The Chinese PLA has tested a new lightweight 122-millimeter caliber wheeled howitzer besides a wheeled vehicle mounted HJ-10 anti-tank missile system.
The two new weapons made their first public appearance in live-fire drills in a high-elevation region in the Himalayas. The tests come in the backdrop of the arms build-up between India and China following the deadly clashes between troops of the two sides in the border region of Galwan valley.
The new 122mm howitzer looks similar to the PCL-181 155-millimeter caliber wheeled howitzer buthas a shorter barrel and four wheels instead of the PCL-181's six wheels, Shanghai-based news website eastday.com reported.
The two new weapons are characterized by high mobility.A combined arms brigade attached to the PLA Tibet Military Command recently conducted a series of live-fire artillery exercises in the middle section of the Himalayas, which has an elevation of about 4,600 meters, China Central Television reported on Tuesday.
The drills featured anti-aircraft shooting and precision artillery strikes on hostile headquarters, missile installations and communication hubs using long-range rocket launcher systems. This was followed by live-fire coverage of hostile positions, bunkers and camps with howitzers, according to the report.
The new 122mm howitzer is more mobile and better-suited for air transport via tactical cargo planes like the Y-9. At the cost of range and firepower, the new howitzer's smaller and lighter ammunition is easier to transport and reload, Wei, a military expert was quoted as saying.
The vehicle-mounted version of the HJ-10 anti-tank missile system has shed a lot of weight compared with the original version that uses tracks and is loaded with four missiles. The new version uses four wheels and is loaded with two missiles, eastday.com reported.
Besides tanks and armored vehicles, the HJ-10 can destroy low-speed aircraft like helicopters within a 10 kms radius, reports said.