Sunday, August 19, 2018

Photos of the day: Norinco AH-4 155 mm/39 calibre Lightweight Howitzer in Kuwait

Thus far two Middle East Armies have adopted this 155 mm/39 caliber Lightweight Howitzer.  It has a transport weight about 3,000 kg (total combat weight ~4,500 kg) with a crew of seven, capable of firing both Chinese and NATO rounds, including the laser-guided GP6.  

The AH-4 is the second major artillery system adopted by the  Kuwait army, the first one being the PLZ-45 155 mm self-propelled howitzer

Photo source 现代兵器








PLZ 45 155 mm self-propelled howitzer 







Saturday, October 29, 2016

Close up photos of the day: AH-4 155mm Light-weight Howitzer












Wednesday, June 22, 2016

AH-4 "Chinese M777" 155mm Light-weight Howitzer scored its first Middle East export order.

Thanks Chenium for this update.


According to the current issue of "Modern Weaponry" magazine, the AH-4 was able to beat out BAE's M777 for its first win.   Not sure what criteria the win was based on, should be interesting to find out. 








Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Zhuhai Surprise: Norinco AH-4 155mm Light-weight Howitzer, AKA Chinese M777

According to Norinco, this AH-4 weighting in about 3,000kg, just a bit lighter than the US M777 counter part and chambered to fire all standard NATO 155mm rounds.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Trimaran to the rescue

Last week People's Liberation Army 425 Hospital, South Sea Fleet S&R Detachment and Hainan Maritime Safety Administration conducted a joint downed pilot rescue drill in open sea.   The noteworthy item of this drill is the seldom-seen PLAN high-speed S&R trimaran (South Rescue 511) taking part.

This new class of trimaran was spotted in Feb 2013 in service with the South Sea Fleet but enjoyed very little media coverage since.













 Photo from 2013.  South Rescue 511's sister ship North Rescue 335

   

PLAN decommission of the day: Type 905 AOR 881 Hongzehu

After 38 years of service, PLAN's first "Ocean Supply"/Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) 881 Hongzehu decommissioned on August 14th, 2018.  Here


 .


Thursday, August 09, 2018

PLA Navy ends era of "supply-ship troika" in its escort mission

http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/view/2018-08/09/content_9247256.htm

Source
    China Military Online
Editor
    Huang Panyue

Time
    2018-08-09


By Bei Guo Fang Wu

The 30th Chinese naval escort taskforce set sail on August 6 from a naval port in Qingdao of east China’s Shandong Province to the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia for an escort mission.

The escort taskforce comprises the Type-054A guided-missile frigates Wuhu (Hull 539) and Handan (Hull 579) as well as the comprehensive supply ship Dongpinghu (Hull 960).

More than a piece of news, this is a regular report issued every four months and the 30th of its kind. In 2018, the 10th year of its escort mission, the Chinese navy is reviewing its past hardship and current progress.
The comprehensive supply ship Dongpinghu (Hull 960) sets sail from a naval port in Qingdao of China's Shandong Province to the Gulf of Aden.

In the past 10 years, the 30 Chinese naval escort taskforces dispatched to the Gulf of Aden were all composed of two battleships and one supply ship. The Chinese PLA Navy sent so many new warships, especially frigates, to the Gulf of Aden that even the most fervent military enthusiasts became indifferent to the choice of warships.

People might still remember that, in the first four and a half years of the escort mission in the Gulf of Aden, the battleships were replaced one group after another, while the supply ships were always chosen among Weishanhu (Hull 887), Qiandaohu (Hull 886), and Qinghaihu (Hull 885). Meaning that, the battleships withdrew after only one term of mission, while the supply ships had to sustain two terms of mission.
During the era of the “supply-ship troika”, the supply ship Qinghaihu (Hull 885) is an old one rebuilt after being introduced from abroad.

