The Xinjiang Military Command of China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) has received the country’s latest field air defense missile system and self-propelled 122 mm multiple rocket launcher system, state media reported.
A regiment of PLA Xinjiang Military Command has received the latest HQ-17A field air defense missile system and the PHL-11 122mm caliber self-propelled multiple rocket launcher system from China, according to Chinese news outlets js7tv.cn.
Soldiers were also seen at the commissioning ceremony wearing night vision goggles, Global Times reported. This would seem to indicate that the command is continuing to develop its night combat capability.
The PLA Xinjiang Military Command base is located in Urumqi, Xinjiang in the Uygur Autonomous Region at an altitude of more than 4,500 meters (14,764 ft). It consists of four divisions, one brigade, and five regiments.
HQ-17A, PHL-11 Systems
Debuting in 2019, the HQ-17A is touted as China’s most advanced field air defense missile system. It is the wheeled variant of the HQ-17, a low to medium altitude, short-range surface-to-air missile system developed by China.
The all-weather system is designed to move quickly compared to other variants to keep up with mechanized troops such as tank battalions and provide air cover while on the move.
The PHL-11 is a wheeled multiple rocket launch system that can carry 40 rockets and provide substantial firepower. It is a variant of the Type 81 rocket launcher, the first in a series of Chinese self-propelled 122 mm rocket launchers.
Improving Plateau Combat
Earlier this year, a PLA Xinjiang Military Command regiment took delivery of a batch of Type 15 light tanks, a variant which features better mobility at high altitude. The Type 15 is seen as more suitable for plateau combat terrain such as that on China’s western border.
Qian Feng, director of the research department at Tsinghua University’s National Strategy Institute, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the commissioning is a normal part of China’s national defense development.