Chinese firm builds 'fastest' amphibious assault vehicle

Li Jiayao

Chinese arms maker claims to have built the world's fastest amphibious assault vehicle, VN18

China's weapons maker, Norinco Group, said its VN18 is the world fastest amphibious assault vehicle during a CCTV report revealing the product.

The report showed videos of the VN18 sailing on sea, saying that it can sail at speed up to 30 km/h, which is the fastest of its kind in the world.

"On the waters, it's like a car running at 120 km/h on a highway," said Tan Yongyao, manager of R&D at Norinco.

The vehicle's maximum ground speed is 65 km/h, with a cannon, a machine gun and 14 people on board, according to the report.

The state-owned company dubbed the VN18 as the "strongest on the Earth's surface" when talking with CCTV business channel.

It can be hard to image a fully armored, 26.5-ton combat vehicle to float on water. Engineers in Norinco found some innovative ways to prevent it from sinking.

Aluminum alloys are employed to build the vehicle body. The metal is lightweight compared to steel.

The engine in the vehicle can produce 1,600 horsepower – a feature usually seen on heavy tanks instead of assault vehicles.

More creatively, the tracks and wheels of the vehicle can lifted up into the body to reduce fractions with water.

CCTV commentators said in the report that the VN18 is another example of China's innovative power.


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