VT-4A1

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Merkava Mk.2D Pack
VT-4A1
cn_vt_4b.png
GarageImage VT-4A1.jpg
VT-4A1
AB RB SB
11.7 11.7 11.7
Class:
Research:410 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:1 100 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The VT-4A1 , previously known as MBT3000 during development, is one of the export MBTs produced by NORINCO as their high-end MBT solution to customers, where the A1 upgrade was first shown in 2022 Zhuhai Airshow in NORINCO's exhibition hall. After the development of Sino-Pakistani MBT2000 (Al-Khalid) in 2001, PLAGF's new 3rd Generation MBT were also in progress of development by early 2000s, thus plans for a completely domestic export MBT was suggested as Pakistan held half of the shares of any sales of MBT2000 as signed in a referendum. The original design of MBT3000 in 2009 planned for Ukrainian 6TD-2 engine pack, but threats from Ukroboronprom to not provide the necessary power packs (due to them also offering the T-84s to Peru, in competition with NORINCO's offering), meant that NORINCO has to source the components completely from NORINCO subsidies; thanks to the commission of ZTZ99A by 2010 and new full-electric gun laying system developed in 2000s, the new MBT3000 utilized a new power pack based on ZTZ99A; its prototype was completed by 2012 and the scaled mock-up was first shown in Eurosatory 2012, then the prototype was first shown during an armored vehicle show day for military attaché in Mainland China, then the Zhuhai Airshow of 2014 known as the VT-4. VT-4A1 introduced GL-6 hard-kill APS and a micro-drone for extra situational awareness, while VT-4 has been exported to Thailand, Pakistan (VT-4A; locally produced as Al-Haider) and Nigeria respectively, the VT-4A1 has yet to secure export orders.

Introduced in Update "Air Superiority" as the end-of-line MBT, VT-4A1 marked the apex of current capabilities of Chinese tank designs as the most advanced export MBT from NORINCO. For players who seek for a more low-profile alternative to WZ1001 series while maintaining their excellent protection and mobility, VT-4A1 can be said as "tailor-fit" design for them; all the ammunition options are identical to PLAGF MBTs, with the help of hard-kill APS, VT-4A1 can prove to be a very lethal opponents to take care of.

General info

Survivability and armour

ERA
Effective action against the cumulative ammunition
Composite armour
Balanced protection against all types of ammunition
Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
ESS
Creation of a smoke screen in the direction of movement of the vehicle
LWS
Notifies about the vehicle's exposure to laser emissions
Armourfront / side / back
Hull70 / 50 / 45
Turret85 / 60 / 35
Crew3 people
Visibility75 %

At first glance, the overall appearance of VT-4A1 might have deja vu from previous NORINCO designs, namely MBT2000 and ZTZ96A/ZTZ99 series; in fact VT-4 is a completely new design which just happened to have similarities from previous designs, players can say that it has the hull similar to MBT2000, turret like ZTZ96A and raised engine deck like ZTZ99A. The hull protection does somewhat resembles MBT2000 as shown in Pakistani images for their Al-Haider with a layered composite armor inside the UFP; in VT-4A1's case, it is upgraded up to ZTZ99A's standards with enhanced protection especially on kinetic shells thanks to the FY-4 ERA, where most APFSDS will have hard time penetrating its UFP, while the LFP is still not well-protected. The turret itself also has protection rated to block most APFSDS currently available in-game and sometimes even the best ATGMs will have hard time to penetrate the upper part of the turret front (given the hard-kill APS didn't intercept them), but the long-lasting problem of a less protected mantlet still haunts VT-4A1 as most shells at its tier will have no problem penetrating it, disabling the gun or the turret crews alongside. The overall protection is sufficient to take some hits from enemy strikes, but being cautious is always a good idea to keep the tank in operation as long as possible.

