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Pakistan Army holds induction ceremony for VT4 MBT

A screengrab from video footage released by Pakistan's ISPR on 30 June showing PA personnel testing a VT4 MBT at an undisclosed location in Pakistan. The VT4 was formally inducted into PA service in a ceremony held on 12 October at Gujranwala. (ISPR)

The Pakistan Army (PA) has formally inducted the China North Industries Group Corporation (Norinco) VT4 main battle tank (MBT) into service.

Video footage released by the Samaa news channel on 13 October shows several examples of the third-generation MBT being displayed at a commissioning ceremony held a day earlier at Gujranwala – home to the PA's XXX Corps (30 Corps) and 37th Mechanised Infantry Division – that was also attended by Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Gen Bajwa, who not only witnessed a demonstration of the tank but also examined a ‘dynamic integrated training simulator', referred to the VT4 as “another symbol of [the] Pakistan–China strategic co-operation and defence collaboration”, adding that “its induction will boost [the] strike capabilities of our formations”. The VT4 is now the most advanced MBT in the PA's inventory.

No details were provided about the number of VT4s commissioned on 12 October but at least a dozen tanks were shown in the footage.

The formal induction ceremony comes after Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistani military, revealed on 30 June that the PA had been conducting “post-shipment inspections” of the first batch of VT4s delivered from China, with images emerging of the tank being used in trials.

In September 2020 the ISPR confirmed Islamabad's plans to induct the VT4, noting that MBT “would be employed in [an] offensive role by strike formations [of the Pakistan Army] after induction”.

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