China delivers 44 VT5 light tanks to Bangladesh in 2021


According to the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ) arms trade database, in 2021, China has delivered 44 VT5 light tanks to Bangladesh.
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Chinese-made VT5 light tank in a live demonstration at Air Show China, November 2018. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The Bangladesh Army is already equipped with Chinese tanks, its navy has Chinese frigates and missile boats and the Bangladesh Air Force flies Chinese fighter jets. In 2002, China and Bangladesh signed a Defence Cooperation Agreement which covers military training and defense production. In 2006, a Chinese report to the United Nations revealed that Dhaka is emerging as a major buyer of Chinese-made weapons. China sold 65 large-caliber artillery systems, 16 combat aircraft, and 114 missile and related equipment to Bangladesh in 2006. Bangladesh also bought roughly 200 small arms and regular artillery pieces from China. 

Currently, the Bangladesh army has a total of 276 main battle tanks including 174 Chinese Type-59/598G, 58 Type-69/69C, and 44 Type-90-II also named MBT-2000.

In September 2021, Army Recognition reported that China was ready to deliver the first VT5 light tanks to the Bangladesh army according to a picture published on Twitter. According to information published in December 2019, the Bangladesh Ministry of Defense officially announced that its army has ordered VT5 light tanks from China. The VT5 is now deployed by the Chinese army Xinjiang Military Command and Chinese Marines. 

The VT5, also named Type 15 or ZTQ-15 in the Chinese army, is a lightweight battle tank designed and manufactured by the Chinese defense company NORINCO (China North Industries Corporation). The VT5 was unveiled to the public during the Zhuhai AirShow China in November 2016.

The main armament of the VT5 consists of one 105 mm rifled gun with a thermal sleeve and fume extractor which has a maximum firing range of 3,000 m. The main armament also includes an automatic loading system. The VT5 carried a total of 38 rounds of 105mm ammunition which can include Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APFSDS), High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT), High Explosive (HE), and gun-launched anti-tank guided missile. The missile has a maximum range of 5,000m and is fitted with a tandem HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead able to destroy armored or tanks protected with reactive armor (ERA).

The hull and the turret of the VT5 are made with all-welded steel armor which provides stand protection against the firing of small arms and shell splinters. To increase the protection, the VT5 can be equipped with advanced composite armor and/or explosive reactive armor (ERA).

The VT5 is motorized with a 1,000 hp electronically controlled diesel engine mounted at the rear of the hull. and coupled to a hydro-mechanical full automatic transmission with a pivot steering capability and a cooling system. It can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h, 35 to 40 km/h in off-road conditions with a maximum cruising range of 450 km.


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