ZBD04A

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RANK 6 BRITAIN
Rooikat 105 PACK
ZBD04A
cn_zbd_04a.png
GarageImage ZBD04A.jpg
ZBD04A
AB RB SB
9.7 9.7 9.7
Class:
Research:260 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:710 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The ZhuangJia BuBing LÜDai 04A (ZBD04A式步兵战车), with an industry code WZ502G, is one of the main composition of modern time PLAGF heavy composite mechanized brigades and the most advanced IFV for the army. As part of the military modernization program since 1990s, PLAGF, which had only started the deployment of ZBD86 as their designated IFV on early 1990s, purchased the 2K23 turret system from Rostec after their evaluations on the BMP-3 with negative impression mostly on the hull ergonomics; the new turret system and the designated chassis under the name ZBD97 (WZ502) was developed since 1997 all the way to 2003 and commissioned as the ZBD04 as the new generation PLAGF IFV. Likely due to new stages of military modernization called for revisions on IFV design philosophy, the new IFV adopted a NATO-alike hull design while retaining identical turret system from ZBD04, upgraded protection, mobility and state-of-the-art FCS for the new IFV, leading to the introduction of ZBD04A which has been spotted since 2011.

As the very first dedicated autocannon IFV introduced to Chinese tech tree in Update "Alpha Strike", ZBD04A puts the full-stop of the embarrassing situation where both PLAGF and ROCA couldn't offer any IFV with autocannon; with the superior FCS, mobility for its size and wide variety of domestic/licensed ammunition based on the BMP-3, ZBD04A can be a fearsome flanker with its autocannon or supporting vehicle for the advancing allies - the vehicle will not disappoint players with its new capabilities, be sure to find a large enough object to be your cover in dire situations due to its rather huge size.

General info

Survivability and armour

Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
ESS
Creation of a smoke screen in the direction of movement of the vehicle
LWS
Notifies about the vehicle's exposure to laser emissions
Armourfront / side / back
Hull30 / 25 / 20
Turret65 / 25 / 25
Crew3 people
Visibility86 %

If ZBD04 can be said as the Chinese interpterion of BMP-3 for better crew ergonomics (which was the deal-breaker of BMP-3 with its unique, narrow hatches), ZBD04A is the total departure of Warsaw-Pact/Russian designs with a much larger hull while retaining similar turret from ZBD04. To fit new powerpack which is part of the fruit of ZTZ99A (WZ1001) program, as well as fulfilling the protection requirements from PLAGF, ZBD04A enlarged the engine bay while revising the construction angles of the hull. The vehicle is constructed with RHA armor and covered by either composite plates (by LFP, four blocks) or harden steel plates (on the sides and front of turret), while the turret is constructed with aluminum alloy instead; oddly enough, the aluminum alloy shares identical protection coefficient to conventional RHA armor. To put the front protection in short words: anything below 25 mm caliber and without subcaliber shell is fruitless. The side can also withstand up to .50 cal bullets, thus the overall survivability is quite well for such a huge IFV.

The crew of 3 has similar layout to NATO IFVs - instead of having all crews close to the centerline like BMP series, the driver is placed on the far left of the hull while the remaining two are in the turret (gunner on left, commander on right); while the protection is very sufficient to extend the crew's service, but once penetrated, if the crew are not disabled by higher caliber kinetic shells, hitting the carousel below the turret crews will also turn ZBD04A into a Shenzhou rocket with its turret flying sky high, let alone if the vehicle is at full-load (up to 48 projectiles and 500 30 mm shells), it's always better not being hit at all.

Armour type:

Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 18 mm (82°) UFP

20 mm +30 mm (43°) LFP

20 +10 mm Top
20 mm Bottom
13 mm 13 mm
Turret 40 mm + 15 mm Turret front
40 mm Gun mantlet
40 mm 40 mm 18 mm

Notes:

Mobility

Amphibious
The design allows you to swim and control movement in the water
Speedforward / back
AB78 / 20 km/h
RB and SB70 / 18 km/h
Number of gears6 forward
2 back
Weight22.9 t
Engine power
AB1 145 hp
RB and SB600 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB50.0 hp/t
RB and SB26.2 hp/t

To further increase the mobility of ZBD04A to keep up with MBTs, NORINCO installed new power pack consists of new version of 6V150 (same name as the one on ZBD86 but based on 12V150HB on ZTZ99 series) and CH400D transmission; enabling the vehicle to quickly reach vantage points or flanking enemies with its mobility, as well as retreat from danger much faster than BMP-1 variants.

Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 78 20 22.9 _,___ 1,145 __.__ 50
Realistic 70 18 _,___ 600 __.__ 26.2

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB3 254 → 5 821 Sl icon.png
RB3 116 → 5 574 Sl icon.png
SB4 152 → 7 427 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications213 000 Rp icon.png
356 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 800 Ge icon.png
Crew training200 000 Sl icon.png
Experts710 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 100 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 080 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
140 / 170 / 220 % Sl icon.png
232 / 232 / 232 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
550 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
8 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
8 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
9 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Research:
4 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
550 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement cn.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
9 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods engine smoke screen system.png
ESS
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
550 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
8 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods counterMeasures.png
LWS/LR
Research:
8 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods airstrike.png
Airstrike
Research:
8 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
9 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
30mm_2a42_APDS_ammo_pack
Research:
9 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Research:
9 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods scout streak.png
Scout UAV
Research:
9 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mods thermal sight.png
NVD
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
30mm_2a42_APDS_FS_ammo_pack
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mods scouting.png
Improved optics
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Laser rangefinder
Reduces the error and increases the maximum measurable distance of the rangefinder
Night vision device
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.
Thermal imager
Allows to see thermal radiation in the infrared range day and night

Main armament

30 mm ZPL02 cannon
Two-plane stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in two planes while moving
Ammunition500 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reload1.0 s
Fire rate330 shots/min
Vertical guidance-6° / 60°
Main article: ZPL02 (30 mm)

As part of the main component of ZBD04 series, China acquired the 2K23 turret system from Russia in the 1990s as the mean to quickly enhance the overall firepower of PLAGF IFVs. Both Chinese and Russian systems use identical weapons aside from the coaxial machine gun; in Chinese's case, NORINCO also developed a new autoloader for the onboard missiles thus enabling vastly higher rate of fire than BMP-3 to the equivalent of BMD-4. The ZPL02 (ZPZ02) also carries APFSDS which is lacking on any vehicles with 2A72 autocannon, making flanking much easier thanks to the high penetration.

30 mm ZPL02 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 500 (250) 330 -6°/+60° ±180° Two-plane __._ __._ __._ __._ __._ _.__ _.__ _.__ _.__
Realistic __._ __._ __._ __._ __._

Ammunition

  • Default: APDS · HEF-I* · APDS · HEF-I*
  • 30 mm HE: HEF-I* · APDS · HEF-I* · HEF-I*
  • 30 mm APDS: APDS · APDS · APDS · APDS
  • 30 mm APDS-FS: APFSDS · APFSDS · APFSDS

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
HEF-I* 8 7 6 5 4 3
APDS 85 84 81 77 74 70
APFSDS 102 99 94 88 81 75
Shell details
Ammunition Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
HEF-I* 960 0.39 0.1 0.1 75.46 79° 80° 81°
APDS 1,180 0.29 - - - 75° 78° 80°
APFSDS 1,190 0.13 - - - 78° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
2 __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __

Additional armament

100 mm ZPL04 cannon
Two-plane stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in two planes while moving
Autoloader
Automatically feeds projectiles into the breech. The speed does not depend on the skills of the loader
Ammunition50 rounds
First-order22 rounds
Reload4.0 s
Main article: ZPL04 (100 mm)

Part of the composition of 2K23 system is the iconic 100 mm smoothbore, low-recoil cannon as the main weapon to demolish enemy positions or taking out enemy tanks with ATGM; in this case, PLAGF neither introduce the better 9M117M1 nor developed domestic alternative of such missile, thus affecting the odds to disable enemy MBTs with ERA or composite protection with one shot.

100 mm ZPL04 Reloading rate (seconds)
Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Full Expert Aced
50 - - Two-plane 4.0

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
3OF32 HE 31 31 31 31 31 31
3OF70 HE 36 36 36 36 36 36
APS03 ATGM (tandem) 600 600 600 600 600 600
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
3OF32 HE 250 15.6 0.2 0.1 2.6 79° 80° 81°
3OF70 HE 355 13.41 0.2 0.1 3.54 79° 80° 81°
Missile details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Range
(m)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
APS03 ATGM (tandem) 370 4,000 18.8 0.4 0.01 4.77 80° 82° 90°

Ammo racks

Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
50 __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __

Machine guns

5.8 mm QJT machine gun (coaxial)
Ammunition2 000 rounds
Belt capacity200 rounds
Reload8.0 s
Fire rate801 shots/min
Main article: QJT (5.8 mm)

Like most PLAGF vehicles post-2010, instead of more conventional 7.62x39 mm caliber, ZBD04A adapted the QJT with 5.8x42 mm caliber; while it might sound nowhere threating to armored vehicles, this is not the case for exposed crews.

5.8 mm QJT
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
___ (___) ___ __° __°

Usage in battles

The Best Friend of MBTs

If players have certain extent of knowledge of the ZBD04 series, the original design of ZBD04 is similar to BMP-3; but on the improved ZBD04A, ditching some features for more reliable protection becomes the key for ZBD04A, thus leading to the IFV with superior performance to many of its enemies and now the best friend of PLAGF's MBT columns within their heavy composite brigades.