As for the crew, the layout resembles ZTZ99 series with a centerline driver seat and two turret crews; in most cases shots on the UFP and turret front will prove to be fruitless for enemy shells, be sure to hide the LFP as much as possible and keep the turret operational. But just like all PLAGF MBTs after 1990s - never, ever give away the side as the tank is equipped with NORINCO's AZ-172 equivalent autoloader, any penetrated shots on the carousel can cause an major explosion and a firework show for the enemies.

Armour type:

Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 45 mm Upper UFP (82°)

20 mm Lower UFP (46°) 65 mm LFP (50°)

60 mm 45 mm 30 mm
Turret 20 mm Turret front
310 mm Gun mantlet (Volumetric)
58 mm 35 mm 20 mm
FY-4 Explosive reactive armour Front (Slope angle) Sides
Hull Upper glacis (46°):180 mm Kinetic/ 550 mm Chemical N/A
Turret Turret front:180 mm Kinetic/ 550 mm Chemical N/A
FY-2 Explosive reactive armour Front (Slope angle) Sides
Hull Upper glacis (82°):120 mm Kinetic/ 450 mm Chemical N/A
Turret Turret front:50 mm Kinetic/ 450 mm Chemical N/A

Notes:

  • Rubber side skirts are at 8 mm
  • Suspension wheels, tracks, and torsion bars are 20 mm thick.
  • Turret side slat armor is at 10 mm

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB78 / 19 km/h
RB and SB71 / 18 km/h
Number of gears12 forward
4 back
Weight52.0 t
Engine power
AB2 480 hp
RB and SB1 300 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB47.7 hp/t
RB and SB25.0 hp/t

VT-4 opted for domestic VT/E1 power pack which consists of NORINCO 12V150HB-1 engine and CH1000B transmission; although these two compositions of power pack sound familiar to ZTZ99A and WZ1001, the engine in this case is limited to 1300 hp while having slightly worse mobility to the formers (especially reverse were only half of ZTZ99A), it can still make sure VT-4A1 can travel to designated positions as fast as it could while having sufficient reverse speed to retreat for cover.

Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 78 19 52 2015 2,480 38.75 47.69
Realistic 71 18 1150 1,300 22.12 25

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB4 446 → 7 020 Sl icon.png
RB4 309 → 6 803 Sl icon.png
SB5 453 → 8 610 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications293 500 Rp icon.png
482 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost3 200 Ge icon.png
Crew training310 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 100 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 300 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 350 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
160 / 200 / 210 % Sl icon.png
256 / 256 / 256 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
21 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
32 000 Sl icon.png
510 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Research:
6 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
32 000 Sl icon.png
510 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Research:
4 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement cn.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods thermal sight.png
NVD
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods engine smoke screen system.png
ESS
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
21 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
32 000 Sl icon.png
510 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods counterMeasures.png
LWS/LR
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
125mm_china_ATGM_ammo_pack
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
125mm_china_DTW_APDS_FS_ammo_pack
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
125mm_china_HE_VT_ammo_pack
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Laser rangefinder
Reduces the error and increases the maximum measurable distance of the rangefinder
Night vision device
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.
Thermal imager
Allows to see thermal radiation in the infrared range day and night

Main armament

Two-plane stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in two planes while moving
Autoloader
Automatically feeds projectiles into the breech. The speed does not depend on the skills of the loader
Ammunition38 rounds
First-order22 rounds
Reload7.1 s
Vertical guidance-5° / 13°
Main article: ZPT98 (125 mm)

Most export MBTs in NORINCO catalogue opt for the better ZPT98 cannon which has already been used for 2 decades since 2000s, VT-4A1 is no exception; in this case, all the ballistic performance is totally identical to PLAGF equivalents with varieties of ammunition at player's desire. Thanks to the new electric gun layers developed in mid-2000s, VT-4 series also enjoys the higher 38/15° (horizontal/vertical; aced) gun traverse speed from ZTZ99A, while it might not be as fast as some of its enemies, it can still ensure better reaction time than older ZTZ99 series while players still have to beware of the long-lasting reload time at 7.1 seconds per shot - make every shot counts.

