Sunday, January 13, 2019

Photos of the day: SM4 120mm self-propelled mortar with the Algerian Army

Photos from their recent Borkane 2019 exercise.

Yes, those SM4 are based on the WZ551 chassis and 200 copies were exported by Norinco in 2016

Norinco Marketing Photo

PLAN commissions of the day: DDG 161 and LPD 987

On January 12th 2019, the PLAN commissioned two new warships into her Southern Theater Command Navy (南部战区海军)

DDG 161, the 10th Type052D "Hohhot" commissioned into the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Southern Theater Command Navy
 LPD 987, the 6th Type071 "Wuzhishan" commissioned into the 6th Landing Ship Flotilla, Southern Theater Command Navy

Saturday, January 12, 2019

PLA unit of the day: 54th Mechanized Brigade, Tibet MD

After receiving Type 15 light tanks,  the 54th Mechanized Brigade is now traded in their Type 89 APC for the latest Type04A according to CCTV

 Type04A IVF
Type89 APC

Thursday, December 27, 2018

2nd PLA ground force Type15 light tank unit identified

It is the 54th Mechanized Brigade, Tibet (Xizang) Military District.  Consider the volume of Type15 testing photos taken in Tibet since 2011, this deployment should come as no surprise.

China's type 15 lightweight tank commissioned
Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-27 22:47:19|Editor: Yang Yi

BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- A new type of tank, the type 15 lightweight tank, has been commissioned by China's army, a military spokesperson said Thursday.

Wu Qian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks at a regular press conference.

The spokesperson also revealed that in 2018, China has conducted nearly 40 joint drills and training sessions with over 30 countries, deepening friendship and mutual trust with other militaries.

Such operations have been carried out with more in-depth exchanges, greater focus on real combat conditions and improved systems, Wu said.

Regarding preparation for the 7th International Military Sports Council Military World Games, Wu said a total of 10,049 people from 93 countries, including 9,122 competitors and officials, 389 referees and 172 media staff, had signed up for the event scheduled for October 2019 in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province.

In a review of China's naval escort missions, the spokesperson said that over the past 10 years, China has sent 31 fleets and over 26,000 officers and soldiers, escorting more than 6,600 Chinese and foreign ships and successfully rescuing or aiding over 70 ships.

The fleets also carried out other missions, such as the evacuation of Chinese nationals from war zones, the search for the missing flight MH370 and supplying fresh water to Maldives, the spokesperson said.

Friday, May 02, 2014

TOE update of the day: 54th Mechanized Brigade, Tibet MD, Chengdu MR

The newly enlarged 54th Mechanized Brigade (was regiment), is now spotted with Type05A, 120mm SP mortar, in a recent exercise.    Currently China's Tibet MD has three line infantry brigades in commission, much smaller then China's neighbors especially after India's new mountain strike corps enters service with around 90,000 new troops.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

54th Independent Infantry Regiment, (Unit 77625) Tibet Military District (MD), Chengdu Military Region.

The 54th regiment is Tibet's MD Rapid Reaction Unit and Strategic Reserve that reports directly to the MD HQ; it is tailored to respond to any emergencies within 48 hours. Given its mission requirement and the mountainous terrain, the regiment is very light and possesses no heavy weapons. Its fire support is provided by the 308th Independent Artillery Regiment organic to the Tibet MD.

Together with other PLA units in Tibet, the 54th only provided logistic support to the PAP last year but did not participate in riot control.

The regiment was commissioned on Aug 1st 1990 with 3 motorized infantry battalions and one mechanized infantry battalion. In April 1996, the regiment HQ was enlarged to include one 100mm mortar company and two 25mm AAA companies and the 3rd motorized infantry battalion was reformed as the 3rd mechanized infantry battalion after the injection of the Type92 IFV.

1st Battalion (Truck)
2nd Battalion (Truck)
3rd Battalion (Type 92 IFV)
4th Battalion (Type 89I APC)

A note on PLAN orbat

It seems that changes are occurring to the PLAN orbat the last six months:  At least three new Frigate Flotillas (one per theater command, Northern, Eastern, and Southern) has been commissioned to home all those newly minted Type056s and Type054As.  Some Fast Attack Flotillas are being recommissioned as Frigate Flotillas as well.

