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Pakistan buys 679 Chinese VT4 tanks which will be assembled locally

The SC

Feb 13, 2012
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According to the latest report by SIPRI Arms Trade Database 2022, Pakistan has signed a contract with China for the purchase of 679 VT4 MBT (MBT stands for Main Battle Tank) tanks which will be assembled and produced under license in Pakistan under the brand name "Haider".


It is known that the Pakistani Armed Forces use various Chinese military equipment. China has been an important supplier of military equipment to Pakistan, and the two countries have also collaborated in the development of several defense systems.

Some of the Chinese military equipment in service with the Pakistan Army includes main battle tanks such as the Al-Khalid (the Pakistani version of the Type 90-II and Type 85-IIAP), as well as armored personnel carriers, self-propelled howitzers, anti-tank guided missiles, air defense systems, and small arms. and unmanned aerial vehicles).

Pakistan and China have long enjoyed close military relationship and cooperation. Their partnership, often described as "friends after all", was based on shared strategic interests, shared regional concerns, and common adversaries.

China has been a major supplier of military equipment to Pakistan, providing equipment such as aircraft, tanks, armored vehicles, and missile systems. In recent years, China has emerged as the largest arms supplier to Pakistan, overtaking the United States.

China and Pakistan have cooperated on many defense projects. The most prominent example is the JF-17 Thunder, a lightweight, multi-role combat aircraft jointly developed by the Pakistan Aviation Complex (PAC) and China's Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC). The aircraft is produced in Pakistan and is in service with the Pakistan Air Force.


For recent military cooperation programmes, China is bolstering its industrial presence with the VT4 tank, which is being assembled and built under license in Pakistan.

The VT4, also known as the MBT-3000, is a third generation Chinese main battle tank (MBT) designed and manufactured by NORINCO (North China Industries Corporation). The VT4 tank is an advanced and versatile tank developed for export, with many modern features and technologies that make it competitive in the global arms market.

The design of the VT4 is similar to the Chinese-made MBT family with the driver in the front of the hull, the turret in the middle and the engine in the rear. It has a crew of three including driver, commander and gunner. The VT4's interior has been designed with ergonomics and improved crew comfort in mind. This can help reduce fatigue and improve operational efficiency.

The VT4 MBT represents a significant development in Chinese tank technology compared to its predecessors. While it shares some similarities with previous Chinese tanks, such as the Type 96 and Type 99, the VT4 incorporates many technological advancements and improvements that enhance its capabilities on the battlefield. It features an advanced fire control system (FCS) that includes a digital ballistic computer, a thermal imager, and a laser rangefinder. These improvements allow for better target acquisition and engagement, even in low light or adverse weather conditions, compared to previous Chinese tanks.

The VT4 is equipped with a modern 125 mm smoothbore gun, an improvement on the 105 mm guns found in the Type 85 and Type 90 tanks. In addition, the VT4 features an automatic loader that allows for a higher rate of fire and reduces crew requirements. It is fitted with modular composite armor and Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) to provide better protection against anti-tank threats. This is a significant advance compared to the steel armor used in previous Chinese tanks such as the Type 59.

The VT4 is powered by a water-cooled turbocharged diesel engine that delivers more horsepower, allowing the tank to reach a top speed of about 70 km/h. This is faster than previous Chinese tanks such as the Type 85, which had a top speed of around 60 km/h.

These developments illustrate the progress the Chinese defense industry has made in developing modern and competitive main battle tanks. The VT4 reflects China's growing expertise in tank design and manufacturing, as well as the country's commitment to providing advanced military equipment for export.

Source: different sources..

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