125 mm ZPT98 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Autoloader
Arcade 38 -5°/+13° ±180° Two-plane 36.2 50.1 60.8 67.2 71.5 7.1
Realistic 22.6 26.6 32.3 35.7 38.0

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
DTP-125 HEATFS 480 480 480 480 480 480
125-I APFSDS 466 464 458 450 442 434
DTB-125 HE 45 45 45 45 45 45
DTC10-125 APFSDS 577 575 566 555 544 533
GP125 ATGM (tandem) 850 850 850 850 850 850
DTB12-125 HE-VT* 43 43 43 43 43 43
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
DTP-125 HEATFS 905 18 0.05 0.1 2.62 65° 72° 77°
125-I APFSDS 1,730 4.02 - - - 78° 80° 81°
DTB-125 HE 850 23 0.3 0.1 5.46 79° 80° 81°
DTC10-125 APFSDS 1,770 4.85 - - - 78° 80° 81°
Missile details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Range
(m)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
GP125 ATGM (tandem) 445 5,000 17.2 0.4 0.01 5.72 80° 82° 90°
Proximity-fused shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Arming
distance (m)
Trigger
radius (m)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
DTB12-125 HE-VT* 850 23.2 0.3 0.1 500 7 5.3 79° 80° 81°
DTP-125, HEAT-FS, Stock - DTP-125 has been a long-time friend to the Chinese 125 mm gun and is one of the stock shells for VT-4A1; like many HEATFS of its tier, due to ERA and composite armour being commonplace at its tier, hitting enemies from the front would very likely be fruitless. So if opting for HEATFS to take out enemies, make sure to aim for non-ERA/composite covered parts or by flanking enemies if possible; remembering where their ammunition is located can earn players a quick kill against enemies. It is still a versatile shell to have against all types of ground target.

DTB-125, HE-FS, Stock - DTB-125 is also available as the other stock shell; HEFS can serve as a makeshift anti-tank shell by hitting enemy optics or top plates with low protection and possibly triggering overpressure, dooming the crew and internal compartments of enemy vehicles. This also enables the tank to do "top-down" attacks against tanks behind cover, notably NATO tanks with higher profile and CITV. Thanks to the high explosive content, it is also a better option to knock-out light vehicles right away than the HEATFS.

125-I, APFSDS, Stock - 125-I (aka 一期弹 or officially, the 一步弹; Phrase/Stage I ammunition) has already been a familiar APFSDS for Chinese MBTs with 125 mm gun, different from previous MBTs, this shell comes stock for the tank; although its penetration may sound like nothing at its tier, the ballistic performance and damage from this shell can still make players' life easier.

DTC10-125, APFSDS, Tier IV - as the main APFSDS of PLAGF and one of the highest-penetration (non-DU) export APFSDS for 125 mm guns, DTC10-125 (aka 三期弹 or officially, the 三步弹; Phrase/Stage III ammunition; DTC10E when export) can make sure it can also utilize its very high velocity to defeat most enemies it face without problem, it will be the go-to ammunition once players have researched it.

DTB12-125, HE-FS (VT), Tier IV - Unlike Soviet/Russian HE-FS with timed fuse, DTB12 is currently the only HE-VT for its calibre; not only can it still be used as "anti-tank" shells like its stock counterpart albeit with lesser explosive content, enemy aircraft will have to face a 125 mm makeshift AA gun with 7 m trigger radius - it is never a good idea getting hit by such a huge shell.

Ammo racks

Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
38 __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __

Machine guns

Ammunition600 rounds
Belt capacity150 rounds
Reload5.0 s
Fire rate600 shots/min
Vertical guidance-6° / 85°
Ammunition2 500 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reload8.0 s
Fire rate700 shots/min

Instead of a crewed HMG, VT-4A1 opt for a remote weapon station with QJC88A installed, the RWS itself has mostly identical performance to other PLAGF MBTs which is best used for gunning down light vehicles or strafing aircrafts.

