05:22 GMT +321 July 2018
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    Tibetans graze their yak in the grasslands of the high Tibetan plateau in the county of Naqu, Tibet, China in this Thursday July 6, 2006 photo.

    China Announces New Light Battle Tank Trials in Tibet

    © AP Photo / Elizabeth Dalziel, File
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    Beijing’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has confirmed reports in the media that a new light battle tank has been tested in trials in Tibet.

    "Recently a new type of tank has undertaken trials on the Tibetan Plateau. The trials were aimed at testing the tank's performance and are not targeted at any country," a spokesperson with the MND said at a June 29 Beijing news conference, cited by IHS Jane's.

    The Chinese website Guancha.cn earlier published images that appear to be a new light battle tank traveling over a roadway in Tibet, resulting in speculation that Beijing had a new light battle tank in the works.

    The vehicle depicted by Guancha.cn is thought to be a variant of a newly developed light tank that was earlier identified in January. 

    The tank features a square center portion, shorter and narrower than the Chinese Type 96 battle tank, and includes an elevated portion at the back containing the power element.

    The tank appears to have a higher than normal amount of protective explosive reactive armor, forming a pointed nose.

    According to the Jane's report, the tank's armor is likely of the FY series, an armor variant developed by the China North Industries Group Corporation.

    FY armor provides protection depending on the amount of material applied to the vehicle. A single layer offers protection from single high-explosive antitank rounds, but as more material is applied, FY can stop armor-piercing sabots and multiple antitank rounds, according to Jane's.


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