A new domestically-developed armed military vehicle designed for airborne missions made its public debut on Tuesday at the opening of the 17th China Cross-Straits Technology and Projects Fair in Fuzhou, capital of East China's Fujian Province.
The vehicle is capable of navigating obstacles of over half a meter, passing ditches 75 centimeters deep and climbing a road at a 45-degree angle. Its top speed is 135 kilometers per hour, according to its developer Xiaolong Auto based in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province.
The company said it is exploring the vehicle's export potential in the Middle East and Africa once approved by authorities.
"The vehicle's performance resembles the Mercedes-Benz's Unimog class, and surpasses that of the US military's Humvee," an employee surnamed Bai told the Global Times on Tuesday at the event.
The new vehicle, codenamed "XLW 2040I," is lighter than similar military vehicles to meet the requirements of airborne missions, Bai said.
The vehicle will boost the army's combat capability by providing support for its air strike forces and aerial delivery missions, Bai added.
"It is a very good choice for the country's airborne troops, as it offers great mobility after they reach the battlefield," said Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst.
The XLW 2040I on display at the event was equipped with a twin-barreled 25-milimeter artillery gun.
The company said that the vehicle can be outfitted with 10 different types of weapons, including a 35-milimeter howitzer and an anti-tank bazooka.
As much as 480 shells for the gun can be loaded on the vehicle. Its munitions have a range of four kilometers and can fire 15 rounds a second. The vehicle's main mission is to intercept and destroy enemy weapons, including low altitude jets and cruise missiles.
The prototypes of the vehicles have successfully completed airdrop mission tests with the Chinese People's Liberation Army. It will join the army in the near future, Bai said.