MBT newest generation Type 10 is in service with the Japanese self-defense forces. The machine manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries weighing tons of 44 is armed with a 120-mm cannon
The traditional strongholds of armored vehicles in Asia are China, Japan and South Korea, which have been doing their projects for many years, although newcomers from this region are beginning to attract attention even in the international arena.
The countries of the Asia-Pacific region are distinguished by different levels of production of combat platforms. The most interesting are local projects of heavy armored vehicles, such as MBT, BMP and BTR, which are not just manufactured and assembled under license. This is due to the fact that such machines are more difficult to develop and manufacture, and the best indicator of the technological development of the state is the creation of a local production base.
East Asian Heavyweights
The Chinese army is armed with approximately 7050 main combat tanks (MBT) and 5090 BMP / BTR. The Chinese company China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) manufactures most of the armored vehicles, and its latest technology was shown at a military parade held in Beijing in September 2015.
A significant event of this parade was the show of the MBT duo ZTZ99A and the BMP ZBD04A. The technical characteristics of ZTZ99A are not disclosed, but the chief designer of the tank, Mao Ming, called him "the world leader in terms of firepower, protection and maneuverability and information technology." It is equipped with a 125-mm gun, modified for firing sub-caliber shells with improved armor penetration, and its dynamic metering system for thermal bending of the barrel significantly improves accuracy. The tower has dynamic protection units (DZ), in addition, the ZTZ99A tank is equipped with an active protection complex and a laser irradiation warning system receiver.
Chinese tank ZTZ99A
Chinese BMP ZBD04A
A military expert from Shanghai, Gao Chzho, commented: “What adds to the tank’s combat capabilities is the adoption of a high-tech communication channel that allows the tank to access information about the battlefield gained by other combat platforms.” This combat control system has the function of self-control, which allows, for example, to report on the need to replenish ammunition or fuel.
Compared to its predecessor ZTZ99, the new ZTZ99A tank weighing more than 50 tons also has a more powerful HP 1500 engine. The commander's day / night sight allows him to work in search and strike mode (the commander captures the target, transmits its arrow, which begins to fire on it, at this time the commander is looking for the next target). Although the ZTZ99A tank represents the pinnacle of Chinese tank building, production volumes remain relatively low due to its prohibitive price. More common in the Chinese army is the second generation ZTZ96 family of tanks, also distinguished by a 125-mm smoothbore gun.
The upgraded ZTZ96A tank weighing tons of 41,5 was introduced in the 2006 year. This MBT for export deliveries was designated VT2; Bangladesh bought 44 such a tank. Norinco also offers for export 48-tonne MBT-2000 (VT1 / VT1A), purchased by Myanmar (50 pieces) and Morocco (54). Pakistan manufactures this tank under license under the designation Al-Khalid. However, an even newer, fully digital tank MBT-3000 (VT4) weighing tons of 52 still has to wait for its first customer.
Debuting at the Beijing parade, the BMP ZBD04A features a turret with the same 100-mm main cannon and 30-mm automatic cannon, like its predecessor ZBD04. The Norinco ZBD04 BMP (export designation VN11) weighing tons of 21,5 is very similar to the Russian BMP-3, but the floating version of the ZBD04A is much closer in concept to the western BMP.
Mr. Gao said that “the new model has improved the fire control system and installed additional armor. Also, a modern information system is installed on the machine, which is able to integrate with the Type 99A tank information system. ” Given the undoubted superiority over its predecessor, analysts expect a higher volume of production of BMP ZBD04A compared to approximately 500 machines ZBD04.
Another notable machine of the Chinese army, seen in the parade, was the anti-tank missile system AFT10. In the launcher, it hosts HJ-10 missiles with guidance beyond the line of sight, which most likely uses guidance over fiber. Each AFT10 anti-tank missile system is armed with two launchers of four missiles each, which makes it possible to launch eight 150-kg missiles before reloading.
Chinese anti-tank missile system AFT10
This rocket with a solid-fuel booster and a micro-jet engine has an 10 km range. The AFT10 missile, which entered service in 2012, provides the Chinese army with anti-tank long-range capabilities.
Reflecting the global trend of building wheeled armored vehicles, the Chinese army is armed with two main types. The first is the Norinco Type 09 8x8 family of vehicles, in which the main option is a BMP ZBD09 21 ton mass with a two-seat turret armed with a 30-mm cannon.
The same 8x8 platform is available for export from 2008 of the year under the designation VN1, currently Venezuela is its only customer. The VN1 is equipped with a Deutz diesel engine with 443 horsepower, thanks to which the machine develops 100 km / h on land and 8 km / h on water. Also in service with the Chinese army is a version of the ZLT11 artillery mount, on which the 105-mm cannon is mounted.
