PLA Next Generation Main Battle Tank


I think it's now time to open a dedicated thread for PLA's next-gen MBT that is currently under development. We do not yet have enough concrete information to go on except a few hints and tidbits confirming its existence and some very general outlines. Scant Information hints at a reduced crew of two and a remote-controlled turret.

I'll start off by posting something purely speculative, gleaned from a corporate video by China North Vehicle Research Institute – China's premier developer of armored vehicles. Of interest are possible glimpses of a new platform under development. It appears to feature a remote controlled turret mounting a gun of unknown caliber. The fighting compartment appears to seat only two, with driver on the left and the commander/gunner on the right. Could this be the rumored next generation MBT?




Junior Member
Registered Member
an interesting concept, an I'm sure its probably a step towards a totally unmanned/autonomous vehicle, but as a manned vehicle is it just paring back the crew too far? I know there were questions asked at the time when the Soviet army introduced the T-64/T72, and reduced crew size to 3.


Junior Member
Registered Member
Where is an unmanned turret hinted? As for 2 man crew, who would operate the weapon station in urban warfare?


Tyrant King
A number of nations have been targeting two man armored vehicles, the US, Israel and now China. In those concepts the work load would be down loaded in terms is targeting by replacing the gunner with AI.
How effective that is is ???


Staff member
Moderator - World Affairs
China really doesn't have any land-border threats, even the threat of land war in Korean peninsula has significantly reduced. Is that really wise to invest in a new platform? Then again, it can be argued it's neccessary given Russian developing the new T-14 Armata, so I guess China should develop one to keep pace, albeit at slower rate.


Tyrant King
Why control the turret with a wheel? A joy stick would make more sense. And if this is supposed to be the turret then where would the gun be? That center console would block the gun elevation and passage from turret to hull.


Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Maeby this is only the turret. The driver is in the hull.

Not sure about that logic, considering most concepts of leading edge current or future AFVs have unmanned turrets.
And as Terran said, one of the stations is clearly a wheel.
Of course, the mock up/simulator shown is fairly rudimentary and is likely not representative of a final AFV or tank so much as testing the ergonomics and human compatibility of a two man combat compartment.

We also know the PLA and their institutes have been looking at two manned concepts for their future MBTs, Henri K wrote a very good article back in 2016 summarizing some of the information known back then.

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