|Manufacturer:||NORINCO - China North Industries Group Corporation - CNGC|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
Early in 2007 China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) revealed that it had developed a new light armoured vehicle (LAV) called the VN3. The main mission of the VN3 is the scout/reconnaissance role.
It is understood that development of the VN3 (4 × 4) LAV is now complete and that is now in low rate production for the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
China also developed the QL550 (4 × 4) reconnaissance vehicle which is covered in a separate entry. At this time it is not known as to whether the VN3 and QL550 were developed to meet the specific requirements of the PLA or different operational requirements.
In appearance the new VN3 LAV is very similar to the French Panhard General Defense Véhicule Blindé Léger (VBL) of which over 2,300 have been built for the home and export markets.
The French VBL has a combat weight of 3.59 tonnes and normally has a crew of three. The Chinese VN3 is a larger vehicle and has a crew of five (commander, driver and three passengers) and a gross vehicle weight of 5.3 tonnes. The greater internal volume enables it to undertake a wider range of battlefield roles.
The all-welded steel hull of the VN3 provides the occupants with protection from small arms fire, shell splinters as well as some types of mine.
The engine compartment is at the front with the commander and driver to the immediate rear. Each of these is provided with a large bullet proof window to the front and a forward opening door in the side which is provided with a bullet proof window in the upper part. Above their position is a single-piece hatch cover.
The remaining three crew members are seated in the rear and normally enter and leave via a door in the rear which opens to the right and has a bullet proof window in its upper part. In addition there is one bullet proof window in either side of the crew compartment towards the rear with a firing port below.
Baseline VN3 is fitted with a one-person turret which is mounted on the roof. This is armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun (MG) with a 7.62 mm MG being mounted co-axial to the left. These weapons are laid onto the target using a roof-mounted day/night sighting system.
Other weapon systems can be installed on the VN3 including anti-tank guided missiles. Mounted either side of the turret is a bank of electrically operated smoke grenade launchers that cover the frontal arc.
Standard equipment on the VN3 includes an anti-skid braking system, nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection system and a fire detection and suppression system.
Optional equipment is said to include am amphibious capability, low light level driving device and a Global Positioning System (GPS).