In April 2020, Inner Mongolia First Machinery Group Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), is reportedly starting to deliver new VT4 main battle tanks fitted with explosive reactive armor (ERA) to Pakistan. Pakistan Army had selected the VT4 tank in the framework of the acquisition program of at least 100 new MBTs. It is an upgraded variant of the Al-Khalid tank (VT-1) and the latest tank model from the Type 90-II tank family, and uses technology from the Type 99A currently fielded by the People’s Liberation Army.
The VT-4 main battle tank, also known as the MBT3000, is a Chinese third generation main battle tank built by Norinco for overseas export. 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 overall layout of the VT4 is conventional with the driver’s compartment at the front, fighting compartment in the center and power pack at the rear. 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. The vehicle also has an IFF system, NBC protection, explosion suppression system, fire extinguishing system, and air conditioning.
The 52-tonnes VT-4 is motorized with a water-cooled turbocharged electronic-controlled diesel engine developing 1,300 hp. The suspension is of the torsion bar type with hydraulic shock absorbers and either side consists of six large dual rubber-tired roadwheels with the drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear and track return rollers. To extend the operational range of the MBT-3000, two additional diesel fuel drums can be mounted externally at the rear. The tank can run a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 500 km.