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PLA marines bulk up with tanks

9th June 2021 - 03:02 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch

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Members of the PLA marines examine ZTQ-15 light tanks after an exercise in a mountainous area of China. (CCTV)

The PLA's marine corps eyes a wider remit, including deploying heavier armour in expeditionary operations.

For the first time, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has rolled out genuine tanks – as opposed to armoured vehicles such as the ZTD-05 or ZTL-11 – to its marines. This marks a major capability upgrade for China’s premier amphibious and expeditionary force.

The revelation came via a CCTV report aired on 2 June, which showed members of the PLA Navy Marine Corps (PLANMC) examining Norinco-built ZTQ-15 light tanks (without side skirts) loaded aboard railcars ready for transport.

There was no indication where the location of the CCTV filming took place, nor which unit. However, the personnel uniforms unmistakably belonged …

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