China's People Liberation Army (PLA) recently inducted the first batch of indigenous four-wheeled armoured vehicles that can reportedly be airdropped over challenging terrain for a range of operations and mission objectives. Reports claim that the light armoured vehicle has a plethora of features, including wading capabilities, that could be a massive shot in the arm for the country's military.
The armoured vehicle is touted as a major improvement over the ZBD-03 airborne infantry vehicle which had previously been showcased, and comes mounted with machine guns that could add to the fighting capabilities of paratroopers. State-run Global Times has reported that the vehicle may be light enough to enter the country's military transport aircraft but offers a solid armour to keep it safe from a range of enemy fire.
Manufactured by state-owned China North Industries Group Corporation, the vehicle claims to feature a digital control system for driving as well as assault operations. "Three of this type of vehicle can be consecutively airdropped from one cargo aircraft," Yang Liang, a PLA Air Force officer, reportedly said on China Central Television (CCTV), according to Global Times. "It runs fast, shoots accurately, can sail in water, has good armor and can conduct assault and armed reconnaissance missions in plateaus and cold regions."
China has been desperately trying to modernise its military and has either inducted or is developing a number of vehicles which could help troops carry out overt and covert operations, often in challenging terrains and conditions.