China will unveil 52 new indigenous weapons systems including never-before-seen unmanned aerial vehicles and radars during its National Day parade on October 1, said a top military official on Thursday.

The launch of the systems will be of great interest to defence analysts in India given their unveiling at a time of heightened tensions along the border.

The weapon systems to be unveiled by China’s People’s Liberation Army include sophisticated radar and satellite communication devices, unmanned aerial vehicles and airborne early warning and control (AWAC) aircraft, Lieutenant-General Fang Fenghui, commander of the PLA’s Beijing Military Area Command, told State-run Xinhua news agency.

“The weapon systems embody the ongoing transformation of the PLA from a labour-intensive force to a technology-intensive force that is capable of joint operations in modern warfare,” said General Fang.

He said the weapon systems would showcase the ability of the 2.3 million strong PLA, the world’s largest standing army, “to carry out diverse missions.”

All the new systems that will be shown on October 1 were “made in China”, he said.


The PLA is also expected to unveil five types of missiles, including a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile and short and medium-range missiles, the Global Times newspaper reported.

“These missiles are domestically designed and manufactured and have never been officially reported before,” the paper quoted an unnamed PLA official as saying.


Beijing lockdown ahead of National Day September 19, 2009

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