China unveils VT5U optionally unmanned driving version of VT5 light tank at AirShow China 2022
A new optionally unmanned version of the VT5 light tank is unveiled at AirShow China 2022, called VT5U. The layout of the new VT5U is similar to the standard VT5 that was unveiled in November 2016.
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New Chinese-made VT5U was unveiled at AirShow China 32022. (Picture source Weibo)
Citing Chinese military information, the U added to the abbreviation of the tank name VT5 is used to describe the light tank offering the capabilities to be unmanned and remotely controlled via a portable console or a drone.
The VT5U keeps the design and the armament of the original VT5 with a crew of three. The driver is seated at the front middle of the hull while the gunner and commander are in the turret. the armament consists of one 105 mm rifled gun with a thermal sleeve and fume extractor which has a maximum firing range of 3,000m. The main armament also includes an automatic loading system.
The VT5U is fitted with several vision systems including three cameras mounted at the front of the hull and one at the rear. The turret is also equipped with four cameras, one on each corner of the turret.
According to our analysis, each camera is fitted with one flat and one spherical lens providing a 360° view around the tank. It's not clear to know if the VT5U could be operated in fully autonomous mode. The tank is to be just controlled in unmanned driving mode. In fact, the turret does not seem equipped with sensors and optics that would allow the control of all firing operations.
Citing information from the Chinese News TV channel CCTV, the VT5U is an unmanned driving version of the standard VT5 light tank.
The VT5U is fitted with Several cameras mounted at the front and rear of the hull as well on the roof turret. (Picture source Weibo)