The second type of wheeled vehicles is floating ZSL92 6x6. A very popular armored personnel carrier — Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Peru, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Tanzania bought it. There are many variations of it, including the 17-tonne ZSL92B with a turret armed with an 30-mm cannon.
ZSL92 6x6 armored personnel carrier
Also created 19-ton anti-tank unit PTL02 with 105-mm cannon with small recoil forces, which are in service with the Chinese army about 350 pieces. In 2008, China’s 120-mm mortar / howitzer PLL05 with a mass of 16 tons entered service.
Anti-tank installation PTL02
Specialized Chinese cars
Norinco manufactures specialized vehicles such as the ZBD03 airborne combat vehicle (export designation VN10) of 8 tons, which is intended for the airborne forces of the People’s Liberation Army of China. A floating turret with an 03-mm cannon is installed on the floating BMD ZBD30. The crew of this parachuted parachute machine is three people, and four paratroopers are located in the aft compartment. The Chinese car ZBD03 is a copy of the Russian BMD, although in the Chinese version the engine is installed in front.
Norinco also manufactures the ZBD05 / ZTD05 floating combat vehicle for the army and marines of its country. The platform was first introduced in 2006, reflecting the Chinese emphasis on amphibious operations. The ZBD05 wheeled BMP, 9,5 meters long, is armed with an 30-mm cannon, while the ZTD05 light-tracked tank on the same chassis is armed with a stabilized 105-mm cannon. Machines weighing 26,5 tons develop on the water speed 25 km / h due to doom powerful water cannons installed in the stern. Prior to 1000, the ZBD05 / ZTD05 vehicles may currently be in service with the Chinese army, for export, Norinco offers them under the designations VN18 and VN16, respectively.
Chinese BMP ZTD05
With large military forces, India and Pakistan made great efforts to develop their own armored vehicles. India, for example, has invested heavily in its Arjun MBT, developed by the organization of defense research and development DRDO, but, nevertheless, 55% of components of this local tank are imported.
At least 124 machines were manufactured, at the same time the cost of the tank is exorbitant and there is an acute shortage of spare parts. Last year, almost half of the Arjun Park was reported to be inoperative.
An upgraded version of the Arjun Mk II weighing 55 tons included 93 rework, such as an infrared silencer, a commanding panoramic sight, dynamic protection, a navigation system and improved tracks. India ordered 124 new cars, but things are still there, as unhurried army trials continue, which began in the 2011 year.
Indian tank Arjun Mk II
Difficulties with the Arjun tank may well mean that many problems are still ahead, since India wants to get into service the advanced fighting vehicle FRCV (Future Ready Combat Vehicle) to replace the 1900 with its T-72M1 tanks. In June 2015, New Delhi issued a request for information, which states: “The Indian army plans to develop a modern combat platform of a new generation to create its armored combat vehicle fleet in the coming decade.”
The army hopes that the armament of the FRCV project’s medium tank will begin to flow into the 2025-2027 years. Two projects will be selected, after which different design bureaus will create their prototypes. Subsequent tests will determine the winning project and one or two designated manufacturers will produce a new machine at their plants.
India is also implementing a program to create its future FICV (Future Infantry Combat Vehicle) infantry fighting vehicle to replace the 2610 BMP-1 / 2. The Indian Army should get the FICV 3000 tracked within 20 years. Applicants for the floating 20-ton platform submitted their proposals in the 2010 year, but none of them were selected.
After some stagnation, India resumed its FICV project when, in January, 2016 issued a request for proposals to ten Indian companies. According to the request, the FICV platform must accommodate a 8 landing force, have a crew of three, fire anti-tank guided missiles at a distance of up to 4000 meters and be transported in military transport aircraft C-17 and Il-76.
For the development of two different projects, two companies will be selected, one of which will then be given the right to serially produce new machines. The four most likely contenders are Larsen & Toubro, Mahindra, Ordnance Factory Board and Tata.
After the end of the Cold War, as part of its reorganization, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (YASS) significantly reduced the fleet of armored vehicles. The directive of the national defense program, issued in 2010, proposed to reduce both the number of MBTs and the number of artillery units from 600 to 400 units. However, in the 2013 directive of the year, these figures were reduced further, to 300 pieces of each type.
In 2012, YASS received the newest OBT Type 10. It is lighter than its predecessor, the Type 90 tank, which was created with an eye on the possibility of a collision with the Soviets. At least 341 of the Type 90 tank was manufactured, but with 50 tons of combat weight it was impossible to transport it in Japan.
