- Yes, as a tech tree vehicle
- Yes, as a premium vehicle
- Yes, as an event vehicle
- Yes, as a squadron vehicle
- No, I would not like to see the NVH-1 in game.
The Vickers/Norinco NVH-1 ICV was a prototype infantry fighting vehicle based on the H-1 (prototype Type 85) APC hull constructed as a joint venture between Vickers and Norinco for an export-ready IFV in the late 1980’s. Before going into the history and design of the NVH-1 as it was displayed at Asiandex '86, it may be helpful to briefly touch on the history of the vehicle up to this point.
The NVH-1 as seen at BAEE '86.
The original concept for the NVH-1, devised in 1984, was to mate the newly developed MCV-80 turret to the prototype H-1 APC to create an infantry fighting vehicle suitable for use by China’s armed forces. The advantage of this arrangement was that the vehicle would employ a state of the art combat turret on a mature chassis (the Type 85 was very close to production at this point.) The turret provided by Vickers, with its highly accurate and powerful 30mm RARDEN gun combined with an excellent fire control system, would have given China a powerful asset against a potential Soviet invasion, with effective engagement distance against unmodified BMPs being quoted at 3,000 meters. The NVH-1 was also capable of amphibious warfare with some preparation, and there was a planned fully amphibious version called the NVH-4 with an extended hull.
However, sometime after BAEE '86, which happened in late June, the deal to use the MCV-80’s systems fell through. The reasons are not entirely clear; the Ministry of Defence may have been concerned about exporting what they viewed as sensitive technology, since Warrior would not come into service until the year after the expo, or there were concerns in general about giving China such a powerful tool. Either way, Asiandex '86, a defense expo held in Beijing, was rapidly approaching, and Vickers/Norinco had to figure out some way to salvage the work they had done.
The NVH-1 as seen at Asiandex '86.
With RARDEN and its excellent ranged capabilities out of the picture, the popular M242 Bushmaster 25mm cannon was substituted to be used as the main armament. This weapon carried the advantage that China could manufacture it under license at the time but had a lower engagement range. The sighting system was heavily reworked and lost most of the MCV-80’s powerful tools, being reduced to day sights. A rudimentary spotlight was affixed atop the gun mantlet, and the periscopes ringing the turret were slightly changed. Finally, a different Type 85 hull was used for display in China, which lacked the alteration to the turret ring present in the BAEE example and design sketch. Overall, this was a marked downgrade for both the PLA and potential export customers alike, and the lack of interest after exhibition and firing trials at Asiandex '86 in November 1986 showed as much. RARDEN was apparently still on the table, along with the Swiss Oerlikon KBB 25mm cannon, but the only gun shown and tested in China up to 1988 was the M242. With the NVH-1 failing to attract any customers, the NVH-4 was naturally cancelled as well before any prototypes had been produced.
This version of the NVH-1 has potential as a low tier scout vehicle for the PLA tech branch. Its capabilities would probably not give it a very high BR, which does introduce the problem of asynchronous combat (an 80’s vehicle being at World War II BRs), but I think the vehicle is still worth suggesting, as it displays an interesting period of Chinese history and cooperation with Western manufacturers. Unlike most vehicles armed with the M242, it also seems to lack a gun stabilizer, which is another point in favor of it not being too destructive at a lower rank for this type of vehicle.
Vickers/Norinco NVH-1 (Asiandex '86)
Crew: 3 men + 8 dismounts
Weight: 16 tons
Transmission: Manual, 5 forward gears and 1 reverse
Engine: Deutz BF8L 413F V-8 diesel (320 hp at 2500 rpm)
Power/Weight: 20 hp/ton
Max Speed: 65 km/h
- 25mm Hughes M242 Bushmaster chaingun (520 rounds)
- 7.62mm Hughes chaingun (2,000 rounds)
- Hull: Welded steel, with resistance to .50 caliber armor piercing
- Turret: 25.4mm steel for turret face and gun mantlet, sides from 25.4 to 12.7mm, rear 12.7mm (very similar to Warrior)
- 2 x 4 66mm smoke grenade banks
- Jane’s Armour and Artillery 1988-89
- Wheels & Tracks: The International Review of Military Vehicles No. 17