Recently, with an article published in the Nigerian Defense News, about the Chinese supplied VT-4 main battle tank equipped by the Nigerian Army, it seems that something is wrong with the VT-4, which has always been regarded as the pride of China’s tank industry exports.
The report mentioned that the Nigerian Army is not very satisfied with the VT-4 in actual operation, especially in a recent live fire shooting exercise, a VT-4 operated by Nigerian personnel, actually “took more than 30 minutes to fire the shell”. Given that Nigeria has been receiving VT-4s for more than two years and undergoing considerable training time, this result is very unacceptable to the Nigerian Army leadership. Nigeria appears to be currently considering the VT-4 delivered as a training model in favor of introducing Russian T-90 family tanks as the main force. This is not the first time VT-4 criticized by users earlier Thailand also complained about VT-4 tank.
The VT-4 is the highest exported tank by China and has been a source of pride for China and especially with the Pakistani Army, which can’t afford an expensive tank recently shows interest on additional 380 orders on top of the earlier 300 orders. So far, the VT-4 has a total of three users, of which the Pakistan Army with the biggest user and highest evaluation. The Thai Army introduced 49 vehicles in batches, and the unit price is slightly higher than Pakistan, but Thailand was the first user of the VT-4. The Nigerian Army was the second customer, with 35 units delivered so far with lowest price.
In January 2021, just seven months after delivery, the VT-4 was pulled into battle by the Nigerian Army to fight opposition forces in its territory, marking the first time the VT-4 had participated in actual combat. In a firefight not long after, the Nigerian Army discarded a large number of weapons and ammunition to retreat, and the outside world was surprised to find a vague shadow of the suspected VT-4 in the video released by the opposition forces, which immediately caused an uproar. However, it was later confirmed that this was actually abandoned by the Nigerian Army, and an old British Vickers Mk3 tank was not captured as the VT-4 was as early public opinion speculated. However, judging from the Nigerian Army’s record of voluntarily abandoning the T-72B and Vickers Mk3 over the years, perhaps this embarrassing scene will play out in the near future.