HomeChinese PLA soldiers with Oxygen concentrators seen near India borderChinese PLA soldiers with Oxygen concentrators seen near India border; PLA paper...

Chinese PLA soldiers with Oxygen concentrators seen near India border; PLA paper soldiers are nothing in front of Indian Army heroes

Source : The EurAsian Times

Chinese PLA soldiers with Oxygen concentrators seen near India border; PLA paper soldiers are nothing in front of Indian Army heroes
Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers with Nassal Portable Oxygen Concentrators in high altitude borders near India (Left) and Indian Army soldiers in Siachen glacier, World’s Highest battlefield (Right)

Soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) posted in high altitude areas (HAA) on its border with India were seen wearing what is claimed to be Portable Oxygen Concentrators (PCO) which supposedly eliminate breathing issues in the rarefied atmosphere and improve fighting ability.

The PCOs were seen in footage from a news documentary on China Central Television (CCTV).

Indian Army Veterans, while agreeing with the device’s advantage in alleviating soldiers’ physical issues, however, refrain from giving the system too much credit. They say breathing problems are a small part of serving in mountainous low-oxygen environments, besides pointing to weight, cost, and maintainability issues. 

@zhao_dashuai, a leading Twitter handle that posts on Chinese military issues, said the PCOs are now “standard equipment.”

“It sucks in the low oxygen and releases 95% pure oxygen. In mountain warfare, the side not gasping for breath will have more accurate shots,” he tweeted. Soldiers in HAA along India’s northern and eastern Himalayan borders with China and Pakistan are posted at minimum altitudes of 3,000 meters to 5,000 meters. 

Based on research by EurAsian Times researcher Hemraj Sharma, the device appears to be a small box-like apparatus slung across the PLA infantryman’s shoulders, with a thin, soft transparent tube (or a nasal cannula) going over the mouth and a nozzle in each nostril.

The system’s weight is unknown, but an internet search of commercially available PCOs showed that a single unit weighs under 2-3 kilograms and is priced anywhere between Rs. $400 to $3000.

The thin transperant tube from the oxygen concentrator can be seen under the PLA soldiers nose
The thin transparent tube from the oxygen concentrator can be seen under the PLA soldier’s nose.

Helpful But Not Decisive: Indian Infantrymen

Former Northern Army Commander Lt Gen HS Panag agreed the device would help enhance soldiers’ performance in HAAs. “The main problem in HAA is lack of oxygen apart from extreme cold. It would certainly improve the performance of the soldiers. Issues would be weight, battery life, and cost,” he said. 

The make of the device and its technical specifications are unknown, so it is difficult to speculate whether soldiers can wear the device throughout their patrol or short duty at a forward position.

However, assuming it has a short battery life, China’s renowned lead in border infrastructure and commercial and industrial electronics means depth areas must be well supplied with power supply. 

Maj Gen Arvind Bhatia and Col Alok Asthana pointed out how it might help in rapidly inducting soldiers by cutting down on the acclimatization time. They laid out actual infantry versus infantry scenarios in fixed-ground battles.

There is a very high possibility between IA and PLA units in capturing, retaking, or defending their claims on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). 

“Faster acclimatization is very useful for reducing the time taken by reinforcements to a high altitude battle area, coming from plains. It can make a vital difference of 4-5 days,” Asthana said. 

Indian Army soldiers in Siachen glacier

Bhatia, too, said reinforcements and supporting troops in the rear can “move up” faster without being acclimatized. The enemy can exploit delays in reinforcements by either strengthening their positions in case of a defensive battle, limited offensive, or pressing home the attack during a full offensive.

Accepted medical norms require people to spend at least four to five days getting their respiratory and cardiovascular systems oriented at staging areas and base camps of HAAs before beginning their climbs on the mountains.

The phasing into the low oxygen environment blunts the adverse impact of direct transition into thin air and extremely cold, frigid, and less humid weather.

“It would help move up un-acclimatized or partially acclimatized reserves much faster to prevent a disadvantageous tactical maneuver from worsening. Helicopter insertions of reserve troops who haven’t been acclimatized can also be undertaken,” Bhatia said. 

This mainly helps the PLA’s geographic situation in Eastern Ladakh. In certain areas, they are not on the watershed but on the plateau, which is relatively at a lower altitude. This means they would have to climb up to the watershed while trying to take Indian positions. 

No Impact On Shooting Skills

Asthana doesn’t believe that soldiers can shoot well once at the said HA point. “It would not make much of a difference in fighting abilities, except for Special Operations as they take difficult and higher approaches to reach an objective,” Asthana added. 

Col S. Dinny (retd) too, believed the Chinese claims of improvement in physical endurance are exaggerated, saying “nothing can substitute natural acclimatization.”

“There is a limit to increasing human endurance with external assistance at that altitude. Moreover, breathing and lung problems are not the only issues at those altitudes. There are many other life-threatening issues,” Dinny adds. 

According to Dinny and Bhatia, the logistics of carrying an extra piece of equipment is another issue. For one, it would become cumbersome to lug it around during combat while carrying a lot of other gear, even if portable. It also risks a trade-off with being able to carry more ammunition. 

