The Chinese MBT-3000 Main Battle Tank is the latest and most advanced export tank from Chinese Defense Company NORINCO.
Offered for export under the designation VT4, Pakistan who are a prolific licensed manufacturer of Chinese tanks, was apparently trying to arrange trials for the tank in late 2014.
First unveiled at the 2012 Eurosatory Defence exhibition in Paris, an improved version was relaunched in 2014 with some minor modifications and since then NORICO (Manufacturer) has been making public statements that the tank is superior to the new Russian Armata T-14 Main Battle Tank causing great online debates.
Production of VT-4 (MBT-3000) for the Royal Thai Army: Here
It is claimed that the video depicts the production of VT-4 (MBT-3000) for the Royal Thai Army.
1st VT-4 MBTs have been delivered to the Royal Thai Army: Here
The first batch of 28 VT4 tanks bought for 4.9 billion baht from China has arrived in Thailand, according to the army.
They were transported by 12 ships to the Royal Thai Navy’s Thung Prong port in Chon Buri’s Sattahip district on Monday, where they were ferried further to the Royal Thai Army Cavalry Centre at Adisorn military camp in Saraburi for inspection by an army-installed panel.
Thailand start testing VT-4 MBT – Video: Here
UPGRADED MBT-3000 (2014) MAIN BATTLE TANK
MBT-3000 Turret Upgrades 2014
On the 2014 version the following changes were made – 1. Remote Weapons Station added, 2. Smoke grenade Launchers moved back, 3. Covers on forward section of storage rack ((maybe hiding elements of the hard kill system) 4. An extra covered block appeared between the commanders and gunners sights, which maybe part of the Active Protection System.
MBT-3000 Upgraded Rear 2014
On the rear the upgraded version will see that 1. a new box has appeared 2. The exhaust is now square, not round 3. and 4. The lights panels now have protective grills.
The vehicle has a full digitalised fire control system with a hunter killer capability making it a 3rd Generation Tank. The main gun is a ZPT98 series 125mm smoothbore capable of firing APFSDS, HEAT, HE shells and gun-launched missiles, with a maximum missile range of 5000m’s. The vehicle has a battlefield management system.
As of 2014 it has a roof mounted Remote Weapon Station fitted with a 12.7mm MG, replacing the revious 12.7mm MG mounted on the commanders cupola. The vehicle alos has a 7.62mm coaxial MG.
MBT-3000 Frontal Armour pre-upgrade
The frontal turret armour appears to match (wedge shape, inspection hatch on the top of each) that of the module armour used on the upgraded Type 96 and Type 99.
It contains a modern composite armour (as used on the hull front) with Explosive reactive Armour built into it. ERA bricks are also mounted across the front of the hull.
It also has an internal fire suppression system and electrical gun stabilization system, so as to reduce the number of parts that can “cook off” if the armour is defeated.
MBT-3000 Turret Armour 2014
Under the improved version of the vehicle, NORICO (manufacturer) has said the side skirts are now made of a composite armor (they probably mean it’s a ceramic or hardened steel) and ERA can be added to this.
This would bring the vehicle up to a 4th generation standard, but has not been photographed with this added side ERA.
It also has an active protection system that links laser threat warning sensors in to the smoke grenade launchers designated the GL5. The crew have full NBC protection.
New active protection system designated the GL5
Red Shield 2 active protection system for main battle tanks and armoured vehicles is a fully automatic, intelligent active protection system. It is comprised of detection devices, missile-interception equipment and launcher. It is intended to realize active protection for main battle tanks and armoured vehicles to effectively intercept anti-tank missiles, RPGs so as to improve greatly the field survivability. It is also adopted as the last phase protection means for high-value facilities such as communication station, missile launching well and command center, etc.
