Fri, 18 Jun 2021

Beijing [China], June 6 (ANI): China has added more firepower to its Navy Marine Corps by commissioning advanced lightweight Type 15 tank.

Citing Global Times, Asia Times reported that the tank is no longer just deployed on plateau missions with the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) but is now being commissioned into the Navy Marine Corps.

Dave Makichuk, writing in Asia Times, said that advanced lightweight Type 15 tank excels at the amphibious landing and fast reaction attacks, making it very suitable for the Marine Corps.

Type 15 tank have participated in many key missions including multinational joint exercises, escort tasks in the Gulf of Aden and the Yemen rescue mission, the Marine Corps brigade is transforming its amphibious-only role to an all-terrain role, China Central Television (CCTV) said but did not elaborate.

The Type 15 is the latest entry to the PLA's tank family and made its first public appearance at the National Day military parade in Beijing in October 2019.

It produces oxygen, uses new armour materials, has advanced weapons and fire control and is somewhat stealthy, National Interest reported.

On the weapons front, it fires a wide range of ammunition from a 105mm rifle gun with a "thermal sleeve and fume extractor" with a range of 3,000 meters [9,843 feet], reported Asia Times.

The rounds include armour piercing, high-explosive anti-tank and high explosive rounds, somewhat analogous to US tanks and Army plans for the MPF (Mobile Protected Firepower).

The Type 15 can launch guided missiles with a tandem warhead out to a range of 5km [3.1 miles]. The gun is also fin-stabilized with a modern Fire Control System including a ballistic computer, laser rangefinder, and thermal sights for the gunner, reported Asia Times.

Over the past year, multiple batches of Type 15s have been delivered to the PLA Army, particularly the Tibet and Xinjiang Military Commands that safeguard China's western borders with high altitudes and mountainous terrains.

Thanks to its lightweight and powerful engine, the Type 15 can operate under many challenging conditions while other main battle tanks cannot.

This not only includes plateau regions but also beaches, forests, water net-intensive areas and in urban warfare.

In an amphibious landing, Type 15 can be transported to the landing zone via landing ships, as the tank can provide strong fire support and cover for the infantry, reported Asia Times.

After gaining ground on the shore, a tank-like Type 15 can work better than an amphibious tank when charging into deeper areas due to its higher mobility, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times.

A 2020 assessment from GlobalFirepower estimates that the Chinese Army consists of roughly two million active-duty troops and 510,000 reserves, a number which is more than two-or-three times larger than the US Army's standing active force.

The assessment also says the Chinese have 33,000 armoured vehicles and 3,500 tanks. (ANI)

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