(PresidentialInsider.com)- According to a report out of India, the Chinese military has been moving a large number of armed unmanned ground vehicles into Tibet, replacing the ethnic Han soldiers in the People’s Liberation Army who are having difficulty coping with the thin Tibetan air and the cold.
Over half of China’s robot vehicles are being deployed to Ladakh, where China is facing off against the Indian military in a border dispute.
Both China and India have been increasing their military presence in Ladakh after a deadly battle in the Galwan river valley in June of last year. While China’s buildup is more technologically sophisticated, from early on, the PLA was plagued by reports of Chinese soldiers having a harder time adapting to the Himalayas than their Indian counterparts.
At the end of 2020, the Chinese were giving the Himalayan troops exoskeleton suits to help them work in the high-altitude climate more efficiently. But according to India’s Times Now News, the PLA’s Tibetan command has scrapped that idea to go with armed unmanned ground vehicles, or “killer robots” if you will.
The PLA has moved 88 Sharp Claw unmanned vehicles into Tibet near where the Indian and Chinese armies are deployed.
The Sharp Claw UGVs are made for reconnaissance, patrolling, and the transportation of weapons and logistical work along difficult terrain. They can also be outfitted with weapons.
In short, the Sharp Claw UGV looks like a lawnmower equipped with tank treads, cameras, and a machine gun.
The PLA is also using another unmanned vehicle called the Mule-200 which can navigate difficult terrain while carrying about 200 kg of ammunition, supplies, or even weapons. Controlled by wireless, the M-200 can perform combat tasks when fitted out for fire-support activities. Currently, the PLA has 120 Mule-200s in Tibet, and half of those are located in the western area where the Indian and Chinese forces are facing off.
On top of the Sharp Claw and Mule-200 vehicles, China has also moved a large number of Lynx ATVs closer to the conflict zone with India. Though, these ATVs are not unmanned.