The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) recently conducted a live-fire training exercise of its rocket-propelled landmine launchers that spread a large number of mines over a given area in a short time.
The test, conducted in Tibet will lead to a “rapid regional lockdown during combat,” state sponsored media reported. The large number of mines is intended to create an above-ground minefield that will hinder the mobility of enemy formations, it said.
A brigade under the PLA Tibet Military Command dispatched several truck-based multiple rocket-propelled mine launchers to a training ground at an elevation of more than 4,300 meters and conducted a test shooting exercise under simulated combat scenarios, the command said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The test achieved its goal of remotely setting up obstacles and placing mines across a whole region.
According to a video attached to the statement, one truck carries 40 rocket-launching barrels, and the rocket-propelled mines are fired at short intervals. The mines it fired are scattered on the surface instead of buried in the ground.
It can set up a temporary mine field in the path of an enemy army and slow its advance, or it can be used to temporarily secure a perimeter and lock down a breach in a defense line, the report said.
The mines will attach to the earth but won't be embedded in the ground, which will make them easier to spot and dismantle later. But they will be enough to slow down an enemy, particularly one using large equipment, in a temporary lockdown and win a crucial time advantage, state-sponsored Global Times reported
While the type of mine used was not specified in Chinese state-sponsored media reports, it could be the Type 84 mine which is an air-dispersed landmine.
The mine is attached to the Type 122-15 ATML rocket and launched from a BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket systems. Once the rocket launches, the rocket’s head bursts, ejecting the mines, which then descend under parachutes.
The mine laying test comes amidst China’s tensions with India. A seventh round of a senior commanders' meeting of China and India was “positive, constructive and had enhanced understanding of both sides,” according to a joint statement released earlier this week.