Chinese airborne troops execute live-fire training

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A ZBD-03 airborne armored infantry fighting vehicle fires at a simulated target at an undisclosed area on the plateau of northwest China during a live-fire training exercise.

An airborne regiment with the PLA Air Force organized its ZBD-03 airborne armored infantry fighting vehicles to conduct a live-fire training exercise at an undisclosed area on the plateau of northwest China on July 18, 2016, to hone troops’ combat capabilities at high altitudes.

The ZBD-03 is the latest generation of airborne infantry armoured fighting vehicle used by the Chinese Armed Forces (PLA).

The ZBD-03 is equipped with a single man turret, armed with a 30mm gun and one single missile rail launcher is mounted at the top of the turret for the HJ-73C antitank guided missile (ATGM) . Secondary weapon includes a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun.

The first generation of the ZBD-03 was called ZLC2000, this vehicle was designed, developed and manufactured by the Chinese Defense Company Norinco. The ZLC2000 tracked vehicle was introduced by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) in 2003.

It has been designed for being air dropped by medium-sized transport aircraft such as Il-76M. NORINCO provided the ZLC2000 in three variants: command and control; infantry fighting vehicle; and anti-tank guided missile carrier. The ZBD-03 was presented for the first time to the public, during the military parade in Beijing, the 01 October 2010, for the 60th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China 1949 – 2009.

The ZBD-03 armour protection is limited by its weight restrictions for air dropping. With a combat weight of 8 tonnes, the vehicle’s armour is supposed to be thin and can only resist small calibre weapons.

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