ABUJA, (BM) – The Nigerian armed forces deployed recently purchased Chinese VT4 tanks. Machines are used against Boko Haram terrorists, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Defence 24.
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The Russian BMPD service informed about the introduction of Chinese tanks into operation. In operation against the Boko Haram terrorists launched last week, the Nigerian armed forces use, among others, the VT-4 tanks recently purchased in the PRC, as well as, for example, 105-mm SH-5 self-propelled howitzers and ST-1 fire support vehicles on a wheeled chassis with 105 mm guns.
The operation against Boko Haram is the first time Chinese tanks of a new type will be used in combat. The presence of Chinese equipment in Africa should not come as a surprise, as Beijing has been supplying equipment to African countries for a long time [transporters from the PRC were used operationally, for example, in Zimbabwe].
It is usually cheaper than that offered by Western countries and is entirely sufficient to perform most of the tasks in this theater of operations. For example – as is the case here – against illegal armed groups.
We should also remember that the Chinese arms industry is gradually increasing its technological level. One of its showpieces is using in Nigeria, MALE Wing Loong II armored uncrewed aerial vehicles. At the same time, supplies from the PRC are not subject to restrictions related, for example, to the observance of human rights by the buyer’s armed forces.
VT-4 tanks, apart from Nigeria, were also purchased by Pakistan and Thailand. Norinco developed the vehicle for export; it is also referred to as MBT-3000 and presented for the first time during the Eurosatory 2012 exhibition.
The Chinese vehicle’s main armament is a 125 mm caliber cannon with a fire rate of 8 rounds per minute, with 22 rounds in the autoloader. It is also possible to use anti-tank guided missiles with a range of over 5 km. The VT4 is also equipped with a 7.62 mm rifle and a second 12.7 mm rifle headed from inside the commander’s vehicle.
The crew consists of 3 people (driver, commander, and gunner), and the 1300 HP diesel engine allows for a top speed of 70 km / h. VT-4 weight is about 52 tons. Tanks of this type have modern fire control systems as well as composite and reactive armor.
In 2019, the Nigerian army also acquired armored vehicles
The Nigerian Armed Forces have adopted in December, 2019, the Ezugwu (Mountain) vehicles designed and manufactured in Nigeria armored. The ceremonial transfer of armored cars to representatives of the national army was held in the presence of President Mohammad Bukhari.
The armored car Ezugwu (Mountain) 4X4 was developed by the Nigerian state corporation Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON). The car was named in honor of Major General Victor Ezugwu, known for his efforts in the fight against the banned extremist organization Boko Haram.
The armored car belongs to the class of MRAP, that is, equipment resistant to the destructive effects of mines. According to the declared characteristics, it is able to withstand the explosion of 12 kg of explosive under the wheels and 6,75 kg under the bottom of the armored housing. Has an independent suspension. It is assumed that the armored car is created on the Tatra 4 × 4 chassis.
The DICON corporation, which developed this armored car, stated that its height is 2 meters 63 cm. It is equipped with a diesel engine with 615 horsepower [according to other sources – a Chinese-made turbocharged WD615 diesel engine with Chinese power], which allows transportation from 380 to 12 landing personnel [not specified, with or without a crew].
It has two turrets rotating at 16 degrees with an installed 360-mm DShK machine gun and an 12,7-mm machine gun. The armored car is equipped with thermal imagers and a system of all-round cameras. It is reported that the Nigerian armed forces intend to acquire up to 130 armored vehicles Ezugwu.
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