make it easy to distinguish this vehicle from its predecessor.

Numerous variants based on the ZBD04A chassis have been observed. Some of these may remain at the prototype stage.
Command post with increased roofline.
Observation vehicle with sensor mast.
Communications vehicle with aerials and SATCOM equipment
Ambulance without turret and armed with a 12.7mm QJC88 heavy machine gun.

TypeMechanized infantry combat vehicle
Crew3 + 7 (commander, driver, gunner, 7 infantry)
Length7.2 m
Width3.2 m
Height2.5 m
Ground clearance?
Weight24 t
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 6 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear
Turn radius?
EngineWater cooled diesel engine, 590 hp
Power ratio24.6 hp/t
Speed75 km/h on road, 6 km/h in water
Range500 km
Wall0.7 m
Trench1.8 m
ArmorSteel hull and turret
NBC equipmentYes
Night vision?
Smoke2x5 smoke grenade dischargers
Armament100mm cannon
30mm autocannon
7.62mm coaxial machine gun
Weapon1100mm cannon in turret
30 shells/missiles in total
360° traverse, powered traverse and elevation
stabilized in both axis
Weapon230mm autocannon coaxial to main armament
500 rounds in total
traverse and elevation as main armament
Weapon37.62mm coaxial machine gun
2.000 rounds in total
traverse and elevation as main armament


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