The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has formally accepted into service a new Type 15 light tank.
On December 27, the spokesman of Chinese Defense Ministry, Senior Colonel Wu Qin, during a press conference, confirmed the inducted into service of a new Type 15 light tank (export designation – VT-5).
“As for the light tank Type 15 … as far as I know, this type of tank was formally accepted into service by the PLA, ” – said Wu Qin.
The Type 15m, also called the ZTQ-15, is a new generation of Chinese light tank.
According to open source, a new light tank specifically designed for operations in mountainous regions. The new tank was designated to serve in high-altitude, rugged terrain such as in the Tibet autonomous region, so it has a light weight and a powerful diesel engine suitable for oxygen-deficit environments.
It is armed with a 105 mm gun, protected against handheld anti-tank weapons and believed to be fitted with a powerful engine that provides strong off-road mobility.
According to Chinese reports, the tank weighs about 35 tonnes and has a crew of four, although there is speculation that an autoloader for its main gun may dispense with one crew member.
A new light tank has got a modern fire control system. It includes laser rangefinder, ballistic computer, wind sensor, gunner’s thermal sight and commander’s panoramic sight with thermal vision. Thermal vision allows to engage targets at night and during adverse weather conditions.