China's battle tank, VT-4 (formerly MBT-3000) Is Camparable to Its Westen Counterparts

Formerly designated as MBT-3000, the tank features superb mobility and strong firepower as well as a cutting-edge data exchange network.

According to Western military publications, the VT-4 is equipped with an electronic-controlled diesel engine with 1,200 horsepower, giving the tank a cruise speed of 68 kilo-meters per hour. Its main gun is a 125-mm smoothbore that can fire various shells, including a kinetic energy penetrator and high explosive anti-tank warhead. In addition, it can also fire anti-tank missiles with a maximum range of 5,000meters.

"It has an advanced fire-control system, a new-type active protection system and a state-of-the-art fully automatic transmission device," he said. "In addition, the inter-unit network connects commanders of tanks and armored vehicles under a combat group, enabling them to share battlefield data in real time."

The VT-4 can compete with any first-class tank used by Western militaries such as the United States' M1A2 Abrams and Germany's Leopard 2A6,  adding that Russia's T-90 is no match for the Chinese tank in terms of technology.

Other weapons Norinco highlighted at the show included the PLZ-52, a new-generation, 155 mm self-propelled howitzer whose predecessor sold well in the Middle East, and the HJ-12 anti-tank missile, which has fire-and-forget capability and can even hit a helicopter flying at slow speed.

"Many of our products were specifically designed for the overseas market. Their capabilities are as good as those of Western weapons, but the prices are much more competitive," Liu said.

Anthony Cordesman, a national security analyst at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Bloomberg: "The Chinese systems are simply cheaper, they are reliable and they are tailored to the conditions of developing countries. As the systems get more sophisticated, they will under-cut Europe and the US and compete with Russia."

During a promotion in August in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, diplomats, military officials and defense contractors from 44 countries were given a field performance by Norinco's VT-4 tanks and combat vehicles.

"Several countries have expressed interest in the VT-4 after their officials saw the tank display, and we are negotiating with them on this matter," Liu said. "


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