Live-fire drills shows PLA’s amphibious capabilities: expert

Global Times
Huang Panyue

The People's Liberation Army's (PLA) live-fire drills off Chinese mainland's southeast coast on Wednesday signals the military's fast growing amphibious capabilities, a military expert said Thursday.

The exercises, which involved coordinating armed helicopters, were routine and tested the force's all-weather combat capabilities, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The drills started at 9:00 am and ended at 11:00 pm on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

The drills were held day and night, at sea, and in complex electromagnetic conditions to test the force's all-weather combat capability at sea, it said.

"The complex environment, especially under nighttime conditions, was a challenging test for soldiers and weapons," Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Song noted that the drills will also help the PLA Army develop coordinated combat capabilities with PLA's navy and air force.

Armed with a variety of weapons, the helicopters broke through the defense line in low altitude, set their own attack lines, detected targets, and assaulted floating targets with missiles and rockets.

Coordinated, serial, and extremely long-distance attack strategies were simulated within a limited period of time.

"The drills involved both combat and transport helicopters, and showed the PLA Army's capabilities for island landings and operations," Song added.

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