The ZLT11, or its more well-known but erroneous name "ZTL11"* (Simplified Chinese: ZLT11轮式突击炮; lit. wheeled assault gun), is a rank VII Chinese light tank with a battle rating of 9.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Ground Breaking".
A member of the ZBL08 wheeled IFV chassis family from the late 2000s, the new 8x8 assault gun is the first and main component of modern PLAGF's heavy composite mechanized brigades since 2011, since the first public appearance in 2015, it has been among the most iconic PLAGF vehicles in the 2010s. It comes with a more powerful engine that pushes it to speeds on par with NATO vehicles (up to 100 km/h) and armed with a powerful 105 mm gun with a variety of ammunitions including high penetration APFSDS and gun-launched ATGMs, as well as boasting a gunner 2nd generation thermal sights, and the ability to travel up to 9 km/h in water. With quite some improvements in terms of protection over its predecessor the PTL02, the arrival of this assault gun finally marks a Chinese wheeled vehicle comparable to its NATO counterparts.
*ZLT11 was the earliest "known" vehicle to use 2012 version of PLA equipment nomenclature, wheremeans Armoured vehicle - Wheeled - Assault gun
Survivability and armour
The good news to players that suffered from PTL02's poor protection against HMGs is that ZLT11 has much more protection than the aforementioned. At point blank range, even some 30 mm autocannon AP shells can't penetrate its frontal armour (rated for 23x152 mm shells),other than the vertical part of the hull, thanks to the thicker and more angled UFP and LFP. However, do not expect the sides or the rear to stop anything larger than 7.62 mm bullets with mere 10 mm plates. ZLT11 is more forgiving than PTL02 in most ways, but it is still a wheeled vehicle, so players should keep themselves away from heated battlefields.
Since the design of ZBL08 focused on comfort for the crew as well as better survivability, the 8x8 chassis is huge (in fact, just like PTL02, it's still taller than a Leopard 2A6); some might even compare it to Class 3 (P) and Radkampfwagen 90 in terms of size. Like most other wheeled vehicles, due to its size and the layout of compartments, over-penetration would be commonplace for such vehicles and this is especially true against subcalibre shells where the spalling will not cause extensive damage to the crew. And thanks to its relatively large size and improved protection, it could survive hits from overpressure by smaller calibre HEAT or rockets, but any rocket bigger than 130 mm can still ruin your day with relative ease.
- Rolled homogeneous armour (hull, turret)
- High hardness rolled armour (as add-on armour: UFP LFP, hull sides, turret front and sides)
- Wheel (tires)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 12+5 mm (75°) Upper glacis
20+10 mm Upper plate
20+10 mm Lower glacis
| 10+10 mm Top
10 mm Bottom
5 mm Engine vents
| 8 mm (2°) Upper plate
8 mm (52°) Lower glacis
| 12+5 mm (15°) Front glacis |
8 mm Crew and engine compartments
5 mm Engine vents
|Turret|| 35-55 mm (32°) Turret front
30 mm Gun mantlet
|25-35 mm (13-18°)|| 25 mm (14°)
8 mm (77°) Turret underside
- Tires are 10 mm thick and wheelwells are 8 mm thick.
- Belly armour is 15 mm thick.
The ZBL08 chassis has a Deutz BF6M1015FC V6 turbocharged diesel engine mounted at the rear of the chassis, outputting up to 440 hp, pushing ZLT11 up to 100 km/h and with a comparable power-to-weight ratio to Centauro I 120 and Rooikat MTTD. However, due to the design of the transmission, the reverse is still at a horrible -8.5 km/h for a wheeled vehicle, barely outperforming its predecessor so overextending means a quick demise if you cannot retreat to safety at once.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
The new and stabilized ZPT98A gun mounted on ZLT11 is a low-recoil gun based on the previous guns, which were based on the well-developed L7 family of rifled guns. It shares similar characteristics to the ZPL94 and its export cousin WMA301, with on-par turret speed to his NATO counterparts yet the age-old problem of a poor depression angle still haunts ZLT11 so it can be troublesome if the terrain is complicated.
|105 mm ZPL98A||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
During the late 1990s, Mainland China acquired 100 mm gun-launched ATGM technologies from Russia, so the ZLT11 also comes with a powerful GP105 tandem ATGM. The statistics are identical to the 9M117M1 Bastion: good travel speed, high TNT equivalent, and a tandem warhead for bypassing ERA. Thankfully, the ZLT11 does not suffer from the BMP-3's massive reload penalty for ATGMs. The GP105's whopping 750 mm of penetration it can take down practically anything it will ever meet at its BR. This is less than the ZBD86's HJ-73E ATGM, but still more than generous. As a beam-riding missile, the GP105 is immune to IRCM and can be guided on the move if necessary.
The Type 83 HEAT-FS round is nothing special. At its tier, the HEAT-FS is generally obsolete and it is the stock ammo for this vehicle, the only advantages over the APFSDS is the ability to cause overpressure damage through its explosive content, but the aforementioned GP105 can perform the same role as well; in fact, GP105 has a higher TNT equivalent than HEAT-FS.
