VN12 (105) - A Caged Beast

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TL;DR: A VN12 with equipped with a ZLT-05 turret and cage armor.



In the 1990s, China was looking to replace their fleet of aging ZBD-86s. This would eventually lead to the PLA importing the BMP-3 turret in 1996 under license from Russia. After thorough testing, it was decided that the turret and its systems would serve as inspiration for their new IFV. The 100mm and 30mm cannons would be reverse engineered and fitted into an indigenously developed welded turret. This would eventually develop into the ZBD-04 and ZBD-04A, which enter service soon after. The standard ZBD-04 would also be entered into the export market under the name VN11, however, it would not receive much attention as the 100mm cannon would force usual customers to purchase a new type of ammunition. The VN11 was also in direct competition with the BMP-3, which was a proven platform. If someone was truly looking for a dual 100mm/30mm IFV, there would be no reason to pick the VN11 over the BMP-3. To address this, NORINCO would develop a more simple version of the VN11, which would be first publicly revealed in 2014 under the name of VN12. Instead of the dual-cannon setup and barrel-launched ATGMs found on the VN11, the VN12 would be equipped with the same turret as the ZBD-05, which sported a single-cannon setup with two externally mounted ATGMs. The hull would also be slightly redesigned and, while still amphibious, would be driven only by its tracks through the water. This vehicle is capable of equipped addition armor, which provides protection against 25mm AP rounds. The addition of this armor completely negates its amphibious capabilities. Some time in the 2010s, a fire support / anti-tank variant of the VN12 was revealed to the public. This variant of the VN12 was equipped with the turret of the ZLT-05. Unlike the standard VN12, this variant cannot equip the addon armor package as the combined weight of the package and the ZLT-05 turret would likely make the vehicle impractically heavy. In place of the armor package, the VN12 (105) was given the option to fit cage armor around the hull. As of yet, no customers have shown interest in acquiring the VN12 in any form.

Place In War Thunder:

Tracked light fire support vehicles equipped with 105mm/120mm/125mm cannons are essentially the high tier equivalent to light tanks. Every major nation has at least 2 and a few minor nations have at least 1. Unfortunately, China is not one of these nations, with their closest equivalent being the PTZ-89, which has lackluster mobility and cannot compare to the likes of the TAM 2C, 2S25, or AGS. China has a few vehicles that can fill this role, with the VN12 (105) being one of them. It has a similar top speed to the TAM 2C, 2S25, and AGS as well as a very capable armament with very capable ammunition. It would play very similarly to these vehicles. The VN12 (105) would make a very nice addition to China’s sparse 7th rank, potentially before the ZLT-11. That being said, it must be remembered that the VN12 platform was intended for export, so it could also appear as a premium, squadron, or event equivalent to a different fire support vehicle in the tech tree.


Armament: 105mm ZPL-98A cannon, 1x 7.62mm machine gun, and 1x 12.7mm machine gun

Dimensions: 7.50m, 3.30m, 2.95m (L,W,H)

Weight: 24000~kg

Armor: The base armor is proof against small arms fire and artillery splinters and the cage armor protects against weak HEAT fuses and HE fuses

Crew: 4

Ammunition: Same as ZLT-11 in-game

Speed: 70~kph

Horsepower: 600hp


Side View:


Rear View:


3/4th View:



ZBD-04 - Wikipedia


Gur Khan attacks!: Демонстрация новой бронетехники китайской корпорации Norinco на полигоне в Баотоу


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1 Like

1+ could be foldered with the other VN12 with the autocannon?



nice find