De­ploy­ment of new type of light tank con­firmed

China Daily European Weekly - - News Digest -

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.

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