News 2022

VT4 - the Chinese main battle tank was created specifically for export to developing countries

The VT4 is a Chinese main battle tank that is designed specifically for export. It is also known as MVT-3000. It is sold by NORINCO. This tank can be considered as a simplified export version of the Type 99G, which is used by the Chinese army. Developing countries in Asia and Africa are very interested in updating their military arsenal and are willingly purchasing these tanks. In 2016, Thailand ordered the first batch of 28 VT4 tanks, and in 2019, 50 VT4 tanks were already delivered there; additional orders are possible. Nigeria became the second country to receive these tanks. In 2020, the first deliveries were also made to Pakistan.

The VT4 is similar to the Type 99G currently in service with the People's Liberation Army (PLA), but has more simplified features, such as a simplified sight, engine and gun. At the moment, this is the most combat-ready Chinese tank offered for export. However, according to experts, it cannot be compared with modern Western main battle tanks.

The VT4 is a further development of the VT1A, which in turn is a simplified export version of the Type 99. Thus, the VT4 uses proven technology and is cost effective.

The hull of the VT4 main battle tank is very similar to the hull of the Soviet T-72. This Chinese tank originates from the Soviet T-72, which has been around for over 50 years. In the 1980s, China acquired it from Romania and essentially cloned it. Since then, Chinese designers have constantly improved and brought this tank and its systems to a high level. The VT4 also shows some Western influence in its design.

This tank has a low stance, which is one of its key features. The VT4's hull and turret are of welded steel construction with a layer of composite armor along the frontal arc. There are also modular additional dynamic protection units. The tower has wedge-shaped armor. If necessary, the side skirts can be equipped with additional dynamic protection.

The additional reactive armor of this tank differs from that used on the Type 99G in service with the PLA. It is likely that the VT4 has less protection than the Type 99G. Interestingly, the tank has a system of protection against weapons of mass destruction, and is also equipped with an automatic fire extinguishing system.

The VT4 is armed with a fully stabilized 125mm smoothbore cannon. The gun is powered by a carousel-type automatic loader. The presence of an automatic loader reduces the crew to three people and makes it possible to reduce the dimensions of the tank. Loading speed up to 8 rounds per minute - fires APFSDS, HEAT, HE and HE-FRAG rounds. It is also compatible with artillery-launched anti-tank guided missiles, which are launched in the same way as conventional ammunition. The missiles have a maximum range of 5,000m and typically carry four missiles, a capability experts say is not common in Western designs for anti-tank guided missiles.

There are a total of 38 rounds for the main gun, 22 of which are loaded into the autoloader and ready for use. The remaining cartridges are stored inside the case.

What else can you say about this tank? It is equipped with a coaxial machine gun and a remote-controlled combat module with a 12.7 mm machine gun. This remote weapon station is a huge advantage for the tank, since the commander no longer has to be an enemy target.

The VT4 fire control system features a hunter-killer mode that allows for precise fire on the move. The tank is equipped with a GPS navigation system and is controlled by a crew of three, including a commander, gunner and driver.


This main battle tank is powered by a Chinese turbocharged diesel engine producing 1,300 hp. It is sometimes called "Type 150". Some sources report that this is a modified and upgraded version of the British TCA Perkins CV12-1200, which is used on the British main battle tanks Challenger 1 and Challenger 2. However, this new tank engine is manufactured in China.

Battle tank engine

For a number of years, Chinese export tanks have been equipped with engines supplied from Ukraine. However, over time, China switched to producing tank engines on its own. The VT4 has a raised engine compartment. Interestingly, the PLA Type 99G is equipped with a more powerful engine producing 1,500 hp. and more maneuverable. But the VT4 is equipped with an automatic transmission. It is also capable of deep wading, and auxiliary fuel tanks can be fitted to increase range.
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