China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), the prime land systems supplier to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), is looking to expand its international footprint with a new range of export-oriented artillery and missile launchers, tactical and armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), and main battle tanks (MBTs).
NORINCO’s latest SH15 self-propelled artillery vehicle is based on a Shaanxi 6×6 chassis, with an armoured cab accommodating a five-person crew in the front and the 155mm L/52 howitzer mounted on the rear. The weapon features a semi-automatic loading system and is also capable of firing standard NATO ammunition. The howitzer’s firing range is stated to be 20km when using regular ammunition, but can be extended to 40km with rocket-assisted projectiles.
Meanwhile, the SR5 multiple rocket launcher system (MLRS) is now being offered on a 4×4 or 6×6 chassis to suit customer preferences. The SR5 is a lightweight MLRS that comprises 20 launch tubes that can fire 122mm and 220mm unguided and precision rockets.
The company has also updated its range of AFVs, which now includes options such as the VN11A and VN12. The VN11A is an enhanced version of the VN11, which is derived from the ZBD-04 platform that is in widespread use by the PLA. The VN12 is the latest tracked export AFV that is designed to operate in the same battlespace as MBTs, and is armed with a 30mm cannon, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, and two anti-armour missiles.
The success of the VT4 MBT in Thailand has prompted a refresh of its tank portfolio, with an updated version of the cost-effective VT2 MBT – the export version of the PLA’s Type-96G – featuring a remote weapon station and updated electronic architecture. The tank retains the 125mm smoothbore gun, which is fed by an automatic loader that reduces the crew complement to three.
The latest VT5 light tank with a base combat weight of just 33 tonnes is also being actively marketed. The tank is armed with a 105mm gun and can carry additional armour for improved survivability, while its light weight enables it to be deployed in terrain that heavier MBTs cannot traverse.