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China's rocket launcher to debut on Peru's military parade

(Source: China Military Online)   2015-07-24

  BEIJING, July 24 (ChinaMil) -- Peru will showcase its imported Chinese 122mm Type 90 Multi-Barrel Rocket Launchers during its national day parade on July 29, the Global Times reported on Wednesday.

  This is the first time that China's weapon systems have organically equipped Peru's armed forces. With the development of China's military industry in recent years, more and more China-made weapons have been sold to international markets.

  The British "Jane's Defense Weekly" believed that arms export enables China to share the lucrative cake of arms, and more importantly, the practical experience of overseas customers can drive China to modify its domestic equipment.

  Peruvian President attends handover ceremony in person

  The grand handover ceremony for the Type 90 Multi-Barrel Rocket Launchers was held at the Peru Army Academy on July 18, 2015, and Peru's President Umara, Peru's Secretary of Defense and commander of the three services, and other military-political officials of Peru attended this activity, according to the reports of local media.

  At the ceremony, 27 vehicles carrying the huge and powerful Type 90 Multi-Barrel Rocket Launchers coated with desert camouflage successively passed in front of Umara who witnessed the whole process of the Peruvian army's takeover of this batch of weapons. Some performance of these China-made rocket launchers was also demonstrated on the scene.

  This is the first time that China's rocket launchers have been exported to Peru and also the first time that China's weapons have organically equipped Peru's armed forces.

  China and Peru have established the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation. The two countries have not only achieved steady progress in diplomacy, economy and trade, but also kept expanding their military cooperation.

  The Peru's purchase of the 27 Chinese 122mm Type 90 Multi-Barrel Rocket Launchers has deepened the mutual military trust between the two militaries. This batch of China-made rocket launchers will appear in Peru's National Day parade on July 29, according to sources.

  Russia's “Periscope” website said that China-made weapons also appeared in Peru's military parade in 2009. Peru was going to replace 80-120 capital tanks at that time, and introduced five China-made MBT-2000 tanks for testing.

  The appearance of these China-made tanks on Peru's Independence Day military parade in that year immediately became the focus of local media. However, the MBT-2000 tanks were equipped with Ukraine-made engines at that time. Ukraine worried that China-made tanks' entry into the South America will have an impact on its market share of arms in that region. Peru finally cancelled the tank deal with objection from Ukraine.

  China-made rocket launchers have remarkable performance advantages

  Peru has been very interested in China-made weapons despite external pressure. For a long time, Peru's military has been using the old BM-21 "Hail" rocket launcher produced by the Soviet Union in the 1970s.

  China began to supply the shells and other associated equipment of the BM-21 rocket launcher to the Peruvian military five years ago. The equipment provided by China had high performance, which greatly increased the combat capability and boosted the Peruvian military's confidence in China-made weapons.

  This batch of 90B multi-barrel rocket launchers purchased by the Peruvian military were produced by China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO). Developed in the middle of the 1990s, these rocket launchers were mainly used to replace the Russian-made BM-21 "Hail" rocket launchers and their imitations.

  The 90B rocket launcher uses the 6x6 wheel undercarriage, and on each launching carriage is the 40-barrel launching tube. The base number of ready service ammunition is 40 rocket shells which are loaded on the ammunition rack behind the cab. The reloading time is three minutes.

  It is mainly used to destroy the enemy's command post, missile site, airport, port and infrastructure, and can use ammunition whose range is 20-30 kilometers. It can also use range-extended rocket shells to destroy targets within 50 kilometers.

  According to CNIC, the 90B rocket launcher has very high technological content in terms of all-weather combat capability, wireless communication and command, and computer system control, etc. These upgraded rocket launchers have enhanced the artillery equipment of the Peruvian army by one grade, and their high performance and high cost performance have made them popular in the Peruvian military.

  China's entry into weapon market in South America attracts attention In addition to Peru, such South American countries as Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador all show special preference to China's fine weapons.

  Experts said that among the South American countries, Chile and Brazil come out top in terms of military equipment, and Venezuela comes next. Peru and Colombia are at the middle levels, while Ecuador and Bolivia are relatively weak in terms of military strength.

  Most of these countries relied on western countries in the past. However, the weapons made by western countries have become more and more expensive in recent years, and the U.S. and European countries have tended to attach various political restrictive clauses to arms export.

  In this case, high quality and inexpensive China-made weapons and equipment began to win the favor of Latin American countries. The China-made weapons not only have advanced performance, but also can be tailor-made according to customers' demands, which is quite attractive to those countries that have limited military expenditure but long for upgrading their weapons and equipment.

  China's entry into the arms market in South America has also attracted attention from western countries.

  According to a statistical report of America's "Defense News" early this year, such countries as Argentina and Venezuela have introduced a number of China-made helicopters, trainer aircraft, transport planes, rocket launchers, mortars, armored vehicles and infantry fight vehicles, and Argentina is also very interested in China's "Chengdu FC-1" fighter plane.

  Jane's Defense Weekly believed that the lack of practical experience has always been the major cause of China-made weapons' failure to play a leading role in the international arms market. With more and more China-made weapons exported, the rich practical experience from overseas customers will help modify the PLA equipment on a targeted basis.

Editor:Zhang Tao
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