Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cool Pictures of PLA's Infantry Support Weapons and Their Warheads.

Not your father's RPG:

There is lack of media coverage on PLA's infantry support weapons in the West outside of a few video games; since they are an important component of PLA's TOE and it just happened that the PLA Daily has a bunch of cool photos of them.  It is time to take a look.

A front-line PLA infantry platoon is now armed by three different rockets, PF97, PF08 and PF98A.  This has been so since the 2000s.    PF97 and PF08 are both 80mm one-shot-wonders.  PF97 weighting in about 8.15 lb including the warhead - meant for anti-personnel and anti-tank roles - is issued to infantry fire team.   The 16.7 lb PF08 with its breaching warhead maximized against bunkers and light fortifications is found at weapon platoon.

The 120mm "Queen Bee" PF98A, weighting in 22lb and a crew of 2, is now issued to infantry squad. A fire-control (laser rangefinder plus ballistics computer) variant is found at company level.  

 Nice shot of PF08's bunker breaching round


PF97 with its extended thermometric round.  The HEAT and Tandem HEAT variant are not shown here

PF-98A 120mm with its anti-armor HEAT round inflight. Penetration is rated at 800mm against harden steel
Notice the disposable canister behind the launch tube

Saturday, September 02, 2017

A first look: PLA's new 9-man "ZBL09" infantry squad (twitted by the PLA Daily)

- The IFV driver (fourth from the left) and gunner (fourth from the right) are armed only with QSZ92 5.8x21mm pistol, their jobs are to man the IFV and its 30mm/HQ73C ATGM turret.

-  A two-man PF98A 120mm rocket team (first and second from the right), they also carry QSZ92 as their sidearm

- QBB95 squad automatic weapon operator is the second one from the left.  He is a private

- The squad leader (corporal, right in the middle) is supported by his second fire-team leader (third from the right).  He also leads the first fire-team

- STAR TREK “Red Shirts" are the two on the left.  

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

North Korea scenario, major PLA unit of the day: 78th Air-Defense Brigade (防空第78旅), 78th GA

This newly reformed unit has HQ-7B SAM, PG99 35-mm and some of them ole school PG59 57mm AAA of Vietnam War fame.   Its TOE is fairly standard with gears from circa late 1990.   Then again, they are facing the might of the DPRK-AF, not sure they are losing any sleep over it.

That's ole school 57mm AAA in all its glory....and white walled tires to boot

Saturday, October 21, 2017

North Korea scenario, major PLA unit of the day: 202nd Combined-Arms Brigade, 78th Group Army (ex The 3rd Armored Brigade)

Together with her sister units up norther, she also sporting a full engineering and armor recovery elements.  

 Type 95/PGZ95 Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft System
 ARV unit
PPZ10 120-mm SP Gun-Mortar system
 PLZ89-122 of the artillery battalion

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Winterfell’s defense

Winter is here. In addition to cold political rhetoric, the world also witnessed the power of Little-phat Night King’s fully operational Intercontinental Ballistic Dragon (ICBD).  It is now up to the PLA to mount a possible offensive defense.

In the following weeks,  this blog will start posting more Northern China (especially on the Northern Theater Command) centric updates.   Hopefully it will feature insight into the military options available to the King in Beijing.   One thing's for certain, the PLA can expect no Lannister army marching shoulder-to-shoulder with them -- Cersei tweets loud-and big but all she ever wanted is to build a wall facing the south (too late, no?).  Joking aside, the 28,500 strong Lannister army can’t mount a “boots on the ground” across the DMZ without completing an prolonged air campaign first. 

A note to the King in Beijing, A Lannister always pays his debts.  It stands at $1.15 trillion in Aug 2017 and counting. 

RRU -- the King in Beijing can count on 2 brigades of PLAN Marine (the third brigade is far from battle-ready), up to 9 airborne brigades and dozens of SpOs units.  Given China's advanced transportation networks coupled with their high-readiness rate,  majority of those RRU could reach the Yalu River delta area within 10 days.  This rapid troop movement capacity has been demonstrated during rescue phase of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake 9 years ago.  An assessment of PLA's response to the 2008 earthquake is here.   However, RRU are essentially light infantry units -- albeit well-trained -- with limited light direct and in-direct armor and fire support.  They also lack heavy artillery and engineering assets to overcome fortified defensive positions and mountainous terrain dotted across the entire area-of-operations.  They should know, they were there during the 1950s. 

