Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A shameless plug on a special National Geographic documentary "MegaStructures - China's Ultimate Port, Yangshan Port"

The Port of Shanghai (Chinese: 上海港; pinyin: Shànghǎi gǎng), located in the vicinity of Shanghai, comprises a deep-sea port and a river port.

In 2010, Shanghai port overtook the Port of Singapore to become the world's busiest container port. Shanghai's port handled 29.05 million TEUs, whereas Singapore port was a half million TEU's behind.[1]

In 2012, Shanghai port set a historic record by handling over 32 million TEU

Monday, April 07, 2014

New Chinese Cruiser: Updated Pics from Wuhan

Yesterday we announced our identification of a new mockup at Wuhan as the first hard evidence of the design of China's new large surface combat ship.  In what has become the normal sequence for China watching as of late, the first distant hazy photos were rapidly followed by a string of ever closer and clearer images.

New cruiser mockup at right, existing CV mockup at left.

Clear side profile, note the bow and hangar deck are not constructed.

Extrapolated profile view (courtesy CDF member "Hongjian")

This contents of this unusual extended superstructure are hotly debated.

Closeup boasting an exceptionally large bridge deck.

CDF members surmise this aft superstructure to be a hangar and possible pedestal for an L-Band radar. 

The mockup of the CV LIAONING was built at Wuhan in late 2009, and the actual ship entered the fleet in 2012. Using this same timeline we might expect the keel of the new cruiser to be laid in 2015 with a 2017 commission date.

Revised dimensions (courtesy CDF member "Totoro").

We will continue to watch the developments at Wuhan.  Join us in the CDF Forum to discuss this and other Chinese military topics.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Photo of the day: The new Yuan variant (039C??) ready to journey down river form Wuhan to Shanghai before sea trial

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Photos of the day: high resolution pictures of that new Yuan class

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Are we looking at a new variant of the Yuan class (Type 041) diesel-electric submarine?

A series of photos surfaced recently of a new diesel-electric submarine under construction at the Wuhan shipyard and quickly caused a stir amongst Chinese military forums.  After some heated discussions, some now convinced that it is a new Yuan class variant due to the different sail structure already visible.   

Here is a standard Yuan class for comparison

New Chinese Cruiser: First Glimpse Seen in Wuhan

Pictures have emerged on Chinese internet sites showing what appears to be a full scale mockup of a new large surface combatant at the Wuhan Technical College of Communication, a PLAN facility for crew training and electromagnetic interference testing.
New CG mockup circled in foreground, CV mockup in left background.

This new mockup has been recently constructed alongside the full-size mockup of the CV LIAONING (Ex-KUZNETSOV).  When the LIAONING mockup was identified at Wuhan in 2009 it represented a first look at the rebuilt superstructure and new electronics fit of the former Soviet carrier.  It is expected that the new large surface combatant mockup will also mount the actual electronic and sensor array of PLAN's large warship.
Satellite imagery of the new surface combatant mockup foundation DOI 8/6/13

Based on the mockup, China Defense Forum member "Totoro" has extrapolated the projected dimensions of the new large surface combatant as follows"
The above image is, to the best of my ability, a try at getting the scale right, using all the available images. Starting with the GE measurement of 23 m as width, calculating other measurements from other images taken from up close.

Of course, there's bound to be some +/- 5% errors.
All the measurements of the full lines are real calculations.
The stern and the bow, in dotted lines, are just assumptions on my part. How long the stern be and how long the bow would be. Thus those two measurements are my guesswork.
The red line is true measurement/calculation of height of the Wuhan model, from the ground level to the top of the main deck. The image sort of assumes that's the height from waterline to main deck, but of course, 14,7 m may be a tad too much, so the ground level at Wuhan may not actually represent waterline of real ship.

The stern dotted lines also portray two possibilites, as it doesn't seem to me the current height of hangar structure is tall enough for the current wuhan model deck height. so either the hangar structure is not finished and will be taller, or the actual level of helo pad will be lower than rest of the main deck level.

It would appear that there's more than enough space for 64 fore and 64 aft vls cells. plus bunch of other systems.
The wuhan model has these five large openings on the sides of the main superstructure. their size and position suggest to me we might be looking at turbine intake holes.

Further, a new sensor previously identified at the Wuhan site is believed to likely be associated with the new large surface combatant.
i also did measurements of the sensor mast, from the available images on GE and near Wuhan. The whole mast, from base to tip seems to be 16.7 m tall. From base to middle of the sensor "ball" structure it's 13 meters tall. Diameter of the sensor ball seems around 5,4 meters. Again, +/-5% of error is applicable.

Log in to forum for more superb discussion.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

First time for everything: China under Australian wing in military drill led by US: Report

China under Australian wing in military drill led by US: Report

Published on Apr 04, 2014

SYDNEY (AFP) - China has asked to operate under Australian command when it takes part in a major international military exercise led by the United States later this year, a report said on Friday.

Beijing's reported decision comes as Australia leads the arduous Indian Ocean search for missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 which was carrying 153 Chinese when it vanished.

The Sydney Morning Herald said it understood that the request from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) was expressed through defence channels last week, without quoting any sources.

Until recent years, China rarely took part in international military exercises and the newspaper said it was the first time the PLA would operate under Western command in such a drill.

China wants Australia to lead joint military manoeuvres

    April 4, 2014

John Garnaut

Breakthrough in military relations: Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Photo: AP

China's People's Liberation Army has asked to operate under Australian command in the largest international exercises it has joined, smoothing the path for Tony Abbott's most challenging international excursion as leader.

