The Type 77 amphibious APC was manufactured by China North Industries, universally known as NORINCO. It originated as a copy of the Soviet BTR-50P APC but the Type 77 version displays numerous differences and is powered by a more powerful diesel engine which imparts a better all-round performance. Many of the Type 77's components are also used for the Type 63 light tank.
The layout of the Type 77 is simple and basic whit the crew compartment forward, the main troop-carrying compartment in the centre and the engine compartment in the rear. THe 16 troops carried enter and leave via roof hatches. Armament is limited to a single unprotected 12.7-mm MG located over the commander's roof hatch, but there are firing ports for some of the occupants along the hull sides.
The Type 77 is fully amphibious following minimal preparation, propulsion once in the water being provided by twin waterjets located at the rear.
As well as being configured as an APC, the empty Type 77 may be employed as a forward area load carrier or fuel supply vehicle. With a special artillery variant known as the Type 77-1. The roof may be used to carry a 122-mm field howitzer or an 85-mm anti-tank gun, their crews and ammunition. The pieces are loaded onto the roof from the rear via three ramps which can be carried slung along the hull sides when not in use.
A Type 77-2 carries artillery ammunition and may act as an artillery tractor.
The base Type 77 is also employed is a modified non-amphibious form to carry HQ-2J surface-to-air missile, a copy if the old Soviet SA-2.
Other Type 77 variants include armored ambulance and the usual command and control version provided with extra radios.
Production of the Type 77 ceased during the late 1980s and it remains in service only with the Chinese Army.