December 12, 2017

China's VT5 Light Tank Superior to Indian, British & German - Sometimes

Most countries have or crave tanks, except the Vatican, which boasts an armoured, 
 airmobile, Popemobile

Developed countries usually have at least one heavyweight main battle tank (MBT) type for urban warfare, deserts and the ideal tank country of rolling hills. Countries with large enough defence budgets can afford some specialised tank types. 

China's increasingly large defense budget affords light tanks for muddy, slushy, snowy, mountain warfare and jungle warfare. China's latest notable light tank is the VT5.    

The VT5 saves weight by having " automatic bustle-mounted ammunition loading system, which allowed [it] to reduce the crew to 3 men.

...Due to its light weight the VT5 is much more mobile than [Chinese] main battle tanks, such as Type 96 and Type 99. It can be used in mountainous areas that are not accessible to main battle tanks. For example the Indian T-72 orT-90 main battle tanks [tellingly] can not go high in to the mountains. At high altitudes air becomes thin and their engines start to loose power. So high in the mountains the new Chinese tank should not encounter any heavily-armored opponents.”

The VT5, on display at an arms bazaar, has pixelated camouflage because enemy sensors take longer to detect a vehicle with such camo and it looks good. (Photo courtesy Military-Today)

To the right of the VT5 is another armoured vehicle in rather loud blue pixelation, perhaps not strictly for camouflage. A Business Insider author describes the blue camo thus: China “unveiled a shocking maritime camo scheme on a variety of armoured vehicles and missile batteries [see at 1min 40secs] in their September 3, 2015 military parade. The blue pixelated camo makes little sense for land combat vehicles, even an amphibious vehicle would lose its need for a bright blue camo scheme as soon as it left the water. Perhaps the Chinese chose the colour scheme to signal a rhetorical shift in the focus of their armed forces on naval strength.”.

Separately China’s one stop shop for weapons’ sales, NORINCO, let the VT5 light combat tank strut its stuff in August 2017. Military attaches of 50 countries were awed beyond gobsmacking by the VT5 display of great Middle Kingdom tank craftsmanship. This was at a tank racing circuit in China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region. The VT5 can do 70 km/h - significantly faster than contemporary British and German tanks.



l@chit said...

seriously ?

China's VT5 Light Tank Superior to Indian Tanks - lolz against all types of Indian tanks ?

IA T72 have been operating in high altitude long time back

as back as 1986 IA under operation kartoos, had T-72s airlifted to Leh for deployment.

deployment of T-72 in high altitude areas upto 16,000 feet ASL has been done.

special additives and lubricants for high altitude operations such as winter grade diesel and additives for the lubrication system are used to get them running.

also the engines are tweaked, current 780HP engine up-rated to 1000HP locally by modifying components of existing engine.

IMO upgraded T72 are more than a match for the VT5.

anyways comparing light tanks to medium tanks is not justifiable even on paper.

GhalibKabir said...

Along with (already deployed?) Xingqingtan, China's VT-5 could see deployment in Ladakh-Aksai Chin and the North East of India eventually.

India did make a light tank in the 1990s using a GIAT GS-90 turret and a 105 mm gun.never saw production.

Either the TATA-DRDO consortium revives & finishes the 2009? prototype or India imports the Russian 2S25 light tank. In ladakh, the anti-tank missile bearing BMP-2M has to do for now.

Good Read:

the phrasing of the RFI indicates an assembled in India foreign light tank..likely Russkie.

PS: the blue camouflage is interesting as it indicates China actively planning rehearsal of possible blue water expeditionary capabilities incl. LSTs (to what end I am not sure, fight till the second Island Chain to create an exclusive zone?, the CCP hawks (or the Chinese equivalent of wing nuts?) are certainly capable of such a step to show the US they are indeed a G-2 nation)

Josh said...


China has an ever increasing number of LPDs. It is also supposed to be building a LHD type of platform. It also recently expanded its Marine corps by tens of thousands. So it definitely has a robust amphibious capability that's on the rise. However I suspect its initial focus will be inside the first island chain.


GhalibKabir said...

@Josh, Yes they have the Type 71 and they are quite big. The first island chain imho is already gone. (flying from Singapore to Manila makes me see this PLAN eye sore every time)

So I guess the next would be slowly turfing out the US till the second island chain and make US SSN/CBG visits to the SCS tougher and tougher by leveraging the ties with the Philippines (already these guys are offering China the chance to use islands in the South of the Philippines facing Australia if rumors are to be believed)

There is no alliance or single country that has the power to play the game of diplomatic coercion/physical coercion at this juncture (at least not like how the Chinese have been playing, keeping things below boiling point and keeping on dicing and slicing, unrestricted unlimited warfare in every sense)

Unknown said...

Even T-72 CIA (Combat Improved Ajeya) meant to fight in high altitudes, already deployed in Sikkim and Ladakh.

In Sikkim, there job is to cutoff Yadong from rest of China.
""""Road-building activity has already picked up & Sikkim’s first airport is due for commissioning later this year. In the Finger Area, the IA is siting on dominating heights & hence the PLA is rattled by the IA’s deployment in northern Sikkim of T-72CIA tanks. The PLA’s paranoia will increase further after some six heli-bases will be opened in Sikkim & north Bengal for housing Dhruv Mk.4/Rudra helicopter gunships over the next 50 days. The same is being done in Uttarkhand as well. That’s why the PLAAF has since March 2016 been flying its Tu-154Ms equipped with belly-mounted SAR sensors along the LAC to monitor the functioning of these heli-bases & also sending its Z-9 helicopters for visual recce. The PLA, which has only 3 acclimatised infantry brigades for operating along the LAC, is cl;early outnumbered & out-foxed by the IA’s 10 Mountain Divisions & that’s why any time of force accretion by the IA (like fielding M-777 UFHs or Rudras) makes the PLA ground commanders extremely nervous & hence the high number of recce foot patrols that are mounted by the PLA along the LAC. BTW, I hope you spotted in that videoclip on Chhamb Sector the PA’s deployment of China-supplied FN-6 MANPADS/VSHORADS."""