The anti-aircraft gun seems to be based on an eight-wheeled armoured vehicle, featuring a single 35 millimetre cannon as its main means of attack, Chinese military analysts said on Monday, citing a photo released by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily on its Sina Weibo account on Sunday evening.
It was deployed in a comprehensive exercise conducted by the PLA Army Academy of Artillery and Air Defence, which started on May 17 and is due to end on Friday, according to the PLA Daily report.
Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times on Monday that the appearance of the weapon in a PLA Daily report indicates the technology has now matured and the weapon might have already been commissioned into the Chinese military.
Screenshot of PLA Daily’s Sina Weibo post picturing a new self-propelled anti-aircraft gun that was used during a comprehensive exercise conducted by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Army Academy of Artillery and Air Defence.
One of the highlights of the weapon are its wheels, which enable the new self-propelled anti-aircraft gun to have higher mobility compared to those that are already in the PLA service and use tracks, and are more suitable for off-road operations, Wei said.
High mobility also means the weapon could cover a wider range of airspace, is more difficult to detect and better able to survive enemy attacks, analysts noted.
The report did not elaborate on the weapon, nor did it give the weapon’s designation.
The gun is likely equipped with an electro-optical aiming system that can send 35 millimetre shells to accurately intercept targets in the air, including drones and cruise missiles, Wei predicted.
Objects in the air might not be the only targets of the new weapon, Wei said, noting if aimed horizontally, the gun could also serve as a very powerful weapon against ground targets like light armoured vehicles and fortifications.