China reportedly begins testing effectiveness of unmanned main battle tanks

Images have emerged showing an unmanned People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Type 59 main battle tank being remotely operated, an indication that China has begun trials of unmanned tanks as part of a push to modernize its armed forces.

May 8th, 2018

Images have emerged showing an unmanned People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Type 59 main battle tank being remotely operated, an indication that China has begun trials of unmanned tanks as part of a push to modernize its armed forces. The images, which stem from video footage released around mid-March by state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), show a Type 59 tank equipped with additional antennas being driven at an undisclosed location by a soldier sitting at a nearby remote operating station. The move marks the first time a Chinese unmanned tank has been unveiled to the public, according to the state-owned Global Times newspaper. Many the PLA’s 2,500 obsolescent Type 59 tanks could be converted into unmanned vehicles if equipped with artificial intelligence, says Liu Qingshan, the chief editor of Tank and Armored Vehicle.

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