Military Review

Chinese tanks against Indian: the advantages of PLA tanks in the mountains

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The recent clashes in the Galvan Valley between India and China have forced both Asian powers to put their armies on high alert. Indian and Chinese face to face in Ladakh mountains Tanks.


Mountain tank Type-15 as an important trump card of China


As you know, both China and India have always paid special attention to the development of the armored power of their ground forces. However, China, if we talk about the specific situation in the border regions, has certain advantages over India.

First, the PRC has managed to create a developed road infrastructure in mountainous areas adjacent to the borders with India, which greatly simplifies the issues of transferring tank units.

Second, China sent Type-15 tanks to the Indian border, which are more lightweight and more maneuverable than the Indian version of the T-90 Bhishma.


Type-15 proved itself well during exercises in the mountains of Tibet

It is no coincidence that the Chinese tank Type-15 is called a "mountaineering tank": it is positioned by the command of the People's Liberation Army of China as a "mountain tank" designed for military operations in mountainous areas. The engine power of the tank is 1000 hp, which, with a low weight of the tank of 33-36 tons, significantly increases its mobility and maneuverability. Thus, the Type-15 is able to cross a moat almost three meters wide, climb an 850-mm wall, drive a ford 1,1 m deep. The Type-15 is armed with a 105 mm rifled gun, which is a Chinese modification of the Royal Ordnance L7.

It was not by chance that Beijing was concerned about the creation of light mountain tanks at one time. First, the PLA command did not exclude the possibility of their use in the event of any actions in the mountainous regions of China. Second, and even more likely, China was well aware of the high probability of a conflict with India precisely in the mountainous regions on the Sino-Indian border. Finally, it cannot be ruled out that the Chinese troops in some situation would have to operate in the mountainous regions of neighboring states, such as Myanmar, Nepal or Afghanistan.

Lack of light tanks is a big problem in India


India has deployed heavy Bhishma tanks in the Ladakh border areas with China, which experts consider to be one of the deadliest tanks in the world. Currently, the Indian ground forces have at least 1000 Bhishma main battle tanks. These tanks, created on the basis of the Soviet T-90 main battle tank, have a powerful engine and good weapons. Thus, the main armament of the T-90 is a 125-mm 2A46M cannon with a removable insulating casing, in addition, the tank has a coaxial 7,62-mm PKT machine gun, a 12,7-mm NSVT anti-aircraft machine gun with a 1Ts29 remote control system.


The Bhishma tanks look beautiful on the parade, but will they be as effective in the mountains?


However, unlike China, India does not have such a developed road infrastructure in mountainous areas. Tanks "Bhishma", which are much heavier than the Chinese Type-15, cannot move so fast, some parts of the territory in the mountains will be inaccessible to them. In addition, due to the temperature and air characteristics in the mountains, the T-90 "Bhishma" will also be much more difficult to operate than light Chinese tanks.

It is also worth noting that China previously actively tested the capabilities of the Type-15 in mountainous conditions, at the ranges of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Indian military experts believe that in the event of a large-scale conflict, the PRC will use Type-15 tanks in the northern directions, where the Indian troops will have practically nothing to oppose them. In the Ladakh mountains, Chinese mountain tanks will be a very big problem for Indian troops.

At the same time, it is possible that the confrontation in the Himalayas will lead India to decide on the development and production of its own light mountain tanks. It's even surprising why a country that has not just mountainous territories, but very problematic mountainous territories bordering on probable adversaries - China and Pakistan, has not yet bothered at a serious level with creating its own tanks for warfare in the mountains.

Interestingly, in the early 1990s, India even tried to create its own light tank for mountainous areas based on the Soviet BMP-2. However, then, in the mid-1990s, development on this combat vehicle ceased. They remembered the prospects of creating a domestic light tank in India only now, when problems emerged with the use of powerful Bhishma tanks in Ladakh.