Japanese MBT Type 10
The Tank Type 10 ton mass 44, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), overcame this problem, and its adoption will allow, in the end, to write off the Type 74 MBT. The tank is armed with an X / NUMX-mm L / 120 smoothbore cannon, which can fire a new armor-piercing sabot projectile with greater armor penetration, while the new battle management system will tie tanks and headquarters into a single network. Before 44, all 2018 Type 97 tanks will be manufactured.
How the Japanese repaired the tank ... its Type 10
MHI also developed the MCN (Maneuver Combat Vehicle) 8x8, which is to be supplied by YASS this year. The machine is armed with a locally-made L / 105 52-mm rifled cannon, but the fact that it cannot shoot with armor-piercing shells means that it does not pull to the role of an anti-tank installation.
Over the next five years 99 Type 16 MCV machines will be manufactured, they will replace all MBTs on the largest Japanese island of Honshu. However, due to the fact that MCV does not have sufficient anti-tank capabilities or sufficiently high levels of protection, there are fears that the MCV will not be able to fully replace the tanks. However, since the MCVs weighing 26 tons can be transported in the new Japanese C-2 aircraft, it has excellent strategic mobility for fighting insurgents and protecting the islands.
Japanese mobile gun mount Type 16 MCV
Type 96 8x8 BTR manufactured by Komatsu entered service with YASS in the 1996 year. Its production has slowed, but Komatsu is developing as a replacement an improved wheeled armored personnel carrier Improved Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier. MHI also did not stand aside, and in the middle of 2014, it introduced its own 8xNNXX BTR weighing 8 tons.
BTR Type 96 8x8
The most successful Australian armored vehicle is the Thales Bushmaster, which 1052 units were ordered for the local army. This 4x4 configuration machine belonging to the MRAP category was sold to Indonesia (3), Jamaica (12), Japan (4), the Netherlands (98) and the UK (30). The following options are used in the Australian Army: armored personnel carrier, commander, mortar, demining, fire support, sanitary and anti-aircraft installations.
Bushmaster armored car has worked well in Afghanistan and Iraq; despite numerous explosions on improvised explosive devices, not a single soldier in this vehicle died. Australia will keep Bushmaster in service until 2025. Beginning in the middle of 2017, Thales will also manufacture Hawkei 1100x4 4 machines for the Australian Army.
Although Australia intends to select off-the-shelf projects for its two main armored vehicle programs, it is expected that they will have a large proportion of local components. A request to hold a tender for the Land 400 Phase 2 program, released in February 2015 of the year, will allow the Australian Army to receive 2021 combat reconnaissance vehicles from 225 of the year. Last year, Australia also released a request for information on the Phase 3 phase on the 450 BMP and 17 combat support vehicles, which will begin to arrive in the troops from 2025 onwards.
South Korean manufacturers have achieved great success in meeting the needs of their army in armored vehicles. The fleet of South Korean army tanks consists of 1500 MBT Hyundai Rotem K1 / K1A1, but the company has now put all its strength into fulfilling the initial order for 100 tanks K2 MBT, which have a German MTU engine and Renk transmission.
Korean tank K2
However, in accordance with the second contract, K2 tanks weighing 55 tons with a 1500 hp Doosan DST engine will be supplied. and S&T Dynamics transmission; first deliveries are scheduled for late 2016. The Korean company Hyundai Rotem is also providing technical assistance under the Turkish Altay MBT program, although Turkey canceled some clauses of the contract due to delays in the program.
Since the beginning of 2015, Hyundai Rotem has been upgrading the K1A1 MBT in service to the K1A2 standard. It provides for the installation of the identification of "friend or foe", the battle management system and the camera for the driver. In September, 2015, the Hyundai Rotem, began upgrading even older K1 tanks to the K1E1 standard, which basically conforms to the K1A2 standard.
At the ADEX 2015 show in Seoul, Hyundai Rotem’s chief engineer Hayhun Li said that his company is also developing a combat engineer vehicle (CEV). A minefield from Pearson Engineering, an excavator arm and a minefield marking system will be installed on the K1 tank chassis. CEV production will start in 2019 year.
In accordance with the plans for restructuring by the year 2020, the South Korean army will reduce its number from 520000 to 387200 soldiers. 20 infantry divisions will be eliminated and 11 brigades equipped with 675 armored wheeled vehicles will be created, to which Hyundai Rotem was appointed the preferred contractor for 2012. The serial production of the KW1 6x6 and KW2 8x8 platforms should start in the 2017 year. The base version in the line of floating machines 8x8 is an armored personnel carrier with a manned turret, armed with a 7,62-mm machine gun and 40-mm automatic grenade launcher. The heavier model 8x8 weighing 20 tons compared to the non-floating model 6x6 weighing 16 tons has an enhanced booking. Depending on the funding, the total needs of the South Korean army can reach 2700 new wheeled vehicles.
