PLA conducts live-fire drill on Qinghai-Tibet plateau

Huang Panyue
2018-08-17 08:44:58

A digital combat unit of the China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has conducted live-fire drills at an altitude of over 4,000 meters on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, a practice which military experts said showcased the country's determination to build a victorious army.

The drills mainly tested the complete digital combat system in the extreme environment, Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military expert and TV commentator told the Global Times on Thursday.

Song noted such a practice is not targeted against any particular nation near the area, but forms part of China's bigger plan to build a strong army capable of winning a war in all weathers and territories. Almost all units will regularly practice in the area, he said.

Hundreds of military vehicles carrying advanced weaponry including drones, early warning radar, howitzers and air defense missiles participated in the PLA maneuver, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on August 11.

The PLA digital combat unit is able to independently perform counter fire missions including anti-tank and air defense tasks, CCTV said.

The exact location of the drill is not identified in the report.

CCTV quoted Xu Dingguo, an army officer, saying the digital command system allowed the battlefield information to cover every part of the unit at all stages of combat.

Drones can carry out surveillance, strike missions and gather strike results after an artillery attack, Song said. The air-defense troops and missiles guarantee absolute security for the army's weapons.

According to the CCTV, the artillery strike could destroy nearly 80 percent of targets after a first round of shooting, before it took out the rest with additional fire.

An article published by the Sina military channel on Thursday said that the artillery deployed in the drills were PLL-09, a Chinese 122 millimeter self-propelled howitzer.

Although it is less powerful individually than 155 millimeter canons, its maneuverability is better and it can respond quicker in the battlefield to be transported thousands of kilometers via air.

PLA naval vessels from three theater commands have also conducted air defense and anti-missile live-fire exercises in the East China Sea, PLA Daily reported Saturday.


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