Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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China rolls out new cheap and lightweight howitzers amid tensions at LAC

The howitzers are designed for rugged terrains and border regions. They also have an edge in engine speed, endurance and flexibility, especially in Himalayan border areas.

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New Delhi: Amid the ongoing tensions between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, the latter has reportedly deployed new lightweight howitzers. 

According to a report by the South China Morning Post, the howitzers are designed for rugged terrains and border regions.

The deployment comes amid nearly two months of tensions at the LAC, which peaked with the clashes at Galwan Valley that killed 20 Indian soldiers. According to available satellite images, there is a sizable troop build-up by both sides. 

According to the Hong Kong daily, most of China’s five theatre commands, the country’s military jurisdictions, have been equipped with the PCL-181 155 mm vehicle-mounted howitzers, with the Southern Theatre Command’s 75th Group Army taking the most recent delivery earlier this month.

Citing footage aired on state broadcaster China Central Television, the report stated the howitzers were demonstrated in January in a military exercise by the Western Theatre Command in Tibet. 

“Since the border stand-off began in May, a number of the weapons were reportedly transported to the Tibetan Plateau, together with other weapons specifically designed for high elevations, such as Type 15 lightweight tanks,” it added.

The report quoted observers, saying the PCL-181 — which is cheaper and lighter than the tracked, self-propelled howitzers in the PLA’s arsenal — would be the likely choice of the Chinese army in case a conflict arises on the plateau.

India has also done mirror deployment, and inducted over three division-strong personnel and equipment, including latest artillery over and above the firepower, which is already deployed, defence sources have earlier said.

Also read: India must believe threat of war is real, even if Chinese build-up is coercive diplomacy

Other features of howitzers

According to the report, the howitzer “has an edge in engine speed, endurance and flexibility over its predecessors, especially in the oxygen-depleted Himalayan border areas”.

It said the howitzer can move at up to 100 km/h (62 miles per hour), while carrying 27 shells and a short, compact design for greater mobility on narrow and winding mountainous roads, with improved control and calibration and semi-automatic ammunition reload systems. 

It added the Chinese military has designed a range of 155 mm ammunition applicable to the system, including laser-guided and satellite-guided bombs.

It said the Type 15 lightweight main battle tank and the howitzer could be rapidly deployed to a front line in China’s Y-2-transport aircraft.

Also read: India’s escalation worked against Pakistan, time for similar response to China


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  1. So, Such Chinese activities, now leave no other option to India than to use the Nuclear weapons on China..Jai hind

  2. India as a country and strong political will are like strange bedfellows. That will never happen in India. India still has that bureaucratic third world nation and a corruption first kind of mentality. It takes decades for India to come up with something. So just forget about it.

  3. …”It said the howitzer can move at up to 100 km/h (62 miles per hour),”…………….. really? 100 km/hr?
    Stop quoting nonsense from a propaganda rag.
    Do you have any idea of what is involved in rapidly moving field guns on rough terrain?

  4. Note the language in para#3 “clashes killed Indian soldiers”. This is classic The Print. The Chinese didn’t kill, its clashes that killed.
    This is why The Print has 0 credibility.
    What can one expect, after all you guys are being paid by the Chinese and Pakistanis.

  5. Ok, so the Chinese are deploying new pop gun howitzers and Jackie Chan look alikes – how wonderful.
    But they don’t have the guts to admit how many scores of conscript Chinese soldiers were killed in hand to hand combat on 15 June. It appears that they didn’t like the taste of sharp cold steel wielded by the Indian Army jawans.

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