China delivers VT4 tanks SH5 howitzers 8x8 ST1 tank destroyers to Nigerian army

On April 8, NORINCO (China North Industries Corporation) delivered the first of 17 military vehicles composed of VT4 main battle tanks, SH5 105mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers and 8x8 ST1 tank destroyers.

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NORINCO VT4 tank being unloaded in Nigeria (Picture source Twitter VinodDX9)

Nigerian Army’s Chief of Policy and Plans (CPPLANS) Lieutenant-General Lamidi Adeosun said the weapons were acquired through the Ministry of Defense, adding that adequate preparations were made for maintenance and availability of spare parts.

Adeosun said that more vehicles are still coming. Asked about them, Adeosun replied that “They are different categories: heavy tanks, light tanks and we also have two types of artillery weapons, all from China. The first set of 15 40-foot containers that were offloaded before today were made up of spare parts and accessories of all these equipment. Those ones are already out of the port and on their way to their destinations. Those who will operate them have been trained in China. If not for the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19, we expected some of their trainers to join us here to train more people”.

The VT-4 main battle tank, also known as the MBT3000, is a Chinese third-generation main battle tank built by Norinco for overseas export. It is an upgraded variant of the MBT2000 (VT-1) and the latest tank model from the Type 90-II tank family. It uses technology from the Type 99A currently fielded by the People's Liberation Army.

The SH5 is a development of the SH2 which is armed with a 105 mm howitzer. In July 2011, The NORINCO organized a promotion demonstration of its SH5 in Alashan Range, located in Inner-Mongolia. The aim was to sell this new 105mm howitzer to some developing countries. The gun is mounted on a 6X6. The SH5 has a maximum range of 18 km.

The ST1 is the export version of Type 08a family of 8x8 amphibious, modular armored vehicles developed by Norinco for infantry fire support, battlefield logistics and quick reaction operations. It is a recent People's Republic of China produced Infantry fighting vehicle for the Ground Force and the Marine Corps. ZBL-08 is the designation for the Infantry Fighting variant in the Type 08 vehicle family. The modular design claims to be able to field a variety of different models including APC, assault gun, an engineering vehicle, a 122 mm self-propelled howitzer, a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer, an air defense variant, a self-propelled mortar, a reconnaissance model, a command vehicle and much more. The ST1 is the export variant based on the Type 11 assault gun, armed with an L7 105mm rifled gun. On top of Nigeria, the ST1 is in service in the armies of Thailand, Gabon and Venezuela.

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