Now that they are operational with the People’s Liberation Army, China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) (Hall B, Stand 058) has started to market overseas the latest VN18 Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) and its associated VN16 direct fire version.
When compared with the BAE Systems Amphibious Assault Vehicle 7A1 (AAV7A1), which is deployed by a number of countries in the region, the VN18 AAV provides a greatly increased capability. In addition to its crew of three, the VN18 carries 11 dismounts and is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by two water jets that give it a maximum speed of up to 25km/h.
It is very well armed and fitted with a two-person turret armed with a 30mm cannon, 7.62mm co-axial machine gun (MG) and a rail launcher on either side of the turret for a Red Arrow HJ-73D anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW).
There are a number of more specialised versions of the VN18, including the VN16 direct fire version. This is fitted with a three-person power operated turret armed with a 105mm gun and 7.62mm co-axial MG. In addition to firing a wide range of conventional ammunition types, the 105mm rifled gun can also fire the GP2 laser-guided projectile. This has a maximum range of up to 5,000m and is fitted with a tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead to neutralise targets fitted with explosive reactive armour.
The role of the VN16 is to provide suppressive fire during an amphibious assault as well as once the vehicles are ashore.