HQ-17 is reverse-engineered copies of Russia’s Tor-M1 surface-to-air defence systems

PLA Xinjiang Military Command gets new air defence missiles, artillery, rocket launch systems

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Xinjiang Military Command recently commissioned a large batch of advanced air defence missiles, artillery and multiple rocket launch systems, which analysts said on Tuesday are expected to enhance the troops' emergency response capabilities under complicated situations.

A regiment affiliated with the PLA Xinjiang Military Command recently held a commissioning ceremony for the new additions to its arsenal, including the HQ-17A air defence missile system, the PCL-181 155-millimeter-caliber (155mm) self-propelled howitzer and the PHL-11 122-millimeter-caliber (122mm) modularized multiple rocket launcher systems, eastday.com, a Shanghai-based news website, reported on Monday, citing a report by China Central Television, which covered the ceremony but did not identify the weapons.

The latest upgraded version of the HQ-17 made its public debut during the National Day military parade in Beijing in 2019. The HQ-17A air defence missile system integrated search radar, guidance radar, air defence radar and command system on a single vehicle, and is characterized by its high mobility, large detection range and high accuracy, eastday.com reported, noting that the vehicle can launch missiles while moving.

The PCL-181 155mm self-propelled howitzer also made its first appearance at the military parade in 2019. Since then, it has become a favourite of the PLA mechanized artillery forces thanks to its outstanding performance and high lethality, the report said.

Dubbed the "Iron Rain" due to its rapid firepower, the PHL-11 122mm multiple rocket launcher system has long range, high accuracy, high mobility and is highly intelligent. As a mid-to-long-range suppression weapon, it can pour dozens of rockets on a large area in the hostile position within a dozen seconds, according to the report.

These newly commissioned weapons and equipment can adequately satisfy the troops emergency response capabilities under complicated situations by greatly enhancing their combat capabilities in artillery strike, air defence and emergency support missions, analysts said.

The Global Times found that the report is one of the first in 2022 about new weapons commissioning by the Xinjiang Military Command, which safeguards China's northwest border regions.

In May 2021, official media revealed the commissioning of a wide variety of weapons including armoured vehicles, self-propelled howitzers, multiple rocket launcher systems, self-propelled mortars and anti-aircraft missiles to the Xinjiang Military Command.

With the modernization of the PLA moving forward, more units will get advanced gear this year to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Tuesday.