China has displayed two scaled models of its new 30-ton-class Type 15 light tank at the National Museum of China.
“The Type 15 is equipped with a 105-millimeter main gun capable of firing armor-piercing rounds and gun-launched missiles, making its firepower not much inferior to a heavier main battle tank, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst was quoted as saying by Global Times Sunday.
The Type 15 tank is significantly lighter, weighing about 32-35 tons in comparison to Type 99 and Type 96 main battle tanks in service of the People’s Liberation Army, Wei said.
The tank can provide 1000 horsepower driving force. It is easier to operate on plateau, forest and water-intensive areas because of its light weight, he added.
The Type 15 can also be quickly deployed in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region if border dispute reoccurs, the expert said.
Wei said that the light-weight Type 15 can be transported to an island via landing ships, as the tank can provide strong fire support and cover for infantries.
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 noted.