Doosan DST is currently manufacturing a K21 BMP with a turret armed with an 40-mm cannon. After the initial order for 466 machines was completed, the army began to deploy this system in 2009. After the two K21 machines sank while overcoming a water hazard, production was stopped, but improvements made on machines in operation allowed it to resume in September 2011.
In order to increase the buoyancy of K21 infantry fighting vehicles, inflatable cylinders were installed behind the onboard screens. Interestingly, Doosan introduced the DST in 2013 year as a concept for a K21 chassis with a CMI Defense XC-8 tower, armed with a Cockerill 105-mm cannon.
The Doosan DST company completed the production of K200A1 armored personnel carriers for the South Korean army, but with a view to modernizing outdated BTRs, K200 presented the K2015A200 vehicle with a single tower at the ADEX 1 exhibition. Doosan DST is cooperating with the Belgian CMI Defense on this tower, and the head of the foreign office of this company said that this tower can accept 20-mm, 25-mm or 30-mm gun. The 13,2 ton machine also features Soucy rubber tracks, which reduce vibrations and noise.
Doosan DST is currently developing the K14A120 200-ton 1mm mobile mortar with a semi-automatic weapon system, which will be provided by S&T Dynamics. Also on the basis of the K200A1, a new WMD reconnaissance vehicle has been developed, the production of which will begin this year.
The Australian Army's Bushmaster commander leaves the amphibious ship’s hold during the Talisman Saber 2013 exercise
Taiwan lagged behind its neighbors in the development of its own armored vehicles, but was forced to do this because of the small number of foreign suppliers ready for cooperation. The Yunpao family (smoky leopard) 8x8 tons of 22 was developed to replace outdated machines and increase the mobility of the infantry brigades in accordance with the policy of retaliation against any invasion of China.
In 2010, the Yunpao project was officially chosen, and by the end of 2014, approximately 205 machines were manufactured. Variants BTR, part of the first batch of 32 machines, equipped with a remotely controlled combat module (DUBM), armed with an 368-mm automatic grenade launcher T40 and 91-mm machine gun T7,62. There is also a commander version of CM74.
Taiwanese armored personnel carrier Yunpao
At the end of last year, the Yunpao was shown with an 30-mm MK44 Bushmaster cannon from Orbital ATK. The Taiwanese army considered that the existing weapons of Yunpao could not penetrate the armor of Chinese cars of this class, and therefore it was decided to increase the firing power of the platform. The 2017-2021 years will be manufactured around 284 of these BMPs. Also developed sanitary, evacuation and anti-aircraft options. One of the military factories is developing a mortar complex with an interchangeable 81 / 120-mm barrel, the prototype of which was shown at the TADTE 2015 exhibition.
Although in countries in Southeast Asia products of their own production appear, but here, close to no one could come close. He produces a variety of combat vehicles for their armed forces and not only.
ST Kinetics manufactures the Bionix IFV tracked BMP for the Singapore Army with 1999. The car has several options: Bionix 40 / 50 (40-mm grenade launcher and 12,7-mm (.50 cal) machine gun), Bionix 25 (25-mm M242 Bushmaster cannon) and Bionix II (30-mm MK44 Bushmaster gun). Approximately 720 BMP Bionix plus repair and recovery vehicles, bridge laying machines and Trailblazer clearance machines are in service.
Singapore BMP Bionix-2
ST Kinetics also manufactures the Bronco floating tracked all-terrain vehicle, which is used in several versions in the Singapore Army. The platform achieved great success in 2008, when the British Army urgently requested the 115 Warthog machines to operate in Afghanistan.
Although the UK decided to write off the machines earlier and not enter them into the main fleet, its development continues, and at the Singapore Airshow 2016, the company showed a production-ready, modified Bronco New-Gen model with better protection and modularity.
Another notable platform from ST Kinetics is the Terrex 24x8 8 ton machine. After the contract was issued, its production began for the Singaporean army and by the middle of 2015, supposedly all three contracts that provided for the manufacture of a total of 405 Terrex machines were executed.
The main variant of the BTR is armed with an EOS R-600 UAB with an integrated battle management system. The Singapore Army is also armed with engineering and sanitary options. In addition, the planned production of the following types: ATGM (Spike); commander; evacuation; intelligence and target detection; artillery observers (STORM). Another option could be a mobile mortar installation with X-NUMX-mm complex SRAMS (Super-Rapid Advanced Mortar System) produced by ST Kinetics.
