September.15 (China Defense Mashup reporting by Johnathan Weng) — After the latest MBT-2000 tank for Pakistan, another new armor combat vehicle, called-as VT1A main battle tank, now has been opened by one Chinese magazine “Ordnance Knowledge”, which has been known as a state-run magazine under NORINCO Group.
VT1A main battle tank
The magazine announced that VT1A tank can be exported to foreign countries and provides some specifications:
Full Weight: 49 tons
Height: 2.4 meters (up to turret top)
Width: 3.5 meters
Length: 10.33 meters (gun forward)
Crew number: 3 (with autoloader)
Power: 1200 hp water-cooled turbocharged diesel engine
Power-weight ratio: 24 hp/ton
Maximum highway speed: 69 km/h
Max operational range: 450 km
Armament: 125 mm smoothbore gun, 7.62 parallel machine guns, 12.7 antiaircraft machine gun
Maintainability: integrated power system
Fire Control System: scan-targeting type.
Protection: Main armor + modular composite reactive armor
So, the next is the question why this VT1A tank looks so similar to Pakistan Al-Khalid MBT?
An evolution of Chinese and Soviet tanks, the Al-Khalid’s final tank design resulting from a decade of co-operative development was designated Type 90-IIM. Chinese company Norinco showed the new Type 90-IIM during the March 2001 Abu Dhabi Defense Expo, under the export name MBT 2000. The version powered by the Ukrainian engine, intended for domestic production in Pakistan, was named Al-Khalid. For this achievement, Pakistan spent more than US$20 million over ten years on the co-development of a model suitable for their needs and on creating a capability to manufacture it locally.
But the appearance of VT1A tank just indicates that NORINCO wants to provide MBT 2000 technology for other developing countries, such as Sri Lanka. But Pakistan would get its payment for the selling of this twin young brother of Al-Khalid MBT?