Unveiled at the 2022 Zhuhai Airshow, the VN-20 promises to be a key export weapon of the Chinese arms industry.
China and the United Arab Emirates have made significant strides in the economic and defense sectors in recent years. In a latest development, the UAE is said to be eyeing China’s latest VN-20 infantry fighting vehicle. Unveiled at the 2022 Zhuhai Airshow, the VN-20 promises to be a key export weapon of the Chinese arms industry.
According to the advertisement from the manufacturer, NORINCO, the VN20 is the most protected and armed tracked armored IFV in the world. Based on the modified chassis of the VT4 MBT, the VN20 has a length of 7 m, a width of 3.5 m, and a height of 2.4 m.
According to Army Recognition, this armored vehicle is divided into 3 compartments with the engine located in the front, the center is the driver and the commander, the rear can carry 6 soldiers with full weapons, while the turret is fitted in the middle. The rear part of the hull is fitted with a hydraulic ramp which is used by the infantrymen to quickly enter and leave the vehicle.
VN20 is equipped with a special armor around the hull and turret. The front and upper parts of the hull are protected by explosive reactive armor, while the sides of the hull and the suspension of the VN20 are protected by three levels of armor including standard armor plates that also covered the upper of the suspension, wire cage armor, and ERA. To date, it is the first armored vehicle in the world that has such a level of protection. As a result, the infantry fighting vehicle can improve the ability to protect the crew against infantry weapons as well as shell fragments.
According to Chinese media, VN20 has the ability to protect against the firing of 30mm caliber APFSDS (Armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot) or AP (Armor-Piercing) ammunition at 500m. Protection equivalent to Level 6 STANAG 4569. At AirShow China 2022, VN20 is equipped with a remote control turret with a 30mm automatic cannon. Three smoke-grenade dischargers are integrated in the armor on each side at the front of the turret.
VN20 IFV is equipped with a diesel engine with a capacity of 1,300 horsepower that allows traveling at a maximum speed of 70 km/h; 500 km range. To extend the range, two additional fuel tanks can be fitted in the rear. The VN20 can climb 60% slopes, overcome vertical obstacles up to 1.2 m and cross 2.7 m long trenches.
The VN20’s powertrain is similar to the VT4, with six large dual rubber-tired road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear, and track return rollers.