China has deployed its newest light tank, ZTQ “Xinqingtan” along the border with India. The deployment is part of massive military build-up in Tibet along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India by People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF).
ZTQ light tank, which is specifically designed for operations in mountainous and high-altitude regions such as Tibet, was first revealed in 2011.
Chinese Defense Ministry has admitted for the first time it has deployed an undetermined number of light tank in Tibet along the LAC.
The tank has an advanced fire-control system and its 105 mm gun is capable of firing shells and guided missiles. It also has a secondary armament consisting of a 35 mm grenade launcher and a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun on the turret. The main gun and secondary weapons are adjusted so they can fire at a high angle, making them suitable for mountain warfare.
The tank’s light weight and a powerful diesel engine make it suitable for fighting in oxygen-deficit, high-altitude environments such as those in the LAC.
The export version of the tank is designated as VT-5.