China Norinco VT series MBTs, History, Performance & Discussion

Introduction:

This topic is about the History, Performance & Discussion of Norinco VT series.

Norinco is one of the largest arms trading companies in China, it mainly exports various armored vehicles, with VT/VN being the two most important series, this topic is about the VT series and will also introduce their foreign variants.

English is not my native language, and the sources are also quite diverse, so if you have any suggestions please feel free.

VT1:

MBT-2000/VT1, VT-1A

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The MBT-2000 was the result of a myriad of Chinese tank developments starting in the 1970s Most of the MBT-2000’s processors were part of the failed 122 series of prototypes and what later became the ZTZ88, while also taking heavy influence from the development of the ZTZ99 during the 1990s.
By the year 2000, the design of the 90-II had been finalized This design, with some local modifications, would begin production in Pakistan by HIT, while a further refined version would be put on the general export market in 2001, known as MBT-2000 Due to restrictions in Ukraine, the version using domestically produced power systems was later referred to as VT1A. Therefore, it can be inferred that China’s term for Ukrainian power systems should be VT1.
VT1 and VT4 adopt a different armor layout from ZTZ96 and ZTZ99/99A, I will show the images later.

Performance

  • Engine: 6TD-2E 1200hp/XXXX 1200hp
  • Weight: 48t
  • Max speed: 70km/h, -31km/h
  • Spin turn: Yes
  • Main gun: 125mm smoothbore gun
  • Shells: All 125mm Chinese APFSDS, HEAT, HE, HE-VT
  • Reload time: 7.1s
  • Machine gun: 7.62mm machine gun + 12.7mm machine gun
  • Gunner thermal: Gen.1
  • Commander thermal: No
  • Commander override: Yes
  • Vertical guidance: -6°, 14°
  • Target speed: 30°/s, 6°/s
  • LWS: Yes
  • APS: No
  • ERA: FY-2(140 KE, 370 CE)
  • Hull protection: ~450-470 RHA + FY-2
  • Turret protection: ~600 RHA + FY-2

Al-Khalid

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Al Khalid was the Pakistani version of MBT-2000, and some modifications were made to meet the needs of the Pakistani army. The ERA layout of the turret and the front of the hull was modified, and it also had the ability to remove the ERA from the turret and use the Electro optical APS.

Performance

  • Engine: 6TD-2E 1200hp
  • Weight: 48t
  • Max speed: 70km/h, -31km/h
  • Spin turn: Yes
  • Main gun: 125mm smoothbore gun
  • Reload time: 7.1s
  • Machine gun: 7.62mm machine gun + 12.7mm machine gun
  • Gunner thermal: Gen.1
  • Commander thermal: No
  • Commander override: Yes
  • Vertical guidance: -6°, 14°
  • Target speed: 30°/s, 6°/s
  • LWS: Yes
  • APS: Soft-killing
  • ERA: AORAK I(5 KE, 370 CE)
  • Hull protection: ~450-470 KE + AORAK I
  • Turret protection: ~600 KE + AORAK I

Al-Khalid I

Al Khalid I is an upgrade from Pakistan to Al Khalid. Unfortunately, I have limited information available. Currently, I only know that its gunner thermal has been upgraded to Gen.2. I hope someone can help me to complete it:)

Performance

  • Engine: 6TD-2E 1200hp
  • Weight: 48t
  • Max speed: 70km/h, -31km/h
  • Spin turn: Yes
  • Main gun: 125mm smoothbore gun
  • Reload time: 7.1s
  • Machine gun: 7.62mm machine gun + 12.7mm machine gun
  • Gunner thermal: Gen.2
  • Commander thermal: No
  • Commander override: Yes
  • Vertical guidance: -6°, 14°
  • Target speed: 30°/s, 6°/s
  • LWS: Yes
  • APS: Soft-killing
  • ERA: AORAK I(5 KE, 370 CE)
  • Hull protection: ~450-470 KE + AORAK I
  • Turret protection: ~600 KE + AORAK I

VT2:

VT2

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VT2 is the export version of ZTZ96A, currently used in Tanzania and South Sudan.

Performance

  • Engine: 12V150ZLD 800hp
  • Weight: 42.8t
  • Max speed: 59km/h, -6km/h
  • Spin turn: No
  • Main gun: 125mm smoothbore gun
  • Reload time: 7.1s
  • Machine gun: 7.62mm machine gun + 12.7mm machine gun
  • Gunner thermal: Gen.2
  • Commander thermal: No
  • Commander override: Yes
  • Vertical guidance: -5°, 12°
  • Target speed: 30°/s, 6°/s
  • LWS: No
  • APS: No
  • ERA: FY-4(180 KE, 450 CE)
  • Hull protection: ~450 KE + FY-4
  • Turret protection: ~390 KE + FY-4

VT2B

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VT2B is the export version of ZTZ96B, there is currently no export record.