12.7 mm QJC88A
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Turret 600 (150) 600 -6°/+85° ±180°
7.62 mm Type 86
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 2,500 (250) 700 - -

Usage in battles

After NORINCO developed the MBT2000 as their export MBT, the new VT-4 represented the state-of-the-art MBT capabilities of Mainland China and also the star of Chinese appearance in different military expo, as well as an alternative with advanced C4ISR systems to Russian MBTs for new customers or those with Soviet tanks in their military. Not only is the tank completely built with domestic and indigenous components, it also utilized technologies developed for ZTZ99A series and the latest hard-kill APS for survivability. Although there are problems regrading on the protection and overall firepower, VT-4A1 can be the new spear of armor corps assault or a tough flanker to be dealt with.

At first glance, players might find the hull design similar to MBT2000, albeit the duo has no heritage between each other, instead of the conventional design for PLAGF tanks with well-sloped UFP, VT-4A1 opted for an extended protection area which can cover some parts of the LFP with composite armor and further increase its protection against HEAT or autocannons. To compensate for the less-sloped rectangular area on between UFP and LFP, it is equipped with FY-4 ERA packages with excellent, one-off protection while 2/3 of the UFP is also covered by FY-2 ERA packages with lesser but sufficient protection. The VT-4 series also opted for an arrow-shaped turret applique armor that resembles ZTZ96A and ZTZ99 series with excellent ballistic protection, hitting the applique armor with any given weaponry will be prove fruitless. However, the LFP is even larger from front projection and it do not offer protection against high-caliber APFSDS. The long-lasting problem of the gun mantlet still haunts VT-4 series, most ammunition at its rank will have no problem penetrating these areas and thus disabling the vehicle at once, so keeping the mantlet out of enemy line of fire is extremely crucial for the operation of VT-4A1 as any penetrated shots will either disable the gun or sometimes even take out the turret crew, leading to a knock-out, so be extra careful on close-quarter battles in this case. Internally, VT-4A1 still resembles the layout of PLAGF and Warsaw-Pact/Russian MBTs with its carousel autoloader; as VT-4 series does not require high-quantity of ammunition demanded by first-party (customer), the remaining 15 shells are located on the sides of driver (one spare shell next to commander). This redesign somewhat eliminated the problem of a cramped interior with ammunitions surrounding the turret ring - unless the tank is being hit directly on the autoloader or the wet-storage ammo rack, the shrapnel from enemy shots is not likely causing fatal damage to the tank. But once again: never, ever let enemies to have the chance to shoot the carousel, it is never a good idea turning player's tank into a rocket-for-two after the ammunition detonated.

VT-4A1 does retain the excellent mobility of modern PLAGF MBTs with up to 70 km/h top speed while the reverse speed is halved from ZTZ99A series with similar transmission; oddly enough, it shares identical P/W ratio at exactly 25 hp/t, this also means it can accelerate fast into the battlefield or flanking enemies. Although it still lacks more advanced APFSDS, the ammunition options are much more versatile than NATO counterparts and the velocity of APFSDS is very high for long-range engagements (flat trajectory), while the optics has great thermal vision channel for both the gunner and commander for better target acquisition. Players can employ the tactics on ZTZ99A series - be a fast-mover and flank enemies to compensate for the lack of penetration to deal with some MBTs of its tier; if enemy players launched a missile upon VT-4A1, the GL6 APS will make sure their effort fruitless. If players need a quick retreat, the -17 km/h reverse speed is sufficient to retreat to cover; but most of all, do not over-extend as this will greatly minimize the odds to surviving the upcoming battles.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Great mobility
    • Powerful 1300 hp engine that pushes the tank up to 70 km/h
    • CH1000B transmission ensures sufficient reverse speed
    • Dual-flow transmission for pintle turn
  • Sufficient firepower with varieties of ammunitions ranging from HE-VT to APFSDS
  • Advanced optics with high-definition TVD for gunnery crews
  • Upgraded protection than MBT2000 to the level of ZTZ99 series
  • Relatively low profile than ZTZ99A series and most NATO MBTs
  • Fast turret traverse speed
  • GL6 hard-kill APS to intercept oncoming missiles or sometimes kinetic shells

