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How Capable Are Pakistan’s New VT-4 Battle Tanks? Why New Chinese-Supplied Armour Could Be a Game Changer

Abid123

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The Pakistani Army became the third operator of the Norinco VT-4 battle tank in late 2020 or early 2021, after its was widely reported that an order had been placed earlier that year for an unknown number of the vehicles. This reportedly came after a performance demonstration which had impressed Pakistani military officials, with the tank having been developed by China’s Norinco specifically for export and previously sold to Thailand and Nigeria to modernise their own armoured units. While Pakistan’s armoured units are made up almost entirely of Chinese designs, the most capable of which were previously the Al Khalid and Al Zarrar, the VT-4 took the place of the most capable tank by far in the country's inventory. The tank's GL5 active protection system is particularly highly regarded, and can detect incoming projectiles and fire pairs of rockets at them with the double detonation sufficient to neutralise most threats. The VT-4's 1,300 hp diesel engine is also considered very powerful for a vehicle of its size, with the tank benefiting from torsion bar suspension, an integrated hydraulic transmission system and automatic gear transmission for steering and acceleration.

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VT-4 Battle Tanks

The VT-4's 125mm main gun has access to a range of advanced specialised munitions to engage particular types of targets, and its sophistication allows it to compete at a peer level to much heavier tanks. Chinese penetrative anti-armour rounds are thought to be among the most capable in the world, and are expected to pose a major threat even against well defended enemy armour such as the Indian T-90S, and possibly even the upcoming T-90MS, which Pakistan is likely to face in the event of a major conflict. Although not as capable as the heavier Type 99A relied on by China’s own armed forces, the VT-4 uses many of the same technologies and may well be more cost effective. The export oriented tank is has lower maintenance requirements meaning even countries with more limited budgets can field several large units. It remains uncertain how many of the tanks Pakistan intends to purchase, but considering prior trends in acquisitions by the country an order for over 300 tanks, and potentially many more, is far from unlikely.

Source: https://militarywatchmagazine.com/a...inese-supplied-armour-could-be-a-game-changer
 

waz

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1,500 HP engine, FY4 ERA , and the capability to upgrade further, Pakistan's VT4 is a more powerful machine than the one outlined above.
 

BRAVO_

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in my opinion after karabakh war drones have showed how vulnerable tanks are, where cheap drones were over taking expensive tanks so in upcoming wars tanks are need to be better camouflaged to avoid Ariel detection, self propelled anti aircraft systems as well as directed energy weapons are need to evolve technologically same way cheap solutions of Radars and fire controls systems should be there to engage any Ariel target including drones on the other hand bigger auto cannons must be use to compliment the battlefield range missiles
without above improvements future of tanks is like this video

 
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in my opinion after karabakh war drones have showed how vulnerable tanks are, where cheap drones were over taking expensive tanks so in upcoming wars tanks are need to be better camouflaged to avoid Ariel detection, self propelled anti aircraft systems as well as directed energy weapons are need to evolve technologically same way cheap solutions of Radars and fire controls systems should be there to engage any Ariel target including drones on the other hand bigger auto cannons must be use to compliment the battlefield range missiles
without above improvements future of tanks are like this video


China is not Karabakh.
 

BRAVO_

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China is not Karabakh.
ain't we discussing about paksitan here?? and china hasn't experienced any advance military warfare yet vulnerabilities will emerge only once they will face the real enemies like Americans etc, there is a difference between paper warfare and real engagements
 
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ain't we discussing about paksitan here?? and china hasn't experienced any advance military warfare yet vulnerabilities will emerge only once they will face the real enemies like Americans etc, there is a difference between paper warfare and real engagements

Well, Americans can't even beat Taliban let alone China.
 

R Wing

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1,500 HP engine, FY4 ERA , and the capability to upgrade further, Pakistan's VT4 is a more powerful machine than the one outlined above.

Exactly --- and then there are the little matters of possible ToT, quick availability (and potentially future co-manufacture) of parts, etc. These are the real critical elements that make many of our newly fielded systems game changers.
 

BRAVO_

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Well, Americans can't even beat Taliban let alone China.
if china will fight with taliban at their turf they will meet the same fate its not that taliban are best fighters .. its just they know how to prolong a warfare and make it expensive... in past Russians did the same mistake but Chinese are very sensible they are aware that right now Talibans are the best horse to put their bets on because uyghurs tarkistani movement is active in afghanistan and Talibans consider them enemies even day before yesterday the bomb blast attack carried out by Daish was initiated by a group of uyghurs and their leader was Mohammad al uyghuri who actually claimed the responsibility so political situations of this region is very fragile .. anyways lets put it off for some other thread as our discussion is heading off topic
 

Signalian

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Every new equipment that Pakistan or India fields now is expected to be a game changer. Who made this term "game changer" so popular :laugh:

VT-4 becomes useful when its supported with M-113, M-109, Mouz, Maaz, A-100, AVLB, ARV (other engineering equipment) and if possible AH-1s and PAF.
 