Performance

  • Engine: 8V150HB 1000hp
  • Weight: 42.8t
  • Max speed: 75km/h, -34km/h
  • Spin turn: Yes
  • Main gun: 125mm smoothbore gun
  • Reload time: 7.1s
  • Machine gun: 7.62mm machine gun + 12.7mm machine gun(Remote control version is optional)
  • Gunner thermal: Gen.3
  • Commander thermal: ?
  • Commander override: Yes
  • Vertical guidance: -5°, 12°
  • Target speed: 40°/s, 26°/s
  • LWS: Yes
  • APS: No
  • ERA: FY-4(180 KE, 450 CE)
  • Hull protection: ~XXX KE + FY-4
  • Turret protection: ~XXX KE + FY-4

VT3:

VT3

VT3 is the export version of ZTZ99-II/III and only exists in internal files.

Performance

  • Engine: 12V150HB 1200hp
  • Weight: 51t
  • Max speed: 65km/h, -4.6km/h
  • Spin turn: No
  • Main gun: 125mm smoothbore gun
  • Reload time: 7.1s
  • Machine gun: 7.62mm machine gun + 12.7mm machine gun
  • Gunner thermal: Gen.2
  • Commander thermal: No
  • Commander override: Yes
  • Vertical guidance: -5°, 13°
  • Target speed: 30°/s, 6°/s
  • LWS: Yes
  • APS: No
  • ERA: FY-4(180 KE, 450 CE)
  • Hull protection: ~560 KE + FY-4
  • Turret protection: ~560 KE + FY-4

VT4:

VT4

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VT4 is one of the latest foreign trade MBTs developed in China based on VT1 and combined with the technology of ZTZ99A. Its various indicators are among the top in MBTs in service, with a high level of informatization. It also has multiple configurations to choose from, including 1200-1500hp engines. The hull can be equipped with FY-2/FY-4 ERA, FY-2SH ERA on the side, and GL-5 hard-killing APS.

Performance

  • Engine: 12V150HB 1200/1300/1500hp
  • Weight: 52t
  • Max speed: 70km/h, -16.5km/h
  • Spin turn: Yes
  • Main gun: 125mm smoothbore gun
  • Reload time: 7.1s
  • Machine gun: 7.62mm machine gun + 12.7mm remote machine gun
  • Gunner thermal: Gen.3
  • Commander thermal: Gen.3
  • Commander override: Yes
  • Vertical guidance: -6°, 14°
  • Target speed: 40°/s, 26°/s
  • LWS: Yes
  • APS: Hard-killing(Optional)
  • ERA: FY-2(140 KE, 370 CE), FY-4(180 KE, 450 CE)
  • Hull protection: 660+ KE + FY-2/FY-4
  • Turret protection: 660+ KE + FY-2/FY-4

VT4 (THA)

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VT4 (THA) is the Thai version of VT4, featuring a 1300hp engine and FY-2 ERA. It is painted in a tropical rainforest style.

Performance

  • Engine: 12V150HB 1300hp
  • Weight: 52t
  • Max speed: 70km/h, -16.5km/h
  • Spin turn: Yes
  • Main gun: 125mm smoothbore gun
  • Reload time: 7.1s
  • Machine gun: 7.62mm machine gun + 12.7mm remote machine gun
  • Gunner thermal: Gen.3
  • Commander thermal: Gen.3
  • Commander override: Yes
  • Vertical guidance: -6°, 14°
  • Target speed: 40°/s, 26°/s
  • LWS: Yes
  • APS: No
  • ERA: FY-2(140 KE, 370 CE),
  • Hull protection: 660+ KE + FY-2
  • Turret protection: 660+ KE + FY-2

Hyder

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Hyder is the Pakistani version of VT-4, and Pakistan is currently focusing on completing the localization of most of its parts, just like they did on JF-17. The ERA of the Hyder hull is significantly thicker, FY-4 ERA providing better protection capabilities . According to different sources, there are claims of 1200hp and 1500hp for its engines. Currently, the claim of 1200hp is relatively reliable, with the aim of adapting to the environment of its country and extending engine life. Meanwhile, due to its use of FY-4 ERA, it gained 1 ton in weight compared to the basic version, so the power to weight ratio ultimately decreased to 22.64hp/t.

