Dragon Armor DRR63001X Limited Edition PLA ZBL-09 Snow Leopard Infantry Fighting Vehicle - United Nations Peacekeeping Force (1:72 Scale)
"Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed."
- Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Tse-Tung
The new Chinese ZBL-09 Snow Leopard armored personnel carrier was developed by NORINCO. It is a new family of 8x8 armored vehicles. Development commenced in the 1990s. This vehicle was heavily influenced by both Western and Russian armored personnel carriers. This APC was first seen in 2006 undergoing road tests. It was first publicly revealed in 2009. It is a successor to the whole host of ageing Chinese armored vehicles. It might also replace the Type 92 APC and Type 92 IFV. Currently it is being produced in large numbers for the Chinese Army. The ZBL-09 is also being proposed for the export customers as the VN-1. It has been exported to Venezuela and possibly some other countries.
The ZBL-09 was developed from a 6x6 armored personnel carrier, which was revealed in 2006. This vehicle had advanced modular design. Its construction consisted of 6 modules, including engine module, transmission, control, suspension, hull and weapon station module. It was aimed at the export customers, but received no production orders. Development of the 8x8 which became the ZBL-09 followed immediately.
Armor of the Snow Leopard provides all-round protection against 7.62 mm armor-piercing rounds. Front arc withstands 12.7 mm armor-piercing rounds. Protection can be enhanced with add-on modular composite ceramic armor. Chinese sources claim, that maximum level of all-round protection with add-on armor is against 12.7 mm armor-piercing rounds. Front arc withstands 23-25 mm armor-piercing projectiles. Side protection is against 12.7 mm armor-piercing rounds. With add-on armor fitted the ZBL-09 can be even considered as a wheeled IFV. It is speculated that vehicle utilizes design elements and technologies protecting crew and passengers from landmines and improvised explosive devices. Vehicle is also likely to have NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.
Pictured here is a limited edition 1:72 scale replica of a People's Liberation Army ZBL-09 Snow Leopard infantry fighting vehicle painted in a United Nations Peacekeeping Force scheme. Only one vehicle comes packed in every 24-piece assortment hence the higher price.
Release Date: May 2020
Historical Account: "Bridge-Building" - Over the past five years, China has significantly upped its financial and personnel contributions to UN peacekeeping initiatives to rebrand the Chinese position in the international balance of power. From providing roughly 3 percent of total financial contributions in 2013, China currently contributes 10.25 percent of the UN peacekeeping budget. Beijing's increased financial commitment can most explicitly be seen from President Xi Jinping's pledge, at the 2015 Peacekeeping Leaders' Summit in New York, to contribute $1 billion to peacekeeping over the next five years. In line with its financial support, China has also trained 8,000 People's Liberation Army troops to serve as a permanent standby militia for UN peacekeeping operations. Because of these grand maneuvers, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that China stands to become an "honest broker" and "bridge-builder" in international conflict.
China's ascendancy in UN peacekeeping engagement is contrasted by the United States' recent cutbacks in both financial and personnel contributions. On March 21st, the U.S. Congress decided to reduce its foreign aid spending by $3.4 billion (roughly 6 percent) for the 2018 fiscal year. Similarly, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley proclaimed on March 28th that the United States was "just getting started" after announcing that Washington will no longer shoulder more than 25 percent of the total UN peacekeeping budget.