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The all-terrain vehicle was featured in a report on state broadcaster CCTV’s military channel. Photo: CCTV

China’s military uses new all-terrain vehicle to get supplies to troops in Tibet

  • It has a tank tread and can negotiate 35-degree slopes while carrying up to 1.5 tonnes of goods, state television reports
  • The vehicle’s introduction is the latest effort to improve logistics support in the high-altitude region as China and India remain locked in border stand-off
China’s military has a new all-terrain vehicle to help deliver supplies to troops in high-altitude regions like Tibet, according to state media.

The vehicle has a metalloid tank tread, or caterpillar track, and can negotiate 35-degree slopes and carry up to 1.5 tonnes of goods, state broadcaster CCTV’s military channel reported on Saturday.

It was commissioned by the People’s Liberation Army for logistics support in the challenging terrain of plateau regions above 5,000 metres (16,400 ft) like Tibet, and comes as China and India have been locked in a stand-off on their disputed border in the Himalayas since May.

“Many plateau troops have set up camps in locations with altitudes higher than 5,000 metres, and to solve the problem of delivering supplies and transport, a new all-terrain vehicle is being used,” the report said.

It was used to deliver instant noodles and water to troops in the Karakoram. Photo: Weibo

The newly developed vehicle was used in a recent mission to deliver instant noodles and water to troops in the Karakoram, a mountain range that spans the borders of China, India and Pakistan.

It is likely to be a modified version of the Jonyang JY813, an all-terrain tracked carrier vehicle made by GJK, a Chinese subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Kinetics, news portal reported.

According to CCTV, the vehicle has good manoeuvrability, with a top land speed of 60km/h (37 miles per hour) and 5km/h (3 miles per hour) in water.

The China-India border dispute: its origins and impact

It is one of the latest efforts to improve logistics support for troops stationed in the Tibetan Plateau, which has an average elevation of about 4,500 metres.

Drones were used to drop off supplies to troops in the remote Motuo region of Tibet in October.

PLA soldiers have also been equipped with exoskeleton suits to reduce the weight they are carrying by 30 per cent while walking and 50 per cent while standing so they can move supplies easier, CCTV reported earlier.
A raft of new equipment has meanwhile been dispatched to soldiers in Tibet to get them through the bitter winter, including patrol gear, moisture-wicking and quick-drying underwear, waterproof thermal gloves and socks and anti-glare glasses, the South China Morning Post reported.
China has been trying to improve logistics support for troops in Tibet. Photo: Weibo

Border tensions between China and India escalated in June when 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese troops were killed in a violent brawl in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh – their worst military clash in more than half a century.

President Xi Jinping has said that winning a war depends largely on logistical support. A new logistics force was set up in 2016 and in September last year, Xi called for coordinated efforts to advance the military’s logistics network.
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: New PLA vehicle to supply troops at high altitude