Home > Tanks >VT5

VT5

Light tank

VT5 light tank

The new Chinese VT5 light tank has an entirely new design

 
 
Country of origin China
Entered service ?
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 33 - 36 t
Length (gun forward) 9.2 m
Hull length ~ 7.5 m
Width 3.3 m
Height (turret roof) 2.5 m
Armament
Main gun 105 mm rifled
ATGW ?
Machine guns 1 x 12.7 mm, 1 x 7.62 mm
Grenade launcher 1 x 40 mm
Elevation range ?
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 38 rounds
Machine guns ?
Mobility
Engine FX0012 diesel
Engine power 1 000 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Range 450 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.85 m
Trench 2.7 m
Fording 1.1 m
Fording with preparation ?

 

   The VT5 is a new Chinese light tank. First pictures of the new light tank appeared back in 2010. The whole development program was kept in secrecy and there were no official comments regarding this new tank. This vehicle has entirely new design. It looks like it was developed as a successor for the ageing Type 62 light tanks, used by the Chinese armed forces. Chinese requirement might be for at least 300 new light tanks. Though according to NORINCO it was developed exclusively for export. It was first publicly revealed in 2016. The VT5 is an export designation. It is being offered for various possible customers.

   Mobility is the key factor of this new machine. It is intended mainly for reconnaissance and infantry support operations. It can operate in terrains such as mountainous areas, jungles and river regions, that are not accessible to heavier main battle tanks. It might be also used by airborne troops. Development of this new tank shows the high level of resources China is devoting towards its offensive capabilities.

   The VT5 has a welded armored hull and turret, reportedly made of steel armor. The tank is also fitted with add-on armor kit. It can be either passive composite armor, or explosive reactive armor. Some areas of the VT5 tank are covered with cage armor, which provides protection against anti-tank missiles and rockets. NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems are fitted as standard. The tank weights 33-36 t, depending on armor package. Various armor configurations were observed.

   There is also a passive protection system with a laser detector. It triggers smoke grenade dischargers once the tank is illuminated by a laser beam. This system reduces the chance of being hit by anti-tank missiles with laser guidance.

   This new Chinese tank is armed with a fully-stabilized 105 mm rifled gun. It is compatible with all standard NATO 105 mm tank ammunition. The gun it has got an automatic bustle-mounted ammunition loading system, which allowed to reduce the crew to 3 men. Also smaller crew allowed to reduce overall dimension of the tank, making it a smaller target on the battlefield. The VT5 has got an effective firing range of 3 km. With APFSDS round can penetrate up to 500 mm of rolled homogenous armor. Such penetration capabilities are not sufficient to defeat modern main battle tanks over the front arc. However the VT5 can also launch 105 mm anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary munitions. These extend the effective range to up to 5 km and hit probability of over 90% against stationary targets. Furthermore the missiles have tandem HEAT warheads and pose serious threat to main battle tanks, and can even target low-flying helicopters. Also there are ordinary HEAT and HE rounds for use against light armored vehicles, buildings and field fortifications.

   A total of 38 rounds and missiles are carried for the main gun. Spent cases are automatically ejected via a hatch at the rear of the turret.

   Secondary armament consists of a remotely-controlled weapon station, armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun and 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. There is also a provision for coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun.

   The VT5 has got a modern fire control system. It includes laser rangefinder, ballistic computer, wind sensor, gunner's thermal sight and commander's panoramic sight with thermal vision. Thermal vision allows to engage targets at night and during adverse weather conditions.

   This light tank has got a hunter-killer engagement capability, which is present on all modern main battle tanks. Commander uses his panoramic sight to search for targets. Once the target is selected the gun is laid on the target automatically and the gunner completes al the aiming and firing process. During that time commander looks for the next target.

   The tank is fitted with a navigation, satellite communication and battlefield management systems.

   The VT5 is operated by a crew of 3, including commander, gunner, and driver. Crew seating is standard for modern tanks. The driver is seated at the center of the hull. Commander and gunner are seated in the turret.

   This new Chinese tank is powered by an FX0012 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 000 hp. The engine is mounted at the rear of the hull. It is mated to a fully-automatic transmission. The VT5 is a very nimble vehicle. The tank has got steel tracks with optional rubber pads. Maximum range on fuel is 450 km, though it can be extended to around 650 km by mounting external fuel tanks.

   Due to its light weight the VT5 is much more mobile than main battle tanks, such as Type 96 and Type 99. It can be used in mountainous areas that are not accessible to main battle tanks. For example the Indian T-72 or T-90 main battle tanks can not go high in to the mountains. At high altitudes air becomes thin and their engines start to loose power. So high in the mountains the new Chinese tank should not encounter any heavily-armored opponents.

   This new tank is air transportable. It can be airlifted by military cargo aircraft. It is possible that this tank can be paradropped. A hydropneumatic suspension with adjustable ground clearance was present on prototypes. However it is unclear it if made to production. Most possible customers of the VT5 have no requirement for a paradroppable combat vehicle.

   The tank is not amphibious. It is worth noting that Chinese marines operate a ZBD-2000 amphibious light tank, that was specially designed for high-speed swimming and is also armed with a 105 mm gun. Though both of these tanks are totally different. There were no intentions to simplify servicing and maintenance by using interchangeable components.

 

Variants

 

   VN17 infantry fighting vehicle. It was first publicly revealed in 2017. It is based on the same chassis as the VT5 tank. Rear powerpack arrangement of the VT5 became an issue in attempt to make troop compartment in the rear part of the vehicle. Designers of the VN17 found a simple solution and swapped front end of the vehicle with the rear. So the VN17 IFV is driving backwards comparing with the original VT5 light tank.

 

 
VT5 light tank

Expand image

VT5 light tank

Expand image

VT5 light tank

Expand image

VT5 light tank

Expand image

VT5 light tank

Expand image
 
VT5 light tank

Expand image

VT5 light tank

Expand image

VT5 light tank

Expand image

Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Home  Home     Aircraft     Helicopters     Tanks     Armored Vehicles     Artillery     Trucks     Engineering Vehicles     Missiles     Naval Forces     Firearms     |     Contact Us
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ARG 2006 - 2017
www.Military-Today.com VT5