Armor: June 28, 2001

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Chinese paratroop units have been issued a new fast-attack vehicle. Basically a cross between a jeep and a dune buggy, the vehicle has four wheels and a rear-mounted engine driving the rear axle. There are seats for four troops. While various weapons can be mounted, the vehicle recently exhibited mounted a 23mm cannon on top of the roll cage and a 7.62mm machinegun in front of the right-front passenger. The vehicle has a combat weight of 1,950 kilograms. It is 2.095m wide, 4m long, and 2.21m high (at the top of the 23mm cannon). The 23mm cannon is apparently a new design, marrying a Russian 23mm cannon barrel to a chain drive possibly copied from the Boeing M242 25mm chaingun system. (Boeing took a chaingun to China for demonstrations, but no orders were forthcoming and Boeing insists that China does not have a license to copy the technology.) The weapon can fire single shots, or bursts at 200 rounds per minute or 400 rounds per minute. The barrel has an extensive muzzle brake to get the recoil of the weapon under control for such a small vehicle. The weapon is fitted with day/night sights and has 200 ready-rounds on board. In the mount on top of the roll bar, the weapon can traverse 360 degrees and can elevate 52 degrees.--Stephen V Cole

 


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