The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Xinjiang Military Command recently commissioned new Type 15 lightweight main battle tanks.
The advanced tanks specializing in plateau combat are already being used by the Tibet Military Command.
Immediately after the commissioning, the regiment sent the tanks to a freezing region at 4,300 meters altitude for adaptation exercises, so they can rapidly form combat capability, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Sunday.
Type 15 tank has a max speed of 70kmph and range of over 400km. It weighs between 33-36 tons depending on the armor package. It is armed with 105mm rifled gun with thermal sleeve and fume extractor, 40mm automatic grenade launcher and a 12.7mm machine gun.
The tank boasts better mobility in high-altitude regions with low oxygen levels when compared to Type 96 and Type 99 tanks.
"The Type 15 tank is easy and flexible to operate and has high mobility, as it is equipped with a new engine designed for plateau missions and an oxygen producer. It also uses new armor materials and stealth technologies, so it has reduced weight but better protection and stealth functions," said Zhang Hongjun, a master sergeant class one at the regiment, in the CCTV report.
It also has advanced fire control and weapons systems as well as extra battlefield situational awareness capabilities, particularly the ability to identify friends or foes, providing significant convenience to the troops, Zhang said.