Therefore, in those four and a half years, excluding regular maintenance, the three largest supply ships of the Chinese Navy at that time were always conducting escort missions. Although they provided much experience for the later improvement of supply ships of the same types, they served too many escort missions.

On August 8, 2013, the era of the “supply-ship troika” was finally ended by the supply ship Taihu (Hull 889), the first vessel of the Type-903A comprehensive supply ship series.

As China’s ship-building industry has been making rapid progress in recent years, the number of warship types has also increased, including combat support ships that are essential among the ocean-going fleets.

Now there are many supply ships available to take turns serving in the escort missions. The comprehensive supply ship Dongpinghu (Hull 960) serves only one term at a time, with its most recent trip in 2016.
The Taihu (Hull 889), one of China’s most advanced Type 903A supply ships, ends the era of the “supply-ship troika” for the Chinese Navy.

Both Dongpinghu (Hull 960) and Taihu (Hull 889) are Type-903A comprehensive supply ships, updated from the Type-903 series with only two of its kind –Weishanhu (Hull 887) and Qiandaohu (Hull 886).

Supply ships of the Type-903A series have had their displacement increased from 20,000 to 25,000 tons. What’s more, they are able to carry 10,500 tons of vessel/aviation fuel, 250 tons of fresh water, and 680 tons of ammunitions.

Supply ships of the Type-903A series have two sets of liquid material replenishment systems, one set of solid material replenishment system, large cranes on both sides at the mid-ship section, four small boats, a Z-8 ship-borne helicopter, and four pieces of 37mm twin-barreled ship-board artillery systems for self-defense.

The Type-903 series supply ships have greatly improved their replenishment efficiency and are able to conduct alongside, astern, vertical, and skin-to-skin connected replenishment-at-sea at the same time. Therefore, they can carry out underway replenishment missions under more complicated conditions.
The Type-901 comprehensive supply ship Hulunhu (Hull 965) is known as the “nanny of aircraft carriers”.

According to reports, China has completed ten Type-903 supply ships, with one still under construction. Currently, ships of the Type-903 series are not the Chinese Navy’s most advanced supply ships any more. They are no match for the Type-901 series of large scale supply ships that came into service on September 1, 2017.

As seen in previous reports, China has been consistently improving its supply ship building technology. It is believed that, as the Chinese supply ships continue to increase in number and enhance in quality, the Chinese Navy’s combat capability will be further improved.

Disclaimer: The author is a reporter with the Bei Guo Fang Wu. The article is translated from Chinese into English by the China Military online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article are those of the author from the Bei Guo Fang Wu and do not reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn. Chinamil.com.cn does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. If the article carries photographs or images, we do not vouch for their authenticity.

Photos of the day: Army's (not navy) Eastern Theater Command amphibious landing exercise

Serial number suffix of "ND" confirms those Army LSMs belonged to the old Nanjing MR before the recent re-org.  PLA Army's own amphibious assets are unmonitored by folks outside of China but they are larger then their better-known counterpart of the Navy -- smaller in tonnage but larger in total numbers of boats.


 Ships steam in formation as multi-type helicopters fly overhead during a recent maritime training exercise in waters of the East China Sea. They are attached to a ship group of a coastal defense brigade with the army under the PLA Eastern Theater Command. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Duan Yuefeng and Sun Honggang)


Note a Type 075-class landing helicopter dock in the background

Anti-tank missile systems attached to a ship group of a coastal defense brigade with the army under the PLA Eastern Theater Command disembark from landing ships at a beachhead during a recent beach-landing operation in waters of the East China Sea. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Duan Yuefeng and Sun Honggang)
 An all-terrain crawler-type ammunition supply vehicle attached to a ship group of a coastal defense brigade with the army under the PLA Eastern Theater Command disembarks from a landing ship at a beachhead during a recent beach-landing operation in waters of the East China Sea. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Duan Yuefeng and Sun Honggang)




PLA's battalion battle-group reform, an area that has been overlooked by many



PLA battalion transforms into nimble fighting force
http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/view/2018-08/15/content_9253242.htm
Source
    China Daily
Editor
    Huang Panyue

Time
    2018-08-15




An infantry battalion of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force has been honing its ability to move quickly and efficiently for about four years in northeastern China to forge a new fighting force that is highly mobile and lightly armored.

