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Biggest army needs bigger tanks: Chinese soldiers ‘getting too tall and fat’

Published time: February 19, 2014 18:19
A convey of People's Liberation Army tanks pass in front of Beijing's Tiananmen Square (AFP Photo / Robyn Beck)

A convey of People's Liberation Army tanks pass in front of Beijing's Tiananmen Square (AFP Photo / Robyn Beck)

The Chinese Army needs to upgrade its military equipment as its soldiers have become so much fatter and taller over the past two decades that they have difficulty squeezing into tanks! They also have problems using other armaments, a new survey suggests.

The official People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily reported that the study found that the average Chinese soldier is now two centimeters taller and five centimeters wider in the waist than 20 years ago.

Such an increase in size is causing discomfort for troopers who feel “cramped” in tanks, which were designed based on average physiques of 30 years ago. Rifle stocks are also too short for some of the modern personnel, limiting their accuracy, the study said.

The survey, which was launched in 2009 and included 20,000 soldiers of different ages, maintained that a military equipment upgrade was necessary.

Equipment must be in the right size for the battlefield, as clothes have to be in everyday life,” said Ding Songtao, the director of the poll project, as quoted by AFP.

The study is based on measurements of 28 features of the human body, compared to seven in previous research.

The findings of the survey have been used in the designing of weapons and equipment for artillery, armored force, engineer corps and chemical defense corps, Ding added, as cited by Xinhua.