January 2, 2015

China builds lighter tanks for Tibet border

China is touting a new light tank designed specifically for operations in the high-altitude rugged terrain in Tibet region which borders India. Pictures of the new lighter tank which has officially not been named yet have been displayed in the Chinese media.

The tank has a light weight and a powerful diesel engine suitable for oxygen-deficit environments, according to huanqiu.com, a well-informed website which is a chosen platform to reveal advances in China's military modernization and defence technology.

The tank has missile firing capability for hitting helicopters which is one of the major threats to tanks on a battlefield. Huanqiu quoted sources saying that the tank has a 105-mm main gun capable of firing shells. It also features a powerful combination of frontal armor on the hull and turret.

China is likely to export the tank to other countries, according to Kanwa Defence Review, a Canada-based online publication. Buyers may include Pakistan which has purchased several weapons from China, sources said.

The decision to display the new tank is part of an emerging trend which includes exhibiting a modified T-99 main battle tank besides YJ-12 and YJ-100 anti-ship guided missiles. The People's Liberation Army had also debuted the prototype Y-20 and the J-31 aircrafts at an international air show recently.

"This is a symbol of frankness that China has nothing to hide," Ni Lexiong, a Shanghai-based military expert, was quoted by the official China Military Online.

Pictures showed the tank undergoing trials. The Huanqiu report said the vehicle is equipped with cutting-edge hydropneumatic suspension system that ensures better maneuverability and survivability in mountains. 

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