Chinese news outlet GlobalTimes reported that the Type 15 “Black Panther” light tank also known as ZTQ-15 has been commissioned into the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Marine Corps. The light tank, previously known to be in service with only the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) and deployed for plateau missions, also excels at amphibious landing and fast reaction tasks, making it very suitable for the Marine Corps. A brigade affiliated with the PLA Navy Marine Corps received the Type 15 tank, which is characterized by a black panther logo on its turret.
In an amphibious landing, the 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. 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. Thanks to its light weight 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, forest, water net-intensive areas and in urban warfare.
The Type 15 “Black Panther” light tank is a Chinese third generation light tank operated by the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force. It could become a successor to the Type 62 light tank that was retired from the Chinese army without any proper replacement. The Type 15 is designed to fulfill the requirement for a lighter, more mobile modern tank that can effectively operate in highland/plateau, woodland and water-rich regions where the heavier Type 99 and Type 96 main battle tanks.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy Marine Corps (PLANMC), also known as the People’s Liberation Army Marine Corps (PLAMC), is the marine force of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and one of five major branches of the PLA Navy (PLAN) responsible for amphibious warfare, expeditionary operations and rapid responses. In view of the growing tension between Mainland China and the Republic of China, the number of PLAN Marine Corps units was again increased. it plans to grow its marine corps by 400 percent, from 20,000 marines to more than 100,000.