In the hope of keeping ahead of enemies, both on land and on the water, China is developing the world’s fastest amphibious armored vehicle.
The 4×4 vehicle can reach top speeds of 31 miles/hour (50 kilometers/hour) when travelling in calm waters.
While it is only a proof-of-concept, the vehicle could put China well ahead of the US, whose fastest amphibious armored vehicle can travel at just 6mph (10 km/h).
The vehicle is being built by the North China Institute of Vehicle Research in Beijing.
The camouflage-print vehicle has a v-shaped hull.
This not only prevents hydraulic drag, but also protects against improvised explosive devices.
Compact pump jets alongside retracting wheels give the vehicle its top speeds.
The vehicle is light-weight, weighing at 5.5 tons without armor or weapons.
But China Defense Blog writes: ‘Even with armor and weapons on a production version, it would still likely reach amphibious speeds of at least 12 to 18 miles per hour.’
This still puts it ahead of the US, whose Terrex 2 and BAE SuperAV vehicles can only reach speeds on water of six miles/hour (10 kilometers/hour).
While it is still a proof-of-concept vehicle, if it is put into service, the vehicle will likely deploy from a Chinese hovercraft like the Type 726, as well as the Type 071 landing platform dock assault ships, according to PopSci.
Its range on land and sea remain unknown.