Saturday, February 25, 2017

Boring logistics pictures of the day: Snow blowing MBT

Yup, Norinco just converted an old Type79 MBT into a snowblower.  This concept is so over-the-top, it blows.

The same MBT concept also applied to fire-fighting

A firefighting tank maneuvers through a fire during a test in Wuhan city, Central China's Hubei province, August 28, 2011. The local fire department paid 3.2 million yuan ($501,000) in May, 2010 to buy the multifunctional firefighting tank - the first and only one in Hubei province – which can be used to deal with emergencies to rescue people and fight fires. The tank can safely enter dangerous fires including oil and chemical warehouses. The tank passed initial tests and will be put into full service. [Photo/CFP]

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Doing the math

Calculating the amphibious assets of a 10-ship formation can project, using "China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities -- Background and Issues for Congress" by Ronald O'Rourke and "Chinese Naval Shipbuilding: An Ambitious and Uncertain Course" edited by Andrew S. Erickson as the main references, here's the result: 

A Yuzhou Class Type 071 LPD is capable of carrying four helicopters and a naval infantry battalion with twenty armored fighting vehicles.  This would typically total five hundred to eight hundred assault troops per ship.

A PLAN LST (Yukan, Yuting-1, Yuting-II, Yudeng, etc) typically carry 3 MBT plus a naval infantry company, or 10 tanks without infantry.

Assuming normal, non-sardined, load here is what we can expect from the 10-ship formation below:

2x Type 071 LPD =  (20+20) 40 AFV plus 2 naval infantry battalions
8x LST= (8x3) 24 AFV plus 8 naval infantry companies

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Photos of the day: 6th Landing Ship Flotilla, South Sea Fleet.

Last week, 10 landing ships - including two type 071 Yuzhao class Amphibious Transport Dock LPD and their LCACs - from the 2nd and the 16th Landing Ship Squadrons were out and about in the South China Sea.  A simple math would suggest that a Marine regiment could sardined into those tiny boats. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Photo of the day: PLA dog tags are now with QR code

2nd carrier almost complete

China is close to completing its second aircraft carrier, which will begin service by 2020, experts said. 

China Central Television (CCTV) reported that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's Type 001A class aircraft carrier's scaffold has been removed and red undercoat has been painted below the ship's waterline in Dalian, northeastern Liaoning Province, and that a launching ceremony will soon be held. 

"Unlike the Liaoning(Type 001), China's first aircraft carrier, a refitted ship built by Ukraine (under the former Soviet Union), the 001A is China-built, and its design, combat capability and technologies will be much more advanced," Song Zhongping, a military expert, told the Global Times.
"One key difference is the design will be more 'humanized,' which means all personnel on the carrier will enjoy a more comfortable and modern environment," Song said. 

However, "there's still a long way to go from its launch to enlistment, which normally takes two years," Yin Zhuo, a senior researcher at the PLA Navy Equipment Research Center, told CCTV.
Song said "its status can be compared to a house whose paint job has been completed but requires decorating, which, in military terms, is called the 'outfitting stage.'"

It means all weapons and equipment, including the radar system, air defense system and communications system will be outfitted on the carrier. After this, the carrier and aircraft on it will be tested, and then the carrier will be ready to serve, Song said. 

"Construction of the aircraft carrier is on schedule. Most of its construction and design work has been completed. Its hull has already been assembled at the shipyard. The ship will soon be equipped with radar and other facilities," said Chinese defense ministry spokesperson Wu Qian in October 2016, in response to media inquiries on reported aircraft carrier images circulating online.

A large amount of work remains to be done on the carrier's outfitting stage after it's launched, presumably sometime this year, Li Jie, a naval military expert, said. "It will take about one to two years to carry out functional debugging of its devices, weapons and equipment. The new aircraft carrier can begin sea trials by early 2019."

Catapult technology

On December 31, 2015 the Chinese defense ministry formally announced the construction of the 001A, and another spokesperson Yang Yujun said, "This carrier, with a displacement of 50,000 tons, will be the base for J-15 fighters and other types of aircraft." 

The design and construction of the second aircraft carrier is based on experience, research and training from the first carrier, the Liaoning, Yang added.

Based on information released by the Chinese defense ministry, 001A's aircraft will still use the ski-jump method of taking off from a ski ramp on the front of the carrier just like its "sister," the Liaoning, rather than more advanced catapult technology used by US aircraft carriers.

