Pakistan Army is considering the purchase of Chinese-made VT4 main battle tank (previously known as the MBT3000) produced by Norinco (China North Industries Corporation) to meet requirements for procuring hundreds of new main battle tanks. The selection of the Norinco VT4 for increasing of Pakistani armoured vehicle fleet, VT4 has confirmed for future Pakistan army tank and Alkhalid II main battle tank is in developing phase. It is an improvement over the Al-Khalid MBT (also known as MBT-2000), which is currently in service with the Pakistan Army.
The VT4 is a third-generation main battle tank offered for export by Norinco. Among the key differentiating features are the thermal-imaging capabilities and panoramic sights of the VT4, which enhance the vehicle’s ability to operate at night or in poorly lit environments. The VT4 is also capable of incorporating a remote weapon station. Pakistan is known to be in close co-operation with China for the development and acquisition of MBTs, although it is also likely to continue to use other sources, notably Ukraine, for powerpacks and ancillary systems.
The VT4 is an upgraded variant of the MBT2000 (VT-1) and uses technology from the Type 99A currently fielded by the People’s Liberation Army. The VT-4 has a 125mm smoothbore cannon capable of firing APFSDS, HESH, HEAT and HE rounds and guided missiles. There is also a remote weapon station on the turret armed with a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun. The fire control system has hunter-killer capabilities, laser rangefinder, panoramic sight, and a third generation thermal imaging system. The tank appears to have composite and explosive reactive armor. The turret front has wedge shaped armor and the hull sides have armored sideskirts. The tank is equipped with an active protection system designated GL5, defensive grenade launchers, and a laser warning device.Tthe VT-4 uses a locally produced 1,300 hp diesel engine with torsion bar suspension and an integrated hydraulic transmission system.
Despite the fact that the future tank’s tender details kept at a secret, it was reported that Pakistan might procure around 100 MBTs in order to meet the deficiency of MBT production in the country. In January 2018, images surfaced showing the Pakistani Army testing the VT-4. Pakistan Army currently deploys a fleet of Al-Khalid and Type 85-II MBTs, as well as a large quantity of T-80UDs MBTs, the latter which were supplied by Ukraine. Pakistan is in the process of increasing the size of its armoured vehicle fleet to match that of its regional rival, India, which recently announced plans to convert a large part of its T-72 MBTs fleet to the T-90S standard.