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Armored Cars: Norinco VP14

May 11, 2021
Via Chinese media.

The remarkable growth in Chinese armored vehicle production during the previous decade has mostly gone unnoticed. As a consequence a whole catalog of protected 4×4’s exist with neither outside awareness nor brand recognition. That is until these same vehicles were advertised, together with their pertinent details, on well-known e-commerce websites as an export. After successive appearances in exhibitions such as the Zhuhai Air Show, which is held every two years, the elusive VP14 is now open to orders starting at $90,000. But wait, there’s more!

It serves the reader’s interest to be aware the details shared below were all collected from an Alibaba product page.

There’s still an enduring prejudice toward Chinese military products being unlicensed copies and while this is somewhat true, China’s state-owned conglomerates have long since shunned imitation in favor of innovation. So the VP14 may have the benefit of a little South African expertise that helped conceive its older sibling but in its form and function it’s a wholly original design, comparisons to other MRAPs be damned. The fact it had a remote weapon station on its roof–a rarity among MRAPs–at its last public appearance is evidence of how far advanced China’s military engineering has gone.

The product details of the VP14 that have come to light are impressive. Mobility-wise, the vehicle uses automatic transmission and is fully 4×4 with independent springs on its chassis. A very neat feature is an automatic driving assistance app for traveling in low visibility environments at night. It’s also possible for the VP14 to carry a small UAV on its roof as a surveillance and reconnaissance tool. The VP14 runs on a six cylinder Deutz engine with 331 horsepower under the bonnet. This gives it a top speed of 105 kilometers per hour that’s on par with other vehicles grossing 13.5 tons or more. The protection level of the VP14 isn’t specified except it withstands armor piercing 7.62x51mm ammunition, putting it at STANAG III ballistic resistance. Internal seating fits two in the cab and eight in the passenger compartment.

For end users outside China who wish to acquire VP14’s, they simply must schedule an order with a trading company, a task that can be done online, with a minimum order of two (2) units deliverable in no more than 15 days. The actual price per unit varies depending on the end user’s requirements–will it have an indoor fire extinguisher or not? Other options for the VP14 are large caliber weapon systems, external cameras for monitoring its environment, a mine-clearing plow on its bumper, armor panels for the hull, and a curious “interference system” with LED dazzlers.

So from a base price of $90,000 a single VP14’s cost may go as high as $200,000 per unit. The amazing part is the trading company responsible for fulfilling the order guarantees a negotiable price if more than two units are ordered. This means, in line with successful wholesale trading, the total price for a batch of VP14 MRAPs can be made to fit any budget. As further proof of its world-class reputation, the manufacturer can roll out an incredible 20,000 units per month if demand requires it.

Between Norinco and Dongfeng the protected wheeled transports available for export by China are greater than the rest of Asia combined. Now consider those Chinese manufacturers selling abroad too. This means state-owned Chinese companies face their stiffest competition from other Chinese companies in a global market that’s teeming with possibilities.

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