- Automatic working function: When the Red Shield 2 is switched on, it is able to perform the whole process of target detection, information processing, intercept projectile launch, target destruction automatically, without human interference
- Real-time target detection : Red Shield 2 is able to search target within a distance of 100m. When target is acquired, it starts to track it automatically and measures the speed, distance, angle of targets accurately
- Fire control and trajectory resolution: Red Shield 2 establishes target trajectory with real-time target data acquired, thus calculates target projectile encounter position and resolves the fire control parameters and generates ignition order to intercept projectile so that realize launch of projectile at right time to intercept the target
- Real-time interception: It is able to damage, destruct or detonate the incoming targets effectively at a distance of 10m±1.5m
- Operating mode: Automatic, intelligent, all-time and 3-dimensional protection
- Target type: Anti-tank missile, RPG
- Target detection range: >100m
- Target intercept range: 10m
- Protection area: 360°, 3-dimensional
- Length of whole system: <400 mm
- Number of tubes: 12
IDEX 2017: Chinese VT4 – Show debut- Jane’s
Latest pictures from Zhuhai Air Show 2016
Analysis of MBT-3000 vs OPLOT protection level: Here
The Chinese MBT-3000 Main Battle Tank
The vehicle has a 1300hp turbo charged diesel, automatic gearbox and torsion bar suspension. The driver even has a rear camera and monitor fitted for whilst driving in reverse. It has a combat weight of 48 tonnes (VT-4 42 tonnes) and is fully air-conditioned.
• Height: 2.4m
• Width: 3.5m
• Length (Hull): 7m
• Length (Gun Forward): 10.1m
• Gun Elevation: -5.4 to +18 degrees
The MBT-3000 is a recent Chinese main battle tank, developed specially for export. It is also referred as VT-4. It is being marketed by NORINCO. It is an improved version of VT1A. The MBT-3000 is similar to the Type 99G which is currently in service with the PLA, but has downgraded capabilities such as sights, propulsion and gun. A model of this MBT was publicly presented in 2012. First pictures of this new tank appeared in 2013. It seems that the MBT-300 was proposed for Pakistan as an Al Khalid Mk.2.
|Al Khalid specifications|
|Dimensions :||10 x 3.5 x 2.40 m (33 x 11.5 x 7.9 fts)|
|Total weight, battle ready||46 tons (92,000 lbs)|
|Crew||3 (commander, driver, gunner).|
|Propulsion||KMDB 6TD-2 6-cylinder diesel 1,200 hp (890 kW)|
|Transmission||SESM ESM500 5-speed automatic|
|Top speed||72 km/h (45 mph)|
|Range/consumption||500 km (310.6 mi)|
|Armament||One 125 mm Sb (4.7 in) gun
One coaxial 7.62 mm (0.3 in) machine-gun
One cupola mounted AA 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine-gun
|Armor||Classified Composites RHA, ERA|
|Ammunition used||APFSDS, HEAT-FS, HE-FS|
Al Khalid Source tanks-encyclopedia.com
This tank is not an entirely new design. It owns its existence to the Soviet T-72 of the Cold War era which has been around for over 30 years. The T-72 proved to be reliable but not too effective in combat. In the 1980s China obtained this tank from Romania and cloned it. The MBT-3000 is the culmination of decades of fine-tuning many tank systems that have been of Soviet origin. Also this tank shows some Western influence in its design. A number of improvements over the previous Chinese designs is substantial, however none of them greatly improved tank’s performance.
The MBT-3000 is armed with a fully-stabilized 125-mm smoothbore gun. The gun is fed by an automatic carousel-type loader. The autoloader reduces the tank crew to three and allow to reduce dimensions of the vehicle. Both the gun and autoloader were copied from the Soviet T-72. Loading speed is 8 rounds per minute. This tank fires APFSDS, HEAT and HE/HEF rounds. It is also compatible with gun-launched anti-tank guided missiles.
Russian 9K119 Refleks (AT-11 Sniper) missiles
These are Russian 9K119 Refleks (AT-11 Sniper) missiles, produced in China under license. Missiles are launched in the same manner as ordinary munitions. Missiles have a maximum range of 5,000 m. Typically four missiles are carried. This anti-tank guided missile capability is not common in Western designs. A total of 38 rounds are carried for the main gun. 22 of them are loaded into the autoloader and are ready to use. Other rounds are stored inside the hull.
