Land Forces Display Military Might at Arms Exhibition
(Source: China Daily; issued Aug 16, 2017)
Many of the pieces of ground equipment and weapons appeared for the first time in public during the Norinco presentation, among them the MBT300 main battle tank and the ZBD05 amphibious armored combat vehicle. (China MoD photo)
A large display of domestically developed arms used by Chinese land forces was presented to hundreds of foreign military officers at a shooting range in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region on Wednesday morning.

The event was held by the State-owned China North Industries Group Corp, commonly known as Norinco, the country's biggest maker of land armaments, and was aimed at showcasing the latest achievements of the Chinese land weapons industry.

About 230 officers from more than 50 foreign nations, mostly military attaches to Beijing and procurement officials, attended the show in Baotou, which included live-fire performances by battle tanks and antitank missiles at a shooting range owned by Inner Mongolia First Machinery, a subsidiary of Norinco.

Spectators watched dozens of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles move in formations before conducting tactical maneuvers. Demonstrations of amphibious assault vehicles and all-terrain vehicles were also carried out.

During the live-fire stage, a VT-4 main battle tank and an ST-1 tank destroyer fired rounds of armor-piercing ammunition, and a VT-5 light-duty tank launched antitank missiles. In the next stage, a GL-5 active protection system mounted on a tank intercepted an incoming antitank rocket.

After the show, foreign guests were invited to operate tanks and armored vehicles.

It was the third time Norinco has held a field exhibition for foreign buyers. The first show was in 2014 and featured armored vehicles, with the second in 2015, when the focus was artillery guns.

Wednesday's show marked the first field performance by a VT-5, which Norinco describes as "the most-advanced light-duty tank available in the international market". It was unveiled to the public at the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in November, but did not showcase its capabilities at that time.

According to Norinco, the VT-5 is capable of operating across various terrains including desert, forest and urban areas as well as soft-soil regions that cannot support heavy-duty tanks. It has a maximum weight of 36 metric tons and a crew capacity of three. The tank is armed with a 105-millimeter rifled tank gun, which can fire armor-piercing shells, high-explosive warheads and antitank missiles, and a 12.7-mm remotely controlled machine gun.

China exported 461 tanks between 1992 and 2014, according to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, which began recording conventional weapons transfers between UN members in 1992. The biggest tank exporter during the period was the United States, which reported sales of 5,511 tanks.

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Arms Exhibition Highlights China's Weaponry Innovation
(Source: Xinhuanet; issued Aug 16, 2017)
BAOTOU, Inner Mongolia --- Tanks are rumbling past and missiles roaring. These are not scenes from a war film, but highlights of a weaponry exhibition held in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Wednesday.

In the city of Baotou, where the country's first domestically made tank rolled off the assembly line nearly 60 years ago, the 2017 Armour Day event was hosted by China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), the largest manufacturer of armored vehicles for China's armed forces and police departments.

Aiming at showcasing some of China's latest innovations in weapons for land operations, the event attracted officials from the army and defense authorities, as well as foreign ambassadors and military officers from various countries.

A live fire demonstration was the highlight on Wednesday. Nearly half of the weapons on display were never shown before with live ammunition, NORINCO said at a press conference Tuesday.

The star of the day was the VT5. Debuted at Airshow China 2016 in Zhuhai, the newly-developed light tank finished its first dynamic demonstration Wednesday after a maneuverability and a live fire display.

Equipped with a domestically-made engine, auto gear box and a 105-mm tank gun, the lightweight tank is compatible with various types of terrain.

Wednesday's exhibition also featured the live fire debut of the Red Arrow 10 and Red Arrow 12, China's famous anti-tank and multi-purpose missiles.

The Red Arrow missiles can automatically locate and engage targets. In the live fire demonstration, the missiles hit and destroyed the targets without a single miss.

The VT4 and several other battle tanks and armored vehicles also took part in the event.

Seven major programs were in display, including an active protection system demonstration, a mine-resistance demonstration and a firing demonstration by a multitude of battle tanks and armored vehicles.

China is stepping up efforts to reform and modernize its army and national defense, with weaponry innovation weighing heavily on the cause.

"I think innovation is one of the major priorities in the field of weapon manufacturing," said Zhu Zheng from NORINCO. "The innovative spirit of generations of scientists has driven the development of Chinese defense."

China's military manufacturers like NORINCO should continue to innovate to facilitate the country's defense and military modernization, Zhu told Xinhua.

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