On July 27, during a military exercise simulating rapid deployment, the battalion dispersed into smaller groups, on full combat alert and under camouflage, in just a few minutes.

"The new troop is compact, nimble and fast, meeting the demands of modern warfare," Senior Colonel Jia Xiaonan, a professor at the PLA's Army Infantry Academy, said.

The battalion, based in the northeast, was designated on Aug 1, 2014, as a new type of unit dedicated to experimenting with command structures and a suite of brand-new infantry fighting equipment including assault vehicles, drones and electronic reconnaissance devices.

"Compared with the commonplace motorized infantry that's strong in defense, with heavy-duty weapons, the new battalion is capable of slashing the opponents' weak spot like a sharp sword and tearing apart their defense," Jia said.

Officers from the battalion said that over the past four years it has greatly improved its combat capability compared with conventional infantry units.

It has also added to its arsenal of precision attack weapons and strengthened its counter-strike capability, they said. The soldiers are now improving their skills in live-fire combat drills.

"When the new equipment arrived, we felt both excited and baffled," said Captain Wang Dongbao, a political instructor of one of the battalion's brigades.

"It was the first time that these weapons and vehicles had been incorporated into a troop, and all we could rely on were product manuals. Some equipment came without any instructions, so it felt like crawling in the dark at the beginning."

Wang then contacted the manufacturers, who sent experts to the military base to offer on-site demonstrations. "Some officers also got in touch with professors they met in college or old classmates in related industries for guidance," he said. "We had to really rack our brains to learn and improve our skills."

Winter temperatures at the training range can plunge as low as -30 C, and the soldiers tested the new equipment under the extreme weather conditions.

"One exercise showed that the lubricating grease smeared inside the artillery tended to freeze in the extreme cold, leading to clogged gun barrels," said Sergeant Xu Dapeng, a squad leader.

Xu reported the flaw to the manufacturer, who suggested switching to another lubricant capable of withstanding a wider temperature range.

"To fix the blocked artillery before the live-fire drill that night, the whole squad was mobilized to clean the equipment and change lubricant," Xu said. "Some wrapped their severely frostbitten hands with gauze and carried on working."

All the hard work paid off, with a barrage of feedback directed to the manufacturers to help them improve the equipment. Officers now rate the battalion's soldier-equipment integration as outstanding. "Data have also been collected and analyzed to create training plans and test syllabuses so future training can be conducted in a faster and more efficient manner," Xu said.

The battalion has completed the initial phase of building up its speed and nimbleness, and demonstrates a wide range of combat capabilities.

"Merely upgrading hardware won't guarantee stronger combat capability," Jia said. "Our goal is to discover a formula that integrates this new equipment with conventional gear, and thus achieve an optimal result."

Wang Xiaoyu contributed to this story.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

PR photos of the day: Joint Tactical Battlegroup (Battalion), 12th Combined-Arms Brigade, 76th GA, Western Theater Command





Saturday, August 11, 2018

Type056 Light Frigate/Corvette update 8/11/2018

The 51st Type056 launched at the Huangpu Shipyard in Guangzhou and christened with a name of Zhangzhou.    She will join the 18th Escort Squadron,  Northern Theater Command after commission






Thursday, August 09, 2018

PLA Navy ends era of "supply-ship troika" in its escort mission

http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/view/2018-08/09/content_9247256.htm

Source
    China Military Online
Editor
    Huang Panyue

Time
    2018-08-09


By Bei Guo Fang Wu

The 30th Chinese naval escort taskforce set sail on August 6 from a naval port in Qingdao of east China’s Shandong Province to the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia for an escort mission.

