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Armored Cars: Dongfeng EQ2091XFB

March 30, 2020

The EQ2019XFB undergoing tests in high altitude geography. It’s armed with a remote controlled 14.5mm machine gun.

Since 2010 there has been a gradual surge in Chinese military equipment production far beyond the domestic market’s needs. Wheeled armored vehicles are no exception to this trend and state-owned manufacturers such as Dongfeng pursued fully localized development for its next generation of mobile platforms. There isn’t much of an origin story for the EQ2091XFB other than it came to be at some point between 2015 and 2016. Its product designation subscribes to the Mengshi-series’ nomenclature for export models. The reader is no doubt familiar with Dongfeng’s successful imitation of the AM General HMMWV called the EQ2050.

The EQ2091XFB surpasses its predecessors in every conceivable metric and, for a model that has just entered service with the PLA as the CSK181, it’s available for export.

Chinese media have ignored the EQ2091XFB entirely but checking open sources, such as a very popular e-commerce website, unearthed this vehicle’s critical details. With a maximum weight of 10.2 tons when fully loaded the EQ2091XFB subscribes to the new generation of protected 4×4’s that pack on the armor but scale less than the MRAPs that became popular in the 2000s. It’s a spacious truck too and as many as twelve soldiers fit behind the cab. Adding the section commander and driver puts the EQ2091XFB’s total capacity at 14 people. With its high ground clearance entering the vehicle is made easier with handlebars attached behind the cab doors. Metal steps placed under the doors also help with climbing inside.

Regarding its protection level the monocoque hull, which does have a v-shaped bottom, is strong enough to resist AK-47 rounds or STANAG II–at least according to one seller’s product page. When it comes to mobility the EQ2091XFB enjoys a marginal advantage over its peers. Top speed is 133 kilometers per hour although the engine type is unspecified but it could be a 400 horsepower turbo diesel model. It travels as far as 700 kilometers on a full tank and manages a 60% gradient with ease. Scorching desert temperatures and numbing cold are manageable climates for the EQ2091XFB. Not surprising as it was extensively tested in multiple remote locations within China including the Tibetan Plateau. The combat optimization of the EQ2091XFB extends beyond a single turret on the roof and gun ports for its passengers. Chinese manufacturers today offer a broad selection of weapons tailored for vehicles that puts other militaries to shame.

But the EQ2091XFB isn’t amphibious, being devoid of propellers behind the hull, and fording depth is a little over three feet. The location of the exhaust is a good enough indicator how far the vehicle can be submerged. In the EQ2091XFB’s case the exhaust pipe extends upwards along the right side of the hull and pokes out beneath the passenger windows.

There’s another EQ-series truck that takes after this model but has a double cab layout, or another set of doors behind the driver, and an elongated hull. This remarkable pace of vehicle development now rivals the enormous capacity enjoyed by some NATO allies (France, Germany, and the UK) and even the Russian Federation whose military has gone all in on protected trucks. It ebars repeating the EQ2091XFB is meant for export. Its cousin the CSK181 is being delivered en masse to the PLA, whose branches have no shortage of vehicles, and domestic orders may push several thousand into China’s cities and provinces for various government agencies.

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