According to information published in December 2019, the Bangladesh Ministry of Defense officially announced that its army has ordered VT5 light tanks from China. The VT5 is now deployed by the Chinese army Xinjiang Military Command and Chinese Marines.
For several years, China has been a major supplier of military equipment to Bangladesh including main battle tanks Type 59G, WS-22 122mm Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), FM-90 air defense missile systems, and more.
According to the SIPRI Arms Trade Database, in 2019 Bangladesh has ordered a total of 44 Chinese-made VT5 light tanks. It is also deployed by the Chinese army Xinjiang Military Command and Chinese Marines.
The VT5, also named Type 15 or ZTQ-15 in the Chinese army, is a lightweight battle tank designed and manufactured by the Chinese defense company NORINCO (China North Industries Corporation). The VT5 was unveiled to the public during the Zhuhai AirShow China in November 2016.
The main armament of the VT5 consists of one 105 mm rifled gun with a thermal sleeve and fume extractor which has a maximum firing range of 3,000 m. The main armament also includes an automatic loading system. The VT5 carried a total of 38 rounds of 105mm ammunition which can include Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APFSDS), High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT), High Explosive (HE), and gun-launched anti-tank guided missile. The missile has a maximum range of 5,000m and is fitted with a tandem HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead able to destroy armored or tanks protected with reactive armor (ERA).
The hull and the turret of the VT5 are made with all-welded steel armor which provides stand protection against the firing of small arms and shell splinters. To increase the protection, the VT5 can be equipped with advanced composite armor and/or explosive reactive armor (ERA).
The VT5 is motorized with a 1,000 hp electronically controlled diesel engine mounted at the rear of the hull. and coupled to a hydro-mechanical full automatic transmission with a pivot steering capability and a cooling system. It can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h, 35 to 40 km/h in off-road conditions with a maximum cruising range of 450 km.
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