The escort taskforce comprises the Type-054A guided-missile frigates Wuhu (Hull 539) and Handan (Hull 579) as well as the comprehensive supply ship Dongpinghu (Hull 960).

More than a piece of news, this is a regular report issued every four months and the 30th of its kind. In 2018, the 10th year of its escort mission, the Chinese navy is reviewing its past hardship and current progress.
The comprehensive supply ship Dongpinghu (Hull 960) sets sail from a naval port in Qingdao of China's Shandong Province to the Gulf of Aden.

In the past 10 years, the 30 Chinese naval escort taskforces dispatched to the Gulf of Aden were all composed of two battleships and one supply ship. The Chinese PLA Navy sent so many new warships, especially frigates, to the Gulf of Aden that even the most fervent military enthusiasts became indifferent to the choice of warships.

People might still remember that, in the first four and a half years of the escort mission in the Gulf of Aden, the battleships were replaced one group after another, while the supply ships were always chosen among Weishanhu (Hull 887), Qiandaohu (Hull 886), and Qinghaihu (Hull 885). Meaning that, the battleships withdrew after only one term of mission, while the supply ships had to sustain two terms of mission.
During the era of the “supply-ship troika”, the supply ship Qinghaihu (Hull 885) is an old one rebuilt after being introduced from abroad.

Therefore, in those four and a half years, excluding regular maintenance, the three largest supply ships of the Chinese Navy at that time were always conducting escort missions. Although they provided much experience for the later improvement of supply ships of the same types, they served too many escort missions.

On August 8, 2013, the era of the “supply-ship troika” was finally ended by the supply ship Taihu (Hull 889), the first vessel of the Type-903A comprehensive supply ship series.

As China’s ship-building industry has been making rapid progress in recent years, the number of warship types has also increased, including combat support ships that are essential among the ocean-going fleets.

Now there are many supply ships available to take turns serving in the escort missions. The comprehensive supply ship Dongpinghu (Hull 960) serves only one term at a time, with its most recent trip in 2016.
The Taihu (Hull 889), one of China’s most advanced Type 903A supply ships, ends the era of the “supply-ship troika” for the Chinese Navy.

Both Dongpinghu (Hull 960) and Taihu (Hull 889) are Type-903A comprehensive supply ships, updated from the Type-903 series with only two of its kind –Weishanhu (Hull 887) and Qiandaohu (Hull 886).

Supply ships of the Type-903A series have had their displacement increased from 20,000 to 25,000 tons. What’s more, they are able to carry 10,500 tons of vessel/aviation fuel, 250 tons of fresh water, and 680 tons of ammunitions.

Supply ships of the Type-903A series have two sets of liquid material replenishment systems, one set of solid material replenishment system, large cranes on both sides at the mid-ship section, four small boats, a Z-8 ship-borne helicopter, and four pieces of 37mm twin-barreled ship-board artillery systems for self-defense.

The Type-903 series supply ships have greatly improved their replenishment efficiency and are able to conduct alongside, astern, vertical, and skin-to-skin connected replenishment-at-sea at the same time. Therefore, they can carry out underway replenishment missions under more complicated conditions.
The Type-901 comprehensive supply ship Hulunhu (Hull 965) is known as the “nanny of aircraft carriers”.

According to reports, China has completed ten Type-903 supply ships, with one still under construction. Currently, ships of the Type-903 series are not the Chinese Navy’s most advanced supply ships any more. They are no match for the Type-901 series of large scale supply ships that came into service on September 1, 2017.

As seen in previous reports, China has been consistently improving its supply ship building technology. It is believed that, as the Chinese supply ships continue to increase in number and enhance in quality, the Chinese Navy’s combat capability will be further improved.

Disclaimer: The author is a reporter with the Bei Guo Fang Wu. The article is translated from Chinese into English by the China Military online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article are those of the author from the Bei Guo Fang Wu and do not reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn. Chinamil.com.cn does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. If the article carries photographs or images, we do not vouch for their authenticity.