Monday, August 20, 2018

China to take part in Vostok-2018 strategic drills in Russia

In another related news, China will send 3,200 personnel to yet another drill in Russia in Sept 11th.   Vostok-2018 is much larger in scope comparing to the Peace Mission-2018 below

Military & Defense
August 20, 10:45 UTC+3

China to take part in Vostok-2018 strategic drills in Russia

According to the Chinese Defense Ministry, the drills are aimed at strengthening strategic military partnership between China and Russia

Vitaliy Nevar/TASS

MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. /TASS/. China will take part in the Vostok-2018 (or East-2018) strategic military drills in Russia, the Chinese Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Read also
Russia and China agree to boost military cooperation

"In accordance with an agreement reached by China and Russia, the parties will hold joint military drills at the Tsugol training range in Russia’s Trans-Baikal Region on September 11-15," the statement reads.

According to the Chinese Defense Ministry, the drills are aimed at strengthening strategic military partnership between China and Russia and increasing the two countries’ ability to jointly respond to various security threats, ensure regional peace, stability and security.

China’s Defense Ministry said the drills would involve about 3,200 Chinese military personnel, more than 900 pieces of weapons, as well as 30 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

The Vostok-2018 drills, scheduled to take place in August and September, will involve Russian troops deployed to the Eastern and Central Military Districts, as well as the Northern Fleet.

From China with love

After spending some R&R in Russia as part of the International Army Games of 2018 back in July, the PLA is now returning for more.   This time under the banner of "Peace Mission-2018"

Participating units are: 

The Army:  A tactical battle-group (battalion) from the 76th Group Army and a SpOps detachment, 4xMi-171 Transport helicopters, 4xWZ-10 Attack Helicopters

The PLAAF:  2xJ-11 fighters, 4xJH-4 Fighter-bombers, 6x Y-9 Transport.  2x Il-76 Transport

Chinese participating troops arrive in Russia for Peace Mission-2018

    China Military Online
    Huang Panyue


The last batch of Chinese participating troops arrives in Russia for the Peace Mission 2018 on the evening of August 18, 2018. ( by Luo Shunyu)

By Luo Shunyu and Pan Kai

RUSSIA, Aug. 20 (ChinaMil) -- The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) joint military exercise "Peace Mission-2018" will be held in Russia from August 22 to 29 among the SCO member countries.

The Chinese participating troops, selected from the army and the air force units under the PLA Western Theater Command as well as some forces attached to the Central Military Commission (CMC), arrived in Chebarkul, Chelyabinsk Region in the Urals, Russia, on the evening of August 18, 2018.

The Peace Mission-2018 joint military exercise will see participation of almost all member nations including China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan, and 10 observers from Uzbekistan will also be present.

The exercise, involving a total of over 3,000 troops, will focus on the Army, Air Force and new combat forces. China has sent more than 700 troops to participate, including an army armored tank battle group, an air force battle group and a special operations detachment.

It is the seventh joint anti-terrorism military exercise under the SCO framework, involving more troops, equipment and new combat forces than any previous SCO joint military exercise.

Peace Mission is a biennially-held counter-terrorism exercise involving each SCO member and it contains three stages: strategic consultation, joint anti-terrorism war preparation and war implementation. Its purpose is to examine the coordination and combat readiness of SCO members for joint counter-terrorism operations.

Soldiers from Chinese participating troops are ready for the Peace Mission 2018. ( by Luo Shunyu)


Photo of the day: PLAN's fourth KJ-500 AWAC spotted

Serial number 81036.  The PLAN continues to deploy land-based AWAC as a stop gap before KL-200 Y-7 AWAC is ready to enter service with her CVBGs

Capture from page 31 of  the "2018 annual China military report by DoD" link here

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

    China Military Online
    Huang Panyue


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 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. ( 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. ( 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. ( by Duan Yuefeng and Sun Honggang)