Welcome to the suggestion for the ST2, a Chinese vehicle that can be best described as a tracked WMA301. It uses an extended version of the ZSD89 APC chassis in combination with Norinco’s 105mm fire support turret. In War Thunder, the ST2 could serve as one of China’s many light tank options, offering a lighter tracked chassis as opposed to main battle tanks or wheeled alternatives.
First surfacing on the Chinese internet in 2014, the first pictures of the ST2 were of it being transported through a city on a trailer. At this time, little information was available, leaving much up to speculation. During its official unveiling in late 2016 and early 2017, Norinco officials stated that the vehicle was intended for the export market, as opposed to being developed for the People’s Liberation Army. The ST2 was marketed by Norinco as a fire support vehicle, or tank destroyer if necessary. It used a somewhat familiar turret, one found previously on the WMA301 and ST1 wheeled assault vehicles, while the chassis was that of an extended ZSD89 APC. This was primarily to be enticing to operators of the ZSD89, allowing them to acquire a fire support vehicle with part commonality with their APC fleet.
Operating this turret is a crew of 3, with the loader positioned at the back left, in front of a 12 round ready-rack of ammunition. The gunner operates the main gun, a 105mm rifled L7 derivative, while the commander is able to use a sight independent of the gunner. To enable better target acquisition, the ST2’s turret is equipped with a laser rangefinder, as well as thermal imaging. Secondary armament includes a 12.7mm QJC88 operated by the loader, and a coaxial 7.62mm Type 86 machine gun for use by the gunner. Norinco offered four main types of ammunition for the 105mm gun, APFSDS-T, HEAT-FS, HE, and its GP105 gun launched anti-tank guided missile. Due to being compatible with NATO 105mm ammunition, the ST2 is also able to fire Western ammunition if necessary.
As mentioned, the chassis was extended, going from 5 roadwheels to 6, likely done to fit the larger turret. The engine of the vehicle is unknown, but is assumed to be the 320 hp Deutz BF8L 413F diesel engine equipping the base ZSD89. Sitting next to the engine on the front left is the driver, who is able to choose from five forward gears and one reverse gear.
However, since 2017, little to nothing has been seen or said of the ST2, leaving its fate unknown, with it likely seeing no interest from the international market. Despite not seeing much success, the wheeled ST1, with the same turret, has seen export sales and even combat service with the Nigerian Army. The ST1 was also a competitor in the Brazilian Army’s VBC Cav program, albeit unsuccessfully.
Crew: 4 (3 in turret, driver in hull)
Weight: 20 - 22 t
Length (gun forward): 7.5m
Hull length: 6.8m
Main armament: 105mm rifled gun
Main armament ammunition stowed: 32 rounds
Main armament elevation: -4.5° / 18°
Secondary armament: 7.62mm Type 86 & 12.7mm QJC88
Engine: 320 hp Deutz BF8L 413F diesel engine (most likely)
Maximum speed: 58 km/h