Type 63 (YW531) Armoured Personnel Carrier : People's Republic of China

Accession Number REL/10942
Collection type Technology
Object type Vehicle
Place made China
Date made c 1968
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975

The Type 63 is a tracked Chinese armoured personnel carrier that entered service in the late 1960s. (It is also known by its industrial designation YW 531). It was the first armoured vehicle designed in China without Soviet assistance. The 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 is either a Type 6150L 260 hp diesel engine or, on export versions, an 8-cylinder air-cooled, turbocharged diesel engine KHD BF8L 413F which develops 320 horsepower at 2,500 rpm. The engine feeds a manual transmission with five forward gears and one reverse gear The Track is driven at the front by a drive sprocket, and passes over four rubber-typed road wheels, then loops over an idler at the rear, before returning to the front again. No return rollers are fitted, the track rests on the top of the road wheels. Suspension is of the torsion bar type. The vehicle has a fuel capacity of 450 litres, which gives it a road range of around 500 kilometers. This vehicle is currently on loan to the RAAC Museum, Puckapunyal.

History / Summary

Approximately 8,000 all types and variants were produced, making it the third most widely manufactured AFV in the world. It equips a number of armies around the world and has seen action in different conflicts including the Vietnam War. This vehicle was procured by the Australian Technical Intelligence Officer in South Vietnam, Major Jim Ellis, from Military Region 1 in South Vietnam in August 1972. The APC and a Type 59 tank, were transported to Da Nang, where they were formally presented to the Government of Australia in a ceremony on 1 September 1972, before being loaded aboard the Army Ship John Monash for transport back to Australia.