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Chinese army gets most advanced vehicle-mounted howitzer amid India-China border standoff in eastern Ladakh

As Indian and Chinese military commanders are busy in talks to end the border standoff in eastern Ladakh, a Global Times report has revealed that China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) 75th Group Army recently received delivery of a batch of new weapons. 
These new weapons include China's most advanced vehicle-mounted howitzer, the PCL-181, as identified by Chinese military enthusiasts in photos showing the commissioning ceremony when its troops were conducting exercises in northwestern China amid border tensions with India, according to Global Times, which cited the official WeChat public account of the 75th Group Army.
A brigade under the PLA 75th Group Army is reported to have held a commissioning ceremony of new weapons and equipment during field exercises in northwestern China's desert areas, Nanjiang Haojiao, or Horn of the Southern Border. The official statement released on Tuesday also attached photos of several PCL-181 vehicle-mounted howitzers.
The public debut of this type of 155-millimeter caliber wheeled howitzer was done during the National Day military parade in Beijing on October 1, 2019. China Central Television (CCTV) reported that the new weapon weighs only 25 tons, making it much lighter and faster and with longer endurance than the previous self-propelled howitzer, which uses crawler tracks and weighs more than 40 tons.
The lightweight weapon reportedly has an edge in high altitude areas when the lack of oxygen could impact the power of the engine. It would also have digitalized control panels in the howitzer's cab, and this system would allow artillery gun deployment with the press of a button, automatic gun calibration and semi-automatic ammo reload. 
The PCL-181s were dispatched to the PLA Western Theater Command during the Doklam standoff with India in 2017, and contributed to the safeguarding of peace at the border, said the report citing Shanghai-based news website eastday.com. The new weapon was reportedly commissioned before the positive border talks between China and India on Saturday. 
Notably, China and India are "properly handling" and taking actions to ease the situation at the border based on the "consensus" reached recently during their diplomatic and military level talks, a PTI report quoting senior Chinese official said on Thursday.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson's remarks reportedly came a day after the Indian and Chinese military commanders held "productive" talks to end the border standoff in eastern Ladakh. 

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