China’s first air-ground exercise with live ammunition in Tibet

Discussion in 'China' started by neo29, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Months after it stepped up military activities in Tibet by pressing Su 30 fighters into action from newly renovated airbases, China has announced that it has carried out its first air-ground exercise in the region that involved live ammunition.

    While the dates of the live ammunition exercise have not been revealed, an article in the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) Daily — the official publication of the Chinese military — says the drill was conducted ‘recently’ at an altitude of over 4,700 meters.

    Though details have not been revealed, very few countries have carried out accurate live bombing at such high altitudes, mainly due to the rarefied atmosphere and low performance of aircraft at such heights.

    The Indian Air Force (IAF), which was pressed into service to attack enemy positions at similar altitudes during the Kargil conflict, had to retrofit aircraft and modify ammunition for accurate delivery of weapons.

    The PLA Daily report says that the exercise was conducted ‘near the foot of the snowcapped mountains on the Tibetan Plateau’ under the Tibet Military Command. “Troops of air force, armour, artillery and electronic warfare divisions participated in the exercise,” the report says.

    The article goes on to say that the exercise will have a significant role in “exploring training patterns in mountainous and cold areas as well as improving combat capabilities”.

    “They (soldiers) overcame the effects on their physical and mental health caused by coldness and oxygen deficits and finished the first joint training and exercise,” the report says.

    The exercise comes months after the Chinese PLA carried out a major exercise in Tibet with its Air Force that saw Sukhoi-30s being pressed into action for the first time.

    India believes that seven airfields in Tibet can be used to operate Su-30s, which are the most advanced fighters in service with the Chinese air force. Two of these have been built recently.

    The Tibet Military Command has been holding exercises and testing the Tibet railway for carrying military equipment since the beginning of the year.

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  3. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    I really don't like the sound of this. Wonder if there's enough supply routes ready for the Army to send in medical, food and armament supplies should we run afoul of China's "peaceful" rise. As such, economic ties alone with the countries in southeast and far east won't save our behinds. Of all the countries MMS and PP have visited recently in east, only Vietnam has sufficient ferocity to respond in the same kind as it is spoken to. Japanese are way too passive and won't risk a conflict unless their silly constitutional provisions of not using military is amended. South Koreans have some potential but then again, they're too America-dependent to respond independently.

    In the end, we might have political support of these countries but the battle would have to be fought with our soldiers, weapons, money and brains. I hope the Eastern command is armed enough to see this and pass it off as a light "regular training programme by China". Because the recent tone that Dragon has taken with its neighbourhood, it certainly isn't sounding very friendly and sweet.
     

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