ZSD-89A Armoured reconnaissance vehicle (heavy)

Would you like to see this in-game?
  • Yes
  • Yes as event or premium
  • No

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ZSD-89A Armoured reconnaissance vehicle (heavy)


  • History:

After entering the 1980s, the Chinese Army was accelerating into the era of mechanization. And the performance of Type 63 armored personnel carriers (APCs), which were heavily equipped at that time, was already relatively outdated. So while developing a new generation of tanks, China also began to develop the second generation of APCs.
In July 1987, China North Vehicle Group (NVG) produced three new APCs, which received the ZSD-89 number in 1990 and were later massively equipped.

In the 21st century, in order to improve the level of information technology of the troops, NVG began to upgrade and improve the Type 89. They redesigned the vehicle body so that the two sides of the body armor appear vertical, with thickened high-strength armor steel plates, the vehicle body showing a pointed wedge shape, and the lights are in the grooves of the armor on the lower side of the front end. At the same time, the vehicle’s powertrain and internal electronic systems were updated. After being finalized, the vehicle became known as the ZSD-89A. as a relatively inexpensive and modern APC, this vehicle was soon equipped in large numbers in the PLA. There were also armored ambulances, self-propelled mortars, radar vehicles, and many other variants.

The subject of our discussion is a modified version of ZSD-89A, equipped with the same reconnaissance turret as the ZBL-08. It has the 30 mm ZPZ02 cannon as its main armament, with two crew members in the turret, and the vehicle has not been seen armed with any other weapons. The most distinctive feature of its turret is an optronic mast that can be raised up to 10 meters, which is equipped with a laser rangefinder, thermal imager, millimeter-wave radar, and a laser guidance system (used to direct artillery strikes).In addition to the driver and the two crew members in the turret, the vehicle has at least one other crew member operating the electro-optical mast located at the rear of the vehicle. In reality, such reconnaissance vehicles belong to artillery units and their mission is to guide artillery strikes.

Reconnaissance drone loading:

Raised photovoltaic mast:

The ZBL08, which has the same turret, has its radar retracted:

  • In War Thunder

The ZSD-89A Armoured reconnaissance vehicle is in my opinion the best of the many improvements to the ZSD-89A to add to the game. It has good maneuverability and the 30mm weapon system that is already in the game. Most importantly it has top notch reconnaissance capabilities.

It is well known that retractable CITVs are already in the game (QN506 and 122B), but they are severely limited in height. If the game lowered the restrictions on them ( at least let them rise a little higher) or added more vehicles with optronic masts, players would have more ways to contribute to their team through scouting. It would make the game more fun and would make teamwork more important.

  • Spefications:

Gun : 30mm ZPZ02 auto-cannon with 330 rounds per min

Crew : 4+

Speed : 70kph.

Engine : 450 HP. BF6M1015C 6-cylinder supercharged water-cooled diesel engine with a maximum power of 331kW.

Weight : 18t


12x 81mm Smoke Grenade Launchers

Laser Rangefinder

Two-way Stabilizer

commander and gunner thermal vision

CH300 Integral Integrated Transmission

Reconnaissance drones

  • Endnote:

Since this vehicle hasn’t gotten much media attention in China or in other countries, I’m still missing a lot of parameters about it. If you know anything about it, please provide some basic information.

Also, if you have any thoughts on the introduction of scouting vehicles, or know of any other related vehicles, please feel free to post your thoughts as well.




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Sure as long as we get the recon version of the ZBL-08 as well.



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The ZSD-89A chassis is relatively unknown both in China and the West as it often gets mixed up with the ZBD04 chassis. So it is good that it get more exposure.


Cool. We need it

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We need to fill the gap the autocannon/light vehicles currently only have the QN506 an event vehicle and ZLT11 , so we urgently need to fill the gap, for players who like playing light vehicles

China TT needs this! Chinese have many interesting Auxiliary vehicles that can be added into war thunder. I love this photonics mast, it would be a excellent scout.

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