Class: Main Battle Tank
Vehicles Built: cca 38-50 (176 for Pakistan pending)
Operators: Thailand, Nigeria, Pakistan
Unlike Type 99, the VT-4 MBT, also known under the name MBT-3000, was made specifically with export in mind. It is based on an older VT-1 model, which itself has roots in the Soviet-era T-72 MBT that was reverse-engineered by China in the 1980s. Performance-wise, it’s allegedly roughly on par with the Type 99, although actual evaluations are hard to come by.
It first appeared on public radar in 2015 when the company responsible for its marketing, the China North Industries Corporation (commonly known as NORINCO), made a bold claim that the VT-4 was actually better than Russia’s T-14 Armata. The vehicle itself, however, is older. It was first mentioned (along with a few renders) to public in 2012 with the vehicle itself appearing in 2013. The true public unveiling happened during the 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in November 2014, following the August 2014 presentation for journalists and officials in Mongolia.
Realistically, the VT-4 is, when it comes to performance, on par with other tanks of its generation such as the Type 99 and the T-90SA. Despite its affordability and its strong marketing campaign, however, the only deal that NORINCO was so far able to secure were 38 tanks for the Royal Thai Army. Originally, Thailand ordered the Ukrainian Oplot-M main battle tanks but the endless delays due to the conflict in Ukraine left them with no choice but to look for an alternative. These tanks were delivered between 2017 and 2019. Nigeria also received several vehicles in early 2020. The Nigerian vehicles have seen their first combat in the January of 2021 in an anti-terrorist operation against Boko Haram. Finally, 176 vehicles of an upgraded variant were purchased in 2020 by Pakistan.
- Armored: This vehicle's armor can withstand a lot of punishment, allowing it to survive even serious firefights.
- Heavy Weapon: This vehicle carries one of the largest weapons around with significantly increased damage per shot.
|125mm 125-III APFSDS||APFSDS||Stock||660||745[note 2] mm||1700 m/s||7.10 s|
|125mm 125-HE-I HE||HE||Stock||1030[note 3]||40 mm||850 m/s||7.10 s|
|125mm BTJ-IM HEAT||HEAT||Stock||890||890 mm||905 m/s||7.10 s|
|GP125 ATGM||ATGM||97,315||790[note 4]||1100 mm||300 m/s||7.10 s|
|7.62mm AP||AP||Stock||8||18[note 5] mm||855 m/s||5.00 s|
|XP Cost||Credit Cost||Hull
|Stock||Stock||945 mm (vs AP)
1280 mm (vs HEAT)
|Composite||1045 mm (vs AP)
1710 mm (vs HEAT)
|Composite||FY-5 ERA (Gen 2)||20% (vs AP)|
80% (vs HEAT)
|This MBT's front is protected by composite armor. Composite armor consists of combined layers of steel and other material and offers excellent protection against HEAT shells and ATGMs. Its steel sides and rear are considerably more vulnerable. The second generation ERA kit offers excellent protection against standard HEAT rounds or warheads, and marginal protection against kinetic rounds.|
|Name||XP Cost||Credit Cost||Aim Time||Reload Time||More Info|
|125mm ZPT-98A Smoothbore Cannon||Stock||Stock||2.13 s||7.10 s|
125mm 125-III APFSDS
125mm 125-HE-I HE
125mm BTJ-IM HEAT