Two Chinese VT4 Battle Tanks upgraded with a turret boost design and explosive reactive armor have been dispatched to a foreign buyer location.
The VT4 tanks made by China North Industries Group (NORINCO) left for their destination following a launch ceremony, China Central Television (CCTV), reported on Friday.
The tanks are not the standard VT4 version and instead are equipped with a different turret boost design. The front design features a new explosive reactive armor, Weihutang, a military column in China’s state-run CCTV news said.
The dispatch of just two tanks indicates that they could be the prototype to be tested at the customer location and followed by a larger order.
Earlier it was reported that the tanks were meant for Pakistan but there is no confirmation from the Pakistani side.
Earlier, the Chinese PLA had demonstrated the lightweight and high mobility features of the VT-4 tank in the Tibetan plateau as proof of performance in a high altitude environment. The VT-4 tanks could be part of its plan to bolster defenses along its border with India in the mountainous Kashmir region.
The tank is made by the Inner Mongolia First Machinery Group under the state-owned NORINCO. Further details on the deal have not been released, such as the purchase amount, overall value, and client name.
This upgraded VT4 offers enhancements with extra protection capabilities, the report said, citing military experts.
Also known as the MBT3000, the VT4 is a new generation of made-for-export combat tank designed for the international market, Weihutang said. The tank has been sold to Thailand and Nigeria.
The VT4 is equipped with a 125-millimeter smoothbore gun, can fire armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot (APFSDS), high explosive anti-tank cartridges, and missiles with a 5-kilometer range.
Equipped with a China-made 1,200-horsepower diesel-fueled engine and a hydromechanical drive system, the VT4 can travel at a maximum speed of 70 kph and a maximum cross-country speed of 50 kph.