A whole lot of new weaponry was spotted during rehearsals for the upcoming parade marking the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Some of the weapons were identified, while others caused wild speculation.
The overnight rehearsal yielded a large amount of photos and videos, captured by military enthusiasts and tourists. The imagery promptly surfaced on social media, where netizens embarked on speculating what exactly they were looking at.
Certain machines were easy to guess, like a new Chinese Type 15 light tank. Designed for mountainous warfare, it will make its first appearance at the parade.
Rehearsal from the ground in Beijing for the upcoming military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China on October 1–Type 99 main battle tank, Type 15 light tank, Type 04 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), Type 05 amphibious IFV for Chinese Marine Corps pic.twitter.com/5FmjY5YkC8
— Simon Chen, MD (@simonbchen) September 15, 2019
The Type 15s, as well as other machines, including Type 99A main battle tanks, donned a new desert camouflage. The makeover – and shift from the traditional jungle paint scheme – might signal that Beijing is actively eyeing new areas to deploy its troops.
Many other vehicles, however, were draped with tents in an obvious attempt to keep the suspense until the parade.
Among them, a large, torpedo-shaped device was spotted. The vehicle is speculated to be an underwater drone, i.e. an autonomous submarine. China has tested various surveillance underwater drones over the past few years, yet they were considerably smaller than the spotted device. Large dimensions indicate that it might actually be able to carry some weaponry on board.
Another mysterious device was a flat vehicle with a prominent engine. It might be a hypersonic glider or a hypersonic UAV, given its sleek shape.
This tented machine appears to be a missile launcher, that carries at least two munitions. It also could be a heavy MRLS system, similar to Russian BM-30 Smerch machines.
A flying-wing shaped UAV – presumably the Lijian attack drone – as well as intercontinental ballistic missiles, appearing to be new DF-41 systems, were spotted among the draped novelties.
The sneak peek of the upcoming parade has offered plenty of material for speculation, but we will all have to wait for the 70th anniversary of China, which falls on October 1, to have a better look at the new hardware – and find out who guessed it right.
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