Welcome to the suggestion post for the WZ-91! This is the prototype for the AFT-09 we currently have in-game. Unlike the AFT-09 though, this vehicle uses the older HJ-8 ATGM that can be found on Chinese helicopters. The older HJ-8’s performance could warrant a lower battle rating, but the WZ-91 could also be a decent lineup filler. I apologize in advance if my information isn’t as detailed or my sources that reliable, there isn’t much (publicly) available information on this particular vehicle, since it was just a prototype. It is also for this reason that I only have two pictures of it, but if you have more pictures of it or information, I’d appreciate it!
The ZDF89 firing an HJ-8 ATGM, based on the Type 89 APC.
Near the end of the 20th century, the People’s Liberation Army began to switch to a more mobile doctrine, which included the induction of several wheeled vehicle designs. One of the most significant developments happened in the 1980s, with the development of the WZ-551 AFV by the 256th factory of the North Industries Group Corporation in Chongqing. While a prototype was available as early as November of 1983, excessive weight and other factors risked crew safety just operating the vehicle. The redesign was presented in 1986, and the improved WZ-551A model was ready in 1994. Around this time, the PLA was also looking to improve its mobile anti-tank missile carriers to fit its changing doctrine. Its primary armored ATGM carrier, the ZDF89, was built on the slower Type 89 APC chassis and technologically was long in the tooth, lacking thermal imaging or a modern fire control system.
The WZ-91, using a WZ-551 4x4 hull, differentiated from the AFT-09 by the raised rear hull in a similar fashion to the ZDF89, and different looking launcher.
With its recent introduction into service, the WZ-551 was an obvious candidate for a more mobile platform. A launcher for the HJ-8 missile was mounted on a 4x4 variant of the WZ-551 in the early 1990s, featuring a raised rear hull to store missiles and to lower the launcher for reloading, factory designated as the WZ-91. This vehicle had a one-man turret, 360° of horizontal rotation and a crew of four.
However, while the HJ-8 was still a satisfactory missile, the HJ-9 was chosen instead. Featuring an extended range, greater penetration, faster speed, and a tandem warhead, the HJ-9 was far superior to the older HJ-8. Before the WZ-91 could see large-scale production, it would undergo changes, including a new thermal imaging system for the gunner, an improved launcher, and the aforementioned HJ-9 missiles replacing the HJ-8 on the vehicle. While the WZ-91 prototype ultimately faded into history, it was one of the last vehicles to use the HJ-8 missile and paved the way for the production vehicle, the AFT-09. The AFT-09 was first seen during a parade celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and continues to see service to this day.
The production vehicle, the AFT-09, featuring a different loading mechanism and launcher, as well as the HJ-9 missiles, which usually have a white arrow on the side of the tube.
- Crew: 4
- Mass: 13 t (Estimate)
- Length: 6.05 m
- Width: 2.44 m
- Height: 2 m (Estimate)
- Main armament: ×4 HJ-8 on launcher, 8 stored
- Main armament elevation: -7/13°
- Defensive armament: 8× Smoke launchers, 4 per side
- Maximum speed: 95 km/h
- Engine: 320 hp Deutz BF8L413FC diesel