China Supplies Mounted Howitzers To Pak To Maintain Arms Parity With India

Islamabad has acquired the initial batch of Chinese-made vehicle-mounted howitzers to combat the Indian K-9 Vajra howitzers, ensuring that Pakistan remains embroiled in a standoff with India. Beijing also is providing Rawalpindi with NORINCO AR-1 300 mm multiple barrel rocket launchers as a counter to Indian rocket launchers. The total value of the contract is anticipated to be over USD 512 million.

The provision of traditional weapon systems, warships, fighter planes, and even the willingness to provide the DF-17 hypersonic missile to confront India's most recent purchase, the S-400 air defence system, are all portions of Beijing's long-term approach to maintaining Rawalpindi GHQ in a state of perpetual conflict with India.

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This tactic has already paid off for the Chinese dictatorship, as it pushes India to maintain vigilance on its western border with a power that punches far above its mass in the military and nuclear parity, and international fora. Beijing's role in developing Pakistan's nuclear capability, as well as the covert transfer of delivery systems, has been extensively documented since the 1990s.

Pakistan, as per speculations, agreed with Chinese arms manufacturer NORINCO in 2019 to deliver 236 SH-15 155 mm vehicle-mounted howitzers as well as AR-1 heavy rocket launchers. The deal comprises delivery and technological transmission for various munitions, notably guided artillery shells and longer-range artillery shells with a range of 53 kilometres, in addition to artillery. The purpose of this shipment is to increase Pakistani army weaponry along the western border, particularly to warm up the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir if the current truce crumbles or to send out a statement on Kashmir.

The disclosed delivery of a DF-17 cellphone, solid-fueled medium-range ballistic rocket by China to Pakistan is intended to strengthen Rawalpindi's ballistic missile system, as the supersonic speeds missile is hard to monitor by most existing radars and even more complicated to participate by current surface-to-air missile systems, such as the S-400 system.

The DF-17, which is placed on a hypersonic glide vehicle, is reported to have a mix of mobility and high speed that presents considerable challenges to traditional missile defence systems. Since 2014, China has conducted at least nine tests of the DF-17 missile, which has a scope of 1950 kilometres and a velocity of a minimum of five times the velocity of sound, or Mach 5.

While India assessed its scramjet-powered Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Cruise Vehicle (HSTDV) for supersonic missile launch on the 7th of September, 2020, the Chinese supplies would undoubtedly drive the research which will be accelerated by the Defense Research and Development Organization.

To keep Pakistan underneath its wing for strategic reasons and to get access to the Arabian Sea, China has not only given armaments to Rawalpindi but has also sabotaged India's membership into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, going so far as to try harmless Indians operating in Afghanistan who were labelled as global terrorists before the 1267 panel. It frequently supports Pakistan in the United Nations over Kashmir and vetoes any effort by the United Nations Security Council to label known pan-Islamic extremist groups or their commanders as terrorists.