The breakthrough in military relations follows close co-operation in the search for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which is believed to have disappeared off the coast of Perth with 153 Chinese nationals on board.

And it demonstrates that Beijing has shelved, for now, its frustration at Canberra's deepening military ties with Washington and also the fury it vented at Canberra's support for Tokyo late last year. Leaders in Canberra and Washington are coming to the view that China's muscular advances into its maritime periphery cannot be resolved, or reversed, but only managed.
Australian Minister for Defence David Johnston.

"China has a central role to play in contributing to regional stability: Australian Minister for Defence David Johnston. Photo: AFP

Western military leaders welcomed a PLA decision last year to join humanitarian rescue components of the US-led ''Rim of the Pacific'' maritime exercises in July, in which the navies of more than 20 nations will converge around Hawaii for warfare drills.

And they are likely to welcome the PLA's request - which it is understood was communicated through defence channels last week - to operate in those exercises under the direct command of the Australian Navy.

''China has a central role to play in contributing to regional stability,'' Defence Minster David Johnston said, while declining to directly comment on the most recent Chinese overture, which is yet to be fully processed through political channels.

The US ambassador to Canberra, John Berry, said the US supported Australian co-operation with China because it did not view its own relationship with China as a ''zero-sum'' contest.

''We seek to work with China on areas of common interest and concern but are prepared to speak out when we have differences,'' he said.

Late last year Mr Abbott broke from past precedent to side publicly with Japan by naming it as Australia's ''best friend in Asia'' and also an ''ally''.

Chinese disquiet broke into open fury when the government publicly protested China's surprise declaration of an Air Defence Identification Zone over disputed airspace.

''I have never in 30 years encountered such rudeness,'' the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs north Asia division, Peter Rowe, said of the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi's confrontation with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Chinese diplomats further castigated Canberra for failing to robustly protest Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni shrine in December, which they say was symbolic of resurgent Japanese ''militarism''.

By January, however, high-level talks between Australian and Chinese military leaders had been rescheduled and the diplomatic fury appeared to have evaporated.

In recent weeks Mr Abbott has recalibrated his language, made adroit moves to support Chinese search-and-rescue efforts over MH370 and delivered a comprehensive statement of priorities in Asia.

Read more:

Friday, April 04, 2014

Photo of the day: J-10B production-variants number 10

 J-10B production-variants number 10 spotted. that is the production rate of 10 copies in 4 and half months so far.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Photo of the day: J-10B production-variants 104

Thus far, J-10B's production rate is far from impressive -- 4 copies in three months.

Friday, December 13, 2013

J-10B production-variants 101 and 103

The first J-10B prototype has been undergoing various test flights since Dec 2008 at Chengdu.  If serial numbers101 and 103 are indeed production-variants, the first J-10B line regiment should be forming soon.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Third Dongdiao class AGI Electronic Reconnaissance Ship.

Launched today in Shanghai.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2nd DongDiao Class

The 2nd DongDiao class AGM/AGI was launched on December 10th, 2009 in Shanghai. It was designed by the No 708 design institute, the same institute that designed the YuanWang class space tracking ships, and constructed by the Shipyard 424 of the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group.

This 4600 ton (6000 ton maximum capacity) intelligence gathering ship is based on the smaller Daxin class training ship but instead of classrooms, it is packed with radars and other EW equipment. The first Dongdiao (851) class was launched in 1999 and commissioned by the East Sea Fleet. It is equipped with a pair of SEMT-Pielstick diesels to give it a top speed of 20 knots, and 5000nm range.

Unknown equipment is housed inside the radomes in both Dengdiao ships, but Hudong-Zhonghua labels them as "High Tech Radio Signals Gather-and-Process" ships.

The First Dongdiao Class (851)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Photos of the day: AGI "Uranus" 853 returns home

Since its' commission in April 26th 2011, this China Navy's latest AGI "天王星" has been racking up miles "monitoring" the South China Sea situation.   It is now back home to Zhanjiang, HQ of the South Sea Fleet.

Notice the new 30mm CIWS mount and the Zhanjiang Gulf Bridge backdrop.

 While I think all "Uranus" jokes should be off limits here in CDF, ball jokes are not.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Could those be the new Venezuelan Type63A Amphibious Light Tank

Back in 2012, then el presidente Chavez ordered $500 million worth of "amphibious tanks"from China and the news went silent after the announcement.   Fast forward 2 years, a batch of newly minted Type63A mod is now rolling off production line sporting a woodland camouflage.   Those could be the amphibious tanks el presidente ordered -- There is no other reason for Norinco to restart its Type63A production line unless to fulfill an export order --  since the PLA switched to the newer generation of ZTD05 Amphibious family vehicles back in 2005.

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his government will buy amphibious tanks from China for its military.

Chavez isn't saying how many of the armored vehicles Venezuela intends to buy, but says the deal signed Tuesday calls for a Chinese company to begin delivering the tanks next year.

He announced the deal in a speech to troops, saying the $500 million cost will be financed through loans that China has offered Venezuela in exchange for oil shipments.

In recent years Chavez has also agreed to billions of dollars in arms deals with Russia, buying fighter jets, helicopters, assault rifles and surface-to-air missiles.

The Venezuelan leader is seeking re-election in an October vote.

Venezuelan K-8 camouflage with a US M81 woodland design.

The newly minted Type63As spotted in China.