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Armored recovery vehicle

VME-102-40 armored recovery vehicle

Currently little is known about the China's VME-102-40 armored recovery vehicle

Country of origin China
Entered service ?
Crew 3 (?)
Dimensions and weight
Weight ~ 45 t
Length ~ 10 m
Width ~ 3.3 m
Height ~ 3 m
Lifting capacity 16 ~ 18 t
Winch capacity 35 ~ 140 t
Towed load ~ 50 t
Earth working capacity ~ 160 m/h
Machine guns 1 x 12.7 mm (optional)
Engine diesel
Engine power 1 000 (?)
Maximum road speed ~ 60 km/h
Range ~ 400 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.7 m
Trench ~ 2.8 m
Fording ~ 1.4 m


   Currently little is known about this new Chinese armored recovery vehicle. Sometimes it is referred as the VME-102-40. It was specially designed to support the Type 96 main battle tanks. It is based on the same Type 96 tank chassis. Chinese Army also operates a GCZ-110 multi-purpose armored engineer and recovery vehicle, which is also based on the Type 96 tank chassis, but lacks some capabilities associated with typical armored recovery vehicles. It looks that the VME-102-40 is already used by the China's military.

   The VME-102-40 is based on a modified Type 96 tank chassis. The hull has been stretched and an extra road wheel was added. Turret has been removed and replaced by a superstructure. This machine is fitted with a crane, recovery winch and a front-mounted dozer blade. In concept the VME-102-40 resembles a Russian BREM-80U or Western armored recovery vehicles.

   Typical tasks of this for machine include recovery of damaged or overturned tanks and other armored vehicles on the battlefield. The VME-102-40 can also tow them to assembly points and maintenance units. This machine can also provide maintenance service. Such vehicles typically operate in the frontline where are no repair and overhaul facilities.

   Crane of the VME-102-40 has a lifting capacity of around 16-18 t. It can lift turrets or powerpacks of the Type 96 main battle tanks. It can be also used for other load-lifting works. If repairs are required to a vehicle's suspension, the crane raises the front of back of the vehicle to allow access to the damaged components. The crane is installed on a rotary platform. In traveling order it folds back along the hull.

   There is a hydraulic winch has a capacity of around 35 t. Traction force can be significantly increased with the help of pulley blocks. It is used for recovery of damaged, stuck, sunken and overturned vehicles.

   The VME-102-40 can tows damaged, faulty or uncontrolled tanks or other vehicles using rigid or non-rigid hitches. Vehicles are towed to the nearest shelters, assembly points of repair depots.

   The front-mounted dozer blade is used to stabilize the vehicle during craning and winching operations. It can be also used for clearing obstacles and earth-mowing works, such as preparation of firing positions, covering up of ditches and so on.

   This machine has a welding outfit for welding and cutting works in the field. It also carries a set of tools and spare parts for field repairs. These are carried in enclosed stowage boxes on the cargo platform.

   The VME-102-40 has similar level of protection to the Type 96 main battle tank. Front arc withstands hits from small-caliber projectiles while all-round protection is against heavy machine gun fire and artillery shell splinters. This recovery vehicle is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems. This machine can operate alongside the frontline units.

   A 12.7 mm machine gun can be mounted on the roof. There are a number of smoke grenade dischargers.

   This recovery vehicle is operated by a crew of at least 3. However it looks like this vehicle can accommodate additional crew members or alternatively can evacuate injured troops from the battlefield.



VME-102-40 armored recovery vehicle

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VME-102-40 armored recovery vehicle

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VME-102-40 armored recovery vehicle

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