China tests new tanks on Tibet plateau with an eye on India
The report said Beijing was increasing its military buildup in Tibet in “a show of force designed to deter the Indian military”.world Updated: Jun 29, 2017 17:17 IST
A new 35 tonne tank deployed by China in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) is designed to be a counter to India, a media report said.
Trials on the tank were carried out by the military recently on the plains of Tibet, People’s Liberation Army spokesperson Wu Qian said on Thursday. He said the trial and deployment wasn’t aimed at any country.
However, a recent report on the Guancha website said the tanks — called Xinqingtan in Chinese — were rolled out in an area of Tibet near the Indian border.
The report said Beijing was increasing its military buildup in Tibet in “a show of force designed to deter the Indian military”.
The new tank’s technology and firepower is “far more advanced” than the Russia-made T-90S tanks deployed by India, the news site reported, adding that its deployment expands the Tibet-based unit and has increased their fighting power.
News agency UPI said the Xinqingtan includes a 105-millimeter tank gun, a 35-millimeter grenade launcher and a 12.7-millimeter machine gun. The guns have already been adjusted to a high angle so they are ready for mountain operations, the report said.
“The tank is relatively light at 35-38 tonnes. It produces 1,000 horsepower on an 8V150-type engine,” it said.
Last year, the Indian Army moved over 100 T-72 tanks to the frontline in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that divides India and China. According to reports, it was part of a plan to raise six armoured divisions in the strategic region, with more than 300 tanks.