In the 1980s, the MBT-2000 faced a shift in its development. Originally, the gearbox and engine were intended to be sourced from Germany, but a Western arms embargo forced a change of plans; which led to Ukraine becoming the new source for the powerpack.
Over time, China devotes towards developing its own technologies. This innovation laid the groundwork for the MBT-3000 program, intended for global export and serving as the successor to the MBT-2000 export tank. The VT-4, born from the MBT-3000 project, continued to make waves. Exhibitions such as the 2014 Norinco Armour Day and the 10th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition served as platforms to show the strength of their new export MBT.
Thailand’s strategic arms procurement decisions revolve heavily around financial constraints, geopolitical disruptions, and limited defense budgets; facing restricted access to Western arms manufacturers due to sanctions and cost. Initial attempts to acquire additional T-84 BM Oplot-T tanks from Ukraine faced complications due to economic and geopolitical challenges. Ultimately, China’s VT-4 turned out as the most cost-effective alternative.
Thailand approved the procurement of VT-4 MBTs, delivering the first batch in 2017.
The VT-4 Overall
The VT-4, China’s export version of the MBT-3000 Main Battle Tank is armed with a 125mm smoothbore gun, it carries 38 rounds of various ammunition types (APFSDS, HE, HEAT-FS), a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and RCWS turret with a 12.7mm gun. The tank can launch guided missiles, including the 9M119(F) “Refleks” with 5km range.
Operated by a crew of three, hull and turret contain composite armor with along with FY-4 ERA. Its 1.300hp water-cooled turbocharged diesel engine allows for a maximum road speed of 70 km/h and a cruising range of 500km. The tank demonstrates impressive off-road capabilities, fording water, crossing trenches, handling gradients, and navigating.
Equipped with a stabilized fire control system, laser-warning-system (LWS), thermal imager sights, laser range finder, and panoramic sight, the VT-4 ensures advanced target acquisition for both the commander and gunner.
A definite add however, I hope its not added how the current VT-4A1 was. The composite is lacking, and the ERA blocks aren’t even modeled individually. I’m not very familiar with Chinese ammunition exports, would they operate the BTA4 APFSDS-T round? Is there a newer one being exported because I thought China had developed a better round and made an export version of the DTC10-125 APFSDS-T round. Anyways, +1 expect it in the main tree with the VT-4A1 being foldered on it.
Thailand was never part of Japan, but was a military ally to Japan during WWII. The nations also remained on friendly terms after, making it a suitable subtree option despite Japans military cooperation after WWII (due to the nature of the Japanese constitution) are more limited.
I don’t think that will be an issue. Thailand as I said was not a colony, but an ally. The nations have also continued good relations and Thai players I know generally are not opposed to the idea.
The Chinese side already has an objectively superior tank and can (and should, since they made it) receive an exact copy either as Chinese vehicle or part of their own subtree (I personally prefer Pakistan).
Politically the tank should be no issue, VT-4 is used by Thailand, Thailand is a good subtree for Japan. It would only be an issue as a Japanese VT-4, which this wouldn’t be.
Similarly a Chinese F-16A would be a problem, but a Taiwanese F-16A in the Chinese tree is perfectly fine.
This has always been part of the game and I don’t think it is a problem to represent the growing export success of China through representation in other trees, similar to common US or SU exports.
My opinion stays, a Thai VT-4 is perfectly fine for Japan, so long as China also gets a VT-4, since its their tank.
There is American vehicles in the Chinese tree too, which did not require consent. While the argument can be made that the ROC split to ROC and PRC, which is a valid argument, that still leaves US vehicles operated by Taiwan under no influence from China in this tree. Don’t get me wrong, I am perfectly fine with that, but it does provide a double standard.
You wouldn’t, for example, need to ask me as a German if I consented to the SdKfz 222 operated by the ROC in a tree under PRC flag.
This might seem like a big issue put like that, but once again the Thai option has the military connection as well as approval of Thai players. The only disapproval coming from a thrid party, which in case of other subtrees or even one off vehicles like the T-90S or the Swiss Hunter wasn’t considered.
Nations like the US often face their own vehicles in this game, partly under Chinese tree, represented under the PRC flag. Whats to note here is that those vehicles, while under that flag are still ROC vehicles, in no way disrespecting US players. They only show export success of the nation.
I would agree this is a problem if the VT-4 was Chinas most powerful tank, but they have significantly more powerful options.
So I believe Gaijin should allow Thai vehicles originated from China under the same conditions all export vehicles were allowed. As long as the Chinese tree is treated respectfully and receives their vehicles too it will only benefit both trees, which is why that is what I prefer.
That is a possible thing they can do. While I don’t think they need to do this it would still be a suitable subtree.
I’d still say add all Thai vehicles, but it would always be nice to see any.
It is clear that the VT-4 should only be placed in the Chinese tech tree, especially considering that China does not have as many options for MBT in the future as the Soviet Union, the United States, and Germany, so the VT-4 should not appear in other tech trees other than China
You can argue that it is reasonable for China to add the sdkfz222 or the UK to add the t90s to the VT4 to Japan, but Germany has a large number of armored vehicles, so even if an sdkfz222 is added to China, Germany can still have other vehicles to add to retain the German characteristics, and the Soviet Union can add a lot of MBTs such as t90ms or obj187 to highlight the Soviet characteristics even if it does not have the t-90s, but China is different
And Japan has less options than China, even with the full Thai subtree, so the VT-4 will be very helpful.
The point I am making is not to only give it to Japan, but to give the Thai VT-4 to Japan and either a Pakistani or Chinese VT-4 to China, no country would lose, just like both Germany and Chine got the SdKfz 222. In fact, with more players using it, bbug reports would be more plenty which will end up helping the vehicle get an accurate representation in both trees.
So again, China will not lose a tank, they will also get a VT-4.
I’d say don’t expect this vehicle to be present in the Japanese tech tree. The original Thai subtree for Japan was submitted with all Chinese export vehicle excluded for some sensitive reason apparently. Gaijin will probably not overlook this concern so this vehicle will most likely not for Japan.
Go check out T-84 if you want future Japanese top tier vehicle.
Gaijin is known to do unexpected things, we never know what might happen.
On one hand the VT-4 was a sensitive topic, Chinese players did not want to lose a tank like what happened to the KF41. They added VT-4A1, but even now VT-4 is different. Naturally the concern is high, nobody wants one nations vehicles exclusively in another tree.
I don’t really think there would be an issue once China has the tank, as that was the main concern. It is under the Thai flag, fighting battles with and against random nations as everyone else.
Ultimately we wouldn’t even know if they plan to add it, even with a subtree. Until it is added it’s only speculation wether it will be added in a later update or never.
+1 for VT-4 in Chinese tech tree. While I do support the Thai subtree for Japan, I do believe that VT-4 and other Chinese vehicles would fare better in Chinese tech tree since it’s still a fresh and new tech tree that needs more unique contents. And while I would love for VT-4 and other chinese vehicles to be in the Thai sub tech tree under JP, I wouldn’t want to create a discord in War Thunder community. Therefore, even though I might be just a one voice of the wider Thai player base, I am okay with Thai subtech tree without Chinese vehicles.