Type 90

Manufacturer: NORINCO - China North Industries Group Corporation - CNGC  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Infantry fighting vehicle  


In 1991, China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) announced that it had developed the Type 90 Armoured Personnel Carrier Family, which consists of at least 10 variants. This has also been referred to in some sources as the YW 535 armoured personnel carrier. Some sources have stated that the Type 90 is not used by the PLA. The Type 91 is an improved version of the Type 90 and has the 360 hp diesel engine.

The Type 90 family uses some automotive components of the NORINCO Type 531 H APC, which is also referred to as the Type 85, but has a slightly wider and lower profile hull with a distinct chamfer between the hull sides, which slope slightly inwards, and the roof, together with improvements to its automotive subsystems, especially the transmission.

The Iranian Boraq full-tracked APC, covered in a separate entry, is very similar in some respects to the Chinese Type 90 APC. In recent years China and Iran have signed a number of defence deals and there could well have been one which included the Type 90 APC family, or technology transfer of some aspects of the Type 90 vehicle. According to United Nations sources there were no reports of tracked APCs by China from 1992 through to 2005.

According to NORINCO, the main features of the Type 90 APC can be summarised as follows:

  • All-welded armour hull with lower profile providing the crew with better protection

  • Powered by a KHD BF8L413F air-cooled diesel engine developing 320 hp

  • Fitted with a hydraulic gearbox inclusive of a hydraulic converter with locking clutch

  • Fully hydraulic yoke steering wheel rather than tillers

  • Fully amphibious and propelled in the water by its tracks

* Different vehicle variants in the family

The Type 90 APC is the latest APC to be offered on the export market by NORINCO and 55 have been sold to Myanmar.


The hull of the Type 90 APC is of all-welded steel armour construction which provides the crew with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters. The highest level of protection is over the frontal arc of the Type 90.

The driver is seated at the front of the vehicle and has a single-piece hatch cover and three day periscopes giving observation to the front. The centre periscope can be replaced by a passive low-light-level periscope for driving at night. The vehicle is steered using a yoke-type steering wheel rather than tillers.

The engine compartment is to the right of the driver and is provided with a fire detection and suppression system.

Depending on the model, the Type 90 is powered by a KHD BF8L413F air-cooled diesel engine developing 320 hp or a BF8L513C air-cooled diesel engine developing 360 hp. The engine is coupled to a new hydraulic gearbox, which includes: a hydraulic converter with locking clutch, a hydraulic selector with four forward and one reverse gears and steering having a two-stage planetary steering gear.

The two-stage final drive can be changed to suit the overall weight of the vehicle.

To the rear of the driver is the commander, who has a single-piece hatch cover and a single day periscope.

The troop compartment is at the rear of the hull with the infantrymen entering via a large door hinged on the right. This door is opened manually and is provided with a spherical firing device, vision block and a seat that folds up vertically.

Over the top of the troop compartment is a total of four hatches, two small ones located towards the front and two oblong ones to the rear. A total of four hatches are provided over the troop compartment and all of these open outwards. Two of these are of the circular, domed type and are located one either side and forward of the machine gun cupola. The other two are of the rectangular type and located to the rear of the machine gun cupola.

In either side of the troop compartment are three firing ports with an associated roof-mounted day periscope. The latter are angled forwards.

Mounted on the roof of the vehicle is the 12.7 mm Type 54 machine gun which is protected through about 320. Mounted either side of the hull front is a bank of four forward-firing smoke grenade dischargers.

Suspension either side is of the torsion bar type and consists of five dual rubber-tyred road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear and three track-return rollers. The first, second and fifth road-wheel stations are provided with a hydraulic shock-absorber and the upper part of the suspension is covered by a light sheet-steel skirt. The tracks are single pin with an inner and outer pad, the latter being replaceable.

The vehicle is fully amphibious and propelled in the water by its tracks. Before entering the water the trim vane is erected at the front of the vehicle and the bilge pumps are switched on.

For increased battlefield survivability, the diesel fuel tanks are located one either side externally at the rear of the hull.

Armoured personnel carrier

This is covered in the previous description.

Infantry fighting vehicle

This has a longer chassis with six road wheels and is powered by the 360 hp diesel engine. In appearance it is very similar to the Russian Kurgan BMP-2 and can be fitted with a two-man power-operated turret armed with a 23, 25 or 30 mm cannon and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun.

Anti-tank missile launching vehicle

This has a raised rear roof with a retractable launcher with four NORINCO Red Arrow 8 ATGWs in the ready to launch position with a further 12 missiles being carried inside. The missiles have a maximum range of 3,000 m. The latest version of the Red Arrow 8, called the Red Arrow 8E, has its range extended to 4,000 m and is fitted with a tandem HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead. These missiles are also used with the Red Arrow 8 anti-tank missile launching vehicle based on a 4 × 4 chassis.

Tracked armoured command vehicle

This has additional communications equipment, a 10 m high antenna and a petrol-engined generator to provide additional power for the communications equipment installed.

82 mm self-propelled mortar

This has an 82 mm (or 81 mm) mortar which is turntable-mounted and can be traversed through a full 360. The mortar has a maximum range of 8,000 m with 112 mortar bombs being carried. A 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun is fitted for air defence purposes.

120 mm self-propelled mortar

This has a 120 mm mortar that fires to the rear with a maximum range of 12,000 m with 50 mortar bombs carried. A 12.7 mm machine gun is fitted on the roof.

122 mm self-propelled howitzer

Mounted on the top of the hull towards the rear is a Chinese-built version of the Russian 122 mm D-30 howitzer which, using an ERFB-BB projectile, has a maximum range of 21,000 m with a total of 40 rounds carried. This version would also have the more powerful 360 hp engine and have a longer chassis with six road-wheels.

130 mm (30 round) self-propelled rocket launcher

Mounted on the roof is a 130 mm 30-round rocket launcher with a maximum range of 15,000 m. Details of the actual 130 mm rocket system, which is marketed on a variety of chassis, tracked and wheeled, are given in a separate entry.

Tracked armoured ambulance

This can carry four stretcher patients or a mixture of seated and stretcher patients, standard equipment includes oxygen supply and an air conditioning system.

Tracked armoured recovery vehicle

This is fitted with a roof-mounted hydraulic crane, a 25 kW generator, welding equipment, a battery charger, a high-pressure air compressor, tools and spare parts.

Mine scattering vehicle

This has six road wheels either side and a modified rear on which are six (three either side) 36-round multiple-tube mine scattering launchers that point to the rear.

Property Value
Weight (kg)
Ground pressure (kg/sm2)
Length (mm)
Width (mm)
Height (mm)
Height to hull top (mm)
Ground clearance (mm)
Max. road speed (km/h)
Max. water speed (km/h)
Max. road range (km)
Gradient (%)
Side slope (%)
Vertical obstacle (mm)
Trench (mm)
Power (kW)
Number of forward gears
Number of reverse gears
Main weapon caliber (mm)
Ammunition of the main gun
Elevation (degree)
Depression (degree)

Type 90 quantities:
Country Qnt

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Type 90
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