The powerful combined arms battalion, each one including almost all types of basic military arms and professions, has now become a basic combat unit of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), enabling the service to react much more quickly in the fast-paced dynamic of modern warfare, gaining more advantages, experts said on Sunday.
As the PLA is accelerating its transformation process, the combined arms battalion has now become an all-new basic combat unit and joined combat sequences, the PLA Daily reported on Friday.
Compared with a traditional battalion, a combined arms battalion has almost all types of basic military arms and professions that the army has to offer, including dozens of professions and hundreds of positions, the report said.
This means a combined arms battalion could have more than a dozen types of different units at its disposal, including infantry units, tank units, artillery units, aviation units, light armor vehicle units and amphibious assault units, rather than, for instance, a battalion full of only tank units like in the past, a military expert who asked not to be named told the Global Times, noting that each different combined arms battalion could have different focuses based on the battlefield situation.
"The combined arms battalion is not a simple permutation and combination, it requires highly efficient management of all different arms units and integrated utilization," said a senior officer at the PLA Army Staff's training department, noting that this modularized, multifunctional force structure can achieve fast and flexible combinations based on the situation on the battlefield, forming different kinds of combat patterns and letting all combat factors make the best of the system's potential.
Multiple types of combined arms battalions are already embedded into the PLA Army's combat system, achieving multiple source perception in combat command, high integration in combat factors and multidimensional expansion of combat space, the PLA Daily said, noting that the army troops' mobilization combat, multidimensional offense and defense capabilities have been greatly enhanced.
More combined arms battalions could be established and more training will be held to make this model become even more powerful, experts said.