List of equipment of the Vietnam People's Ground Forces

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Vietnam People's Army
Emblem VPA.svg
Flag of the People's Army of Vietnam.svg
Ministry of Defence
Vietnam People's Army General Staff insignia.jpgGeneral Staff
Vietnam People's Army insignia.png Ground Force
Vietnam People's Air Force insignia.png Air Force
Vietnam People's Navy insignia.png Navy
Vietnam Border Defense Force insignia.jpg Border Guard
Vietnam Marine Police insignia.jpg Coast Guard
Ranks of the Vietnamese Military
Ground Force ranks and insignia
Air Force ranks and insignia
Navy ranks and insignia
Border Guard ranks and insignia
Coast Guard ranks and insignia
History of the Vietnamese Military
History of Vietnamese military ranks
Military history of Vietnam
Vietnamese Army troops on Spratly Island.

During the Vietnam War (1965–1975) and the Cambodian–Vietnamese War (1977–1989), the Vietnam People's Ground Forces relied almost entirely on Soviet-derived weapons and equipment systems. With the end of the Cold War in 1992 Soviet military equipment subsidies ended and Vietnam began the use of hard currency and barter to buy weapons and equipment.

Vietnam prioritises economic development and growth while maintaining defense spending. The government does not conduct procurement phases or major upgrades of weapons. From the end of the 1990s the Government of Vietnam has announced the acquisition of a number of strategic systems equipped with modern weapons. Accordingly, Vietnam has been slow to develop naval and air forces to control shallow waters and its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Currently most defence procurement programs focus on remedying this priority. For example, Vietnam has purchased a number of combat aircraft and warships with the capability to operate in high seas. Vietnam also plans to develop its defence industry, with priority placed on the Navy, combined with assistance from its former communist allies, India, and Japan.[1][2][3]

Since 2015, Vietnam has begun exploring purchases of U.S. and European weapons while facing numerous political, historical, and financial barriers, as they cannot continue to rely on Soviet and Chinese weapons especially due to the increasing tensions in the South China Sea dispute.[4]


Name Image Type Origin Notes
PASGT Helmet Combat Helmet  United States Vietnam Standard Issue. Domestically made. Most helmets are a Vietnamese-made version of the PASGT Helmet. Earlier models were imported from Israel.[5][6]
A2 Helmet Combat Helmet  Vietnam Standard Issue. Mainly used for training.
Vietnamese Pith Helmet Helmet  Vietnam Replaced by the A2 Helmet. Some are still used only for training.
SSh-68 CI68-каска.jpeg Combat Helmet  Soviet Union Limited use.
SSh-40 Motostrelok-rf.jpg Combat Helmet  Soviet Union Limited use.
M1 Helmet M1helmetset Combat Helmet  United States Limited use.
Camouflage patterns
K-07 Woodland Camouflage Pattern  Vietnam Standard camo for ground forces. There are multiple variants of this Woodland camo in terms of slight differences in colors. The Army is aiming to replace this with a more modern camouflage pattern in the future. [7][8]
K-17 Woodland Camouflage Pattern  Vietnam Limited use for testing. Would possibly replace the current K-07 Woodland camo.[9][10]
K-18 Digital Woodland Camouflage Pattern  Vietnam Developed after K-17 testing. It is being tested and is aimed to also replace the K-07 camo.[8]
Dac Cong Leopard Camouflage Pattern  Vietnam Used by the Vietnamese Special Forces.
U.S. Woodland "M81" U.S. woodland camouflage pattern swatch Camouflage Pattern  United States Limited use.[7]
A Vietnamese soldier holding the new standard issue rifle, the IWI ACE 32.


Model Image Type Caliber Origin Notes
TT-33 TT-33 2.JPG Semi-automatic pistol 7.62×25mm Tokarev  Soviet Union
Standard issue service pistol. Manufactured locally at the Z111 Factory as the K14-VN. The locally produced version is improved with a longer barrel, and a double-stack magazine that holds an increased capacity of 13 rounds.[11][12]
PM 9-мм пистолет Макарова с патронами.jpg Semi-automatic pistol 9×18mm Makarov  Soviet Union
Used by police officers. Limited use in the army. Manufactured locally as the K59.[13]
CZ-82 CZ 82 IMG 1785.JPG Semi-automatic pistol 9×18mm Makarov  Czech Republic Used by police officers. Limited use in the army.[13]
M1911A1 M1911A1.png Semi-automatic pistol .45 ACP  United States Limited use
Browning Hi-Power Browninghighpower21.jpg Semi-automatic pistol 9×19mm Parabellum  Belgium Stored in reserves for shooting ranges.
CornerShot Cornershot eurosatory2006.jpg Weapon accessory  Israel Used by the Special Forces and Mobile Police Force.[14][15]
Assault rifles
IWI ACE 31/32 IWI 3686.jpg Assault rifle 7.62×39mm  Israel
Standard issue rifle. Manufactured locally at the Z111 Factory, all domestically produced versions of these rifles have their charging handle located on the right side.[16][17][18]
STL-1A Assault rifle 7.62×39mm  Vietnam Manufactured locally at the Z111 Factory.[19] Limited use in the army.
AKM Akm rifle fullstock.jpg Assault rifle 7.62×39mm M43  Soviet Union
No longer manufactured, old models are being converted to the domestically made STL-1A and STL-1B rifles. Replaced as the standard issue rifle by the ACE 31/32.[20][19]
AK-47 AK47.jpg Assault rifle 7.62×39mm M43  Soviet Union
No longer manufactured, some converted to non-firing training rifles. Replaced as the standard issue rifle by the ACE 31/32.[21]
Type 56 Norinco type 56.jpg Assault rifle 7.62×39mm M43  China
Type 56 and Type 56-1. Replaced as the standard issue rifle by the ACE 31/32.
AK-74M Ak-74mpdomain.JPG Assault rifle 5.45×39mm  Soviet Union
Limited use. Manufactured locally.
AK-103 AK-103 Assault Rifle.JPG Assault rifle 7.62×39mm M43  Russia Limited use.
Type 58 North korea T58 ATF.jpg Assault rifle 7.62x39mm  North Korea Limited use. Sent as Military aid by North Korea during the Vietnam War.
CAR-15 USAF GAU-5A.jpg Carbine 5.56×45mm NATO  United States


Used by Special Forces and Marines. Manufactured locally as the M18 at the Z111 Factory. (Vietnam's locally produced version of the XM177E2).[22]
IWI Tavor TAR-21 IWI-Tavor-TAR-21w1.jpg Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO  Israel Used by Special Forces and Marines.[16][17]
vz. 58 Sa 58-JH01.jpg Assault rifle 7.62×39mm  Czechoslovakia Limited use.[23]
CZ 805 BREN Cz805.png Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO  Czech Republic Only a small number of testing.
FN FNC FN-C-p1030122.jpg Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO  Belgium Limited use in Military Marksman Demonstration Team.
M16 M16A1 brimob.jpg Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO  United States M16A1 and XM16E1. M16A2 used by Coast Guard in small numbers.
M14 M14 Stand-off Munitions Disruptor (SMUD) (7414626342).jpg Battle rifle 7.62×51mm NATO  United States Stored in reserves.
SKS (CKC) SKS carbine.jpg Carbine 7.62×39mm M43  Soviet Union Used by honour guards and militia forces.
Submachine guns
PP-19 Bizon PP-19 Bizon right view.jpg Submachine gun 9×19mm Parabellum  Russia
Used by special forces. Manufactured locally as the SN9P at the Z111 Factory. The locally produced version comes with a galil-style stock, and is chambered in 9×19mm. [24][25]
Micro Uzi Uzimicro.jpg Submachine gun 9×19mm Parabellum  Israel Used by special forces. Manufactured locally at the Z111 Factory.[26]
Uzi Pro IWI UZI.jpg Submachine gun 9×19mm Parabellum  Israel Used by special forces. Manufactured locally at the Z111 Factory.[26]
FN P90 FN-P90.PNG Submachine gun FN 5.7×28mm  Belgium Used by special forces.
MP5 MP5A3.jpg Submachine gun 9×19mm Parabellum  West Germany Used by police SWAT teams and military special forces.
PM-63 Submachine gun wz63.jpg Machine Pistol / Submachine gun 9×18mm Makarov  Poland Used by special forces and guard police.
Sniper rifles
Dragunov SVD SVD Dragunov.jpg Sniper rifle 7.62×54mmR  Soviet Union Standard issue sniper rifle.
IWI Galatz Galil-Sniper-Galatz-r001.jpg Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm  Israel Used by special forces and Marine Infantry. Manufactured locally at the Z111 Factory.[26]
Orsis Т-5000M ORSIS shooting day at TSNIITOCHMASH range (4).jpg Sniper rifle .338LM  Russia Used by police forces.
PSR-90 MSG 90 rifle museum 2014.jpg Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm  West Germany Used by police forces.
CZ-750 S1M2 Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm  Czech Republic Used by police forces.
OSV-96 ОСВ-96 12,7-мм снайперская винтовка - МАКС-2009 02.jpg Anti-materiel rifle 12.7×108mm  Russia
Used by special forces. Manufactured locally at the Z111 Factory.[27]
KSVK Interpolitex2015part3-57.jpg Anti-materiel rifle 12.7×108mm  Russia
Used by special forces. Manufactured locally at the Z111 Factory.[26]
WKW Wilk WKW Wilk.jpg Anti-material rifle .50 BMG  Poland +50 examples were bought.[28]
Machine guns
PKM PKM machine gun in storage.jpeg General-purpose machine gun 7.62×54mmR  Soviet Union
Standard issue machine gun. Manufactured locally at the Z111 Factory.[29]
RPK Machine Gun RPK.jpg Light machine gun 7.62×39mm  Soviet Union
Standard issue machine gun. Manufactured locally.
RPD LMG-RPD-44.jpg Light machine gun 7.62×39mm  Soviet Union
Standard issue machine gun. Manufactured locally.
IWI Negev IWI-Negev-Zachi-Evenor-01-white.jpg Light machine gun 5.56×45mm NATO  Israel Limited use. Manufactured locally at the Z111 Factory.[26]
Type 67 ChineseType672MG.jpg General-purpose machine gun 7.62×54mmR  China Limited use.
FN MAG FN MAG.jpg General-purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO  Belgium Limited use.
M240B M240B Medium Machine Gun (7414626696).jpg General-purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO  United States Limited use by Military Marksman Demonstration Team.
M60 M60GPMG.jpeg General-purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO  United States Limited use.
FN Minimi Mk3 FN MINIMI Standard Right.jpg Light machine gun 5.56×45mm NATO  Belgium Limited use in special forces and Military Marksman Demonstration Team.[30]
NSV NSV machine gun-01.jpg Heavy machine gun 12.7×108mm  Soviet Union
Standard issue tank-mounted machine gun. Manufactured locally at the Z111 Factory.[31][32]
DShK Doushka desert.jpg Heavy machine gun 12.7×108mm  Soviet Union
Mounted on T-55 tanks. Currently being phased out by the NSV.
M1919 Browning machine gun Browning M1919a.png Medium machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO  United States Limited use.
M2 Browning M2 Browning, Musée de l'Armée (cropped).jpg Heavy machine gun 12.7×99mm (.50)  United States Limited use.
Grenade-based weapons
AGS-17 30-мм автоматический гранатомет АГС-17 Пламя.jpg Grenade launcher 30mm grenade  Soviet Union
Standard issue. Manufactured locally.
M203 PEO M203A2 Grenade Launcher.jpg Grenade launcher 40mm grenade  United States
Manufactured locally as the T-40 at the Z111 Factory. Replaces the trigger for a lever. Mounts on the IWI ACE 32, STL-1A, M18M16A2 and IWI Tavor TAR-21.[25]
M79 M79 Grenade Launcher (7414625716).jpg Grenade launcher 40mm grenade  United States
Standard issue. Manufactured locally.[33]
MGL Mk-1 WLUS (12).jpg Grenade launcher 40mm grenade  South Africa Vietnam Used by special forces. Manufactured locally.[34]
82-PM-41 27th Independent Sevastopol Guards Motor Rifle Brigade (183-16).jpg Mortar 82mm mortar  Soviet Union
M1938 107 mm mozdzierz wz 38 tyl.jpg Mortar 107mm mortar  Soviet Union
PM-43 120 mm regimental mortar M1943.jpg Mortar 120mm mortar  Soviet Union
M1943 160mm Mortar M1943 003.jpg Mortar 160mm mortar  Soviet Union
Portable anti-materiel weapons
SPG-9 SPG-9M rus.jpeg Anti-tank recoilless rifle 73mm HEAT  Soviet Union
Manufactured locally.
B-10 B-10-82mm-recoilles-rifle-batey-haosef-1-1.jpg Anti-tank recoilless rifle 82mm HEAT  Soviet Union
Manufactured locally.
M72 LAW 66 kertasinko 75.JPG Anti-tank weapon 66mm HEAT  United States
9M14 Malyutka 9K11 Malyutka on display.JPEG Guided anti-tank missile 125mm HEAT  Soviet Union
9M113 Konkurs Flickr - Israel Defense Forces - Russian-Made Missile Found in Hezbollah Hands.jpg Guided anti-tank missile 135mm HEAT  Soviet Union
9K111 Fagot POLK 9K111 Fagot.jpg Guided anti-tank missile 120mm HEAT  Soviet Union
MATADOR MATADOR Stand.jpg Anti-armour 90mm anti-armour  Israel Used by Marines.
RPG-7V RPG-7V1 grenade launcher - RaceofHeroes-part2-22.jpg Rocket-propelled grenade 40mm HEAT  Soviet Union
Manufactured locally.
RPG-29 RPG-29 USGov.JPG Rocket-propelled grenade 105mm HEAT  Soviet Union Vietnam Manufactured locally.
RPO-A Shmel RPO-A missile and launcher.jpg Thermobaric rocket-propelled 93mm FAE  Russia Only for chemical forces.