Furthermore, unlike their Western counterparts, close tactical air support is still an luxury item few units have access to. Therefore, those RRU will not advance without support from local "heavies".   But if they do, they will be "all in".

More to follow.....

Saturday, April 29, 2017

15th Airborne Corps' new ORBAT

The CMC decommissioned three divisional headquarters (43rd, 44th and 45th) on April 19th,  their regiments are now reformed into 6 brigades (127th, 128th, 130th, 131st, 133rd, and 134th) directly under the corps headquarters .   Additionally,  there will be a new SpOps Brigade , a Strategic Support Brigade (Engineering, Communication, etc) and an Aviation Brigade(Fixed And Rotary Wing Aircraft) bringing to a total of 9 line brigades.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Photos of the day: PLAN Marine, Winter Warfare Specialist.

As noted before by this blog, the South China Sea is not the PLAN Marine's sole AOR.   As China is keeping close tabs on latest development from North Korea (here), the PLAN Marine, being the vanguard of the Chinese military, now has to familiarize themselves with Winter Warfare.

Training in cold region becomes normal for Chinese Marine Corps

(Source: China Military Online)   2015-01-12

The Chinese Marine Corps is loading equipment onto trucks on January 8, 2015, getting ready to head for a training base in northeast China for actual-combat cold region training. ( Zhiyong)

  GUANGDONG, January 12 (ChinaMil) -- A brigade of the Chinese Marine Corps made up of 1,000-plus people and 100-plus vehicles set out from the west of Guangdong province on the night of January 8, 2015, and headed for a training base in northeast China which is more than 4,000 kilometers away for the cold region training.

  This is an onshore trans-regional actual-combat cold region training featuring the longest distance and longest time.

  This is another actual-combat cold region training for the Marine Corps after its organic units headed for a training base for the first time last year, marking that the cold region training has become normal for the Marine Corps, according to Li Xiaoyan, commander of the cold region training and deputy chief of staff of the South China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the People's Liberation Army (PLAN).

  This actual-combat cold region training will cover a number of subjects, such as troops assembly, mobile entry and stationing, technical and tactical basis under severe cold conditions, operation grouping and collaboration, and actual-troop confrontation in offensive combats on rugged terrains in cold region.

  This cold region training features a more complicated environment, higher latitude, lower temperature, and wider maneuvering range compared with that of last year.

  Some specific training subjects have been added based on the training of last year, and the troops will conduct the training under such complicated situations as long-distance maneuvering, unfamiliar region, and extremely cold weather, Li Xiaoyan said.

  In addition, from transfer-in of the troops' degree of combat readiness to maneuvering and withdrawal, the training command post will organize experts and instructors from institutions and universities to set up a directing and evaluating team, so as to test the troops' long-distance maneuvering and total-region combat capability in an all-round way.
The fully-armed officers and men of the Marine Corps are boarding vehicles to head for a training base in northeast China for actual-combat cold region training on the night of January 8, 2015. ( Zhiyong)

Editor:Guo Renjie

Monday, November 20, 2017

PR photos of the day: Golden Helmet 2017

Talk to me Goose -- after more than 31 years, I see those young-and-impressionable PLA Daily photographers are still under the spell of that Hollywood movie.

PLAAF kicks off “Golden Helmet 2017” air battle contest

    China Military Online
    Li Jiayao


BEIJING, Nov. 3 (ChinaMil) -- The “Golden Helmet 2017” air battle contest of the PLA Air Force kicked off Wednesday morning in northwest China. In the next ten days or so, Sixteen Air Force aviation units and nearly 100 pilots from the five Theater Commands of the PLA will compete in hundreds of air combat confrontations for six Golden Helmet and one Skyhawk Cup.

This is the first competitive air battle contest after the restructuring of the PLAAF aviation troop units. In addition to the mid-range air combat confrontation, the close air battle confrontation is added in the “Golden Helmet 2017” to increase the intensity and difficulty of the contest.

The pilots will receive less orders from the ground command posts and make more decisions independently in the contests, which is designed to test the pilots' flight skills and air battle tactics in the real warfare environment.

The Golden Helmet is considered the highest honor for the PLA Air Force fighter pilots. The contest has been held for six consecutive times since 2011. From the same type of fighters to different types of fighters, from single-fighter combat to formation-based air combat, from long-range and medium-and-long-range to medium-and-short-range and short-range, the rules of the contest have been changing to be increasingly adapted to the real air battles.

By Guo Hongbo and Hao Maojin

Still looking for that missile lock....

 Slow-mo walk,  no PR photo shoot without it.