Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Army's new LSM to support South China Sea Garrisons

The South China Sea is traditionally the PLAN's Area of Responsibility (AOR), just hope this new army insertion is part of a greater collaboration between different service branches and not a rivalry brewing underneath.

At any rate, the material commitment by the PLA Ground Force only reinforces the Chinese commitment to the South China Sea dispute.  

New ship to ferry supplies to S. China Sea
Source: China Daily Editor: Zhang Tao
2015-11-25 09:200

New ship to ferry supplies to S. China Sea

The ground force of the People's Liberation Army commissioned its largest ship in Sansha, Hainan province, on Monday, planning to use it to transport materials to islands in the South China Sea.

PLA Daily, the military's newspaper, reported on its website on Tuesday that the ship is a new-generation logistics support vessel for the PLA Army. It is 90 meters long and has a full-load displacement of 2,700 metric tons, making it the largest ship in the Army's watercraft fleet, the report said, without revealing the vessel's designated class.

The ship is capable of ferrying heavy-duty weapons and accommodating a helicopter. It will be used to transport supplies, weapons and equipment to places in the South China Sea and to conduct search and rescue operations there, the newspaper said.

Photos released on the website show the ship bearing a designation of GY820, which indicates it belongs to the Guangzhou Military Command.

Cao Weidong, a researcher at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, told China Daily that Army soldiers guard many islands in the South China Sea and that transporting their living necessities is the Army's responsibility.

"Compared with the Navy's logistics support vessels, which mainly supply combat ships at sea, the Army only uses such ships to transport materials to soldiers stationed on islands, so their ships are smaller and have fewer weapons," he said.

According to earlier reports, the PLA Shenyang Military Command received a ship of the same class in November last year.

Footage broadcast by China Central Television showed that the Shenyang Military Command ship can carry at least one Type 99 main battle tank, which weighs around 60 metric tons, and several trucks.

CCTV quoted Colonel Zhang Xichun, head of shipping operations at the Shenyang Military Command, as saying that, compared with other transport ships of the PLA Army, the new vessel has a higher speed and takes less time to load and unload.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

A new Amy (not Navy) Landing Ship Medium (LSM) undergo sea trials

A newbuilt ship of an entirely new type for the PLA Ground Forces is currently running sea trials in the Sea of Bohai. It was launched at the Army’s Songliao Shipard at Dalian in August 2013.

Officially described as an Army Ro/Ro Transport, it is really a Landing Ship Medium (LSM), equipped with the with the typical kedging anchor of landing ships, even though the bulbous bow would preclude the ship from beaching.

The ship is equipped with both bow and stern ramps and a short helicopter platform aft.  The armament consists of four twin 14.5 mm guns, two forward and two aft. Twin funnels indicate  twin-screw propulsion; in addition, it has a bow thruster for improved maneuvrability.The lifting capacity is probably a mechanised infantry company.

The ship is a striking departure from the Type 271III YUWEI class Landing Craft Tank (LCT) that has been building for decades for the Army, and of which there currently are some 85 in service with the Army’s landing craft units. The dark grey colour, too, is a departure from the usual blue of Army vessels.

It is not known if the new ship will go into series production nor which unit will operate the new ship. In view of its experimental nature, a good possibility would be the Ship Squadron (Unit 73502) at Dongshandao, attached to the Nanjing MR Amphibious Training Base.

Songlia Shipyard built another unique ship in 2012, the training vessel AL201 belonging to the Training Squadron of the Army/Air Force Navigation School at Zhenjiang. That ship was based on the Sea Police’s Hai Jing 31101 PUDONG (Type 718).

-- franco-russe

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