Lat­est weapons used in plateau mil­i­tary drills

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA -

In prepa­ra­tion for po­ten­tial plateau war­fare, China re­cently used, for the first time, some of its most pow­er­ful weapons and equip­ment, in­clud­ing Type 99A main bat­tle tanks and battlefiel­d ro­bots to a snow-cov­ered plateau in com­bat ex­er­cises.

Tak­ing part in the ex­er­cises at an el­e­va­tion of 4,200 me­ters was a com­bined bri­gade un­der the 76th Group Army of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (PLA), who con­ducted mock bat­tles us­ing live am­mu­ni­tion, China Central Tele­vi­sion (CCTV) re­ported on Sun­day.

The re­port did not iden­tify the area, but such a ter­rain is usu­ally found in west­ern China.

Weapons and equip­ment, in­clud­ing Type 99A tanks and battlefiel­d ro­bots used for mine sweep­ing and re­con­nais­sance, were de­ployed for the first time in a plateau, the CCTV re­port said.

Heavy weapons will usu­ally suf­fer from the lack of oxy­gen on plateaus, mil­i­tary an­a­lysts said.

“Switch­ing from the plains to a plateau, the tanks’ mo­bil­ity and as­sault ca­pa­bil­i­ties suf­fered, so we de­vised some tac­tics that best suit plateaus. Our goal is to max­i­mize these new weapons’ com­bat readi­ness in a po­ten­tial plateau war­fare,” Fan Hai­long, an of­fi­cer with the 76th Group Army, told CCTV.

“The ex­er­cises al­lowed us to fur­ther test the com­bat ca­pa­bil­i­ties and gath­ered data for all kinds of weapons in high el­e­va­tion and cold weather,” said Zhao Xiang, an­other 76th Group Army of­fi­cer.

The ex­er­cises lasted sev­eral days, dur­ing which time the troops dis­cov­ered a dozen meth­ods of break­ing through en­emy de­fenses, com­pre­hen­sively ex­pand­ing their com­bat ca­pa­bil­i­ties un­der all kinds of ter­rain, CCTV said.

The PLA will con­duct more ex­er­cises in­volv­ing new weapons and equip­ment on plateaus, ac­cord­ing to Zhao.

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