BEIJING, September 15 (ChinaMil) -- The ZBD-04A tracked Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV), developed independently by China, is the improved model of China's second-generation tracked AIFV after the Type 86 AIFV.
The ZBD-04A uses the crawler chassis and features a 100mm main gun with a 30mm machinegun. Its defense ability, mobility and firepower are relatively strong. It can effectively support the infantry's operations.
China developed the Type 86 AIFV based on the Russian BMP-1 AIFV in the 1980s. In the 1990s, China began to develop a second-generation AIFV— the Type 04 AIFV. The second-generation AIFV finalized in 2003 was named ZBD-04.
The focus of the Type 04 AIFV has always been on landing operations from the early stage. The special requirements mean that the combat weight of the Type 04 must be strictly controlled, and its water mobility shall be the priority.
Therefore, the defense ability of the Type 04 is not as strong as that of the world's advanced AIFVs where they can defend long-range front-shooting of 30 mm machinegun and side-shooting of 12.7 mm machinegun.
In order to fill these gaps and optimize its design, improvements began on the Type 04. The improved model is today’s Type 04A AIFV.