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Type 04 IFV
ZBD-04A IFV 20170716.jpg
ZBD-04A at Theme Exhibition of the 90th Anniversary of Chinese People's Liberation Army.
TypeInfantry fighting vehicle
Place of originChina
Service history
In service2004–present
Production history
AFT-10 Launcher
MassZBD-04: 20 t (22 short tons; 20 long tons)
ZBD-04A: 24 t (26 short tons; 24 long tons)
Length7.2 m (23 ftin)[1]
Width3.2 m (10 ft 6 in)[1]
Height2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)[1]

ArmorWelded steel (ZBD-04)
Applique armor (ZBD-04A)
Explosive reactive armor (VN-12)
100 mm rifled gun
30 mm autocannon
7.62 mm coaxial machine gun
4 x HJ-8 anti-tank missiles
Enginediesel 670 hp
SuspensionTorsion bar
500 km (310 mi)
65 km/h (40 mph) (road)
20 km/h (12 mph; 11 kn) (water)


75 km/h (47 mph) (road)
6–8 km/h (3.7–5.0 mph; 3.2–4.3 kn) (water)

The ZBD-04 or Type 04 (industrial designation WZ502)[2] is a Chinese infantry fighting vehicle. It bears some external resemblance to the BMP-3, particularly with regards to its turret and main armament; however, the chassis and internal subsystems possesses a different layout. The earliest prototypes received the designation ZBD-97.[3] An improved version, ZBD-04A, is the vehicle currently in service being produced.[4]


A ZBD-04 IFV during China's 60th anniversary military parade.

The ZBD-04 was designed as the successor to the Type 86 and has been in service with the PLA ground forces since 2006, in the armored units of the Guangzhou and Nanjing military regions. Besides the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) variant, an armored recovery vehicle (ARV) variant is also available. A further improved variant is known as the ZBD-04A.


The ZBD-04 has a crew of three (a commander, a driver, and a gunner) and is able to carry seven troops. The commander and gunner are seated in the two-man turret located in the middle, and the driver with one passenger is located in tandem to the left of the power compartment, located at the front right. Six infantrymen are located in the troop compartment at the rear.

There are firing ports in the left, right, and exit door that allow infantrymen to fire assault rifles or light machine guns from inside the vehicle, even on the move. The vehicle has amphibious capability, designed to swim to shore from a ship. For high-speed swimming, it has two large water jet ports.


The ZBD-04 turret.
Front view of the ZBD-04A turret, featuring weapons from left to right including 30mm coaxial automatic cannon, 100mm rifled gun and 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. The Commander's Independent Thermal Viewer (CITV), gunner thermal sight, emergency daylight sight as well as laser warning receivers can be seen mounted on top of the turret.

The main armament of the ZBD-04 is a two plane stabilised, semi-automatic 100mm rifled gun, capable of firing both HE-FRAG rounds and the 3UBK10 ATGM. Effective range of the HE-FRAG round is estimated to be 4,000m, with a rate of fire of 10 rounds/minute. The 3UBK10 ATGM consists of a laser beamriding missile and a container case. As well as engaging armoured vehicles and fortifications, the missile could also engage low-flying helicopters. The missile has a maximum range of 4,000m, and can penetrate 600mm of armour. The system carries eight missiles inside the turret.

The ZBD-04A also has a coaxial 30mm automatic cannon, with 500 rounds. The cannon can fire both armour-piercing (AP) and HE-FRAG rounds. Rate of fire is 300 rounds/min and range is 1,500 to 2,000m. Like the BMP-3, the ZBD-97 also has a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun located to the left of the main gun. It can also equipped with four HJ-8 wire-guided anti-tank missiles on both sides of the turret.


The ZBD-04 is believed to be fitted with a collective NBC protection system, with its air filter located behind the turret to the right. There is a three-barrel smoke grenade launcher mounted on either side of the turret. The vehicle is fitted with an indigenous-made laser warning and countermeasures system.

While ballistic protection is unknown, it is likely that the vehicle has all-round protection against 14.5 mm rounds and resistance against 20-25 mm shells over the frontal arc.[2]

Observation and Fire-Control[edit]

The gunner has a day/night thermal scope and an emergency back-up day sight. Fire-control system includes a ballistic computer, an electo-mechanical gun stabilizer, and a laser rangefinder. The driver’s hatch mounts three periscopes, with the central periscope being able to be replaced by an image intensifying night vision periscope. On the original ZBD-04, The commander has a day sight and an image-intensifying night sight. On the ZBD-04A, commander has been upgraded to an independent thermal sight that can rotate 360 degrees.



Designation for ZBD-04 prototype.
Standard variant.
ZBD-04 HJ-8
Based on original ZBD-04 with four additional HJ-8 anti-tank missile mounted on the turret. [5]
The ZBD-04A (industrial designation WZ502G, sometimes referred to as ZBD-08) is an improved variant that sacrifices amphibious performance for better armor protection; add-on armor can be fitted, and the frontal arc can withstand 30 mm rounds along with side skirts added. Although the vehicle is still amphibious, able to propel itself by its tracks to ford lakes and rivers, it lacks waterjets and can no longer operate in open sea.[6][1][7]
ZBD-04A AT (AFT-10 Anti-Tank Missile Carrier)
ZBD-04A's chassis works as the mobile launching platform for AFT-10 (HJ-10) anti-tank missile. Noted the AFT-10 is a specific version of HJ-10 missile that designed for firing from vehicle launching platform such as ZBD-04A.
ZBD-04A Command Vehicle
Modified from original ZBD-04A, featuring a crew cabin with higher ceiling.
ZBD-04A Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle
Equipped with radars and electric-optic sights for battlefield surveillance, the chassis of the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle is modified from standard ZBD-04A. The recon equipment is mounted on a retractable mast.
ZBD-04A Armored Recovery Vehicle
Equipped with a crane for emergency vehicle service.


Modified export variant with 30 mm autocannon and improved explosive reactive armor.[8]
Export variant based on ZBD-04A.


 People's Republic of China


See also[edit]

Related development
  • ZBD-03 - airborne combat vehicle developed by China
  • ZBD-05 - amphibious fighting vehicle developed by China
  • ZBL-08 - wheeled infantry fighting vehicle developed by China
Similar ground systems


  1. ^ a b c d ZBD-08 - Military-Today.com
  2. ^ a b Type 97 - Military-Today.com
  3. ^ http://www.armystar.com/m/view.php?aid=28544
  4. ^ http://politics.people.com.cn/n/2015/0903/c398090-27543439.html
  5. ^ A new modification of the ZBD-04 (Type 04) — Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance BRM (China) - survincity.com
  6. ^ "Details about China's ZBD-04A Tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicle". China Military Online. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  7. ^ ZBD04A - Weaponsystems.net
  8. ^ http://below-the-turret-ring.blogspot.ca/2016/10/chinese-armor-at-zhuhai.html
  9. ^ "People's Liberation Army Ground Forces Modernisation" (PDF).

External links[edit]