Military Review

Type 63. Chinese view of armored personnel carriers

27

Combat buses. Type 63 (the factory designation of the YW531 model) was the first Chinese armored personnel carrier, which was developed independently without Soviet help and without regard to Soviet models of military equipment. The new combat vehicle was put into operation at the end of the 1960 years and is still in service with the PLA. The machine, which is a kind of Chinese analogue of the American tracked armored personnel carrier M113, turned out to be quite successful. On the basis of the Type 63 BTR, many models of special combat vehicles were created, including self-propelled 120-mm mortars, 130-mm MLRS and 122-mm self-propelled howitzers.


It is believed that for the entire time of serial production by a large Chinese industrial corporation Norinco, approximately 8 thousand Type 63 armored personnel carriers of all modifications were produced. The armored personnel carrier was actively exported. This combat vehicle was used by the armed forces of the DPRK, Albania, Iraq, Sudan, Vietnam and other states. In many countries, the Type 63 APC is still in service. Like many samples of military equipment of the second half of the 20th century, the Chinese tracked floating APC Type 63 managed to take part in a number of wars and local conflicts, including the Vietnam War, the Sino-Vietnam War, the Iran-Iraq War, and the first Persian Gulf War.

The history of the creation of the Type 63 armored personnel carrier


Before developing their own APCs, the Chinese military actively used Soviet combat vehicles, their licensed copies, as well as adapting Soviet equipment with minor modifications of their own. So since 1956, the PLA has been armed with a six-wheeled Type 56 armored personnel carrier, which was a licensed copy of the Soviet BTR-152. In addition, the Chinese military had a tracked armored personnel carrier based on a light floating tank, an exact copy of the Soviet PT-76. The armored personnel carrier itself, which received the designation Type 66, almost completely repeated the Soviet tracked floating BTR-50P.


It is worth noting that for a long time the Chinese were engaged in what they are perfectly able to do today. Produced under license and copied other people's samples of military equipment, as well as made changes to them and modernized during operation. In this regard, the creation of the Type 63 armored personnel carrier, which did not rely on Soviet developments, is a very interesting example from stories Chinese defense industry. The combat vehicle created in China in the 1960 years received a simple design and was comparable with armored vehicles of this class from other countries, for example, with the American main armored personnel carrier M113.

As early as July 1958, the Chinese government proclaimed a new strategic national plan for scientific development, which also provided for the creation of new models of armored vehicles, including tracked armored personnel carriers. Initially, it was planned to finish the work on creating such a machine already in the 1960 year, but in reality the development time was very long. To create a new armored personnel carrier, the design bureau of the northern machine-building plant was involved, which later became part of the Norinco corporation - one of the largest manufacturers of Chinese weapons.

Since the model of the new BTR was created by Chinese designers practically from scratch, the creation process dragged on, the project continued until the 1967 of the year. Despite the originality of the model, many elements had to be borrowed from Soviet counterparts. This was especially true of the chassis, in the construction of which Chinese engineers used elements of the Soviet amphibious tank PT-76 (Type 60) and the floating tracked armored vehicle BTR-50P (Type 66). The Chinese borrowed torsion bar assemblies from the Soviet models, the technology for the production of road wheels and even tracked tracks. The power plant was also difficult to call original, since the well-proven V-diesel engine, the famous B-2, which was also installed on the T-34-85 tanks and its Chinese counterpart, Type 58, was taken as the basis. The water cooling engine, which received the designation 6150L, differed from the tank in the reduced number of cylinders - 8 instead of 12, as a result, the diesel engine had less power, which was quite enough for an armored personnel carrier.

Type 63. Chinese view of armored personnel carriers

In the process of creation, the concept and layout of the machine changed several times, until in 1963, the Chinese designers settled on the option that later went into mass production. Then the machine was first assigned the Type 63 index. The main changes concerned the layout. The Chinese have come to a decision that is characteristic of most manufacturers of such equipment. The engine compartment was moved closer to the middle of the armored personnel carrier on the right side. This was necessary to make the location of the power plant and transmission more rational and to provide paratroopers with the opportunity to exit through the aft door. Then it was decided to strengthen the armament of the armored personnel carrier, replacing the 7,62-mm machine gun with a large-caliber machine gun. The first prototypes in the new layout were presented in the 1964 year, but their refinement continued for quite some time. Still, the lack of experience of Chinese designers affected. The serial production of the Type 63 tracked armored personnel carrier was only launched at the end of the 1960's, and the first public demonstration took place in the 1967 year when an armored personnel carrier took part in a military parade in Beijing.

Technical features of the Type 63 BTR


The body of the new combat vehicle was made of rolled armored plates by welding. The maximum thickness of the armor plates in the bow of the hull reached 14 mm, the sides and stern were weaker protected - only 6 mm. The front of the APC had a wedge-shaped shape, while the upper armor plate was installed at a large angle, gradually moving into the roof of the hull, which was slightly raised closer to the stern for the convenience of finding the landing. The lower armor plate was installed at a much smaller angle. The sides of the body of the Type 63 armored personnel carrier also could not boast of large angles of inclination, the aft armor plate was completely installed vertically. Such a reservation provided the machine with protection only against small arms fire of the 7,62-mm caliber and small fragments of shells and mines. The advantages of a combat vehicle, which were supposed to improve its survival in battle, include low altitude. The maximum height of the combat vehicle on the roof of the hull did not exceed 1,9 meters (excluding the machine gun), which made it possible to effectively hide in the folds of the terrain, bushes and use the terrain.


The layout scheme was traditional for armored personnel carriers of the time with a number of nuances. In the front of the hull there were places of the driver (on the left side) and the commander of the machine (on the right side), each of them had its own hatch to climb inside or leave the fighting vehicle, while the commander's place was isolated from the living space of the machine. Immediately after the driver’s place in the center of the hull there was a gunner’s place, which also had its own hatch. Directly on the roof of the hull next to the gunner’s hatch was a heavy machine gun. Behind the commander's seat, an engine was installed, isolated from the inhabited space of the machine by armored partitions. The transmission was located in the bow of the case, access to it was provided through a removable armor plate located in the upper frontal part of the case. The entire aft part of the combat vehicle was occupied by the airborne squad, designed to transport up to 10-13 infantry, including the gunner. In total, the machine transported 12-15 people, including two crew members. There were two large hatches for landing and disembarking motorized rifles in the roof of the hull, but the aft door was the main means of exit. On the sides of the hull and door there were loopholes for firing from personal weapons.

The power plant on the first BTR models with the A and B index was presented by a stripped-down version of the B-2 tank diesel engine developing 260 horsepower. This was enough to accelerate an armored personnel carrier with an 12,5 tonne of combat weight to a speed of 65 km / h when driving on a highway; off-road the vehicle could accelerate to 45 km / h. Quite good performance for armored vehicles of those years. The diesel 8 cylinder engine was paired with a manual gearbox (4 + 1). The car was originally thought to be floating, so it got a sealed enclosure. The movement on the water was carried out by rewinding the tracks, the maximum speed on the water surface did not exceed 6 km / h. Cruising on the highway was approximately 500 km. On armored personnel carriers, starting with version C, as well as on export vehicles, a more powerful German air-cooled diesel engine, KHD BF8L, which produced 320 hp was installed.

The chassis of the Type 63 armored personnel carrier was represented by four rubber single-track track rollers on each side, there were no supporting rollers. The drive wheel was installed in front. The machine received an individual torsion bar suspension, while only the first rollers were sprung. The upper branch of the BTR caterpillar was covered by a bulwark consisting of four sections. On bulwarks there was a characteristic stamping, which is also one of the well-recognized elements of an armored personnel carrier.


The main armament of the combat vehicle was a large-caliber 12,7-mm machine gun, which is a Chinese copy of the Soviet DShKM. To the machine gun there were 500 cartridges equipped with tapes stored inside the amphibious compartment of the BTR “Type 63”. Initially, the position of the machine gunner was completely open, but already in the 1980 years, when all armored personnel carriers underwent another modernization, the gunner was protected by a turret with armored plates covering it on three sides. For firing at the enemy, motorized rifles could use their personal weapons, firing from closing loopholes or large hatches located in the roof of the hull.

The first experience of creating its own armored personnel carrier turned out to be quite successful for China. The combat vehicle created in the 1960 years, like the American M113 armored personnel carrier, is still in service. The exact release numbers are not known, but according to information from open sources in the PRC, they collected at least 8 of thousands of similar tracked armored personnel carriers, which were also actively exported, having survived a large number of upgrades.
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 12 December 2019 18: 31
    +5
    Thank. It is about the Chinese technology materials a little. It was interesting to read.
    1. kapitan92
      kapitan92 12 December 2019 21: 11
      0
      was developed independently without Soviet help and without regard to Soviet models of military equipment
      .
      In this regard, the creation of the Type 63 armored personnel carrier, which did not rely on Soviet developments,

      Machine that is a kind of Chinese analogue of the American tracked armored personnel carrier M113,

      many elements had to be borrowed from Soviet counterparts. This was especially true undercarriage in the construction of which Chinese engineers used elements of the Soviet amphibious tank PT-76 (Type 60) and the floating tracked vehicle BTR-50P (Type 66). The Chinese borrowed from Soviet models torsion bar suspension units, track rollers production technology and even tracked tracks. The power plant was also difficult to call original, since the well-proven V-shaped was taken as the basis diesel engine - the famous V-2,

      The author of the article contradicts himself. So independently, without looking back, or "we blinded him from what was."
      1. YOUR
        YOUR 13 December 2019 04: 01
        0
        An article made up of many contradictions and errors. the crew is not 2 people, but 3 - the commander, mechvod, gunner. Landing - 11 people. Well and what you listed.
        In general, the article is interesting. Indeed, there is very little material on the site about the Chinese army and Chinese weapons and equipment.
        1. Zloystrelok
          13 December 2019 16: 17
          +1
          The shooter is not included in the crew. His duties are performed by a paratrooper fighter. The number of troops changed during operation. As indicated, the maximum of this armored personnel carrier was carrying 15 people, including the commander and driver.
          1. YOUR
            YOUR 14 December 2019 03: 24
            0
            Specially searched on the Internet and read. Crew 3 people, landing 11 people.
            In the photo in your article, armored personnel carriers follow tanks. The arrows are in headsets, not helmets, i.e. are part of the crew. The number of troops is determined by the structure of the unit. Especially to increase the landing by 1 person, no one will bother if the staff of the department is 11 people. It is possible that some improvements were made during operation, but most likely they were related to improving the operational characteristics of the machine.
      2. The comment was deleted.
      3. Zloystrelok
        13 December 2019 16: 12
        +3
        The entire concept of the combat vehicle was developed by the Chinese. Armored hull, internal layout of modules, compartments. This is their first full-fledged own armored personnel carrier. It would be strange not to use ready-made elements, the production of which has already been established. China developed like any other country that did not have its own normal industry, bought or "stolen" technology and launched it. This is how the USSR built its entire industry in the 1920s and 30s.
  2. lucul
    lucul 12 December 2019 20: 12
    +2
    For the first pancake - it’s not bad ...
  3. 30hgsa
    30hgsa 12 December 2019 21: 43
    0
    Schera would it "have been developed independently without Soviet help and without regard to Soviet models of military equipment" if the chassis is shortened from the PT-76, and the engine is V-2 shortened to 8 cylinders?
    1. Kasym
      Kasym 15 December 2019 22: 09
      +1
      This is not a matter of any Soviet components, but in the formation and development of design (engineering) thought (school) in China hi .
  4. Mik13
    Mik13 12 December 2019 22: 30
    +1
    The machine received an individual torsion bar suspension, while only the first rollers were sprung.

    Probably not sprung, but equipped with shock absorbers. That is more correct.
    Installing shock absorbers only on extreme pairs of rollers is a common solution even for modern armored vehicles.
    1. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U 13 December 2019 03: 46
      -1
      Quote: Mik13
      Probably not sprung, but equipped with shock absorbers

      The spring is the same shock absorber as the torsion bar or spring, so everything is correct. See sprung mass.
      1. combat192
        combat192 13 December 2019 11: 17
        +2
        Quote: Vladimir_2U
        Spring the same shock absorber

        Do not write that which you have no idea. Springs and shock absorbers are completely different things.
        1. Vladimir_2U
          Vladimir_2U 13 December 2019 12: 04
          -1
          Eee, well, I mean it in a broad sense.)) I met exactly that rollers with shock absorbers (in addition to torsion bars and springs) were called sprung. But I won’t fight for it. ) I have an idea, in general.
      2. Mik13
        Mik13 13 December 2019 12: 44
        0
        Quote: Vladimir_2U
        Quote: Mik13
        Probably not sprung, but equipped with shock absorbers

        The spring is the same shock absorber as the torsion bar or spring, so everything is correct. See sprung mass.

        Theoretically - correctly, indeed, rollers even with air suspension will be called sprung. The task of the shock absorber is different - vibration damping.

        The fact is that this model of armored vehicles simply cannot have only the first pair of rollers sprung. Otherwise, he could not have reached a speed of 45 km / h on rough terrain. It would just fall apart. Not to mention the fact that the landing in such an armored personnel carrier would simply perish. It would turn into one chop with interspersed elements of equipment. Therefore, I decided that in this case, the Author simply made a mistake and mixed up the words. This often happens when writing large texts.
        1. Vladimir_2U
          Vladimir_2U 13 December 2019 12: 47
          0
          Thank you, for sure, it is the famous "shock absorber strut" that prevents cars from shaking like jelly on springs. ))
      3. Bobik012
        Bobik012 27 March 2021 05: 23
        0
        the spring is not a shock absorber! A leaf spring is a leaf spring. Well, and a spring complete with a torsion bar (apparently this is how you see it) on one suspension unit ... I think even the Chinese did not think of it laughing
        1. Vladimir_2U
          Vladimir_2U 27 March 2021 06: 57
          0
          Quote: Bobik012
          Well, a spring complete with a torsion bar (apparently this is how you see it) on one suspension unit
          If you took off your eyes, you would understand that I don't see like that
          Quote: Vladimir_2U
          The spring is the same damper as the torsion bar or spring, so everything is correct

          Quote: Vladimir_2U
          rollers with shock absorbers (in addition to torsion bars and springs) were called sprung

          Quote: Mik13
          Theoretically - right, indeed, rollers even with air suspension will be called sprung.
  5. Saxahorse
    Saxahorse 13 December 2019 00: 00
    -1
    The Chinese have managed to rivet a lot of their technical stuff, but they write little about neighbors. Thanks to the author!

    The machine is not bad. Their layout resembles MT-LB, the engine is shifted to the middle and the mechanic and commander are in front. It turned out simple, cheap and quite convenient. Involuntarily, our "Shell" is recalled .. And the topsy-turvy arrangement turned out to be more difficult. I don't have my own mind, so even if I bought a license from the Chinese!
  6. Ivan Vasilievich
    Ivan Vasilievich 13 December 2019 08: 18
    -3
    Plain chinese shit
  7. svp67
    svp67 13 December 2019 10: 39
    0
    In this regard, the creation of the Type 63 armored personnel carrier, which did not rely on Soviet developments,
    But how could it not be relied upon when elements from Soviet technology were used and in many respects our construction BMP-1 repeats ...
    1. ser56
      ser56 13 December 2019 14: 53
      +1
      Quote: svp67
      and in many ways our construction BMP-1 repeats ...

      The BMP-1 combat vehicle was adopted by the Soviet Army of the USSR Armed Forces in 1966.
      the author writes "The first prototypes in the new layout were presented in 1964,"
      1. The comment was deleted.
      2. svp67
        svp67 15 December 2019 14: 33
        0
        Quote: ser56
        The BMP-1 combat vehicle was adopted by the Soviet Army of the USSR Armed Forces in 1966.
        the author writes "The first prototypes in the new layout were presented in 1964,"

        And their "type 63" got its finished form in the 67th year
        1. LastPS
          LastPS 29 December 2019 15: 00
          +4
          And the M-113 is available from the 60th.
          1. svp67
            svp67 29 December 2019 15: 13
            +1
            Quote: LastPS
            And the M-113 is available from the 60th.

            Yes, but in it the commander does not sit behind the fur-water, as we have on the BMP-1 and the Chinese
            1. LastPS
              LastPS 29 December 2019 16: 31
              +3
              This is particular. According to the concept, the 63rd directly copies the 113th, of course, taking into account their technical level at that time. Floating tracked armored personnel carrier with a rear hatch for landing and support weapons in the form of a heavy machine gun, designed for transportation of the infantry squad.
    2. Catfish
      Catfish 15 December 2019 14: 22
      +1
      ... Chinese engineers used elements of the Soviet amphibious tank PT-76 (Type 60) and the floating tracked vehicle BTR-50P (Type 66). The Chinese borrowed torsion bar assemblies from the Soviet models, the technology for the production of road wheels and even tracked tracks.


      But certainly not BMP-1, rather it was not a very successful attempt to create your own M113.
      1. LastPS
        LastPS 29 December 2019 15: 01
        +2
        It’s quite a successful attempt.
  8. The comment was deleted.