Two confirmed examples are:
Zhoushan Naval District is now recommissioned as 14th Frigate Flotilla (第14护卫舰支队), Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province
21st Fast Attack Flotilla is now recommissioned as 15th Frigate Flotilla (第15护卫舰支队), Ningde, Fujian Province
Theater command is not a typo either as the old three-fleet structure is now belongs to the PLAN history book.  Each fleet is now part of their new theater command structure

Sunday, January 06, 2019

PLA unit of the day: 188th Combined Arms Brigade, 82nd GA Central Theater Command

Showing off their Type63 APC together with their PLZ89 122mm SPH and PLZ83 152mm SPH in yesterday's CCTV report.   The point here -- the least equipped PLA ground force units are now well-mechanized albeit with older gears. 

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Hi-res photo of the day: Type055 DDG in Shanghai

PLA orbat update: 308th Independent Artillery Brigade, Tibet MD gets SH15 Truck-mounte 155mm Self-Propelled Gun-Howitzer

Saturday, October 06, 2018

A battary of the new Truck-mounted 155mm Gun-Howitzer for PLA (Not for export)

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Norinco CAESAR in service with the PLA

SH-1 started as an export project with Pakistan and Burma be the two known customers.  Latest photos from the 72nd Artillery Brigade, 72nd Group Army,  Eastern Theater Command confirms that SH-1's PLA domestic equivalent is now in service at home.   The 72nd Artillery Brigade also commands PHL03 300mm long range MRL and PLZ05 155mm tracked SP howitzer, a heavy hitting unit indeed.

This truck mounted 155mm concept was first revealed in 2007 based on the towed Type89 (PLL01) 155mm/L52 system.  It can fire all standard 155mm NATO ammunition in addition to Norinco's 155mm laser-guided round.  It is mounted on a standard Chinese 6x6 truck chassis but can be easily "remounted" with a local truck and a secondary 12.7mm machine gun for defense.

While the SH-1 sports no armor protection, it is light enough to be airlifted by a C-130 or a Y-9 class transport, making it a more flexible option for China's growing Rapid Reaction Units

 SH-1 from the 2016 Zhuhai Airshow

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Photos of the day: A new batch of J-20 under flight testing at Chengdu

Photo credit goes to 酒色财气吕洞宾

Bonus photo from the PLA Daily with weapon bays open.....

Monday, December 31, 2018

Photo of the day: PLA Naval Aviation (PLAN-AF)'s dedicated bomb-truck, the J-16H

It is just a matter of time before the navy demands some-of-them-good-stuff the PLAAF has.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Here it is -- PLAAF's tip of the spear "Ménage à trois" for air defense penetration

Joking aside,  folks should see this new "high end package" of J-20, J-10C plus J-16 formulating from miles away.  It should come as no surprise to anyone, in fact it is an expected and natural consequence of the recent development.

China's fighter jets hold 'perfect combination' training

    Global Times
    Li Jiayao


China's People's Liberation Army Air Force recently conducted combat training involving three types of its most advanced fighter jets, carrying air-to-air missiles, which a Chinese expert called a perfect combination.

China's most advanced stealth fighter jet, J-20, conducted joint training with multi-role strike fighter J-16 and multi-role fighter jet J-10C, engaging in air defense penetration drills, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Thursday.

The fighter jets used domestically developed mid-range air-to-air missile PL-15 and short-range air-to-air missile PL-10 in the training, Beijing-based news website Sina reported on Saturday.

"The three fighter jets… and the two missiles are perfect combinations," Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday.

The J-20 is capable of destroying a hostile air defense system. The J-10C can then take air supremacy, while the J-16 can strike enemy ground forces, Song said, adding that using the PL-15 and PL-10 together can cover both long-range and short-range aerial combat.

"The combination will serve as an important aerial deterrent against external forces," Song added.

 wo fighter jets attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Southern Theater Command soar over the sky for a combat sortie during a flight training exercise in late May, 2018. ( by Tang Jun)

J-20 with J-10 to its left