Vickers/Norinco NVH-1 ICV - "Gutted By Circumstance"

Would you like to see the Vickers/Norinco NVH-1 ICV in game?
  • 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.

0 voters



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)

Additional Equipment:

  • 2 x 4 66mm smoke grenade banks



+1 for both the RARDEN and Bushmaster versions.

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To clarify this suggestion specifically pertains to the version tested by China, that being the Bushmaster version. I only included the RARDEN version for historical context here.


I am aware, however, both versions should go to both nations regardless.

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+1 for China and Great Britain!

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Not really, china literally never got the first version, so had to roll with a modified design. This is comparable to the MBT-70 where both america and germany have different versions.


Disagree. China is solely responsible for carrying out the modifications on the hull that would even allow the turret to be fitted. They’re also the ones who came up with the idea in the first place. For a joint project like this, that is more than enough for me to consider it valid for China. Maybe not for you, but I am certain you can see where I’m coming from.

The fact china never recieved the Rarden turret is enough to discredit its addition to the chinese tree. I can see where your coming from, but if they never actually came into possession of the actual vehicle, weapon system, or sights due to export control, its not really appropriate. The Venture was instigated by Vickers shopping around its MCV-80 turret, and the chinese were interested in being a client for it. As such Vickers developed a proof of concept for the vehicle using the lower chassis provided by Norico, which if you go to the british suggestion, has the Rarden, along with the adverstising images made using the chassis provided.

If the export control had not stepped in it would be a perfectly valid suggestion for both trees, but well history played out differently, and that is why there is a bushmaster version. The block effectivly killed the project in the crib though, as the export option fell through, and cancelled the development of the NVH-4, before it even began. In truth we dont even know if the chinese did the modifications to the chassis in house, or if Vickers did so upon recieving the hull, as the modified chassis is not present in the promo images (Which were done using the hull they had been given), though are present the photo taken at BAEE '86. The one the chinese demonstrated at Asiandex '86 was an unmodified Type YW531H chassis. The lack of turret bulges being the first big give away, which if they were gearing up to produce locally should have been present even with a rush job.

it is conjecture, but from the photographic time line, it appears vickers recieved an unmodified hull, took the promo picutures that were then doctored to give the apperance of the project in fruition, then the modifications from the specification given by the chinese was done, resulting in the complete proof of concept shown off at BAEE '86. The sudden rug pull of export control then resulted in the rush job bushmaster version you see in this suggestion.


Said post for the interested Vickers/NORINCO (Chicom) NVH-1 ICV

Then your suggestion should not state such.

They would provide a chassis to Vickers, whichwas to have its hull slightly lengthened in order to accommodate the turret, and a new West German Deutz BF8L 413F 320 horsepower air-cooled engine was installed, which Norinco had the license to produce locally in China. Additionally, a turret ring and space for a turret basket were to be added to the chassis, to specifications sent by Vickers in order to allow an easy installation for the MCV-80 turret. With these design changes made to the chassis, Vickers then received the chassis, which they then mated with an unmodified MCV-80 turret in early 1986.

This very clearly implies that Vickers was not responsible for the modifications and, instead, where done by the Chinese.

We’re just going to have to agree to disagree here. It’s not something worth developing into an argument for. You seeing where I’m coming from is enough for me. I am of the opinion that joint venture export vehicles between two clear-cut parties should either A: go to both countries involved, regardless of the details, or B: go to the nation that purchased it and only the nation that purchased it (unless there were major differences between the marketed example(s) and the product received by the customer). Of course, B does not apply in this case.

That is just poor wording on my part, I have modified the text accordingly. That is just me writting suggestions at silly times at night and my wording becoming muddled. it did state that in the next few lines though. XD


In this case though it does follow your second criteria to a tee, the british presented an option, it got declined by the higher powers, resulting in a distinctivly different chinese derivitive.

Regardless we can agree to disagree, this is an interesting project regardless :)



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Alternatively, the RARDEN specifically for the UK tree as a squadron. Why?

1)This project was spearheaded; and the turret design by BAEE, with seemingly China just being a customer they were making it for via Norinco

  1. It will give the UK something semi on par with the BMP2M, albeit at a 1.3-2.0 lower BR since it has no ATGMs

  2. It looks like China absolutely never even had it in hand with the RARDEN, as stated, BAEE was worried possibly of the power enhancement, as it was “state of the art”, it was an expo design that was marketed and to be a joint venture made for China’s military, but that never actually happened.

  3. Since its an expo design/technically joint, squadron is a good place for this.

  4. UK needs more squads, and squads can be really nice as they can be dual researched.

As with the Bushmaster variant, I think since china did have it in hand, itd fill a good lower tier TT gap for light tanks. This is still including the fact even this model which came to real fruition for China, still wasnt adopted.

The chinese really wanted that Rarden, but if i were to honestly guess the showing at BAEE scared the crap out of some intelligence guys as it would have given the Chinese and unprecidentated advantage in their theaters due to it effectively being a warrior turret. Its not hard to infer that Vickers got a phone call and had to back down, leaving the Chinese to scramble to make the subpar bushmaster version. It also explains why the 4 version was never built as the whole purpose of the vehicle from a Chinese perspective was to get a rarden cannon so they could devastate the russian light armour formations with thermals XD

you can tell the bushmaster version is a rush job, just due to the fact the bushmaster weapon system was not even mentioned as an option by vickers in any of the previous material, so it seems that was just the gun they had at hand for the demonstration.

Yes I hear you. Which is why I make my point. The RARDEN was absolutely nothing more than a juicy carrot, other than verbal expressions of interest, theres zero other connection. If we use this logic, my god theres countless vehiles we could pad via juicy carrot export order attempts.

Especially since the UK did NOT want China to have this capability, well we should honor that in game, along with everything afforentioned and china never even having it in hand. As such, itd make a fantastic UK sqaudron, due to its niche nature and unique appearance. Itd also fall in line with the sqaudron T90 Bhishma in the way of UKs foreign ties

I think its even generous to support the bushmaster variant as a prem or TT for China. As they still never even had that one, and that was actually tangible. Nevertheless i support both, just via different placements

I just find it funny they actually thought they would get an export clearance for it, the gun was not yet in service with the warrior so of course it was going to get fat noped, i do find it interesting how many IFV’s the brits have dabbled in though, even if most are unknown to most people.

No, they had the Bushmaster one, they showcased it at an expo in 1986. I made a suggestion for it in the China ground forces section.

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aye the bushmaster is their gimped one, as they couldent get the good one so had to hodge podge something at the last min

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Oh my bad! I totally misread the text. Yes, I 100% support the bushmaster variant to the chinese TT


Rarden variant for UK tree (non-tech tree) & bushmaster variant for Chinese tree (non-tech tree)?
Rarden variant for Chinese tree (non-tech tree) & bushmaster variant for Chinese tree (tech tree)?

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