At the Singapore Airshow 2016, a modernized version of the Terrex 1 + was presented. In an incomprehensible way, he did not match either the option chosen by the American Marine Corps for his Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1 (ACV 1.1) floating car program, or the configuration proposed for the Land 400 Phase 2 Australian program.
A spokesperson for ST Kinetics said that with a mass of 30 tons of Terrex 2, of course, harder, but it has a more powerful engine on the 600 hp, double V-shaped case for maximum protection, additional buoyancy is realized, which allows to overcome various water barriers. As one of the two remaining bidders for the ACV 1.1 program, ST Kinetics manufactures the first 13 machines. According to the company, the Terrex 2 machine has a length of 8 meters, a width of 3,6 meters and a height of 2,8 meters. For the new Terrex variant, ST Kinetics can also offer optional tracks on front wheels to improve the maneuverability on soft soils.
Singapore BTR Terrex 2
Rumor has it that ST Kinetics for the Singapore Army was developing a light tank, but official representatives at the exhibition denied the existence of such a program.
However, ST Kinetics is actively collaborating with the Thai Defense Technology Institute DTI to develop the Black Widow Spider 8x8 machine. A prototype vehicle weighing 24 tons with an uninhabited ST Kinetics Adder turret armed with a 30 mm MK44 Bushmaster cannon was presented at Defense & Security last November.
Thailand Black Widow Spider armored personnel carrier
DTI conducted the first operational tests of the Black Widow Spider floating machine in June last year, while the Thai army will conduct its tests in the 2016 year. The British company was selected to help design the machine, and ST Kinetics as a technical consultant. A DTI spokesman said that more than 60% of the components of the Black Widow Spider machine would be locally produced. Although this work supports Thailand’s goal of becoming more self-sufficient in defense production, there is no guarantee that the project will reach the stage of mass production.
In Thailand, there is another company that produces, among other things, military products. Chaiseri Metal and Rubber produces armored First Win 4x4 MRAP category 11 tons. The Thai army ordered the 21 machine, and the special investigations department ordered the 18 machines for operations in the troubled south of Thailand.
Armored car First Win is also sold abroad. This year, the Philippines will take delivery of a left-handed option for the security of Clark Airport. The Malaysian army also ordered the car First Win, although the local company Deftech gave it the designation AV4.
Armored car First Win of the company Chaiseri
Chaiseri has modified the AV4 chassis in order to get the 2 + 1 door configuration instead of the usual 4 + 1. The Malaysian vehicles, which will be deployed on Borneo, have a turret mounted on the roof, armed with an 7,62-mm M134D Minigun machine gun from Dillon Aero. Malaysia reportedly buys 20 machines; Deftech will assemble about three-quarters of the cars and will start shipments later this year.
Malaysia gained good experience in assembling the ACV-300 Adnan tracked vehicles of the Turkish company FNSS, and now, according to the contract, the 2014 machines should be manufactured at the local plant from 2018 to 257.
The machine configuration 8x8, based on the Turkish platform Pars, received the designation AV8 Gempita. The contract with the Malaysian Deftech (DRB-Hicom) worth 559 million dollars provides 12 options, including BMPs with Denel GI-30 30 cannon or M25 242 mm cannon, and ATGM armed with Ingwe South African missiles from Denel. The first 12 BMP-25 entered service with the Malaysian army in December 2014.
BMP K21 was developed by the South Korean company Doosan DST. The production of machines with a double turret armed with a 40-mm cannon continues for the army of this country
The state-owned enterprise PT Pindad in Indonesia began producing Anoa-1 6x6 armored personnel carriers in the 2008 year, and the subsequent Anoa-2 version appeared in the 2012 year. The last option was finalized to participate in the peacekeeping mission in Lebanon; variants of this family include ambulance, armored personnel carrier, commander, cargo, evacuation and mortar installation.
A company spokesman said that at the end of 2014, the Anoa 280 machines were manufactured. At Indo Defense 2014, the Badak 6x6 was shown, based on the Anoa-2 case. It is the fruit of cooperation with the Belgian CMI Defense, which supplied its 90-mm Cockerill CSE90 LP 90 X-gun and a twin-turret for her. These machines will be manufactured in Indonesia under a technology transfer agreement.
Indonesian armored personnel carrier Anoa-2
In December, the Badak machine was successfully tested on 2015, and upon completion of the certification in 2016, it should begin to be commissioned by the Indonesian army at the rate of 25-30 units annually. In addition, in November 2014, PT Pindad and the Turkish FNSS signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in a project for a new medium tank with an 105-mm gun. It is expected that two prototypes of 25 tons will be manufactured by 2017 year.