To say anything about ZBD04A's capabilities, players have to consider for one thing first at all - its role as an IFV. ZBD04A was designed as an IFV from day one, thus thinking of using it as a frontline vehicle means the shortest possible service life of the vehicle. Although the vehicle was designed to stop up to 30 mm caliber shells, facing MBTs or LTs with high caliber cannons is never the best idea to ever consider; taking it as a support vehicle vehicle is always the idea as it doesn't have the side protection like PUMA in Bundeswehr's service. Thanks to the revision of hull design, ZBD04A can stop up to 30 mm full-caliber shells from certain distance up front; this also means better survivability for the crew albeit only having 3 crews in this case, the overall design is much larger than its previous designs or Russian designs, thus migrates some damages from shrapnel is also possible but never take it as granted. The redesigned hull on ZBD04A also further enlarges the profile of the vehicle, thus enemy can spot the existence of the vehicle relative fast in this case; in this case, the hull itself is almost the height of a M1A2 Abrams from side-by-side comparison!

Now the flaws have been addressed, it is the time to introduce the features of ZBD04A: firstly, the improved FCS over BMP-3 series and among one of the best in game thanks to its late introduction by 2011; then the fairly mobility to navigate around the battlefield, after that the impressive protection thanks to the applique armor plates and lastly, the turret system with improved ammunitions. Having a 3rd generation TVD is pretty hard to come by at its tier, let alone CITV system with same TVD definition; if players are having problem seeking for the hiding enemies in complicated terrain, the TVD is certainly the best friend to players, it is always better to find the enemy first then plan to finish them off, instead of CQC which can be extra risky for IFVs; thanks to the improved powerplant developed as part of the WZ123 program, ZBD04A also utilized better domestic engine and dual-flow transmission for its overall mobility, as long as players are aware of their position and where they should be to intercept enemy vanguards, both IFVs or fast MBTs, utilizing the mobility of ZBD04A can often gain players early victories against such targets with a somewhat impressive protection up front - if the enemy didn't destroy the vehicle in one-go or the turret system, chances are ZBD04A can achieve revenge kills against those which almost sent the vehicle back to the hanger. After that, the turret system - it is well known that PLAGF adopted the 2K23 turret system as their IFV firepower, in this case, ZBD04A shares most of the ammunition from its Russian counterpart minus the better ATGM but now has access to APFSDS; this can be said as a game-changer for the vehicle as this enables the 2A72 equivalent (as ZPL02/ZPZ02) with full APDS or APFSDS belt against enemy vehicles, this also further enhance the odds to disable enemies from sides; although lacking more advanced ATGM, the APS03-100 is more than enough to take down most MBTs around its tier with its tandem warhead or sometimes even by overpressure, be sure to aim carefully for long-distance target and sometimes lower the DPI for best result.

Taking ZBD04A as an assault vehicle is a viable option thanks to its sufficient protection and good firepower, but always be extra cautious on enemy vehicles - there are always vehicles that opted to go for the same vantage point or flanking from the sides, thus players have to always turn their hull against any possible targets to minimize the risk of one-hit kill for the enemy; making surprise attacks on them is always the best idea to handle the enemies as they will not have the reaction time to fight back, especially with APDS/APFSDS belt. To make sure the best efficiency against enemy vehicles, some of the tactics will be shown below:

  • T-64 series and T-72A/M series: In most cases their frontal protection is not very sufficient for the APS03-100, but a somewhat angled shots will very likely do magics on their overall protection; in most cases, if players are certain for an one-hit-kill up front, as long as it doesn't hit the fuel tanks, they will very unlikely fight back in this case.
  • T-72B and T-80 series: the tactics is still applicable from above, but their upgraded hull protection called for alternative tactics to handle them; thus if players are well acknowledged on the exact model and make of enemy Soviet/Russian MBTs, instead of aiming for the hull, aiming for the turret front (especially the area around the cannon) is a good idea to disable its gun system or even the whole MBT at once.
  • NATO MBTs aside from Ariete : These MBTs are mostly known for their chemical protection around ZBD04A's tier, although it is viable to hit the hull, such the Leopard 2A4, it is always a good idea to disable their gun system once and for all for maximum security as they can reload as fast as a ZBD04A can (i.e. the infamous Type 90 series), for Abrams series, the turret tactics also applies as well.

