China's newest tank, the Type 15, makes parade debut
By Liu Xuanzun and Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/1 11:15:26
Excelling at combat in a variety of terrains including high-elevation plateaus, forests and wetland, China's latest tank, the Type 15, rolled past Tiananmen Square in its first debut to the general public on Tuesday during the National Day parade.
The lightweight tank is listed in China's July defense white paper as one of the country's most advanced weapons.
The Type 15 tank is significantly lighter than the Type 99 and Type 96, the two main battle tanks in service of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), military experts told the Global Times previously, noting that this enables the Type 15 to operate effectively in difficult terrain that may be inaccessible to heavier tanks.
Despite its small size, its main gun is likely capable of firing armor-piercing rounds and gun-launched missiles, giving the tank enough firepower for its designed missions, experts said, noting that its mobility also means it is less likely to be detected and destroyed.
The Type 15 is also expected to be equipped with many electronic devices, enabling it to send, receive and share real-time information from an entire combat system, greatly expanding its combat capability, analysts said.
China's Ministry of National Defense confirmed the commissioning of the Type 15 in the PLA at a routine press conference in December 2018 after the country first unveiled a model at the National Museum of China in November.
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