VN12 - Similar But Not The Same

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TL;DR: A Chinese IFV developed for export that resembles the ZBD-04 series.



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. It can also equip camo-netting. As of yet, no customers have shown interest in acquiring the VN12.

Place In War Thunder:

Autocannon-equipped IFVs have become a staple of War Thunder’s high tier experience. Every major nation has access to at least 2 of such vehicles and the majority of the minor nations have access to at least 1. Unfortunately, China is not one of those lucky minor nations, only having the ZBD-86, which is not blessed with automatic power. There are a number of vehicles that can fill this hole ranging from the ZBD-04 to the ZBD-86G. The VN12 is one such vehicle. It features a very strong and familiar 30mm autocannon along with very strong and familiar ATGMs, which can even have tandem-warheads. On top of this, it is capable of equipping additional armor to protect itself against the autocannons of its contemporaries. The VN12 would be a very nice addition to the Chinese tech tree, potentially acting as a more conventional alternative to the ZBD-04 series if they were to be added. That being said, as the VN12 is an export vehicle, it would make a very good pseudo-equivalent to the BMP-2M.


Armament: 30mm autocannon, 1x 7.62mm machine gun, 2x HJ-73 ATGMs (HJ-73C and HJ-73D)

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

Weight: 23000kg

Armor: The base armor is proof against small arms fire and artillery splinters and the addon armor is proof against 25mm AP.

Crew: 3

Ammunition: 30mm DTC10-30 APDS and HE

Speed: 70kph (land) and 3-4~kph (water)

Horsepower: 600hp


3/4th View:


Turret Close Up:


Equipped with addon armor:


Equipped with addon armor and camo-netting:



ZBD-04 - Wikipedia

Below The Turret Ring: Chinese Armor at Zhuhai VN12 is a Chinese,it is a different design.

1+ need Autocannon at top tier in the tech tree