Against the background of another escalation of tension on the Indian-Chinese border in the Galvan valley, both sides are deploying their most modern tanks capable of operating in mountainous areas to this area. The Hindus are pulling up their T-72M1 Ajeya and T-90C Bhishma, produced under a Russian license, as well as directly purchased in Russia, the Chinese are their own new tanks, Type 15 or ZTQ-15.
It is known that the domestic T-90s perform quite well in the highlands, while the Chinese until recently had a fairly light and reliable tank. However, progress does not stand still, and in 2018, the PRC Ministry of Defense officially confirmed the adoption of the light “mountain” tank under the “Type 15” index.
The Chinese tank is equipped with a computerized fire control system that detects and identifies targets at a distance of up to 3 km, and can be equipped with remotely controlled combat modules. Externally, “Type 15” resembles the older “Type 96A”, but it has less weight and dimensions. A “mountain” tank weighs from 33 to 36 tons, depending on the type of reservation. 1000 l engine with. provides good dynamics and can accelerate armored vehicles to 70 km / h.
Interestingly, the tank is equipped with only a 105-mm rifled gun – a copy of the old British gun Royal Ordnance L7, adopted in service in 1959. It was good back in the 1980s, it’s enough to remember that the first American “Abrams” were armed with this very weapon, but today it can no longer be called modern.
Using a tank with a 105-mm cannon against Indian T-90s and even T-72s equipped with additional dynamic protection is at least inefficient, and most likely even suicidal for Chinese armored vehicles. On the contrary, the 125mm 2A46M-5 gun of the Indian T-90S will hit the Type 15 at virtually any distance, since the main armor of a light Chinese tank (without mounted modules) can protect it only from bullets and small-caliber shells.