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NORINCO ZTQ-15 (Type 15 / VT-5)

Light Tank [ 2021 ]

The new Type 15 is being promoted as the VT-5 for the export market by China-based NORINCO - it debuted in October of 2016 at the Zhuhai exhibition.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/24/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

China NORth INdustries COrporation (NORINCO) debuted a new light tank at Air Show Zhuhai 2016 designated the "Type 15" (or "VT-5" for export). The vehicle was acknowledged by Chinese authorities in December of 2018 and said to have entered service that same time. The Type 15 is a low-cost / low-risk venture with both the domestic Chinese and global export market in mind, targeting national armies that see more modern Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) as "out-of-reach" budget-wise but require more firepower and strength than that as offered by multi-wheeled light / light-armored tank systems.

The Type 15 is also known by the designations of VT-5 and ZTQ-15.

The vehicle showcases a low-profile design consistent with contemporary Russian and Chinese tank offerings. The turret sports well-sloped sides and the hull's glacis plate is nearly horizontal. The sides of the turret incorporate fencing / screens to protect against rocket attacks. The main gun system has no noticeable muzzle brake and a fume extractor is seen near the midway point of the barrel's length. Spare fuel drums are carried over the rear of the hull to help extend the vehicle's base travel range. Over the turret roof is a flexible mounting for 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun installations as an anti-infantry / anti-aircraft measure. A coaxial 7.62mm machine gun is assumed. Smoke grenade dischargers are also worked into the side turret panels to provide the vehicle and crew with a self-screening capability. The hull is further protected by Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) sections.

Primary armament is the 105mm Type 94 main gun which would give it good penetration values against light- and medium-armored vehicles and is typical of light-class combat vehicles. HE shell support also allows the tank to support infantry advances into contested environments, dislodging dug-in enemy troops in the process. A Remote Weapon Station (RWS) is seated on the turret roof and armed through a 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) alongside a 40mm QLZ-04 Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL). The main gun is fed by an autoloader which reduces the operating crew from the traditional four personnel to just three.

The running gear has the drive sprocket set to the rear and track idler mounted at front. Six double-tired roadwheels are present at each hull side. The upper reaches of the wheels, as well as the upper track link section range, is protected by "skirt" armor that is further reinforced by ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) blocks.

Drive power stems from an electronically-controlled 1,000 horsepower diesel-fueled, turbocharged engine seated within the rear of the hull and mated to a fully-automatic transmission system. The hull is suspended atop a hydropneumatic suspension system offering excellent cross-country travel qualities. Performance includes a maximum road speed of 43 miles-per-hour with an operational range out to 500 miles. Like other Chinese-Soviet-Russian tanks, the T-15 most likely has an inherent amphibious capability.

Weight reaches up to 36 tonnes with full armor added. The compact dimensions and relatively light weight of the vehicle allows it to be carried in the belly of a military transport aircraft and airdropped into action.

Beyond these features, the Type 15 carries panoramic sights, night vision support, and an all-modern, digital Fire Control System (FCS). Armor protection is against small arms fire and artillery spray as well as some smaller-caliber field guns. A full Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (NBC) suite is provided as standard as is an air conditioning system, complete navigation support and command equipment. ©MilitaryFactory.com
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December 2018 - The Type 15 Light Tank was reported to have entered operational service with Chinese land forces.



Service Year

China national flag graphic

In Active Service.

China NORth INdustries COrporation (NORINCO) - China
(View other Vehicle-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Bangladesh National flag of China Bangladesh; China
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Infantry Support
Support allied ground forces through weapons, inherent capabilities, and / or onboard systems.
Engage armored vehicles of similar form and function.

Track-and-Wheel Arrangement
Vehicle utilizes a track-and-wheel arrangement to provide enhanced cross-country travel capability.
Primary Turret
A modern tank quality, this vehicle sports its main armament in a single turret.
Remote Weapon Station (RWS)
Vehicle supports a remote-operated weapons station, reducing crew exposure to outside dangers.
Traversable Main Armament
Armament is situated in a traversing component, allowing for all-around engagement of enemy threats.
Recoil Enhancement
Main weapon has an integral recoil mechanism, allowing the system to remain trained-on-target after firing.
Firing On-the-Move
A modern quality, onboard systems provide accuracy to primary armament allowing for firing on-the-move.
System can enter and traverse open water sources - either rivers, lakes, and streams; Amphibious Assault operation support.
Cross-Country Capability
Design includes such features as a track-link system or high ground clearance to better traverse offroad.
Angled Armor
Angled armor at key facings adds inherent ballistics protection to the vehicle.
Shallow Glacis
The shallow design of the glacis plate provides the vehicle with inherent ballistics protection as well as contributes to a lower overall profile - making it more difficult to disable.
Enhanced Armor Protection
Protection is enhanced by way of additional armor being installed over that of standard levels; plate steel for older designs and reactive armor for modern types.
NBC Protection
Crew is provided (either as standard or optional) protection against Nuclear-Biological-Chemical agents for enhanced survivability in contaminated zones.
Smoke Screening
Vehicle has capability to self-generate a smoke screen, either through launched grenades or built-in engine funtion (raw fuel injection).
Crew has access to night-vision equipment, allowing for low-light or night time operations.
Anti-Aircraft / Air-Defense Capable
System is given an anti-aircraft defense component to protect itself from low-flying aerial threats at range.
Anti-Tank Capable
Onboard solution provides ability to neutralize armored or fortified targets at range through missile or penetrating ballistic weapons.
Vehicle features an in-built anti-infantry capability for local defense of the vehicle or general troop suppression.
Remote Weapons Station
Vehicle supports an unmanned weapons station controlled remotely from within the safety of the vehicle.

31.2 ft
9.5 m
10.5 ft
3.2 m
8.6 ft
2.63 m
55,116 lb
25,000 kg
27.6 tons
(Showcased structural values pertain to the NORINCO Type 15 production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x Digitally-controlled, diesel-fueled engine of unknown make and model developing 1,000 horsepower driving conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
43.5 mph
(70.0 kph)
310.7 mi
(500.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the NORINCO Type 15 production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 105mm main gun in turret.
1 x 7.62mm co-axial machine gun in turret.
1 x 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) / Anti-Aircraft (AA) machine gun with 1 x 40mm QLZ-04 Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) in Remote Weapon Station (RWS) on turret roof.
8 x Smoke Grenade Dischargers.

Supported Types

Graphical image of a tank cannon armament
Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun
Graphical image of a tank heavy machine gun
Graphical image of infantry-level automatic grenade launcher
Graphical image of tank /armored vehicle smoke grenade dischargers

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
40 x 105mm projectiles.
2,000 x 7.62mm ammunition.
600 x 12.7mm ammunition.
100 x 40mm grenades.
8 x Smoke Grenades.

Type 15 - Base Series Designation.
VT-5 - Alternative / export model designation.
ZTQ-15 - Alternative designation.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the NORINCO ZTQ-15 (Type 15 / VT-5)
Image from the Chinese Ministry of Defense; Public Release.
2 / 3
Image of the NORINCO ZTQ-15 (Type 15 / VT-5)
Image from the Chinese Ministry of Defense; Public Release.
3 / 3
Image of the NORINCO ZTQ-15 (Type 15 / VT-5)
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.


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