CHINA / MILITARY
PLA Xinjiang Military Command gets new anti-aircraft missile, rocket artillery
Published: May 26, 2021 05:25 PM
An HQ-17AE troop-accompanying field air defense missile system in action. Photo: Courtesy of CASIC

An HQ-17AE troop-accompanying field air defense missile system in action. Photo: Courtesy of CASIC



The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Xinjiang Military Command recently received delivery of China's latest field air defense missile system and 122 millimeter (mm) caliber multiple rocket launcher system, with many soldiers seen equipped with night vision goggles. 

The anti-aircraft missile and rocket artillery are the fifth and sixth new sets of equipment that entered service with the PLA Xinjiang Military Command plateau forces in May, marking a busy month of weapons commissioning for border defense troops in western China, and demonstrating the PLA's capability of safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity for both the international community and the Chinese people, analysts said on Wednesday.

A regiment affiliated with the PLA Xinjiang Military Command and deployed in a snowy plateau region at an elevation of more than 4,500 meters received the delivery of a new type of anti-aircraft missile and a new type of rocket artillery, js7tv.cn, a PLA video news website reported on Wednesday.

Dozens of vehicle-based weapons and equipment systems could be seen in the report footage taken at the commissioning ceremony.

The missile system and the rocket artillery have been identified as the HQ-17A field air defense missile system and the PHL-11 122mm  caliber self-propelled multiple rocket launcher system, Passion News, a media outlet under k618.cn, a news portal run by the Chinese Communist Youth League Central Committee, reported.

The HQ-17A, which made its debut at the National Day military parade in Beijing in 2019, is China's most advanced field air defense missile system, and a single PHL-11 can carry 40 rockets and provide strong firepower, media reports said.

In addition, many soldiers at the commissioning ceremony wore night vision goggles, reported Passion News, indicating their strong night combat capability.

Earlier this month, the PLA Xinjiang Military Command received delivery of new armored assault vehicles, new 122mm-caliber self-propelled howitzer systems, new long-range multiple rocket launcher systems and new self-propelled mortars, PLA-affiliated media outlets reported.

Analysts said the PLA Xinjiang Military Command is forming a complete, modern ground combat system, which is of particular significance to plateau combat.

The concentrated weaponry commissioning activities have also attracted the attention of Indian media, which has linked them with the China-India border situation.

While the China-India border tension has generally eased since last year, a complete disengagement is yet to be achieved, and it is not surprising that Indian media is connecting China's military development to the border situation. However, the related weapons commissioning is a natural result of China's normal national defense development, which is normal and reasonable as China develops comprehensively, Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

All the activities are being carried out on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control and are within China's sovereign rights, Qian stressed.

China showed transparency by actively and openly reporting the commissioning, and demonstrated the PLA's capability of safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity for both the international community and the Chinese people, Qian said.


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