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PLA deploys air-defence systems along Taiwan Strait

The PLA has deployed PGZ-09 SPAAGs, an example of which is pictured above from a parade in Beijing in September 2015, along the Taiwan Strait. The service also deployed the HQ-17 SHORAD system and 122 mm PZH-11 MLRSs in the area. (Simon Song/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has deployed weapons and equipment โ€“ including multiple launch rocket systems (MLRSs), air-defence missiles, command vehicles, and ammunition supply vehicles โ€“ along the Taiwan Strait.

According to the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the weapons and equipment are deployed in a combined-arms brigade under the PLA 71st Group Army of Eastern Theatre Command (ETC), which is in charge of dealing with conflicts around the Taiwan Strait.

Janes assesses the combined-arms brigade as the 35th Heavy Combined-Arms Brigade of the PLA 71st Group Army.

The MND said these new weapons and equipment feature โ€œstrong manoeuvrability, quick response, and high strike accuracy, able to carry out various operational tasks including fire assault, fire support, and fire blockade, in different terrains such as plain, plateau, and desertโ€.

The weapons deployed comprise an HQ-17 short-range air-defence (SHORAD) system with a tracked radar and battery command vehicle.

The HQ-17 was developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC). The short-range surface-to-air missile system was originally reverse-engineered from the Russian Tor-M1 system.

According to Janes Land Warfare Platforms: Artillery & Air Defence, the HQ-17 system is provided with a solid-propellant rocket engine and is capable of engaging targets at ranges from 1.5 to 15 km and at altitudes from 10 m to 10 km.

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