Pakistan inducts China-made VT-4 battle tanks for offensive role
Pakistan has formally inducted the first batch of the China-made VT-4 battle tanks as it expanded its army's armoury capacity. The VT-4 battle tanks have been produced by Chinese state-owned armoured vehicle manufacturer, Norinco, and the delivery of these started in April last year. With the latest induction, Pakistan is the third country to have procured these tanks from China after Thailand and Nigeria procured got them from Beijing.
Lieutenant general Shaheen Mehmood, the commander of the Mangla Corps, on Wednesday visited the armoured division and inspected the first batch of VT-4 tanks, the army’s media affairs wing said in a statement. Major General Rashid Mahmood briefed the commander about ongoing post-shipment inspections of the first batch of tanks, the statement said. General Mehmood also witnessed the mobility and manoeuvrability test of the tanks, reported PTI.
Pakistan army said, after their on-field tests in September last year, that the VT-4 tanks would be employed in an offensive role by strike formations after induction. “The VT-4 is compatible with any modern tank in the world integrating advanced armour protection, manoeuvrability, firepower capabilities and state-of-the-art technology,” the army said.
Pakistan has heavily relied on China to buy defence weapons and procured several such artillery to boost its capability along the border with India.
In 2018, Pakistan was learnt to have around 17 units of Chinese origin T-59 and T69 tanks, which comprise 30 per cent of its total tank strength, people familiar with the matter said. It also has 12 regiments of Al-Zarar tanks, which makes 20 per cent of the tank fleet while Ukrain origin T-80-UD and T-85 UD, as well as an upgraded version of T-59 tanks, comprise the rest of the 50 per cent tank fleet.