China is looking into catapult technology, Li said, and the technology will likely be adopted on the 002, China's third aircraft carrier, which is being built in Shanghai.

"In other words, 002 is entirely different from the Liaoning (001) and 001A, and it will look like US aircraft carrier rather than a Russian one," Li said.

Most advanced aircraft carriers use the Electromagnetic Catapult System, or Electromagnetic launcher (EML), to launch carrier-based jets, but China is still testing steam catapults, Li said. "The main difference is that EMLs are more flexible and the system's speed can be controlled, so it can launch aircraft of different sizes."

Yin said "in order to protect China's territories and overseas interests, China needs two carrier strike groups in the West Pacific Ocean and two in the Indian Ocean. So we need at least five to six aircraft carriers."

Saturday, September 24, 2016

001A LIAONING II Class CV (CV17) construction update (Sept 24th, 2016)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Photos of the day: Republic of China Marine Corps conducts amphibious exercise.

With ROC Chung Pang (LST-230) (here) and M60A3 TTS MTB

Namesake warships across the Strait may encounter at sea

 ROCN's La Fayette class FFG Xining (Hull 1203) 
PRC's PLAN  DDG Xining (Hull 117) of the North China Sea

BEIJING, Feb. 7 (ChinaMil) -- The guided-missile destroyer Xining (Hull 117) was officially commissioned into the PLA Navy before the Chinese Spring Festival in 2017. While, Taiwan media has paid special attention to the fact that navies across the Strait both have a main warship named Xining. They claimed that the "Xining warships across the Strait will inevitably encounter at sea".
Taiwan's Liberty Times reported February 6 that a naming and commissioning ceremony was held for a 7,000-ton-class type-052D guided-missile destroyer of the PLA before the Chinese Spring Festival in 2017. The new vessel, which is named "Xining", has a same name with the La Fayette class warship Xining currently serving in Taiwan's navy.
According to an official in the Taiwan military, Taiwan's Xining ship belongs to the 124 Fleet with its home port in Zuoying. The PLA's Xining belongs to the North China Sea Fleet, but according to PLA's exercise and training model in recent years, main vessels in the PLA's three major fleets should all carry out cross-sea-area and far-sea combat training, so it's possible that the two Xining warships across the Strait will encounter at sea in the future.
The La Fayette class vessel of the Taiwan navy is also called Kangding class. Taiwan bought 16 of them from France in 1991. The six vessels in the first batch were built in France in early 1992, but the other ten were no longer built due to the high price and other reasons.
The Kangding class vessel features good stealth performance, large tonnage and advanced electronic reconnaissance, but its equipped weapons are limited, some of which have poor performance, and it is weak in air defense, and pilots even have to "scream for communication". This takes a toll on the vessel's overall combat capability.
In contrast, the recently commissioned Xining warship is the latest guided-missile destroyer of the PLA Navy. Integrating multiple new-type weapons and equipment and boasting a high level of IT application, good stealth performance and strong electromagnetic compatibility, it mainly undertakes such missions as taskforce command, regional air defense, anti-submarine and sea combat.
It is learnt that Taiwan's military vessels and ships are usually named as follows: first-class vessels (main battle vessels) are named after the local areas or famous generals in history, patrol ships are named after mountains, and third-class vessels are named after rivers.
According to the Rules on Denomination of PLA Naval Vessels, the denomination of the PLA Navy's warships follows the rules below: cruise ships are named after administrative provinces (districts) or specific words, destroyers and frigates are named after large and medium-sized cities, nuclear submarines are named Changzheng (Long March) plus a number, submarine chasers are named after counties, dock landing ships and tank landing ships are named after mountains, infantry landing ships are named after rivers, and replenishment ships are named after lakes.
其实,这不是两岸军舰首次“撞名”。2014年服役的052D首舰昆明舰也和台湾海军同属拉法叶级军舰“昆明”号军舰 “撞名”。
Actually this isn't the first time that naval vessels across the Strait have the same name. Kunming, the first type 052D guided-missile destroyer commissioned by the PLA Navy in 2014, also had the same name as the La Fayette class vessel Kunming of the Taiwan navy.
Some netizen commented that this reflects the "amity across the Strait", but what bothers the Taiwan media isn't the name sharing, but a sense of insecurity.
In mid-January, 2017, the PLA Navy's first aircraft carrier formation headed by Liaoning crossed the Taiwan Strait on its way back from the Tsushima Strait, throwing the whole Taiwan into a collective panic.

20 years ago.