Ground vehicles[edit]

Vehicle Image Type Origin Quantity Notes
T-90S T-90S 0032 copy.jpg Main battle tank  Russia 64[35] Will be delivered from now through 2019[clarification needed]
T-62 T-62 BRL.jpg Main battle tank  Soviet Union 220[36] Currently undergo refits and upgrades, complementing some of the older T-54/T-55s
T-54/55 T-55 and infantrymans.jpg Main battle tank  Soviet Union 850[37] T-55M3 - 300 Tanks,T-55AM - 200 Tanks
Type-59 Albanian army deploys T-59 tanks near Kosovo border, May 1999 (Robert Wright).jpg Main battle tank  China 350[37]
PT-76 PT-76 National Museum of the Great Patriotic War.jpg Light tank  Soviet Union 300[37]
Type 62 Type 62 tank - front.jpg Light tank  China 320[37]
Type-63 Type 63 tank - front right.jpg Light tank  China 320[37]
M41 Walker Bulldog M41 Bulldog Fort Meade.jpg Light tank  United States 50–100[38] In storage due to lack of replenishments.
T-34-85 Char T-34.jpg Medium tank  Soviet Union 50–100[39] Deployed on Spratly Islands as artilleries and some were used for tank training
M48 Patton M48 Patton Thun.jpg Medium tank  United States unknown[40] In storage due to lack of replenishments.
Armoured vehicle
M113 Vietnamese M113 in the Army Museum in Saigon, 2012-01.jpg Armoured personnel carrier  United States 200[37] Equipped with DShK machine gun and sometimes with the SPG-9.
Type 63 Type 63-2 (WZ531) 20131004.JPG Armoured personnel carrier  China 80[37]
BTR-50PK BTR 50PK DDR TBiU 53.jpg Armoured personnel carrier  Soviet Union 400[41]
BMP-1 BMP-1 03.jpg Infantry fighting vehicle  Soviet Union 150[42]
BMP-2 BMP-2 military parade rehearsal.jpg Infantry fighting vehicle  Soviet Union 150[42]
BTR-60 BTR-60PB front left.JPEG Wheeled armoured personnel carrier  Soviet Union 500[42]
BTR-152 BTR-152-TCM-20-hatzerim-2.jpg Wheeled armoured personnel carrier  Soviet Union 400[42] One is converted to an armored ambulance to support the field hospital in Bentiu, South Sudan, as a part of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan
V-150 Cadillac Gage Commando.JPEG Wheeled armoured personnel carrier  United States 200
BRDM-1 BRDM-1 on a parade in Russia.JPG Reconnaissance vehicle  Soviet Union 150[37][42]
BRDM-2 BRDM-2 on a military parade.JPEG Reconnaissance vehicle  Soviet Union 150[37][42]
RAM–2000 RAM2000vehicle.jpg Light armoured vehicle  Israel 150[37][42]
EXTRA רקטת אקסטרא.jpg 306mm rocket artillery  Israel 20 150km range, used for coastal defence.[43]
SS-1 Scud B/C/D Scud missile on TEL vehicle, National Museum of Military History, Bulgaria.jpg Tactical ballistic missile  Soviet Union 24 launchers[44]
BM-14 Stalin line - BM-14.JPG 140mm multiple rocket launcher  Soviet Union unknown
BM-21 Russian BM-21 Grad in Saint Petersburg.JPG 122mm multiple rocket launcher  Soviet Union unknown
2S1 Gvozdika 2S1 Model 1989.jpg 122mm self-propelled artillery  Soviet Union unknown
2S3 Akatsiya 2S3 Akatsiya -2.jpg 152mm self-propelled artillery  Soviet Union 30[42]
SU-100 Self-propelled artillery in Brest Fortress.jpg 100mm tank destroyer  Soviet Union unknown Used by coastal defence forces of PNVN.[45]
ASU-85 ASU-85 6 Dywizji Powietrznodesantowej.jpg 85mm self-propelled artillery  Soviet Union unknown
M101 Philippine Army M101 Howitzer Side.jpg 105mm towed artillery  United States unknown
M114 USArmy M114 howitzer.jpg 155mm towed artillery  United States unknown
2A18 (D-30) towed howitzer 122- мм гаубица Д-30 (3).jpg 122mm towed artillery  Soviet Union unknown
M-30 towed howitzer[46] VDVHistorymuseum-21.jpg 122mm towed artillery  Soviet Union unknown
D-74 towed howitzer[47] DRVA.jpg 122mm towed artillery  Soviet Union
unknown Name of Chinese version is "Type 60".
M1954 (M-46) towed field gun M-46 Lutsk.jpg 130mm towed artillery  Soviet Union 519
M1955 (D-20) towed gun-howitzer Howitzer D-20.jpg 152mm towed artillery  Soviet Union unknown


In 2006, Israel reported to the United Nations Register Organisation of Conventional Arms (UNROCA) that two of its light armoured vehicles had been sold to Vietnam.[48] A number of Israeli companies won a bid to modernise and upgrade T-54/55 tanks as well as establishing factories in the country. Israel's program includes upgrading armour, night vision system and a fire control system upgrade (produced in Poland). In May 2002, Vietnam and Ukraine reached an agreement of military technical co-operation which extended to 2005. Accordingly, Ukraine will support Vietnam primarily to upgrade its armour and artillery, and improve weapons co-production and repair facilities.[48] In February 2005, the Ministry of Defence of Finland ceded to Vietnam about 70 T-54 and T-55 tanks from the Soviet era. In early March 2005, Poland signed a contract to sell to Vietnam 150 T-72 tanks which would have been used to support training, ammunition, equipment maintenance, and repair, but this contract was cancelled in 2006 because Vietnam wanted to focus more on its Navy and Air Force.[48] In addition to upgrading tanks, the Ministry of Defence of Vietnam signed a military co-operation agreement with Russia. The Vietnamese have also developed the capacity to produce their own equipment and repair existing equipment.

See also[edit]


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