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China's peacekeeping equipment questioned

(Source: China Military Online)   2015-01-04


The peacekeepers of the first Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion to Southern Sudan are at an oath-taking rally on December 22, 2014.

  BEIJING, January 4 (ChinaMil) - The new individual equipment immediately attracted people's attention after the first 700-strong Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion made its appearance. While not long ago, media were still disputing over how many iPhones a set of individual equipment of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) was worth.

  What is the soul of individual equipment?

  The United Nations usually deploys peacekeeping forces from several countries within a mission area. The United Nations would propose a universal standard for individual equipment, and each troop contributing country would purchase equipment and distribute it to their troops according to the list.

  The author used to make interviews in a number of peacekeeping mission areas of the United Nations, and found that there were all kinds of individual equipment for the troops of various countries. However, two items were indispensible: helmet and bullet-proof vest.

  The Chinese peacekeepers have therefore become the only troop of the PLA who are organically equipped with bullet-proof vests. In China, only special operation detachments are equipped with bullet-proof vests.

  There is no much change in the helmets for the peacekeeping battalion this time, but the bullet-proof vests are no longer vests — heavy bullet-proof armor instead, which is significantly superior to the "vests" for other Chinese peacekeeping forces in terms of both protective area and protective capability.

  It looks like the explosion-proof clothing on bomb-disposal experts in movies at the first glance, not only protecting important parts such as heart, but also enhancing protection of crotch and neck.

  The bullet proof clothing of the peacekeeping battalion evoked disputes among netizens. Dissenting voices mainly include: First, the body armor, more than 40 kilograms in weight, is too thick and heavy and may affect individual mobility; second, the body armor is separated from the tactical vest, which is not conducive to battlefield rescue.

  The very thought of carrying tens of kilograms and dressing like the Terminator in Southern Sudan where the temperature is 20 to 40 degrees centigrade in rainy seasons and 30 to 50 degrees centigrade in dry seasons would just make you sweat. But wars are cruel. If wearing a set of armor 10 kilograms heavier means more chances of survival, most soldiers would choose to put it on.

  Compared with the US army's full fighting load of up to 60 kilograms at the cost of losing some flexibility, the PLA's individual equipment is not the heaviest.

  Some people proposed to combine the body armor and the bullet-proof vest, so that once the wearer is injured, they can be stripped off piece by piece like peeling onions. Actually, such design is still the "module concept", and whether to put on the tactical vest can be determined based on the task.


Editor:Zhang Tao

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