Tank repair vehicle developed from Type 15 light tank makes plateau debut

(Global Times) 14:00, September 06, 2021

Type 15 lightweight tanks of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) are spotted participating in a recent exercise in a low temperature mountainous plateau region.

A new tank repair vehicle based on the Type 15 light tank has been confirmed in active service with the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Tibet Military Region after it made its first public appearance in a recent plateau exercise.

Compared with its predecessor, the new repair vehicle is lighter and faster in plateau regions and can ensure sustained combat capability of tanks in such terrains, analysts said.

The PLA Tibet Military Region recently conducted a series of exercises in training sites at an elevation of more than 4,000 meters featuring long-range maneuvering, emergency repair and live-fire shooting, comprehensively honing the cooperation capability between combat and support units under combat scenarios, according to a post by the PLA Tibet Military Region on Friday.

Some photos in the post featured a tank repair vehicle providing maintenance support to a Type 15 light tank. The tank repair vehicle has the same chassis used by the Type 15 and this is the first time it has been revealed to the general public, eastday.com, a Shanghai-based news website, reported on Saturday.

The PLA used the older Type 84 tank repair vehicle, which is based on a 40 ton-class tank chassis, but the newer design, also used by the 30 ton-class Type 15 tank, is more useful particularly in plateau regions thanks to the powerful engine, the report said.

A tank repair vehicle is equipped with many types of emergency repair equipment to conduct emergency repairs and recoveries of tanks directly on the battlefield if the tanks malfunction or get hit by anti-tank weapons, eastday.com said, noting that this type of vehicle is vital in providing sustained combat capability of tanks.

The plateau-operable Type 15 tank can greatly enhance the PLA's rapid reaction capabilities in high-altitude regions as it balances fire power, mobility and protection best suited for plateau operations, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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