Overall, as an excellent flanker for the Chinese tech tree and the introduction of a non-premium IFV for the tree, ZBD04A let players enjoy the features of their counterparts with now more advanced FCS and better autocannon options; it will be a good idea to learn for flranking, interception or sneak attacks against enemy targets, thus ensuring the victory of the team.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Extensive frontal protection with composite plates rated up to 35 mm autocannons (full-caliber shell)
  • Fast and nimble for such a huge IFV
  • Sufficient reverse to get away from danger
  • Improved gunnery system to some Russian equivalents
    • Fixed 4-second reload rate for both missiles or HE shells
    • Access to 30 mm APFSDS
    • Tandem ATGM for taking out MBTs frontally
    • 3rd Gen TVD for gunner and CITV with high magnification
    • Optical target tracking system allows for anti-air capability

Cons:

  • Rather huge target (overall height and length equivalent to an Abrams!)
  • Low RoF for the autocannon
  • Less protected sides without composite screens against chemical energy weapons
  • Lacks more powerful ATGM for higher rank MBTs

History

The Early Attempt - ZBD04

For almost 4 decades since the establishment of the People's Republic, the military has yet to have any IFVs even though being observant to the Cold War changes; but thanks to the military trades since economic reform with Egypt, PLAGF eventually acquired examples of BMP-1 and reverse-engineered ZBD86. By the time ZBD86 was introduced in late-1980s, PLAGF attempted to further modernize the already obsolete chassis with NATO equipment, but incidents of the era and the unreliable subsystems of ZBD86 stalled the overall development of IFV. While NORINCO were still developing their BMP-2 equivalent as the ZBD86-I with a 25 mm ZPT90 turret (the more well-known ZBD86A was yet to be developed until circa 2003), PLAGF's modernization also called for new IFVs for the future battlefields; with domestic alternatives still under development, their laid their eyes onto the successor of the long-gone Red Giant, Russia.

By 1993, Boris Yeltsin's new economic "therapy" has negative impacts to Russia, which also called for exports of Russian equipment as means to earn foreign exchange; Mainland China has already acquired divisions of Su-27SK and now seek for the more advanced Russian equipment as the basis to improve PLA's overall combat capabilities, leading to the Project 934 - a "private" military exhibition at Beijing Nanyuan Airport. To conclude the project, it can be said that the project became a treasure box for almost all PLA branches with new equipment ranging from field air-defense systems, Project 956E DDGs, Su-30MKK, modernized artillery systems and namely, the interest on BMP-3. As the escalation of cross-strait conflicts after the election of new leaderships at Taiwan, to upgrade amphibious units which at the time has no IFV for landing supports, as well as serving as makeshift anti-tank vehicle against the M60A3 TTS and CM-11 fleet in ROCA, PLAGF officials approached Rostec with the interest on the BMP-3 with the best overall firepower among IFVs of the era and waterjet propulsion; although the introduction of BMP-3 was still a viable option, but engineers and officials found a major flaw which became the deal-breaker of the introduction of BMP-3: its unique, two-piece crew hatch which requires infantry to climb then aboard from the vehicle. But the introduction of 2K22 turret system was deemed more reliable, thus the system was introduced while NORINCO would install it onto newly-developed chassis under the code WZ502; an early prototype, ZBD97 was developed in 1997 and has been kept revising until its certification in December 2003 as the ZBD04, marking the completion of Chinese interpterion of BMP-3 and new IFVs for mechanized infantry brigades.

The Ultimate Solution - ZBD04A

To address a missing piece of ZBD04 - its protection, PLA issued the demand for a new IFV that retains identical turret system while vastly improving its protection. The weight and protection of the original ZBD04 also eliminated the options of applique armor or ERA packages, thus leading to the complete redesign of new IFV with a larger chassis while upgrading the protection rated for 30 mm autocannons at certain distance; amphibious capabilities was also retained but only rated for inland water bodies and rivers as the waterjet system was removed. The new IFV was first spotted in 2008 as "ZBD08" until the official statement issued in 2014's "Peace Mission 2014" exercise unrevealed the new IFV as ZBD04A.

Devblog

The ZBD-04 which has a fighting compartment from the Russian BMP-3 was developed in China in the late 1990s and began entering service in the early 2000s. The next model of this vehicle was the modernized ZBD-04A, featuring additional armor and improved electronics. This vehicle was first presented to the general public at a parade in 2015. Today, the ZBD-04A is in service with units and is the most modern vehicle of this class in the People’s Liberation Army of China.

Media

Videos

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


China light tanks
Type 63  Object 211 · Type 63 · ZTS63
Type 62  Type 62
WZ551  PTL02 · WMA301
ZBL08  ZLT11
Type 86  ZBD86
WZ502  ZBD04A
ROC  M41D · M64
Type 59  QN506
USA  ␗M8 LAC · ␗M3A3 Stuart · ␗M3A3 (1st PTG) · ␗M5A1 · ␗M24 · ␗M18 GMC · ␗M41A3
USSR  ␗T-26 · T-26 No.531 · ␗PT-76