China: unidentified company mounts machine gun on Changan CS95 SUV

An unnamed Chinese defense contractor has developed a Changan CS95 SUV with a roof-mounted, remote-control .50-caliber machine gun. The example given by the Romanians with a Dacia Duster first displayed in 2013 has given ideas to other companies, so far without commercial success.

China unidentified company mounts machine gun on Changan CS95 SUV roof
Changan CS95 fitted with RWCS armed with Chinese QJC-88 heavy machine gun (Picture source: SINA)

Images showing the Changan SUV and its main gun from every angle turned up on Chinese internet portal The machine gun is part of a remote control weapon station that includes electro-optical sensors and is aimed from the back row of seats by a control box. Ammunition is stored on the left side of the vehicle; a sensor package sits on the right.

The 4x4 SUV itself is a Changan CS95, a Chinese-made seven-seater that comes with full leather interior and a panoramic sunroof, as well as navigation, entertainment, and remote-control systems. The machine gun is the Chinese QJC-88 heavy machine gun, which is basically equivalent to the M2 .50-caliber gun used by the U.S. and NATO. The Chinese weapon's 12.7mm round, adopted from the Soviet Union, is slightly larger but also slightly slower than its Western counterpart. The gun has a rate of fire of 550 to 600 rounds per minute and a maximum effective range of approximately 2,000 yards.

The 12.7mm gun is overkill for most security threats short of full combat on an open battlefield. On top of that, the vehicle does not appear to be armored. And with only 229 horsepower under the hood, it's worth asking whether the CS95 has enough muscle to move four passengers, the heavy machine gun, potential hidden armor, and bulletproof glass. The vehicle could be used for VIP protection, but then again, the enormous, menacing-looking machine gun would seem to draw attention.

This Chinese militarized SUV has a predecessor: during a military parade for the National Day in Romania, on December 1, 2013, the Romanian Ministry of Defense showcased a special Dacia Duster SUV modified for military use. The Dacia Duster Army was the highlight of the traditional military parade that takes place each year under Bucharest’s Arch of Triumph monument.

RomTurungia is a manufacturer of conversions and special adaptations ordered by Dacia in Romania. RomTuringia and UMB (Uzina Mecanica Bucuresti) developed this armed version of a Dacia 4 × 4 Duster on call for tenders from the Romanian army at the request of NATO. The whole work was conducted under the direction of Renault Technologie Roumanie (RTR). The Duster military vehicle complies with NATO standards and with the Romanian Army’s transport necessities.

The vehicle is fitted with a series of special features including an armoring system, additional underbody protection for the engine, gearbox, fuel tank and rear differential, removable winch, anchoring system for air transport, capability to tow military trailers, “black out” and camouflaged lighting systems, plus exterior 12V and 24V sockets. The vehicle is fitted with a remote control weapon station armed with a 7.62mm machine gun.

China unidentified company mounts machine gun on Changan CS95 SUV roof 2
Dacia Duster with RCWS armed with 7.62mm MG displayed at BSDA 2018. The vehicle was unveiled in Bucharest, during the Romanian National Day parade of December 1, 2013 (Picture source: Army Recognition)