Land arms draw air show crowds

By Jiang Jie in Zhuhai Source:Global Times Published: 2014-11-14 0:33:01

Military fans note a lack of weapon exhibitions in China

People take pictures of the VT4 battle tank, a new model developed for world-class information-based warfare, at the 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province on Thursday. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

 China has demonstrated a record number of ground-based weapons at the 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, also known as Airshow China, in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province.

As a first-time sponsor of Airshow China, China South Industries Group Corporation presented 17 firearms and light weapons, and more than 40 types of counter-terrorism equipment, radar and unmanned reconnaissance vehicles. In particular, the CS/AR1 55mm anti-frogman rocket launcher, which made its debut at the exhibition, was much praised for its fast reaction, high accuracy and easy maintenance. It is believed that the rocket launcher could be used in the South China Sea to deal with frogmen. Frogmen from Vietnam have been reportedly involved in the two countries' disputes in the South China Sea.

Another first-time sponsor, China North Industries Group Corporation, introduced six kinds of products, including tanks, armored vehicles and anti-tank missiles, many of which made their debut at Airshow China. The company's V-shaped VP11 4x4 wheeled mine-resistant vehicle was ordered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this year, which purchased over 150 VP11s, according to Xiao Ning, executive chief editor of Beijing-based Weapon Magazine.

"This is significant proof of the vehicle's advanced technology since the UAE always values quality over price," Xiao said, adding that VP11, which can contribute greatly to anti-terrorism work, will have a 6x6 model in the future.

Even more attention was paid to the SR5 guided multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), a short-to-medium-range universal launching platform with automatic loading technology, believed to be the only competitor to its US counterparts.

 "It is safe to say that some of the technology applied in the SR5 is more advanced since it is a 2013 product," Xiao said. "Its most significant feature is its high reloading efficiency. Unlike other MLRS that take an hour to reload, the SR5 takes five minutes."

The Red Arrow missile also drew the attention of the crowds, particularly the Red Arrow 12 fire-and-forget multi-purpose missile, which boasts a one-man crew and soft-launch design.

All of these arms platform together comprised the largest weapons exhibition at Airshow China, triggering online discussions on a lack of exhibitions focusing on ground-based weapons in China.

"China doesn't have international weapons exhibitions partly because of the arms embargo imposed on China by the West. It was also a shame that only a few military aircraft showed up at Airshow China. They should not have lost the opportunity [to tap the] huge market opened by China in the Asia-Pacific region, an important arms distribution center," said Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military expert.

Posted in: Military, China

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