The ZBD2000 is an amphibious armoured fighting vehicle, developed for the PLA Marine Corps. The vehicle is a counterpart to the Type 63A amphibious tank introduced in the late 1990s. It features a hydroplane, and has been compared to the US Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV).
The ZBD05 armored fighting vehicle was developed from this, as well as a light tank, a command post vehicle, a recovery vehicle and others.
The ZBD2000 uses a planing hull propelled by two water jets achieving water travelling speed much greater than any current amphibious armoured vehicle in the PLA Marine Corps, on top of its enhanced speed it has increased range, allowing it to launch over over-the-horizon assaults.
The vehicle is designed with hydraulic-actuated bow with transom flaps, designed to aid hull skimming across the surface of the water. When activated the bow and transom flaps with the bottom of the hull form a planing surface, allowing the vehicle to go faster from its hydrodynamic drag reduction on the vehicle’s hull.
The ZBD2000 features flat, boat-like hull, with 6 road wheels and front/rear rollers. A welded turret is mounted in the centre of the hull, with the powerpack positioned in the front and passenger compartment in the rear.
ZTD05 Light Tank
The light tank variant is armed with a fully stabilised 105mm rifled gun. The 105mm rounds carried consist of armour piercing fin stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS), high explosive (HE), and high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds, and Chinese 105mm laser beam riding guidance anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). The 105mm missile offers the capability to engage shore targets whilst still swimming at sea, where conventional ammunition would perform poorly due to the motion of sea waves.
Secondary weapons include 7.62mm coxial mounted machine gun, 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the roof of the turret near the loader, and 2 sets of 4-barrel smoke grenade launchers mounted on either side of the turret. The rear part of the turret have storage rack for additional equipment which also provide additional protection against HEAT rounds.
Fire accuracy is attained by a computerised fire-control system (FCS), including a fire-control computer, light spot commander sight with laser rangefinder input, and light spot gunner sight with passive night vision. For all situation amphibious assault operations, the vehicle is equipped with GPS navigation and thermal imaging system.
The light tank variant is operated by a crew of 4, with driver positioned left-front of the turret, and loader, gunner, and commander occupying the turret.
ZBD05 Infantry Fighting Vehicle
The Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) variant of ZBD2000 was built to accompany the light tank variant in the battlefield in amphibious operations. The vehicle shares the same hull, but replacing the 3-man 105mm rifled gun with a 2-man 30mm cannon turret with HJ-73C ATGM rail launcher positioned on the roof of the turret, and a 7.62mm coxial mounted machine gun. The vehicle has a crew of 3 and can carry 7-8 (Squad) armed soldiers in its passenger compartment in the rear. The 30mm cannon isn’t present in any armoured vehicles within the PLA Marine Corps, indicating a possible brand new design 30mm cannon.