Chinese army’s Type 15 light tanks deployed in Tibet
According to Liu Xuanzun on Global Times, Type 15 lightweight tanks of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) were spotted participating in a recent exercise in a low-temperature mountainous plateau region.
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Type 15 lightweight tanks of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) operating in Tibet (Picture source: Chinese army/81.cn)
An infantry battalion at the PLA Tibet Military Region recently organized infantry-tank cooperation drills in Tibet, at an elevation of more than 4,700 meters, putting the troops' teamwork and rapid-response capabilities to a comprehensive test Media reports and military observers identified the tanks participating in the drills as the Type 15, China's latest type of lightweight main battle tank that made its public debut at the National Day military parade on October 1, 2019, in Beijing. As a part of the intended design, the Type 15 lightweight tank is highly mobile even on plateaus, a type of terrain which heavy tanks can struggle in due to the lack of oxygen to support the engine.
In another development, Type 99 main battle tanks attached to a brigade under the PLA 76th Group Army participated in separate exercises in mountainous plateau terrain, as reported on Army Recognition on June 3. Type 99 is much heavier than the Type 15. It has even stronger firepower and protection, but it can move less freely on plateaus and can complement the Type 15, the expert said.
Military observers connected the PLA's recent maneuvering and exercises of troops with the recent border tensions between China and India. The Indian Express reported that Indian and Chinese troops have gradually begun moving back from their "standoff positions."