The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has begun major defence exercises in neighbouring Tibet stationing latest state-of-art weapons including the Type 15 light battle tank and the new 155-MM vehicle-mounted howitzer, according to Indian Express quoting the Global Times.
The Type 15 tank is a modern lightweight tank equipped with a 105-millimetre gun and superior sensors that can destroy light armoured vehicles in regions, according to experts.
The People’s Liberation Army Tibet Military Command commenced its New Year exercises in which it has deployed helicopters, armoured vehicles, heavy artillery and anti-aircraft missiles across the region from Lhasa to the border defence front lines with elevations of more than 4,000 metres, the Global Times reported.
India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC) covered 3,488 kilometres, including the border along Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet.
Both the tank and howitzer, which were unveiled to the public on the National Day military parade on October 1 last year, are specially developed for plateau regions and can play a vital role in guarding the border areas, the report said.
Their deployment in the Tibet Military Command will significantly improve the defence capability of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the plateau regions, the experts stated.
Both were equipped with powerful engines, enabling them to manoeuvre efficiently in Tibet’s terrains, a military expert was quoted as saying in the report. Heavier hostile weapons cannot reach the oxygen-depleted border areas, and, if lighter, they do not have enough firepower, he said.