The Pakistan Army Armoured Corps has selected the Chinese VT4 tank (previously known as the MBT3000) – produced by China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) – to meet requirements for procuring hundreds of new main battle tanks.
A military analyst, Muzammil Hatami announced the selection of the Norinco VT4 for increasing of Pakistani armoured vehicle fleet.
“VT4 has confirmed for future Pakistan army tank and Alkhalid II main battle tank is in developing phase,” – said Muzammil Hatami during 10th International IDEAS defense exhibition in Karachi, Pakistan.
The VT4 is a third-generation MBT offered for export by Norinco. It is an improvement over the Al-Khalid MBT (also known as MBT-2000), which is currently in service with Pakistan Army, although it retains the 125 mm main gun, carousel auto-loader, and crew configuration of the older vehicle.
Nevertheless, the Pakistani military refused to comment on the choice of the Chinese-made VT4 main battle tank (MBT) and asked to wait for an official statement. Despite the fact that the future tank’s tender details kept at a secret, it was reported that Pakistan might procure around 100 MBTs in order to meet the deficiency of MBT production in the country.
Also according to leaked images, the Pakistan Army (PA) already tested the Norinco VT4 MBT. Published on 6 January 2017 the photographs showed how PA personnel inspected a VT4 platform at an undisclosed location.
The VT4 is motorized with water-cooled turbocharged electronic-controlled diesel engine developing 1,300 hp (some source said about 1200 hp). The tank can run a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 500 km.
In addition to VT4, the Pakistan Army also evaluated the Ukrainian Oplot-P MBT produced by Malyshev Factory.
In July 2017, Pakistan’s delegation included Secretary Defence Lt General (R) Zamir ul Hassan Shah, also officially visited Ukraine where reviewed the production of modern Ukrainian armored vehicles. He mentioned that Pakistan values its relations with Ukraine and believes that the relationship will strengthen with the passage of time.
At that time some sources reported that Ukraine was on the verge of signing a deal to provide Pakistan with new and upgraded main battle tanks.
In April 2017, “Delovaya Stolitsa” interviewed Pakistan’s Ambassador to Ukraine Maj. Gen (retired) Athar Abbas, who told Delovaya Stolitsa that Pakistan could be interested in 100 Oplot-P main battle tanks.