This is how the Chinese Type-15 tanks fired in the mountains of Tibet:

Author:
Photos used:
Wikimedia Commons / Ministry of Defense (GODL- India); cell105 - Flickr.com.
26 comments
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  1. K-50
    K-50 22 July 2020 11: 15
    13
    I don't think that the 105mm cannon creates any tangible problems for the T-90, but its 125mm for a light tank is already a check and checkmate at any distance.
    So you can't cook porridge with mobility alone. request
    1. Mavrikiy
      Mavrikiy 22 July 2020 11: 58
      +1
      Quote: K-50
      So you can't cook porridge with mobility alone. request

      The Indians are more adequate and are not going to throw over the Chinese with hats. July 16, 2020
      In this situation, India is paying attention to the Sprut-SDM1 airborne self-propelled anti-tank gun (modernization of the Sprut-SD). The Indian Economic Times writes about it. This is an armored vehicle with a combat weight of up to 20 tons. So far, it is in service exclusively with the RF Armed Forces.
      hi
  2. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 22 July 2020 11: 18
    -5
    It was not by chance that Beijing was concerned about the creation of light mountain tanks at one time. First, the PLA command did not exclude the possibility of their use in the event of any actions in the mountainous regions of China.
    Well done, they correctly understand the advantage of a specialized tank over MBT. Let the thinner armor and gun, not as effective. And the Indians like ....... will continue to do so. True, the choice of our light self-propelled guns can help ...
  3. gabonskijfront
    gabonskijfront 22 July 2020 11: 22
    +9
    Highly specialized equipment always wins in native conditions over the universal one, the Merkava on the Sinai is one thing, and in the swamps of Belarus it is another.
    1. prior
      prior 22 July 2020 11: 38
      -3
      And what about the Merkava in the swamps of Belarus? What did she forget there?
      1. gabonskijfront
        gabonskijfront 22 July 2020 11: 41
        +7
        Lukashenka will buy immediately after the American oil.
    2. Aag
      Aag 22 July 2020 20: 49
      0
      Quote: gabonskijfront
      Highly specialized equipment always wins in native conditions over the universal one, the Merkava on the Sinai is one thing, and in the swamps of Belarus it is another.

      Undoubtedly. Specials, other things being equal, have an advantage. Of course, a larger caliber has an advantage (all other things being equal). But it still needs to be delivered to the area of ​​the database.
  4. ved_med12
    ved_med12 22 July 2020 11: 35
    +5
    Let them buy a T-62 from the reserve, cheaply and most importantly quickly .... It will even be possible to develop an upgrade.
  5. Eug
    Eug 22 July 2020 11: 37
    11
    "Octopus" to help them ... and have they forgotten about the ATGM? Tank versus tank is good for comparison, but not very good for combat operations, as for me, if used correctly, other means will be more effective ...
    1. Normal ok
      Normal ok 22 July 2020 12: 07
      10
      Quote: Eug
      "Octopus" to help them ... and have they forgotten about the ATGM? Tank versus tank is good for comparison, but not very good for combat operations, as for me, if used correctly, other means will be more effective ...

      I will add that the war is not waged exclusively with one type of weapons. This is the complex use of all types of weapons and combat arms. Again, the work of the headquarters. The Indians, for example, have good "anti-tank" helicopters. So the comparison given in the article is not correct.
      1. ved_med12
        ved_med12 22 July 2020 12: 10
        +4
        From behind the mountain flew out and shot back over the hill!
  6. svp67
    svp67 22 July 2020 11: 49
    +5
    Thus, the Type-15 is able to cross a moat almost three meters wide, climb an 850-mm wall, drive a ford 1,1 m deep. The Type-15 is armed with a 105 mm rifled gun, which is a Chinese modification of the Royal Ordnance L7.
    it remains to compare these data with the performance characteristics of the T-90
    The overcome ditch is 2,8 m (20 cm less), the overcome wall is 850 mm (the same), the ford overcome, without preparation - 1,2 m (10 cm deeper). That is, in this respect, their performance characteristics are similar, but the 125-mm TP T-90 and its booking are clearly better than that of this "mountain" Chinese tank
  7. Hydrography Bay Golden Horn
    Hydrography Bay Golden Horn 22 July 2020 12: 38
    -3
    No, the Indians there Apache will burn everything
  8. Petrik66
    Petrik66 22 July 2020 14: 47
    +1
    I don’t remember something about the tanks of the spirits in Afghanistan. Neither light nor heavy. But our T54 and 62, they burned from pturs and rpg, spg. Well, a land mine does not care whether it is a tank or a heavy tank.
    1. Boris ⁣ Shaver
      Boris ⁣ Shaver 22 July 2020 18: 44
      +1
      Quote: Petrik66
      I don't remember about the tanks at the spirits in Afghanistan

