Land Platforms

NORINCO details VT5 lightweight MBT

01 November 2016
The Chinese VT5 lightweight MBT has a combat weight of between 33 and 36 tonnes depending on its armour package. It is powered by a 1,000 hp diesel engine. Source: Christopher F Foss

China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) debuted its VT5 lightweight main battle tank (MBT) at Airshow China 2016 in Zhuhai.

The VT5 has been developed specifically for the export market and has a combat weight of between 33 and 36 tonnes, depending on the armour package fitted and measures 9.20 m (gun forward) in length, by 3.30 m (with side skirts) in width, and 2.50 m (turret roof) in height.

The baseline hull and turret is all-welded steel armour to which a modular protection package can be fitted depending on the end user's operational requirements. This can include advanced composite armour, explosive reactive armour (ERA), or a mix of the two.

The example being shown at Airshow China is also fitted with bar/slat armour on the turret sides and either side of the hull. This provides a higher level of protection against rocket-propelled grenades and similar weapons fitted with a single high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead.

Survivability is also enhanced by its compact design and low profile, when compared to the latest generation of MBTs.

The VT5's layout is conventional with the driver at the front, turret in the middle, and compact powerpack at the rear.

The two-person turret has the gunner on the left and the commander on the right. Both are provided with stabilised day/thermal sights incorporating a laser rangefinder, and individual roof hatches. The commander has a panoramic sight which allows hunter/killer target engagements to take.

According to NORINCO the computerised fire-control system (FCS) enables stationary and moving targets to be engaged out to a range of at least 3,000 m. The main armament comprises a 105 mm rifled gun which is fitted with a thermal sleeve and fume extractor. This is fed by a bustle-mounted automatic loader with the empty cartridge cases being ejected outside the turret bustle at the rear.

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