A new type of amphibious armoured vehicle for rescue missions enters service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army forces stationed in plateau regions

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Xinjiang Military Command forces stationed in plateau regions recently commissioned a new type of amphibious armoured vehicle for rescue missions, with analysts pointing out on Sunday that its amphibious capability means it could perform well in valley-spread high altitude border regions like Galwan Valley.

Entering service at an undisclosed military base at an elevation of more than 4,300 meters, the domestically developed vehicle demonstrated its superior capabilities over normal field rescue vehicles and manpower, the capabilities of which are limited in the complex and harsh environments of the battlefield, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Friday.

The front and two sides of the vehicle can resist close-range hits from 7.62mm armour-piercing rounds and shrapnel from explosives, and its eight wheels can run at 40 kilometres an hour for 100 kilometres even when penetrated by 12.7mm rounds, CCTV said, noting that the vehicle is also designed to withstand nuclear, biological and chemical attacks.

In a recent exercise by a combined arms regiment affiliated with the Xinjiang Military Command, the vehicle reached the rescue point 4 kilometres away within only five minutes despite complicated road conditions in the high-altitude mountains, the report said.

Without revealing the designation of the new vehicle, CCTV said that it is equipped with medical resources including electrocardiogram monitors and respirators, and it allows simple surgeries for the heavily wounded thus winning time for later treatments, while also letting the lightly wounded return to combat as fast as possible.

The vehicle is also installed with dampers, handrails and safety belts to avoid secondary damage to the wounded when it traverses bumpy terrain, the report said, noting that it can carry eight lightly wounded and four heavily wounded in addition to medical staff.

Its commissioning has enhanced the troops’ accompanying support capabilities, CCTV said.

One of the highlights of the new rescue vehicle is its amphibious capability, as there are rivers in China’s western border regions, like the Galwan Valley, where China and India had a fatal conflict last year and the harsh-cold river water played an important role, a Beijing-based military analyst told the Global Times on Sunday, requesting anonymity.

It can also be used in other scenarios, like an amphibious landing in a potential reunification operation on the island of Taiwan, the analyst said.