Welcome! This is the BK1990 (105), one of an experimental family of wheeled vehicles that were in the same strain of design as the current ZBL-08 IFV family. In fact, the BK1990 is something of an ancestor to the ZBL-08 chassis! What do you get with the BK1990 (105)? For one thing, mobility, at 90 km/h, the BK1990 (105) is able to outrun most tanks, while still retaining a tank’s firepower with its 105mm gun. In many ways, this vehicle can be seen as a prototype of the ZTL11 found in-game. Anyways, let’s get into some history!
A parade of WZ-551s during the 1990s.
When entering the 1990s, the People’s Liberation Army was going through a major shift in military doctrine and equipment. Not only was technology from the Western world helping improve the PLA, but China itself had been working on new designs due to the influx of technology. Part of this doctrinal shift was a switch to faster and more light wheeled vehicle types. For many years, China had relied on tanks such as the Type 59 to fill the anti-armor role, but developments like the WZ-141 program proved that light vehicles capable of airborne operations could work. As such, in the early 1990s, work began on a wheeled 6x6 or 8x8 APC family, and one of the 3 competitors was Factory 617, perhaps the most famous factory in China, responsible for numerous important tank developments, including production of the first Type 59s. Also included was Factory 256, who had recently seen their WZ551 design finalized and accepted for production. The other competitor, China National Heavy Duty Truck Group, realized they lacked the production experience required for armored APCs the military required, and as such, were eliminated from the program early on.
Under the direction of chief designer Fang Weixian, Factory 617, also known as the Inner Mongolia First Machinery Group Corporation, started by creating a 6x6 APC chassis, which had a much lower profile and better driving characteristics than the WZ-551. This chassis would be combined with a turret housing a 105mm gun to create a vehicle named BK1970. However, while the design was decent, an 8-wheel configuration was still considered more desirable. Improving further upon the BK1970’s chassis, Factory 617 used a new type of transmission as well as an independent suspension system and a number of other new ideas in designing the chassis. This resulted in a more complex design, but also made it more spacious inside and gave it excellent driving performance. This hull was to be called BK1990.
The BK1970 6x6, armed with a 105 mm gun.
The BK1990 hull.
**In 1999, both Factory 256 and Factory 617 completed their designs. At this stage, Factory 617 had mounted the BK1970’s turret on to the BK1990 hull. Factory 256 had opted to improve upon the WZ551 design. The following year, each factory’s vehicles were evaluated and Factory 617’s BK1990 design was chosen as the superior option, owing to its advanced technological usage, lower profile, superior driving characteristics, and ability to mount large guns, such as the 105 mm already mounted, as well as the capability to mount a 120 mm smoothbore gun. **
Factory 617’s BK1990 design with the BK1970’s turret.
An example of Factory 256’s hull design, seen here mounted with a 122 mm howitzer in a rotating turret.
In the end, neither team’s designs would be adopted, but the BK1990 was very important, as it would later be developed into the VN-1 and VN-2 series of export vehicles, and the experience itself would pave the way for China’s later wheeled assault vehicles, most notably the the ZTL11.
The successor to the BK1990, the ZTL11.
- Weight: Estimated 20 tons
- Body length: 7.64 m (excluding barrel)
- Full width: 3 m
- Overall height: 1.46 m (not including turret)
- Maximum speed: 90 km/h (on-road)
- Cruising distance: 800 km
- Armament: Low recoil 105mm rifled gun (40 rounds)
- 12.7 mm W85 heavy machine gun (500 rounds)
- 7.62 mm Type 86 machine gun (2,000 rounds)
- 76 mm smoke grenade launcher (8 launchers)
- Armor: Supposedly capable of deflecting 25mm rounds frontally from 1,000m, and 12.7mm rounds from 100m on the side.
- Army Guide
- Jane’s Armour and Artillery 2011-2012
Japanese (I couldn’t link the first one directly, likely due to the Japanese characters in the URL):
- 这款轮式突击炮是我军大八轮鼻祖 一原因导致从未装备|中国|陆军|轮式装甲车_新浪军事_新浪网
- 中国09式轮式突击炮安装120mm炮 全球坦克都得绕着走|坦克炮|突击炮|坦克_新浪军事_新浪网