China’s North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) revealed new armoured vehicles and a new active protection system (APS) during the Armour Day it held in Baotou, Inner Mongolia from 15-16 August.
Aimed at promoting NORINCO's products to foreign customers, the event was attended by about 230 guests from 50 countries and included a televised live demonstration. While NORINCO regularly displays its products at foreign exhibits, this was a rare occasion where coverage of a live demonstration has been released.
The company’s new VN-17 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) was revealed for the first time, with the commentary for the demonstration describing it as a “brand-new generation of 30 ton heavy tracked armoured vehicles with the protection level of tanks”. It shares the same powerpack, transmission, tracks, armoured protection, and information systems as the NORINCO's VT-5 light tank.
Unlike the VT-5, which has its engine at the rear, the VN-17’s engine is positioned at the front to the right of the driver to create space for an infantry compartment at the rear. The vehicle seen in the demonstration was fitted with an unmanned turret with a 30 mm cannon, two HJ-12 anti-tank missile launchers, and a panoramic electro-optical system on its roof.
Photographs emerged from the event showing another tracked IFV that did not feature in the live demonstration. This unidentified vehicle appears to have a chassis derived from the old Type 59 tank, suggesting it could be less expensive than the VN-17. It was seen equipped with a turret similar to that used on the VN-12 IFV.
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