The Type 83 APFSDS round, the first researchable kinetic round for this vehicle, is the same as found on the ZTZ59D1 and shares all its traits, which is still sufficient for its BR but it might struggle when it faces Russian MBTs with higher protection at longer ranges. For example, a fully spaded T-72A with the add-on armour can be difficult to penetrate outside of the standard Soviet weak spots of the driver's port and lower glacis.
The DTB-1 HE-VT round, seen previously on the T-69 II G and WMA301, can be useful to deal with helicopters or low-flying aircraft in very shallow dives. However, this should be done with caution since anything that flies is the last thing the WMA301 wants to face. For anti-helicopter duties, locate the target using the ZLT11's thermal sights, lase them with the laser rangefinder, and fire the round with enough lead to catch them comfortably within the proximity fuse radius. Keep in mind that DTB-1 has a rather low muzzle velocity and it is difficult to hit helicopters that are moving unpredictably and/or staying at long range.
The final kinetic round for this vehicle is the new DTW2 with higher velocity and nearly 150 mm more penetration than its predecessor. This is a common round which is still used by PLAGF at present with a whopping 491mm penetration at point blank range, just comes behind the infamous M900 round found on American vehicles. For its BR it can handle most enemies it might ever face, but T-72B series and later T-80U can be a very nasty enemy with their above-average protection without carefully placed shots. This will be the go-to shell for the vehicle, but bringing some HE-VT and ATGM for knocking down aircraft or higher tier MBTs is also viable.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|40||28 (+12)||12 (+28)||1 (+39)||No|
The turret-mounted 12.7 mm QJC88A HMG has already become the standard HMG for most PLAGF vehicles after the 1990s and this assault gun was no exception. The main usage of the HMG is to deal with lightly protected vehicles and low-flying aircraft including helicopters. It can also effectively damage gun barrels, tracks, optics, MG, and ERA to assist teammates in destroying enemies, though this may require a lot of fire. Players who dealt with the paltry 50-round belt capacity of the 12.7 mm DShK machine guns of previous PLA vehicles will be happy to know that the QJC88A has a much more generous 150-round belt capacity.
However, instead of a traditional 7.62 mm Type 86 coaxial machine gun, ZLT11 has a 5.8 mm QJT machine gun. Although it's a smaller calibre at 5.8x42 mm, it still retains the same penetration from previous 7.62 mm machine gun. It only works well against any exposed crew of enemy vehicles and it might sometimes earn surprise kills on helicopters
|12.7 mm QJC88A|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|5.8 mm QJT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
Speed is the ZLT11's best friend, being an 8x8 chassis, and thanks to a more powerful engine and revised transmission, it can reach a top speed of 100 km/h on road; alternatively the chassis has also designed for difficult terrains so it can still reach 40-50 km/h off road, just keep in mind that mud is always the enemy. Thanks to the pair of propellers behind the wheels and its acceptable weight, the vehicle is also amphibious, so in some maps you might be able to take a detour and strike the enemies with surprise. The protection up front is also sufficient to stop up to 30 mm autocannon APHE shells (aside from where the headlights are), which is a great improvement over PTL02.
With gunner TVD sights, players can search for enemies with ease; it has no commander override capability for the main gun, which is a bit of a let down and sometimes fatal if the vehicle gunnery system survived but not the gunner. The gun is fairly sufficient and sometimes even overkill for its tier, the new DTW2 APFSDS has the second best performance among all 105 mm darts, just comes behind US M900, this round can safely penetrate NATO tanks with ease. Soviet/Russian tanks are by nature tougher to deal with, so either plan your shots carefully for an ensured crew kill by aiming a bit more to either side of the weakspot of Soviet MBTs, or bring some GP105 ATGMs just in case; thanks to its beam riding guidance and no reload penalty, as well as run-and-shoot capabilities, GP105 can ruin the day of most vehicles it might face. Also, just like its Soviet ancestors, this can also be used for anti-rotorcraft missions. Alternatively, the DTB HE-VT shells can also be utilized for AA missions against rotorcrafts or low-flyers with its VT-fuzed warhead.
But all this comes at some cost: first, 8x8 chassis is huge compared even to the heaviest MBTs, and has a fairly big turning radius and ZLT11 is no exception due to only the front 2 pairs of wheels turn, so players of PTL02 might find the vehicle less agile over the previous vehicle, where all the 6 wheels turn; secondly, the reverse gear is still disappointing at a mere -8.5 km/h; and thirdly, the common problem of Warsaw Pact/Mainland China vehicles - its -5° depression angle, which can cause trouble at complicated terrains.
Overall, the playstyle of ZLT11 is fairly the same as their NATO counterparts and a major upgrade from PTL02: flank the enemies, unleash hell with these good ammunitions and speed; and scout for the team at the same time.
