Tanks are rumbling past and missiles roaring. These are not scenes from a war film, but highlights of a weaponry exhibition held in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Wednesday.
In the city of Baotou, where the country’s first domestically made tank rolled off the assembly line nearly 60 years ago, the 2017 Armour Day event was hosted by China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), the largest manufacturer of armored vehicles for China’s armed forces and police departments.
Aiming at showcasing some of China’s latest innovations in weapons for land operations, the event attracted officials from the army and defense authorities, as well as foreign ambassadors and military officers from various countries.
A live fire demonstration was the highlight on Wednesday. Nearly half of the weapons on display were never shown before with live ammunition, NORINCO said at a press conference Tuesday.
The star of the day was the VT5. Debuted at Airshow China 2016 in Zhuhai, the newly-developed light tank finished its first dynamic demonstration Wednesday after a maneuverability and a live fire display.
Equipped with a domestically-made engine, auto gear box and a 105-mm tank gun, the lightweight tank is compatible with various types of terrain.
Wednesday’s exhibition also featured the live fire debut of the Red Arrow 10 and Red Arrow 12, China’s famous anti-tank and multi-purpose missiles.
The Red Arrow missiles can automatically locate and engage targets. In the live fire demonstration, the missiles hit and destroyed the targets without a single miss.
The VT4 and several other battle tanks and armored vehicles also took part in the event.
Seven major programs were in display, including an active protection system demonstration, a mine-resistance demonstration and a firing demonstration by a multitude of battle tanks and armored vehicles.
China is stepping up efforts to reform and modernize its army and national defense, with weaponry innovation weighing heavily on the cause.
“I think innovation is one of the major priorities in the field of weapon manufacturing,” said Zhu Zheng from NORINCO. “The innovative spirit of generations of scientists has driven the development of Chinese defense.”
China’s military manufacturers like NORINCO should continue to innovate to facilitate the country’s defense and military modernization, Zhu told Xinhua.