China’s latest weapons including the Type 15 tank and the new 155-millimeter vehicle-mounted howitzer were deployed in Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) began a first round of exercises in 2020.
The weapons were specifically designed with advantages for plateau regions and can play important roles in safeguarding border areas, military experts said.
In the new year exercises, the PLA Tibet Military Command deployed helicopters, armored vehicles, heavy artillery and anti-aircraft missiles across the region: from Lhasa, capital of Tibet, with an elevation of 3,700 meters to border defense frontlines with elevations of more than 4,000 meters, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday.
Weihutang, a column on military affairs affiliated with CCTV, identified the tank and the howitzer.
The two weapons were revealed to the general public at the National Day military parade on October 1, 2019 in Beijing.
Their deployment in the Tibet Military Command will enhance PLA combat capability in plateau regions, Weihutang said.
Both weapons feature powerful engines, enabling them to maneuver efficiently in Tibet’s terrains, a military expert who asked not to be named told the Global Times on Sunday.
Heavier hostile weapons cannot reach the oxygen-depleted border areas and if lighter they do not have enough firepower, the expert said.
The Type 15 tank is the world’s only modern lightweight tank in service, Chinese military magazine Weapon reported, noting it is equipped with a 105-millimeter gun and advanced sensors that can “devastate enemy light armored vehicles in regions not suitable for heavy main battle tank deployment.”
Without knowing the exact designation, the six-wheeled 155-millimeter vehicle-mounted howitzer is of a high caliber, reacts fast and can be easily deployed, Weapon magazine reported.