- Type 63 (armoured personnel carrier)
:"This article is about the amoured personnel carrier. For other uses see Type 63 (disambiguation)."Infobox Weapon
caption=Norinco Type 63
Armoured personnel carrier
manufacturer=618 Factory /
speed=65 km/h, off-road 46 km/h
primary_armament=Type 54 12.7 mm machine gun
armour=14 mm maximum, welded steel
engine=8-cylinder air-cooled, turbo-charged diesel
crew=2 (commander and driver)
engine_power= 320 hp
The Type 63 (industrial designation YW 531) is a Chinese
armoured personnel carrierthat entered service in the late 1960s. It was the first armoured vehicle designed in China without Soviet assistance cite web|url=http://www.sinodefence.com/army/armour/type63.asp|title=Type 63|work=Sinodefence.com] . The design is simple and is comparable to other APCs of its time such as the M113.
Approximately 3,000 were produced by
Norinco, and around 2,300 are still in service. It also equips several armies around the world and has seen action in different conflicts including the Vietnam War, the Sino-Vietnamese War, the Iran–Iraq Warand the Gulf War.
Development was conducted at No.618 factory, with the assistance of MOI (Ministry of Ordnance Industry) and the No.30 Research Laboratory. The design was based on a previous light tank design. Initial development was completed in 1963, and the first vehicles entered service in 1964. However this initial batch has serious problems and further changes were made to the design, resulting in the vehicle entering wide spread service only in 1970 .
The hull is made of welded steel, and provides protection against small arms fire. The vehicle carries a maximum of 15 including crew, which depending on the particular configuration may be two or four, the rest of the passengers are infantry who sit in a compartment at the rear of the vehicle. The driver sits in the front left of the hull, and has a single piece hatch, which opens to the left. The driver is provided with two day periscopes which cover the front and right of the vehicle. One of the drivers periscopes can be replaced by a night vision device. The commander sits on the front right of the hull, and has a single piece hatch which opens to the right. The commander hatch has a periscope on the top surface that may be rotated through 360 degrees. The C and D variants of the vehicle did away with the commander's position in the front right of the hull. Behind the driver, on the left side of the hull is a third crew position, which is provided with a hatch that opens to the left, and like the commander's position has a 360 degree rotating periscope.
The engine sits behind the commander and to the right rear of the driver. It has a large intake located in the top of the hull, with an exhaust on the right hand side. The engine was originally an 8 cylinder air-cooled, turbocharged diesel engine which developed 320 horsepower at 2,500 rpm. The engine feeds a manual transmission with five forward gears and one reverse gear. Track is driven at the front by a drive sprocket, and passes over four rubber-typed road wheels, then loops over an idler at the rear, before returning to the front again. No return rollers are fitted, the track rests on the top of the road wheels. Suspension is of the torsion bar type. The vehicle has a fuel capacity of 450 litres, which gives it a road range of around 500 kilometers. [cite book|title=Jane's Armour and Artillery 2005-2006]
A 12.7 millimetre calibre machine gun is located in an open mount at the front of a small hatch in the center of the hull which opens into the troop compartment. The gun can traverse through 360 degrees and can be elevated to an angle of 90 degrees. Two roof hatches and a large rear door provide access to the troop compartment.
The vehicle is amphibious, a folding trim board stowed at the front of the hull needs to be raised, and the vehicle can then propel itself in the water using its tracks.
* Type 63/YW531: Basic version, not mass-produced
* Type 63A/A531: Production variant with 12.7 mm machine gun
* Type 63I/B531: Stretched version with five road-wheels
* Type 63C/YW531C: Upgraded variant with German engine
* Type 63D/YW531D-Type 63E/YW531E: Command version with one additional radio
* YW701: Command version with five radios and a generator
* YW721: Armoured communications relay vehicle
* YW750: Armoured ambulance
* YW381: Self-propelled 120 mm mortar
* YW304: Self-propelled 82 mm mortar
* Type 70/WZ302:
Self-propelled artilleryversion mounting a 122 mm Type 54-I howitzer
* Type 70/WZ303:
Rocket artilleryversion with 19-tube 130 mm multiple rocket launcher
VTT-323: A North Koreanversion of the YW-531
It is also the basis for the Type 85 and Type 89 APCs.
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