China Sent These To India During Covid Second Wave

PLA soldiers in Eastern Ladakh are not the first beneficiaries of its domestic industry’s ability to manufacture bio-medical equipment.

Chinese soldiers 1
File Image: Chinese soldiers

At a broader level, it can be seen as a part of Chinese lead in electronics and electro-mechanical equipment manufacturing, making it the world’s largest exporter of capital goods. These include fully finished machines and intermediate components and parts. 

At the height of the Covid-19 second wave in 2021 in India, which was characterized by a national shortage in oxygen-generating equipment, 800 concentrators were airlifted from Hong Kong in April of that year. 

By mid-May, based on purchase requests by Indian importers, Chinese companies had exported 26,000 ventilators and oxygen concentrators.

The machines were, however, marred by quality control issues and high prices. The Chinese foreign ministry attributed this to increased global demand and strained supply chains due to lockdowns and labor shortage issues. 



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat


Government has no plans to close Defence PSUs: Giridhar Aramane

He said Narendra Modi told him in December 2021 that if they want to provide employment to Indians, it is essential to spend money...

Why HAL’s State-Of-The-Art Light Utility Helicopter Is A Game Changer

Make way for the Swadeshi chopper, the Light Utility Helicopter will gradually replace the fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicoptersby Anthony RozarioNew Delhi: It can...

AMCA 5th Generation Stealth Fighter Updates

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Archive Months


India to order 20 MQ-9B drones, Navy has extended its lease of two MQ-9B Reapers until June 2024

Source : IgMp BureauMQ-9B Sea GuardianAs per several reports, the three Indian Armed Forces are finalizing the numbers of MQ-9B drones to buy from...

Israel unveils new Barak tank with AI, sensors and cameras

JERUSALEM — Israel on Tuesday unveiled its new Barak tank for the military’s Armored Corps, a platform equipped with artificial intelligence, sensors, radar and...

Taliban exposes Pakistan, says Jaish-e-Mohammed Chief Masood Azhar is in Pakistan, not in Afghanistan

Source : Asian News International (ANI)Talibani spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar not in Afghanistan but in PakistanKabul: Talibani spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid...

US seizes initiative on space security for the first time in decades

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || ).push();Something very interesting has happened recently in the usually staid diplomatic world of outer space...

Germany’s HDW faces challenge as Russia pitches Amur-1650 based submarine for Indian Navy’s P-75I submarine program

Source : Frontier IndiaRussia offers Amur-1650 based AIP equipped submarines for Indian Navy's Project-75I submarine programby Joseph P ChackoIndia prioritises upgrading its submarine fleet...

HISTORIC: ISRO’s heaviest rocket GSLV Mk-3, successfully places 36 OneWeb satellites into designated orbits

Source : The Times of IndiaThe 36 OneWeb satellites were successfully placed into low-Earth orbit, as part of the OneWeb India-1 mission or LVM3...

India gets its first C295 — all about aircraft that will replace IAF’s ageing Avro fleet

New Delhi: India Wednesday received the first of the 56 C295 aircraft, 40 of which will be manufactured in India as part of...

“Free Speech Does Not Mean…”: US Lawmakers Slams Khalistanis after they set fire on Indian Consulate in San Francisco

Source : PTI/NDTV"Free Speech Does Not Mean...": US Lawmakers Slams Khalistanis after they set fire on Indian Consulate in San Francisco Washington: US lawmakers and influential...

Russia conducts first nuclear weapons drill since its invasion of Ukraine

Source : Financial TimesRepresentative Image (RS-28 Sarmat ICBM)Russia on Wednesday conducted its first major nuclear drills since the start of its war on Ukraine...

Indian Navy plans to build two Prototypes & order for 115 Glidefire SSMs

Source : Indian Defence Update (IDU)Glidefire Surface to Surface Missile (SSM)The Indian Navy plans to procure two initial prototypes of Glidefire SSMs and a...

EndureAir Systems showcased enhanced Vibhram-G UAV at Aero India 2023

Source : JanesVibhram-G in its latest iteration can fly for 3 hours while providing a range of 100 km. (Janes/Amit Kalra)Noida-based EndureAir Systems displayed...

BEL showcases EMALS model to Indian Navy Vice Chief in Bengaluru

Source : IgMp BureauBEL officials showing the Indian Navy Vice Chief the EMALS modelThe Vice Chief of The Indian Navy visited the facility of...

HAL seeks design & development of raw materials used in Su-30 under Make-II category

Source : IgMp BureauHAL Sukhoi Su-30MKI manufacturing facility in NasikIn a significant development, the aircraft manufacturing division of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has released...

HISTORIC 5th August: Chandrayaan-3 enters Moon’s orbit, one step closer to making cosmic history

Source : India TodayHISTORIC 5th August: Chandrayaan-3 enters Moon's orbit, one step closer to making cosmic history By India Today Science Desk: India's third lunar...

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker

Refresh Page
error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: