China's first batch of homemade airdrop-capable armored vehicles has entered service with the PLA Air Force Airborne Troops in Central China's Hubei Province, the PLA Daily reported on Saturday.
The profile of the NORINCO vehicle looks similar to that of the Russian K4386 Typhoon-VDV which is undergoing advanced testing.
Developed by state-owned China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), the light armored vehicles carrying complement of troops can be airdropped from China's Y-20 and Y-9 heavy-lift transport aircraft strait into a battle zone giving its troops an unprecedented attack capability, the report said.
"Three of this type of vehicle can be consecutively airdropped from one cargo aircraft," Yang Liang, a PLA Air Force officer, said on China Central Television (CCTV). "It runs fast, shoots accurately, can wade through water, and has armor protection,” he added.
The CCTV report did not provide a model designation of the vehicle and images published did not show its full profile. The vehicle has what looks like it cannon mounted on top.
The Typhoon can be airdropped from heavy lift aircraft or helicopters. Both the Typhoon and the NORINCO vehicle are 4 X4 light armored vehicles and may have dimensions and weight closely matching one another- given the requirement of being transported by cargo aircraft.
China has been accused in the past of copying a host of Russian military equipment including fighter aircraft and infantry vehicles. In some cases Russia has helped Chinese arms companies develop weapons and platforms.