List of equipment of the Vietnam People's Ground Forces

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Vietnam People's Army
Vietnam People's Army signal.jpg
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 defence 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 and India.[1][2]

Since 2015, Vietnam has begun exploring purchases of American 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.[3]

Ground vehicles[edit]

Vehicle Image Type Origin Quantity Notes
T-90S 2013 Moscow Victory Day Parade (28).jpg Main battle tank  Russia 64[4]
T-62 T-62 BRL.jpg Main battle tank  USSR 35[5]
T-54/55 T-55 and infantrymans.jpg Main battle tank  USSR 350[5]
Type-59 Albanian army deploys T-59 tanks near Kosovo border, May 1999 (Robert Wright).jpg Main battle tank  China 300[5]
T-34-85 Char T-34.jpg Medium tank  USSR 50–100[6] Deployed on Spratly Islands. Some were used for training.
Type 62 Type 62 tank - front.jpg Light tank  China 230[5]
PT-76 PT-76 National Museum of the Great Patriotic War.jpg Light tank  USSR 200[5]
Type-63 Type 63 tank - front right.jpg Amphibious light tank  China 280[5]
M41 Walker Bulldog M41-walker-bulldog-tank.jpg Light tank  USA 50–100[7] In storage.
M48A3 Patton M48A5.png Medium tank  USA unknown[8] In storage.
Armoured vehicle
M113 Vietnamese M113 in the Army Museum in Saigon, 2012-01.jpg Tracked armoured personnel carrier  USA 200[5]
Type 63 Type 63-2 (WZ531) 20131004.JPG Tracked armoured personnel carrier  China 80[5]
BTR-50PK BTR 50PK DDR TBiU 53.jpg Tracked armoured personnel carrier  USSR 400[9]
BMP-1 BMP-1 03.jpg Infantry fighting vehicle  USSR 150[10]
BMP-2 BMP-2 military parade rehearsal.jpg Infantry fighting vehicle  USSR 150[10]
BTR-152 BTR-152-TCM-20-hatzerim-2.jpg Wheeled armoured personnel carrier  USSR 400[10]
BTR-60 BTR-60PB front left.JPEG Wheeled armoured personnel carrier  USSR 500[10]
V-150 Cadillac Gage Commando.JPEG Wheeled armoured personnel carrier  USA 200
BRDM-1 BRDM-1 on a parade in Russia.JPG Reconnaissance vehicle  USSR 150[5][10]
BRDM-2 BRDM-2 modernised.jpg Reconnaissance vehicle  USSR 150[5][10]
SS-1 Scud B/C/D Scud missile on TEL vehicle, National Museum of Military History, Bulgaria.jpg Tactical ballistic missile  USSR 24 launchers[11]
BM-14 Stalin line - BM-14.JPG 140mm multiple rocket launcher  USSR unknown
BM-21 Russian BM-21 Grad in Saint Petersburg.JPG 122mm multiple rocket launcher  USSR unknown
2S3 Akatsiya 2S3 Akatsiya -2.jpg 152mm self-propelled artillery  USSR 30[10]
2S1 Gvozdika 2S1 Model 1989.jpg 122mm self-propelled artillery  USSR unknown
SU-100 Self-propelled artillery in Brest Fortress.jpg 100mm Tank destroyer  USSR unknown Used by coastal defence forces of PNVN.[12]
ASU-85 ASU-85 6 Dywizji Powietrznodesantowej.jpg 85mm self-propelled artillery  USSR unknown
M101 Philippine Army M101 Howitzer Side.jpg 105mm towed artillery  USA unknown
M1955 (D-20) towed gun-howitzer Howitzer D-20.jpg 152mm towed artillery  USSR unknown
M1954 (M-46) towed field gun M-46 Lutsk.jpg 130mm towed artillery  USSR unknown
2A18 (D-30) towed howitzer 122- мм гаубица Д-30 (3).jpg 122mm towed artillery  USSR unknown
M-30 towed howitzer[13] VDVHistorymuseum-21.jpg 122mm towed artillery  USSR unknown
D-74 towed howitzer[14] DRVA.jpg 122mm towed artillery  USSR/ China unknown Name of Chinese version is "Type 60"
Extended Range Artillery Rocket (EXTRA) 306mm rocket artillery  Israel 20 150km range, used for coastal defence.[15]


Model Image Type Calibre Origin Notes
TT-33 TT-33 2.JPG Semi-automatic pistol 7.62×25mm Tokarev  USSR Standard issue service pistol.
PM 9-мм пистолет Макарова с патронами.jpg Semi-automatic pistol 9×18mm Makarov  USSR Limited use.
Submachine guns
PM-63 Submachine gun wz63.jpg Submachine gun 9×18mm Makarov  Poland Used by special forces and guard police.
MicroUzi Uzimicro.jpg Submachine gun 9×19mm Parabellum  Israel Used by special forces
Assault rifles
AK-47/AKS-47 Автомат Калашников АК-47.jpg Assault rifle 7.62×39mm M43  USSR
AK-47 Type 2/3 .Standard issue service rifle for conscript soldiers. No longer manufactured.[16]
Type 56 Norinco type 56.jpg Assault rifle 7.62×39mm M43  China
Type 56 and Type 56-1 .Standard issue service rifle for conscript soldiers. No longer manufactured.[17]
AKM/AKMS AKM automatkarbin, Ryssland - 7,62x39mm - Armémuseum.jpg Assault rifle 7.62×39mm M43  USSR
Standard issue service rifle. Manufactured locally. Currently being gradually phased out with the Galil ACE 31/32.
Galil ACE 31/32 Ace 762 39 long picatiny.jpg Assault rifle 7.62×39mm  Israel
Manufactured locally; will replace AKM as standard issue service rifle.[18][19]
IWI Tavor TAR-21 IWI-Tavor-TAR-21w1.jpg Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO  Israel
Used by Marines and Naval Special forces. Manufactured locally[18][19]
vz. 58 Sa 58-JH01.jpg Assault rifle 7.62×39mm  Czechoslovakia Limited use.[20]
FN FNC FN-C-p1030122.jpg Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO  Belgium Limited use in special forces and Military Marksman Demonstration Team.
CAR-15 XM177E2 USAF GAU-5A.jpg Carbine 5.56×45mm NATO  USA Used by special forces and Coast Guards as the M-18 (Vietnam's locally produced version of the XM177E2 .
SKS-45 SKS - Ryssland - AM.045810.jpg Carbine 7.62×39mm M43  USSR Used by honour guards and militia forces.
Sniper rifles
Dragunov SVD SVD Dragunov.jpg Sniper rifle 7.62×54mmR  USSR Standard issue sniper rifle.
Galatz Galil-Sniper-Galatz-r001.jpg Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm NATO  Israel Used by special forces.
Machine guns
RPK Machine Gun RPK.jpg Light machine gun 7.62×39mm M43  USSR
Standard issue machine gun. Manufactured locally.
PKM PKM machine gun in storage.jpeg General-purpose machine gun 7.62×54mmR  USSR
Standard issue machine gun. Manufactured locally.
NSV NSV machine gun-01.jpg Heavy machine gun 12.7×108mm  USSR
Standard issue machine gun. Manufactured locally.[21]
RPD LMG-RPD-44.jpg Light machine gun 7.62×39mm  USSR
Standard issue machine gun. Manufactured locally.
IMI Negev IWI-Negev-Zachi-Evenor-01-white.jpg Light machine gun 5.56×45mm NATO  Israel Used by Marines.
Minimi Mk3 M249 FN MINIMI DA-SC-85-11586 c1.jpg Light machine gun 5.56×45mm NATO  Belgium Limited use in special forces and Military Marksman Demonstration Team.[22]
M240B 4th Infantry Division in Diwaniyah.jpg General-purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO  USA Limited use by Military Marksman Demonstration Team.
Grenade-based weapons
M203 M203 1.jpg Grenade launcher 40mm grenade  USA
Manufactured locally.
M79 M79 afmil.jpg Grenade launcher 40mm grenade  USA
Standard issue. Manufactured locally.[23]
MGL Mk-1 M-32 Grenade Launcher.jpg Grenade launcher 40mm grenade  South Africa
Used by special forces. Manufactured locally.[24]
AGS-17 30-мм автоматический гранатомет АГС-17 Пламя.jpg Grenade launcher 30mm grenade  USSR
Standard issue. Manufactured locally.
M1943 160mm Mortar M1943 003.jpg Mortar 160mm mortar  USSR
PM-43 120 mm regimental mortar M1943.jpg Mortar 120mm mortar  USSR
M1938 Mortar 107mm mortar  USSR
82-PM-41 Mortar 82mm mortar  USSR
Portable anti-materiel weapons
B-10 B-10-82mm-recoilles-rifle-batey-haosef-1-1.jpg Anti-tank recoilless rifle 82mm HEAT  USSR
Manufactured locally.
ĐKZ-1 SPG-9M rus.jpeg Anti-tank recoilless rifle 73mm HEAT  USSR
Manufactured locally.
M72 LAW 66 kertasinko 75.JPG Anti-tank weapon 66mm HEAT  USA
9M113 Konkurs Flickr - Israel Defense Forces - Russian-Made Missile Found in Hezbollah Hands.jpg Guided anti-tank missile 135mm HEAT  USSR
9M14 Malyutka 9K11 Malyutka on display.JPEG Guided anti-tank missile 125mm HEAT  USSR
9K111 Fagot POLK 9K111 Fagot.jpg Guided anti-tank missile 120mm HEAT  USSR
MATADOR MATADOR Stand.jpg Anti-armour 90mm anti-armour  Israel Used by Marines.
RPG-29 RPG-29 USGov.JPG Rocket-propelled grenade 105mm HEAT  USSR
Manufactured locally.
RPG-7 RPG-7 detached.jpg Rocket-propelled grenade 40mm HEAT  USSR
Manufactured locally.


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.[25] 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.[25] 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.[25] 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]


  1. ^ "Tạp chí Bộ Ngoại giao Trung Quốc đánh giá về chiến lược và sức mạnh quân sự của Việt Nam" (in Vietnamese). VNTime. 24 August 2011. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  2. ^ Sergei Blagov (5 September 2003). "Russian missiles to guard skies over Vietnam". Asia Times. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Wendell Minnick (31 August 2015). "Vietnam Pushes Modernization as China Challenge Grows". Defense News. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "Russia’s Uralvagonzavod to supply Vietnam with 64 T-90 main battle tanks". Defence Blog. Retrieved 8 July 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Vietnam Army Equipment". Global Security. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "Nhiệm vụ đặc biệt: Thay nòng pháo xe tăng T-34 ở Trường Sa". 
  7. ^ "Bán xe tăng M41 chiến lợi phẩm để lấy kinh phí mua BTR-80, tại sao không?". 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Malyasov, Dylan. "Belarus invited Vietnam to upgrade BTR-50 armored vehicles - Defence Blog". 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "SIPRI arms transfer database". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  11. ^ Brianna Starosciak (5 January 2012). "Worldwide Ballistic Missile Inventories (See Vietnam)". Arms Control Association; Missile Defense Agency; US Department of Defense; Congressional Research Service; National Air and Space Intelligence Center; US Department of State; Federation of American Scientists. Arms Control Association. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Báo Tây quan tâm “sát thủ diệt tăng” SU-100 của VN". 28 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "Ngạc nhiên: Pháo M-30 vẫn trực chiến trong QĐND Việt Nam". 10 December 2016. 
  14. ^ Tisstore (14 October 2015). "Buổi bắn thử nghiệm 3 loại đạn pháo cấp chiến dịch do Việt Nam tự nghiên cứu sản xuất" – via YouTube. 
  15. ^ Israel has delivered 20 EXTRA surface-to-surface guided rockets to Vietnam for coastal defence -, 26 February 2016
  16. ^
  17. ^ "“Lính mới” Hải quân Việt Nam luyện bắn súng AK". 11 November 2013. 
  18. ^ a b Yuval Azulai (18 July 2012). "Israel's defense industry targets Vietnam". Globes. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  19. ^ a b Jon Grevatt (3 February 2014). "Israel Weapon Industries to begin assault rifle production in Vietnam". IHS Jane's 360. Archived from the original on 7 March 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  20. ^ "Việt Nam mua nhiều vũ khí từ CH Czech" (in Vietnamese). BBC News. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  21. ^ "Sức mạnh T-54/55 Việt Nam tăng đáng kể" (in Vietnamese). Báo Đất Việt. 13 March 2012. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  22. ^ "Mổ xẻ' biến thể mới nhất súng máy FN Minimi Việt Nam" (in Vietnamese). Kiến Thức. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "Việt Nam sửa chữa súng phóng lựu Mỹ" (in Vietnamese). Báo Đất Việt. 8 December 2012. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  24. ^ "Việt Nam chế tạo súng phóng lựu tự động" (in Vietnamese). Báo Đất Việt. 29 January 2012. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  25. ^ a b c Carlyle A. Thayer (30 April 2009). "Vietnam People's Army: Development and Modernization" (PDF). Sultan Haji Bolkiah Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Ministry of Defence, Bolkiah Garrison, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. Cite Seer X, National Science Foundation (NSF). p. 10/41. Retrieved 25 April 2016.