This machine is also fitted with passive countermeasures system. It links laser threat warning receiver with smoke grenade launching. It reduces the chance of being hit by enemy anti-tank guided weapons.
Laser threat warning receiver
The MBT-3000 is armed with a fully-stabilized 125 mm smoothbore gun. The gun is fed by an automatic carousel-type loader. The autoloader reduces the tank crew to three and allow to reduce dimensions of the vehicle. Both the gun and autoloader were copied from the Soviet T-72. Loading speed is 8 rounds per minute.
125 mm smoothbore gun
This tank fires APFSDS, HEAT and HE/HEF rounds. It is also compatible with gun-launched anti-tank guided missiles. These are Russian 9K119 Refleks (AT-11 Sniper) missiles, produced in China under license. Missiles are launched in the same manner as ordinary munitions. Missiles have a maximum range of 5 000 m. Typically four missiles are carried. This anti-tank guided missile capability is not common in Western designs. A total of 38 rounds are carried for the main gun. 22 of them are loaded into the autoloader and are ready to use. Other rounds are stored inside the hull.
There is also a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. Also the is a roof-mounted 12.7 mm machine gun. Initially it was manually operated by the vehicle commander. Later it became remotely controlled from inside of the tank. So the tank commander no longer has to expose himself to enemy fire.
12.7 mm machine gun
The tank is fully digitalized and is fitted with a battlefield management system. Gunner and commander use a second-generation cooled thermal imagers. It seems that these sights were jointly developed with ASELSAN of Turkey. Fire control system has a hunter-killer capability. This tank can fire accurately on the move. Vehicle is also fitted with a GPS navigation system.
The MBT-3000 has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver.
Generic Gun Director
|Type: Visual||Altitude Max: 0 m|
|Range Max: 46.3 km||Altitude Min: 0 m|
|Range Min: 0 km||Generation: LLTV, 2nd Generation (1980s/1990s)|
|Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Classification [Class Info] / Brilliant Weapon [Automatic Target Aquisition], Continous Tracking Capability [Visual], LLTV / NVG / CCD (Night-Capable) / Searchlight [Visual Night-Capable]|
Generic Laser Rangefinder for Gun Director
|Sensors / EW:|
|Generic Gun Director [LLTV] – (2nd Gen, Surface Only, 8x Magnification) Visual
Role: LLTV, Weapon Director
Max Range: 46.3 km
|Type: Laser Rangefinder||Altitude Max: 0 m|
|Range Max: 7.4 km||Altitude Min: 0 m|
|Range Min: 0 km||Generation: Not Applicable (N/A)|
|Sensors / EW:|
|Generic Laser Rangefinder for Gun Director – (Surface Only) Laser Rangefinder
Role: Laser Rangefinder for Weapon Director
Max Range: 7.4 km
It is claimed that this main battle tank is fitted with an indigenous turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 300 hp. However it might actually be of Ukrainian origin. It is worth mentioning that the Chinese Army Type 99G is powered by a more powerful engine, developing 1 500 hp and based on a German design. Some sources report that the MBT-3000 might be also fitted with a more powerful diesel, developing 1 500 hp. Engine is mated to an automatic gearbox. This MBT has a deep fording capability. Auxiliary fuel tanks can be fitted for extended range. Source military-today.com
|Main weapon caliber (mm)||
|Auxiliary gun calibre (mm)||
|AA gun caliber (mm)||
|Ammunition of the main gun||
|Ammunition in the autoloader||
|Fording depth (mm)||
|Engine power output (h.p.)||
|Max. road speed (km/h)||
|Max. road range (km)||
|Vertical obstacle (mm)||
|Side slope (%)||
|Ground pressure (kg/sm2)||
|Operating temperature, max (degree, C)||
|Operating temperature, min (degree, C)||
|Length of track on ground (mm)||
|Max. road range (km)||
|Rate of fire (rds/min)||
|Ammunition of the auxiliary gun||
|Ammunition of AA gun||
|Number of smoke grenade launchers||
|Number of forward gears||
|Number of reverse gears||
|Fuel capacity (l)||
Main material source military-today.com
Updated Jan 08, 2018