Chinese State-owned media Global Times on Sunday has listed Type 15 light tank, PCL-181 vehicle-mounter howitzer, Z-20 helicopter and Wing Loong II (GJ-2) combat drone and other weapons to be used in a potential border conflict with India. Since the Doklam standoff with India in 2017, the Chinese military has expanded its arsenal with weapons that should give China the advantage in high-altitude conflicts should they arise. China 30-ton Type 15 tank and 25-ton PCL-181 vehicle-mounter howitzer were spotted in Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region in January, very close to India’s Ladakh.
The Type 15 light tank, also known as VT-5, is designed to fulfill the requirement from Chinese army for a lighter, mobile modern tank that can effectively operate in China’s plateaus, forests, and water-heavy regions in which heavier Type 99 tanks have difficulties traversing. With its advanced fire control systems and 105 millimeter caliber armor-piercing main gun, the Type 15 lightweight tank can outgun any other light armored vehicles at high elevations. The PCL-181 or SH-15 155mm wheeled vehicle-mounted howitzer weighs only 25 tons, making it much lighter and faster and with longer endurance than the previous self-propelled howitzer which uses crawler tracks and weighs more than 40 tons.
The Z-20 medium-lift helicopter can adapt to all kinds of terrain and weather and can be used on missions including personnel and cargo transport, search and rescue and reconnaissance. “The Z-20 can operate in oxygen-depleted plateaus thanks to its powerful homemade engine. Focusing on plateau operations, the Z-8G is the first of its kind in China and can take off from 4,500 meters above sea level with a ceiling higher than 6,000 meters. The Chengdu Wing Loong II, military designation GJ-2, is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group in the People’s Republic of China.