PLA plateau special forces adopt low-visibility Starry Sky camouflage uniforms
Published: Jan 17, 2021 07:26 PM

PLA plateau special forces members equipped with low-visibility camouflage conduct live-fire special exercises in field training ground at an altitude of 3,800 meters in 2021. Photo: Screenshot from China Central Television

Plateau special forces of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Tibet Military Command have been equipped with the latest combat uniforms with a camouflage pattern that can perfectly hide them in the surroundings, and analysts said on Sunday that the low-visibility camouflage will have a practical use in border defense missions.

A special operations brigade attached to the PLA Tibet Military Command conducted a series of live-fire special exercises in a field training ground at an altitude of 3,800 meters earlier this month, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Thursday.

The footage in the CCTV report shows that the troops were equipped with a new type of individual soldier combat system, including a high-cut helmet and night vision goggles, as well as the latest Starry Sky combat uniform that makes a soldier blend perfectly into an environment where he i's difficult to spot with the naked eye, Shanghai-based news outlet reported on Friday.

The camouflaged uniform has demonstrated its intended functions well, and it seems to have lower visibility compared with the PLA's previous uniforms, a Chinese military expert who asked for anonymity told the Global Times on Sunday.

A stealthier uniform can lower the chance of exposure to the enemy in all kinds of missions, particularly infiltration and penetration, analysts said.

In West China's high-altitude border regions, which have wide expanses and relatively few places to hide, using camouflage is very practical, the expert said.

Having made its debut at the National Day military parade in Beijing in October 2019 in Beijing, the Starry Sky uniforms are being distributed to all PLA troops. Some soldiers used the uniforms on a trial basis in mid-2020, including service members of the Chinese PLA Support Base in Djibouti, said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, at athe regular press conference in June 2020.

While the camouflage pattern used by the plateau special forces seems to be designed for the wilderness, the Starry Sky uniform has other patterns for jungles, woodlands, deserts and urban warfare, Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Chinese defense industry magazine, reported on Friday.

In addition to the better disguise function, the new uniform also provides better protection against wind and dust, is easier to wear and move with, and protects soldiers' joints, the magazine reported.

Citing other releases by the PLA Tibet Military Command, the magazine said that the command's border defense troops have begun a broad switch to the new uniform.