Great Janjua

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Every new equipment that Pakistan or India fields now is expected to be a game changer. Who made this term "game changer" so popular :laugh:

VT-4 becomes useful when its supported with M-113, M-109, Mouz, Maaz, A-100, AVLB, ARV (other engineering equipment) and if possible AH-1s and PAF.
My wiener is bigger than yours type bs going on in the subcontinent.
 

Signalian

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The Pakistani Army became the third operator of the Norinco VT-4 battle tank in late 2020 or early 2021, after its was widely reported that an order had been placed earlier that year for an unknown number of the vehicles. This reportedly came after a performance demonstration which had impressed Pakistani military officials, with the tank having been developed by China’s Norinco specifically for export and previously sold to Thailand and Nigeria to modernise their own armoured units. While Pakistan’s armoured units are made up almost entirely of Chinese designs, the most capable of which were previously the Al Khalid and Al Zarrar, the VT-4 took the place of the most capable tank by far in the country's inventory. The tank's GL5 active protection system is particularly highly regarded, and can detect incoming projectiles and fire pairs of rockets at them with the double detonation sufficient to neutralise most threats. The VT-4's 1,300 hp diesel engine is also considered very powerful for a vehicle of its size, with the tank benefiting from torsion bar suspension, an integrated hydraulic transmission system and automatic gear transmission for steering and acceleration.

View attachment 783982
VT-4 Battle Tanks

The VT-4's 125mm main gun has access to a range of advanced specialised munitions to engage particular types of targets, and its sophistication allows it to compete at a peer level to much heavier tanks. Chinese penetrative anti-armour rounds are thought to be among the most capable in the world, and are expected to pose a major threat even against well defended enemy armour such as the Indian T-90S, and possibly even the upcoming T-90MS, which Pakistan is likely to face in the event of a major conflict. Although not as capable as the heavier Type 99A relied on by China’s own armed forces, the VT-4 uses many of the same technologies and may well be more cost effective. The export oriented tank is has lower maintenance requirements meaning even countries with more limited budgets can field several large units. It remains uncertain how many of the tanks Pakistan intends to purchase, but considering prior trends in acquisitions by the country an order for over 300 tanks, and potentially many more, is far from unlikely.

Source: https://militarywatchmagazine.com/a...inese-supplied-armour-could-be-a-game-changer
When T-34 came out, it was a surprise. Panther (Pzw V) was quickly put into combat but it faced many mechanical issues in field. In today's world, its much easier than before to keep an eye on enemy tech and match it. Therefore a T-34 eating up panzer III and IV will not be common now. There are many different weapon options available to take out a MBT whether VT-4 or T-90.

If VT-4 under PA makes its way into Amritsar or Jaiselmer or Bikaner during war then yes VT-4 is definitely a "game changer". No other Pakistani MBT has achieved this so far.
 

serenity

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Tanks still have use and a place in modern warfare even if opposition has many loitering drones and advanced guided artillery like China and USA. India bought some guided artillery from the US but still no real drone swarm or loitering munition in the tens of thousands. Despite this, Indian tanks still have a place against China. It just depends how they are used but they may be much more vulnerable however they are required due to having armor and speed.

Used wrongly tanks are too vulnerable these days against competent foe. VT-4 still holds the speed and mobility doctrine. It is low 50 ton tank still even though engine upped to 1500hp.

APS is now first importance even ahead of over armor above mid 50 tons. 50 tons if it can defeat last generation piercing rounds in front on <30 degrees then it is more than good enough. Only US and NATO countries have latest armor piercing rounds. Not even China and Russia use equivalent levels and they plan against NATO tanks above 60 tons which means their current generation piercing rounds are considered good enough on these 125mm guns. With the ZPT-98 being much higher muzzle velocity and pressure due to advanced electroslag remelting manufacturing, I think the ZPT's gun at least is ahead of the same lower calibre gun on Type 96 and the same 2a46 on Russian T-72 to T-80 and T-90. Modern version keep similar performance but improved life and less deformation without muzzle reference but still updated on new tanks.

APS is first priority once you reach 50 tons. PLA doesn't put them on due to cost and doctrine of mass formation and tanks being used in lightly different strategies. For Pakistan I also think APS may really not be that important since India does not have many drones, helicopters or loitering munition and vehicle mounted anti tank missiles. Infantry anti tank is much lower threat and slow movement. APS is expensive. I don't think the Thai bought many APS too? GL-5 is older APS maybe there are better ways these days to counter non wire anti tank missiles like lasers and microwaves or some other electronic attack that is not currently well talked about. As for wire guided missiles, then APS is required.

ERA is absolute must since they are the most effective per kilogram but some are not designed for layered operation so not a replacement at all for good composite armor underneath. VT-4 has APS option for the types of tank battle that require them. It's armor in front is very good but from the sides and top is barely anything. It is same old tank doctrine which relies on huge formations and fast speed. VT-4's firepower is nearly as good as Type 99A though possibly even some equipment would be more modern.
 

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