The Chinese Army (PLA) has reportedly commissioned new off-road armored vehicles for its border forces, giving them an upgraded and more versatile replacement for their older second-generation vehicles.
A battalion attached to the PLA Tibet Military Command recently received the delivery of a batch of assault vehicles, said the command’s Sina Weibo account on Tuesday.
Notably, the Tibet Military Command is also involved in a tiring border standoff against the Indian Army in Eastern Ladakh, a no-war-no-peace situation that has claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers and an unconfirmed number on the Chinese side.
The vehicles, called the “New Generation Assault Vehicles” are made by the Chinese Dongfeng Motor Group under the name “Mengshi”. These are, much like most other Chinese equipment, are said to be copied from the American Hummvee design and are their own equivalent of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
Interestingly, the Indian Army is also testing and evaluating its own armored vehicles in Ladakh. The prime candidate undergoing testing is the Kalyani M4, which would be the closest competitor for PLA’s Dongfeng Mengshi.
An APC, jointly developed by Tata and DRDO named “WhAP” is also under trials by the service to replace its aging BMPs.
However, this is not the only case where the third-generation Dongfeng Mengshi is commissioned in the PLA Tibet Military Command.
In a video on October 12, the command announced that a batch of the assault vehicles had entered service with border defense troops based in Xigaze, and in May, the vehicle was briefly seen in a CCTV report on a mortar troops unit of the command, reported GlobalTimes.
The vehicle is pre-equipped with a manually operated turret capable of mounting several types of light and heavy weapons including light- and heavy machine guns and guided missile launchers giving a boost to the PLA forces deployed in the region. These vehicles are particularly helpful in the Tibetan plateau, where the terrain is often demanding and an off-roader’s paradise.
The Mengshi chassis has been completely redesigned from their humvee-derivative EQ2060 with new engines and electronics including onboard computers with digital map software and Beidou satellite communication and positioning system, one night-vision camera for the driver, and one for the rear door.
It’s one of the two principal light armored vehicles currently fielded by PLA.
In a video that went viral earlier this year, a Chinese Dongfeng CSK-131 vehicle was attacked by the Indian Army during a fight at the Pangong Tso area, without any damage to the combat vehicle.