  • Engine: 12V150HB 1200hp
  • Weight: 53t
  • Max speed: 70km/h, -16.5km/h
  • Spin turn: Yes
  • Main gun: 125mm smoothbore gun
  • Reload time: 7.1s
  • Machine gun: 7.62mm machine gun + 12.7mm remote machine gun
  • Gunner thermal: Gen.3
  • Commander thermal: Gen.3
  • Commander override: Yes
  • Vertical guidance: -6°, 14°
  • Target speed: 40°/s, 26°/s
  • LWS: Yes
  • APS: No
  • ERA: FY-2(140 KE, 370 CE), FY-4(180 KE, 450 CE)
  • Hull protection: 660+ KE + FY-4
  • Turret protection: 660+ KE + FY-2

VT4A1

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VT4A1 is the latest model of the VT4 series, which appeared at the latest Zhuhai Air Show. It is equipped with GL-6 omnidirectional hard-killing APS by default, and multiple cameras are installed, providing better situational awareness ability for all crew members. At the same time, unmanned combat is allowed, and all crew members can leave the vehicle for remote control when the combat risk is high.
The hull adopts FY-4 ERA, but unlike Hyder, VT4A1 seems to only use FY-4 in the first row, while the rest still use FY-2

  • Engine: 12V150HB 1200/1300/1500hp
  • Weight: 52t
  • Max speed: 70km/h, -16.5km/h
  • Spin turn: Yes
  • Main gun: 125mm smoothbore gun
  • Reload time: 7.1s
  • Machine gun: 7.62mm machine gun + 12.7mm remote machine gun
  • Gunner thermal: Gen.3
  • Commander thermal: Gen.3
  • Commander override: Yes
  • Vertical guidance: -6°, 14°
  • Target speed: 40°/s, 26°/s
  • LWS: Yes
  • APS: Hard-killing
  • ERA: FY-2(140 KE, 370 CE), FY-4(180 KE, 450 CE)
  • Hull protection: 660+ KE + FY-2/FY-4
  • Turret protection: 660+ KE + FY-2/FY-4

VT5:

VT5

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VT5 is China’s latest generation of export light MBT, aimed at providing rapid firepower support for troops. Compared to the ZTQ15 used by the PLA, VT5 has thicker armor and the same firepower system as ZTQ15, which can fire DTC02-105 at a speed of 4 seconds per round.

  • Engine: 8V150HB 884hp
  • Weight: 33t
  • Max speed: 70km/h, -XXkm/h
  • Spin turn: Yes
  • Main gun: 105mm rifle gun
  • Reload time: 4s
  • Machine gun: 7.62mm machine gun + 12.7mm remote machine gun
  • Gunner thermal: Gen.3
  • Commander thermal: Gen.3
  • Commander override: Yes
  • Vertical guidance: -6°, 14°
  • Target speed: 40°/s, 26°/s
  • LWS: Yes
  • APS: No
  • ERA: XX
  • Hull protection: XX+ KE
  • Turret protection: XX+ KE

VT5 (BGD)

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VT5U

28 Likes

The armor layout of VT1/VT4(Same layout but different materials), more similar to Leopaed 2 but not ZTZ96 and ZTZ99/99A.

7 Likes
1

2

Comparison between VT4 and T-80UD, you may need translation software. The data source is leaked by the Thai military and does not include confidential parts.

4 Likes

I know this isn’t the post for the ZTZ99 but do you by chance have any information on the ZTZ99G? It’s the supposed variant with a 140mm gun.
IMG_7922

9 Likes

A 140mm test bed for WZ1001, that is all i have, sorry.

4 Likes

Must Chinese export tanks can be customize depend the requirement the customer want. The VT-4 exported to Thailand has airco installed for example and the VT5 armor can be upgraded with armor package.

3 Likes

Yes, so I will introduce the exhibition version and variants from different countries separately :)

2 Likes

I heard Bangladeshi VT-5s have upgraded armor. But I cannot confirm whether if it’s true or not

What?does it really exist?

I think it yes, many countries used to test 130/140mm gun.

1 Like

140 would be really fun to use

1 Like

let’s go bro!

6 Likes

140mm cannon exists for sure. There‘s lots of evidence, even real penetrator photo.


Cache_5208bed35a7b6313(1)
And an impressive sub-caliber ammunition for 155mm howitzer (maybe, not sure)

7 Likes

That round is huge

Kek nice
That round next to the 140mm penetrator is DTW-125 and that projectile is ~642mm long

The 140mm apfsds projectile is like 850mm long and the penetrator is most likely roughly 750-775mm long.
Muzzle velocity is 1810m/s
Penetrator is 5.71kg

Penetration according to L-O
733-755mm @ 0m (0)
687-708mm @ 2000m (0)
—-
400-412mm @ 2000m at 60 degrees

It’s like roughly equivalent to M829A4 in best case scenario

2 Likes

Useful information for me, thx.

Gaijin says that MBT-2000 use FY-2 and FY-4, so they have more reliable source, maybe i need to edit my topic.

FY-4 is probably only used around the cage armor

Does MBT-2000’s first extended composite armor mean that 96/99/99A also has first extended composite armor