Pros and cons
- Overall better protection over its predecessor
- Powerful 105 mm gun with variety of ammunition
- Fast forward on-road travelling speed at 100 km/h
- 2nd generation TVD for gunner
- Spacious hull that helps migrate spalling damage and sometimes overpenetration
- More versatile in terms on anti-aircraft weaponry with ATGMs or HE-VT shell
- Has a laser warning receiver
- Very little armour
- Less agile in terms of turning radius
- Huge target, larger & taller than even Western MBTs
- Insufficient -5° gun depression, eliminating lots of potential engagements
- Can still be overpressured by larger-calibre explosive ordnance
- Horrible reverse speed at -8.5 km/h heavily limits its agility and survivability
- Lack of commander override of main weapon
Back in the 1990s, Mainland China was in need for a new wheeled APC family, with either 6x6 or 8x8 chassis. Among the 3 companies in competition, Factory 256 (NORINCO Chongqing Tiema) finalised their WZ551 6x6 design which was designed in the mid-1980s, and it was successfully commissioned under the name ZSL92 (and later PTL02/WMA301 assault gun). While Factory 617 (NORINCO Inner Mongolia First Machinery) had themselves built a 6x6 assault gun under their factory codename BK1970, and later BK1990 with an 8x8 drivetrain, these designs didn't make it into service, but the experience gained in the process helped Factory 617 develop a new APC with a brand new transmission system. Later, in the 2000s, the designs were accepted by PLAGF and were approved for further development.
Like WZ551 which was first developed for export markets, Factory 617 also developed their new APC family in such a way; the export VN series APC had a variety of drivetrains from 4x4 up to 8x8, numbered VN-1 to VN-3. It featured a modular design for the APC and some commercially available parts to reduce the production cost, such as the licensed Deutz BF6M1015FC engine. Instead of an angular hull design like its Chongqing competitor, the VN featured a sloped and streamlined hull which helped to deflect incoming shells, and was completed with an NBC system. Although it was designed as an export product, PLAGF also bought the VN-1 8x8 APC to boost the mechanization of the army, under the designation of ZBL08 (erroneously called ZBL09 before 2015). From this chassis, PLA developed multiple variants, such as the baseline ZBL08 IFV with 30 mm ZPT99 cannon and HJ-73E missiles; ZSL10 wheeled APC with heavy machine gun; PLL09 with PL96 (D-30) howitzer; and PGL12 scout car with 35 mm revolver cannon.
A major variant of the chassis is the ZLT11 assault gun, first publicly shown in the 70th anniversary of V-J Day in the 7th assault phalanx (coded TJ7xx) during the military parade. It mounts the ZPT98A low-recoil 105 mm cannon and the latest electronics, as well as applique armour bolted onto the chassis. This new wheeled assault gun is now the quick response vehicle of the new composite mechanized brigades of PLAGF, and also for the PLANMC, where the amphibious capability is heavily valued in case of possible landing operations against enemies.
While ZBL08 family has already become the cornerstone of the 2010s PLAGF combined forces, in the early 2020s, there were some images of new prototypes for an 8x8 assault gun appearing on semi-transporters, on-road or in CCTV official videos, featuring a brand-new FCS with CITV from ZTQ15 and rear/center-mounted turret, possibly with an autoloader as well; some even speculated for an remote weapon station with 12.7 mm HMG and 35 mm grenade launcher.
The ZLT-11 armoured combat vehicle is one of the vehicles, based on the modern Type 08 modular 8x8 wheeled chassis, currently in service with the People's Liberation Army of China. The vehicle replaced the six-wheeled PTL02, significantly surpassing it in terms of tactical and technical characteristics. The new wheelbase allows the vehicle to keep the high dynamics, while the ZLT-11 has enhanced protection from additional armour plates. Thanks to this, the vehicle is effectively protected from the fire of heavy machine guns, and even from light autocannons from the vehicle's front.
The main armament of the ZLT-11 is a 105mm rifled cannon, created on the basis of the British L7 gun, that also has the ability to fire anti-tank guided missiles. The vehicle's fire control system includes a combined gunner's sight with a thermal imaging channel and a two-plane gun stabilizer. To overcome water obstacles, the machine is equipped with two propellers at the stern. In addition to the version for domestic use, an export version of the vehicle with a different composition of armament and equipment was also created on the basis of the ZLT-11. Export vehicles are mainly intended for deliveries to African countries.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
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.
|China North Industries Corporation (中国兵器工业集团有限公司)|
|Light Tanks/IFV||▂Type 62* · Type 62* · Type 63-I* · ZBD86|
|Main Battle Tanks|
|WZ120||Type 59* · ZTZ59A* · ZTZ59D1|
|WZ121||Type 69* · T-69 II G**|
|WZ122||ZTZ88A · ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ96A (P)|
|WZ123||ZTZ99-II · ZTZ99-III|
|SPAA||ZSD63* · WZ305* · PGZ09 · PGZ04A|
|Tank Destroyers||PTL02 · WMA301** · PTZ89 · ZLT11|
|*Previously Fifth Ministry of Machine Building vehicles|
|China light tanks|
|Type 63||Type 63-I|
|Type 62||Type 62|
|WZ551||PTL02 · WMA301|
|ROC||M41D · M64|
|USA||␗M8 LAC · ␗M3A3 Stuart · ␗M3A3 (1st PTG) · ␗M5A1 · ␗M24 · ␗M18 GMC|
|USSR||␗T-26 · T-26 No.531 · ␗PT-76|