Main battle tanks (MBTs) and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) attached to an armored brigade under the PLA 76th Group Army maneuver in speed to a designated training field on May 19, 2020. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Li Zhongyuan)
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Tibet Military Command recently sent troops to a high-altitude region at an elevation of 4,700 meters at night for infiltration exercises behind enemy lines and tested their combat capability under a harsh environment.
At 1:00 am at an undisclosed date, a PLA scout unit began to mobilize toward its target in the Tanggula Mountains. During the march, vehicles turned off their lights and used night vision devices to avoid hostile drone reconnaissance, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Monday.
After encountering defensive obstacles built by the enemy, the scouts sent drones and dropped explosives to clear them.
They engaged in combat when approaching the target, for which they sent a sniper unit to crack enemy spotlights and a fire strike team to destroy enemy light armored vehicles with anti-tank rockets.
After neutralizing the defenses, the scout unit successfully launched the final assault on the enemy headquarters, in which commanders used a vehicle-mounted infrared reconnaissance system and guided the troops to lock in on targets and deliver fire strikes.
More than 2,000 munitions, including mortar shells, rifle grenades and rockets were fired during the mock battle, Ma Qian, commander of the scout battalion involved in the drills, told CCTV.
The exercises not only tested the results of the troops' training with newly commissioned equipment, but also placed them in an extremely complicated situation, Ma said.
A retired PLA officer who was deployed in high altitude regions of Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region told the Global Times under condition of anonymity on Tuesday that nights in plateaus are very cold and the lack of oxygen at high elevations can cause problems for troops and hardware.
Infiltrating behind enemy lines and launching an attack at a hostile command center at night can effectively win a small-scale conflict with only one battle, the veteran said, noting that the surprise factor would play a significant role.
China and India share borders at the high altitude area, and incidents have recently occurred between the two countries' troops, and both sides reportedly reinforced deployments.
China's Foreign Ministry on Monday stressed that the situation on the China-India border is stable and controllable, and diplomatic and military channels of communication between the two sides are unimpeded.