Dragon Armor DRR63001 PLA ZBL-09 Snow Leopard Infantry Fighting Vehicle - Digital Camouflage, Parade Version (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 1:72 scale replica of a People's Liberation Army ZBL-09 Snow Leopard infantry fighting vehicle in a digital camouflage pattern.
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Release Date: May 2020
Historical Account: "Multi-scale Camouflage" - Multi-scale camouflage is a type of military camouflage combining patterns at two or more scales, often (though not necessarily) with a digital camouflage pattern created with computer assistance. The function is to provide camouflage over a range of distances, or equivalently over a range of scales (scale-invariant camouflage), in the manner of fractals, so some approaches are called fractal camouflage. Not all multi-scale patterns are composed of rectangular pixels, even if they were designed using a computer. Further, not all pixelated patterns work at different scales, so being pixelated or digital does not of itself guarantee improved performance.
The first standardized pattern to be issued was the single-scale Italian telo mimetico. The root of the modern multi-scale camouflage patterns can be traced back to 1930s experiments in Europe for the German and Soviet armies. This was followed by Canadian development of Canadian Disruptive Pattern (CADPAT), first issued in 2002, and then with US work which created Marine pattern (MARPAT), launched between 2002 and 2004.