Main Battle Tank - China
The MBT-3000, also named VT4 for the export version, is a new generation of main battle tank designed and manufactured by NORINCO. According to this company, the MBT-3000 benefits from the latest technology for main battle tanks specially designed to meet the challenge of high-tech warfare. Its overall performance and combat capability put this tank among the most advanced ones in the world
The MBT-3000 was unveiled for the first time to the public at the International Defense Exhibition Eurosatory in June 2012. At the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition 2014, NORINCO showed for the first time a real model of its new main battle tank. In August 2012, Norinco received diplomats, military officials and defense contractors from 44 countries for a demonstration of its latest tank in export version. At the defense Exhibition AAD 2014 in Pretoria, Namibia’s deputy Defense minister showed interest in the VT4. In January 2018, the Royal Thai Army conducted tests of the VT4 at the Royal Thai Army Cavalry Center located at Adisorn military camp, in Saraburi; Thailand then purchased 28 VT4 main battle tanks and its cabinet approved the repurchase of 10 additional units and more are expected to follow. In July 2019, Pakistan selected the new Chinese tank, of which at least 100 units should replace older MBTs, as the indigenous Al Khalid II is still under development; the first units were delivered in mid-April 2020. In April 2020, Inner Mongolia First Machinery Group Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), is reportedly starting to deliver new VT4 main battle tanks to Pakistan which should receive at least 100 units.
VT4 MBT-3000 MBT variants:
No variants at this time.
The main armament of the VT4 / MBT-3000 consists of a 125mm smoothbore gun fitted with a thermal sleeve and fume extractor. It is fed by an automatic loader that holds a total of 22 projectiles and charges which can be loaded at the rate of eight per minute. The MBT-3000 can carry a total of thirty-eight rounds of main ammunition. Types of separate loading ammunition that can be fired by the 125 mm smoothbore gun include kinetic energy penetrator, high explosive squash head and high explosive anti-tank warhead. The coaxial armament fitted to the right of the cannon is a 7.62 mm machine gun. On the commander's cupola is a remote weapon station armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun, for engaging ground and aerial targets. Mounted either rear side of the turret is a bank of six electrically operated smoke grenade launchers which fire forwards. In addition, the tank is equipped with a set of guided weapons, allowing the use of a guided missile 9K119 Refleks with a range of up to 5 km. This missile is produced in China under license.
|Design and protection|
The overall layout of the VT4 / MBT-3000 is conventional with the driver's compartment at the front, fighting compartment in the center and power pack at the rear. The MBT-3000 has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver. The driver is seated in the center and has a single-piece hatch cover that lifts and swings to the right and in front of this are three-day periscopes, the center one of which can be replaced by a passive periscope for driving at night. The commander is seated on the right and the gunner is seated on the left with both provided with single-piece roof hatches and vision devices. The turret is in the center and is of all-welded steel armor construction to which a layer of composite armor has been added over the frontal arc. To increase the body side protection, the MBT-3000 can be fitted with explosive reactive armor (ERA). Stowage baskets are mounted to the rear and each side of the turret. The latest version of the VT4 MBT is now protected with new armor ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) Level FY-4 providing protection against Tandem Warhead ammunition.
|The VT4 / MBT-3000 is motorized with a water-cooled turbocharged electronic-controlled diesel engine developing 1,300 hp. The suspension is of the torsion bar type with hydraulic shock absorbers and either side consists of six large dual rubber-tired roadwheels with the drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear and track return rollers. To extend the operational range of the MBT-3000, two additional diesel fuel drums can be mounted externally at the rear. The 52-tonnes MBT-300 can run a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 500 km. The MBT-3000 can ford a depth of 4 to 5 m with preparation and a trench of 2.7m. The tank can climb a gradient of 60% and a vertical obstacle of 1.2m maximum.|
|The VT4 / MBT-3000 is equipped with a stabilized fire control including second-generation cooled thermal imager sights for the commander and gunner. The tank is also fitted with a laser range finder. The tank commander position is fitted with a roof-mounted stabilized panoramic sight that allows a target to be acquired and then handed over to the gunner for engagement. Standard equipment of the MBT-3000 includes a collective NBC protection system, IFF (Identification, friend or foe), GL5 active protection system, fire extinguisher feature, air-conditioning system, and explosion suppression system. The active protection system is linked to laser threat warning with smoke shell launchers. The driver position is also equipped with a rear camera and monitor fitted for whilst driving in reverse.|
|One 125mm smoothbore gun, one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, and one 12.7mm remotely weapon station||Improved composite armor for the hull nose and the front part of the turret. Reactive armor can be fitted to each side of the tank.|
|China, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand||52,000 kg|
|Collective NBC protection system, IFF (Identification, friend or foe), GL5 active protection system, fire extinguisher feature, air-conditioning system, and explosion suppression system.||500 km|
|3||Length: 10.10 m; Width: 3.50 m; Height: 2.40 m|
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