Deployment of new type of light tank confirmed
China has confirmed the deployment of a new light tank, which observers say will suit combat operations on plateaus. A photo of the tank on snowy ground is on display at an exposition in the Beijing Exhibition Center, as part of a display showing achievements made by China over the past five years. The caption accompanying the picture says it is a new type of light tank, without giving details. This is the first time the Chinese military has officially published a picture of the tank. Developed by China North Industries Group Corp, the country’s biggest maker of land armaments, the light tank is equipped with a hydropneumatic suspension system that ensures good maneuverability and survivability in mountainous regions. Its main weapon is a 105-mm gun that is able to fire both shells and guided missiles, according to weapons observers, who said the tank’s main task is to fight on plateaus even at very low temperatures, and that its weight ranges from 25 to 35 metric tons. By comparison, a main battle tank, such as the United States’ M1 Abrams and China’s Type 99A, weighs up to 65 tons. Du Wenlong, an equipment researcher at the PLA Academy of Military Science, said the vehicle was designed to operate in China’s southern regions and on plateaus.