Land Platforms

China unveils heavy IFV concept

25 February 2019

An image of the VT4-based HIFV model at IDEX 2019. The extensive ERA arrangement that would be possible, and to some extent necessary, with such a design is clearly visible on the hull roof. The turret, however, remains relatively unprotected. Source: Chinese Ministry of Defence

Key Points

  • Norinco has unveiled a concept for a heavy IFV based on the VT4 MBT
  • The vehicle is only likely to progress as a concept if an export customer is found

China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) revealed a concept for a heavy infantry fighting vehicle (HIFV) based on the VT4 export main battle tank (MBT) at the International Defence and Exhibition Conference 2019 (IDEX 2019), held in Abu Dhabi from 17 to 21 February.

A model of a tracked vehicle was displayed on the Norinco stand at IDEX 2019 carrying the characteristic digital camouflage that the company uses to denote export vehicles.

The model shows a concept for an HIFV based on the VT4, with the engine relocated to the front of the hull from the rear, leaving room for infantry dismounts. It serves as an example to demonstrate the level of additional armour that could be fitted to the vehicle if the design was accepted into service.

An armament for the HIFV is provided in the form of the turret from the tracked ZBD-04A IFV that is in service with China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). This turret is a copy of the turret used by the Soviet-designed BMP-3 IFV and carries a 100 mm low-pressure gun and a 30 mm coaxial cannon.

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