      Do you think you would refuse?
      1. raif
        raif 22 July 2020 22: 31
        +2
        at the time when OKSVA and now at ISAF, they will definitely refuse. because not to hide from reconnaissance and air strikes, not to repair - there are no workshops, logistics - roads under enemy control, etc. this is not "bearded" with RPG or land mine
    2. Oleg Korenchenko
      Oleg Korenchenko 17 August 2020 09: 07
      0
      I don’t know any cases of our tanks being destroyed in Afghanistan by "spiritual" ATGMs, although I served there as a tanker in 1985-1987. It is also not easy to hit a tank from an RPG, we had two tanks in our company, with which an RPG grenade flew into the aft armor of the hull, there is nothing fatal about this: we replaced the cooling system radiator, filled a hole in the block head cover with a wooden chop, poured water into the cooling system and drove on. In general, if the RPG infantry works well, tanks are not afraid.
  9. Klingon
    Klingon 23 July 2020 01: 17
    -1
    everything is in the mountains, except for mobility, the counter will be in the UVN of the trunks. But the T-90, like most Soviet / Russian tanks with UVNs, is not very good, especially with regard to negative angles. Reverse gear will be even more important. 5 km / h back will obviously not be enough to roll out of cover and firing a shot, quickly hide back, and not slip in front of the enemy
    1. Fibrizio
      Fibrizio 23 July 2020 10: 22
      +2
      I do not envy at all direct fire armored vehicles in the mountains. In the age of ATGM, they will receive a carrot for 5 km from behind a stone.
  10. Fibrizio
    Fibrizio 23 July 2020 10: 20
    +3
    It seems to me that an era has passed where tanks decided the outcome of the battle. Aviation will arrive, and ultimately those who take over the sky will iron out the hapless opponents.
    And something tells me that the Indians are unlikely to be able to suppress the air over the disputed territory.
  11. iouris
    iouris 23 July 2020 10: 54
    +1
    It is not tanks that are fighting, but large systems.
  12. shoroh
    shoroh 23 July 2020 21: 55
    +1
    It is far-fetched to say that the absence of light tanks in India will play some real role in the confrontation between India and China. War is a complex of hostilities, not separate battles of tanks against tanks, etc. To begin with, the side that controls the air will win. With the support of aviation, no tanks will save. Plus, experience suggests that armored vehicles suffer losses from mines, artillery, aviation, and ATGM actions, and tank duels are not so frequent.
  13. Hwostatij
    Hwostatij 24 July 2020 21: 49
    +1
    Tanks in the mountains - yes, the basis of military power ...
  14. Gloomy skeptic
    Gloomy skeptic 27 July 2020 04: 47
    +2
    Quote: gabonskijfront
    Highly specialized equipment always wins in native conditions over the universal one, the Merkava on the Sinai is one thing, and in the swamps of Belarus it is another.

    Tell the truth, comrade!
    Only now a narrow specialization EXTREMELY loses its advantages when the special conditions for this specialization cease to exist. Getting a special tank for a limited area is simply INSANE to waste resources. A light tank no longer needs to be destroyed by special means, but is easily knocked out by the most ordinary RPGs - for a platoon or even a company of grenade launchers is much easier to deliver to the mountains than just one tank. And this very company will ask for maintenance SIGNIFICANTLY less than the smallest tank unit. So the advantage of mountain tanks is not so obvious for the Chinese over the Indians.
  15. Clone
    Clone 29 July 2020 00: 14
    0
    Some kind of nonsense ... "mountain tank". It follows from the explanations that any lightweight BTT with a truncated caliber cannon automatically becomes "mountain". And the engine, and the chassis, and the dimensions? What are the aiming angles of the gun? Fuck with that mobility, if these same angles remained the same as those of a flat counterpart?
  16. Viktor Sergeev
    Viktor Sergeev 6 August 2020 21: 09
    0
    Complete nonsense. ATGMs, even old ones, will make these tanks scrap metal. It's easier to drag our, even old, anti-tank guns than to try to measure against tanks. And if you need a tank against a light Chinese tank, an BMP1 with an ATGM will be enough, from an ambush it’s the best thing ..