Video: Chinese 'amphibious' armored tank sink in a 30s

A clip recently appeared on the internet showing an armored vehicle believed to be developed by China, having sunk while traveling on a river.
August 18, 2020 | 10:35
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Recently, a 30-second clip was widely shared on the internet about an armored vehicle sinking while traveling on the river. The tank dropped its head in the water and then gradually sank, causing the people on it to quickly jump into the water and swim away.

The Chinese government has repeatedly threatened that it will not rule out the use of force to invade Taiwan and claims to have strengthened its military capabilities in recent years to carry out such an invasion. However, a video released on China's state-run mouthpiece CCTV went viral over the weekend after showing an "amphibious" tank capsizing and ejecting its passengers in short order.

According to the image on the clip, this appears to be the Type-05 amphibious assault vehicle that China has been proud to develop in recent years. As of August 16, China has not had any official feedback regarding the above clip.

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The front of the tank began to sink into the water (Photo: CCTV Clip)

According to Taiwan News, this clip is cut from CCTV 9 show "Military Industry Memory II" (軍工記憶Ⅱ), which originally aired in 2018. It is revealed that during the development of the Type 05 amphibious fighting vehicle, a test run on the Chongqing section of the Yangtze River went awry. During the trial run, the crew, all clad in bright orange life jackets, began to gun the engine to pick up speed. However, as the tank began to accelerate, it rapidly took on water on its front end. Soon, the tank's nose began to plow under the waterline, and the entire contraption lurched downward. The crew found themselves with no choice but to jump into the water as the tank quickly went into a vertical position and disappeared beneath the waters

The incident took place in 2002 during the early stages of the vehicle's development. The video alleged that engineers have since overcome the challenges and claim to be continuously setting new speed records, with the next goal to be enabling self-driving.

The outside world recently became aware of the video after it was posted on CCTV's YouTube channel on July 22 of this year. On Saturday (Aug. 15), Twitter user Hiro Hamakawa posted a 38-second clip of the tank showing the last of the crew members abandoning ship at the 27-second mark.

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China's Type-05 tank (Photo: Army Recognition)

Type-05 tank - China's proud fighting vehicle

According to Thanh Nien, the Type-05 is available in two versions: ZBD-05 and ZTD-05. Each Type-05 carries 8 soldiers and is capable of traveling at speeds of 65 km per on land, and 30 km per hour underwater with an activity range of up to 500 km.

In terms of firepower, the Type-05 armored vehicle is usually equipped with a 30mm main gun, but also has an integrated version of the 105 mm cannon, and in some cases can be equipped with HJ-8 anti-tank missiles with range shot up to 3-4 km. In addition to the main cannon, this armored vehicle line also has a 12.7 mm small machine gun.

The tank in the mentioned sunken vehicle clip is most likely a version using the 105mm main gun.

To transport Type-05 armored vehicles to landing, China currently uses Type-071, Type-072 and Type-075 amphibious ships. So far, the Type-075 assault landing craft is still in the works, but the Type-071 amphibious transport and Type-072 landing craft have long been in service.

Therefore, Beijing has always proudly introduced the Type-05 armored vehicle as an important weapon in an amphibious assault, in the context of China constantly demonstrating military threats on Taiwan and conducting aggressive movements in the Bien Dong Sea (South China Sea).

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A satellite image shows China’s PLA has deployed many amphibious armored vehicles to its newly established amphibious combined arms brigades in the Eastern Theatre Command across from Taiwan. (Photo: Kanwa Defence Review)

In early August, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) claimed in an article that The PLA has deployed more amphibious weapon systems in mainland China’s coastal cities across the strait from Taiwan in a sign that the armed forces are keen to play a key role in the long-standing mission to “reunify Taiwan”.

The SCMP provides satellite images show many Type 05 amphibious armored vehicles deployed to the Eastern Theatre Command, which claims jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait.

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