(TibetanReview.net, Aug12’20) – In an apparent bid to browbeat India into succumbing on the Ladakh border issue, China said Aug 11 that it had recently held live-fire drills in a high-elevation region in the Himalayas, where some of the PLA’s latest tactical weapons for mountain warfare, including a new 122-millimeter caliber wheeled howitzer and the vehicle-mounted version of the HJ-10 anti-tank missile system, made their first public appearances.
Compared with their heavier counterparts, these two new weapons are characterized by high mobility, which will come in handy, particularly in plateau regions, China’s party mouthpiece globaltimes.cn Aug 11 cited analysts as saying.
The report explained that a combined arms brigade attached to the PLA Tibet Military Command recently conducted a series of live-fire artillery exercises in the middle section of the Himalayas, having an elevation of about 4,600 metres, citing a China Central Television reported Aug 11.
The report said the drills featured anti-aircraft shooting and precision artillery strikes on hostile headquarters, missile installations and communication hubs using long-range rocket launcher systems. This, it added, was followed by live-fire coverage of hostile positions, bunkers and camps with howitzers.
The report said the soldiers wore new camouflage; that the new 122-millimeter caliber wheeled howitzer could shoot in all directions, could be deployed rapidly, and was better-suited for air transport via tactical cargo planes like the Y-9 compared to its predecessor.
The report said that another newly revealed weapon, the vehicle-mounted version of the HJ-10 anti-tank missile system, used four wheels and was loaded with two missiles in order to greatly reduce its weight and to make the system more mobile and easier to maintain.
It added that the HJ-10 could not only destroy armored ground targets within 10 kilometres, but it could also attack small water surface targets and low-speed aircraft like helicopters.