The Chinese Marine Corps has deployed the country’s indigenous Type 15 light battle tank, Beijing-controlled Global Times reported.
An undisclosed number of Type 15s have been activated five months after the vehicle, manufactured by China North Industries Group Corporation, entered service with the Xinjiang Military Command of the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) according to Janes.
The tank is capable of amphibious-landing and fast-reaction missions, Global Times wrote, adding that a Y-20 transport aircraft of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force can carry two Type 15 tanks for long-range transport.
High Power-to-Weight Ratio
Weighing in at around 35 tons, Type 15 is a nimble vehicle with a high power-to-weight ratio thanks to its 1,000 horsepower diesel engine, according to National Interest.
The outlet explained that compared to its larger Chinese cousins — the Type 99 and Type 96 main battle tanks — Type 15 has a smaller 105mm main gun. However, it retains “the robust armor package and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) protection that the larger tanks have.”
The tank can fire a range of armor-piercing anti-tank rounds from its main gun at a range of up to 3,000 meters (9,843 feet), Asia Times wrote.
It can also fire “guided-missiles with a tandem warhead out to a range of 5km (3.1 miles).”
These features make it capable of operating in multiple terrains, including on plateaus, beaches, forests, water-logged areas, and in urban warfare, which fits in ideally with the Marines’ transformation from an amphibious to an all-terrain force.