The Norinco VT-4 main battle tank made its combat debut in Nigerian anti-terrorism operation during a clash with Boko Haram militants in the northeast of the country. The Nigeria Army chief showed an image of tanks during a new offensive against Boko Haram militants, which called the “Operation Tura Takai Bango”. NORINCO delivered the first of 17 military vehicles compromising of VT4 main battle tanks, SH5 105mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers and ST1 tank destroys. The Nigerian government has announced that it launches a large-scale military operation against Boko Haram militants and deployed new combat vehicles, including new Norinco VT4 main battle tanks in the northeast.
The VT-4 main battle tank, also known as the MBT3000 previously, is a Chinese third generation main battle tank built by Norinco for overseas export. It is the latest tank model from the Al-Khalid-1/Type-90-II (MBT-2000) tank family, 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 VT-4 is equipped with an active protection system designated GL5, defensive grenade launchers and a laser warning device. The tank appears to have composite and explosive reactive armor. The vehicle also has an IFF system, NBC protection, explosion suppression system, fire extinguishing system and air conditioning. the VT-4 uses a locally produced 1,300 hp diesel engine with torsion bar suspension and an integrated hydraulic transmission system. Steering and acceleration is handled by a steering wheel and automatic gear transmission. The tank is also integrated with digital communications systems for tank-tank communication and communication between commanders.
The Islamic State in West Africa or the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) and commonly known as Boko Haram, is a jihadist terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon. When Boko Haram first formed, their actions were nonviolent. Their main goal was to purify Islam in northern Nigeria. Since March 2015, the group has been aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and has killed tens of thousands and displaced 2.3 million from their homes and was at one time the world’s deadliest terror group according to the Global Terrorism Index. Boko Haram has contributed to regional food crises and famines. The group is known for its brutality.