China is surely ramping up its military capability and with it, sprawling an industry that rapidly introduced rather disturbing military hardware, like the unmanned amphibious vehicle that could stay dormant for months before call to action and weird drone that is designed to drop precision bombs, for examples. The latest to surface is this armored wheeled vehicle with a Hummer vibe by Beijing Zhongzi Yanjing Auto Co. Ltd, or Yanjing Auto, as it is commonly known.
The unnamed vehicle looks pretty much like any run-of-the-mill military personnel transporter, except that it isn’t. It is every bit deadly. Why am I not even surprised? The vehicle, which was exhibited at the recent Beijing Civil-Military Integration Expo 2019, appears to be a regular military personnel transporter until a bunch of launch tubes pop out of its roof.
In all, it has 12 pneumatic launch tubes capable of propelling drones into the air to conduct reconnaissance missions, or carried out “accurate suicide attacks on targets.” Yikes. That’s a bit of unsettling, isn’t it? The reason of concealing the launch tubes is to create an element of surprise, according to its maker words to Global Times. With the launcher equipped, this military transporter clearly has no space for additional troops behind – as you can see in the 2017 photo here:
The 12 drones are made up of four are SULA30 recon drones which are capable of staying aloft for over an hour and eight two-meter wide SULA89 reconnaissance and attack drones, each capable of packing 2 kilograms (4.4 lbs) of explosives intended to incapacitate light armored vehicles, destroy field fortifications et cetera, diving at speeds of up to 180 km/h (112 mph).
The vehicle itself, which has an uncanny resemblance to GMC Humvee, is a 4×4 off-roader that measures 5.7 meters (18.7′) long, 2.4 meters (7.9′) wide and has a top speeds of 125 km/h (78 mph). It looks like it is based on the company’s Chief Command armored wheeled vehicle, or basically, the only published model the company had under its Defender series.
It may have appeared at the recent defense exhibition, but it is, in actual fact, been around since 2017, or least there was an older variant known as “Ferocious Tiger.” Back then, it was described as a self-homing missile launcher. However, as you can see in the 2017 photo, it has a drone-like contraption which was supposedly the munition of the launcher. The recent version might be a model with a launcher updated to launch the aforementioned drones instead.
P.S. We apologize for the potato quality photos. Those are the only photos we have managed to get our hands on.
Images and Source: Liu Xuanzun/Global Times.
Additional images: Yanjing Auto.