Cons:

  • Lesser reverse speed than ZTZ99A series
  • One of the slowest reload rate at top tier at 7.1 second
  • Slightly elevated engine deck that limits rear arc
  • Performance of DTC10 is hindered by its low penetration at its tier
  • Somewhat flawed protection
    • Large LFP, UFP and mantlet with insufficient protection
    • Less than ideal side protection against autocannons
    • Lacks turret top ERA for overhead protection

History

Soon after the development of Sino-Pakistani MBT2000 and its debut in 2001, the engineer team of MBT2000 kept on improving their tank design with provisions of future battlefield; a major problem rose up during the development of MBT2000 - namely the powerplant. Recalling from the development history of MBT2000, due to the sanctions to Mainland China and Pakistan in 1990s, as well as inferior transmission systems, MBT2000 has to source from Ukraine with their 6TD-2 engine pack. This eventually led to a controversary between Mainland China and Ukraine during the MBT bidding of Peru in 2009, as Ukroboronprom threated not to supply 6TD-2 to MBT2000 production line in favor for the T-84 with identical powerplant (note: Peru eventually opted for T-55M8A2 Tifón 2; the country received four MBT2000 for evaluation but were later returned to NORINCO); all sales profits of MBT2000 from NORINCO would also be divided with Pakistan as both countries hold half of the shares and intellectual property of the tank. Thus the need for a completely domestic MBT rose.

The latest VT-4A1 in 2022 Zhuhai Airshow

The engineer team led by Feng Yibai (冯益柏) started the MBT3000 during the incident which happened to opted for 6TD-2 from the beginning; but thanks to the leap-forward of PLAGF technologies in 2000s with completely domestic power pack and gun laying systems from the WZ1001/ZTZ99A, the first prototype of VT-4 rolled out from the production line in 2012; a scaled mock-up was first shown in Eurosatory 2012, then the full-scale tank was shown on both a NORINCO show day and the Zhuhai Airshow in 2014 as the new defense product of NORINCO. The tank soon earned the chance to compete with Russian T-90S and Ukrainian T-84 Oplot in 2015 as Pakistan Army was in need for a new generation tank; although the performance of CH1000B almost soured VT-4 (its reliability improved by 2019), the complications and political considerations of Pakistan eventually become the turning point of the deal of VT-4A and the deal was set for 100 tanks supply to Pakistan in 2019, then 679 extra tanks and the assemble line in Pakistan as the Haider MBT. While Royal Thai Army purchased 38 tanks since 2017 as the replacement of T-84 in view of the concerns of no further orders would be delivered; as well as Nigeria which purchased a certain amount of VT-4 in late-2010s.

The A1 variant was first shown during the 2022 Zhuhai Airshow in NORINCO hall as their new defense product with GL6 hard-kill APS and a micro-drone for recon, as well as upgraded C4ISR system and protection. This model is yet to secure overseas orders.

Media

Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.


China medium tanks
ZTZ59  Type 59 · ZTZ59A · ZTZ59D1
ZTZ69  Type 69 · Type 69-IIa · T-69 II G
ZTZ88/96  ZTZ88A · ZTZ88B
  ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ96A (P)
ZTZ99  ZTZ99-II · ZTZ99-III
ZTZ99A  ZTZ99A · WZ1001(E) LCT
Export series  MBT2000 · VT-4A1
ROC  CM11
Other  Т-34-85 Gai · Object 122MT "MC"
Japan  ␗Chi-Ha · ␗Chi-Ha Kai
USA  ␗M4A4 · ␗M4A4 (1st PTG) · ␗M4A1 (75) W · ␗M48A1 · ␗M60A3 TTS
USSR  ␗T-34 (1943) · ␗Т-34-85 (S-53) · T-34-85 No.215 · Т-62 №545