Type 85

The Norinco Type 85 tracked armoured fighting vehicle (industrial index: Type YW531H) is an improved version of the Type 63 armoured personnel carrier. The vehicle is bigger, has additional firing ports and periscopes, a longer chassis with an additional road wheel on each side, and is equipped with an NBC protection system.

The Type 85 series was developed in 1985, exclusively for the export market; for the PLA, the very similar Type 89 AFV was designed. The main user of the Type 85 series are the Royal Thai Armed Forces who received their first vehicles in 1987.

Currently, the improved Type 90 AFV is offered for export.

Type 85
Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer Norinco
Origin China
Country Name Origin Year
China 1980
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Burma View
Ceylon (Sri Lanka) View
China 1990 View
Thailand (Siam) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Norinco 1990 View

The hull is made of welded steel, and provides protection against small arms fire. The vehicle carries a maximum of 15 including crew. 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 behind the driver and has a single piece hatch.

The air-cooled, turbocharged diesel engine sits 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 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 five dual rubber-typed road wheels and track-return rollers, then loops over an idler at the rear, before returning to the front again.

A 12.7 millimetre calibre machine gun with armoured shields 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. A total of 1,120 rounds is carried on board. Two oblong roof hatches and a large rear door provide access to the troop compartment. On either side of the forward hull, a cluster of four 76 mm smoke grenade dischargers is mounted.

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. Standard equipment includes an NBC system, a Type 889 or VRC-83 radio, and a Type 803 intercom system.

DesignationsType 85 (YW531H)
Manufacturer(s)China North Industries Corp. (NORINCO)
StatusDeployed by China, Myanmar, Thailand
Production Period1980sProduction Quantityabout 2000
TypeAPCCrew2 + 13
Length, overall6.1mLength, hull6.1m
Width, overall3.1mHeight, overall2.6m
Combat Weight13600kgUnloaded Weightn/a
Radio, externalType 889Communication, crewType 803 intercom
Main Armament12.7mm Type 54 MGAmmunition Carried1120x12.7mm
Gun Traversen/aElevation/Depressionn/a
Traverse RatemanualElevation Ratemanual
Gun StabilizationnoneRangefindernone
Night VisionyesAuto-Loaderyes
Secondary Armamentsmall arms (1)Ammunition Carried-

EngineBF8L413F air-cooled dieselTransmissionmanual 4F/1R
Horsepower320hp at 2500rpmSuspensiontorsion bar
Power/Weight Ratio23.5hp/tTrack Width36.0cm
Speed, on road65km/h (2)Track Ground Contact327.5cm
Fuel Capacityn/aGround Pressure0.55kg/cm2
Range, on road500kmGradient60%
Fuel Consumptionn/aVertical Obstacle0.6m
Turning Radiusn/aTrench Crossing2.2m
Ground Clearance0.46mFordingamphibious
Smoke LayingnoneNBC Protectionyes
Armor DetailsAll-welded steel armor.
(1)Firing ports (three on the left side, three or four on the right side) allow troops being transported in the vehicle to fire their small arms.
(2) Maximum speed of 6km/h on water.

End notes