Bangladesh Army to Purchase Chinese VT5 Light Tanks
Chinese media on 02 December 2019 reported that according to Bangladeshi media reports, the Bangladesh Army has decided to purchase 44 Chinese VT5 light tanks in the first batch to form a tank regiment and the number of purchases may increase to 140 in the future. If the report is true, this will be the first export of Chinese domestic VT5 light tanks, marking the opening of Chinese export of the new generation domestically produced light tanks to international market.
The Army has put forward a request for funds with the Ministry of Finance. Once its approved Army will move to sign a contract agreement for the purchase of a good number of VT-5s.
We expect BD Army to purchase 200 units by the end of the program says Bangladesh Military News Facebook pageThe VT-5 is armed with a 105mm rifled gun and can fire ATGM from its barrel. It has the ability to knock out most modern main battle tanks and IFVs in service today. Army will use these tanks to face Myanmar. The VT-5 will be used primarily by the Eastern Corps.
As per website Military Today VT5 has got an effective firing range of 3 km. With APFSDS round can penetrate up to 500 mm of rolled homogenous armor. Such penetration capabilities are not sufficient to defeat modern main battle tanks over the front arc. However the VT5 can also launch 105 mm anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary munitions. These extend the effective range to up to 5 km and hit probability of over 90% against stationary targets. Furthermore the missiles have tandem HEAT warheads and pose serious threat to main battle tanks, and can even target low-flying helicopters. Also there are ordinary HEAT and HE rounds for use against light armored vehicles, buildings and field fortifications.
The tanks could be useful in the riverine and hilly terrain on the Bangladesh Myanmar border.
The two countries are having a major dispute over return of over 700,000 Rohingya refugees by Myanmar.
Bangladesh Army Chief was in Myanmar on an official visit in an attempt to break the impasse.
Editor’s Note – Translation by Manoj V Nair, Confirmatory checks have not been carried out on authenticity of the translation and errors and omissions are expected.