Sunday, December 09, 2018

Non-news of the day: China sends new naval fleet for escort mission

Type 071 LPD 998 Kunlun Shan + Type054A FFG 536 Xuchang

GUANGZHOU, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- The 31st fleet from the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy has left the port city of Zhanjiang in south China's Guangdong Province for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia to escort civilian ships.

Composed of a landing vessel, a missile frigate and a supply ship, the fleet started its mission Sunday morning.

The fleet has 700 officers and soldiers, dozens of special operation soldiers and three helicopters on board.

The Chinese Navy began to carry out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia in December 2008.

In the past 10 years, the Chinese Navy has sent out 26,000 officers and soldiers, escorted 6,595 ships and successfully rescued or aided more than 60 Chinese and foreign ships.

The navy also carried out various other missions, including the evacuation of Chinese nationals from war zones in Libya in 2011 and Yemen in 2015, the search and rescue for the missing Flight MH370 and supplying fresh water to Maldives.

6th Combined-Arms Brigade, 82nd Group Army, Central Theater Command, fourth operator of the Type99A MBT

source here 

 The 6th Combined-Arms Brigade was enlarged from the old 21st armored regiment, 6th Armored Division, 38th Group Army, Beijing Military Region before the 2017 re-org.    It traded in their Type88B MBT for some new and shiny Type99A  in this round of upgrade.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

62nd Combined-Arms Brigade, 76th Group Army, Western Theater Command

The 62nd is the second confirmed Type99A operator of the PLA (here) . The first one - of course - is the 112nd Heavy Mech Infantry Division.

This brigade traded in their Type96 for Type99A in Nov 2016 and received its Type04A IFV in May 2016

Speaking of PLAN Marine.

Photos of the day:   Group of PLA Marine veterans returning home after 8, 12, and 16 years garrisoning at Xisha islands

Marine has its organic aviation brigade?

This pic from the PLA Daily seems to suggestion so. 

In addition to having its own command HQ, the additional organic helicopter brigade would enhance Blue Smurf's amphibious and expeditionary warfare capabilities.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Light-weight Type 15 better suited for mountain warfare, island landing

By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/25 22:48:39

Pictured is scaled model of China's Type 15 light tank at the National Museum of China as part of a grand exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of the country's reform and opening-up in Beijing on Sunday. Photo: Liu Xuanzun/GT

China has recently unveiled its new 30-ton-class light tank, the Type 15, with experts saying it can outperform other Chinese tanks in combat operations in plateau areas like Tibet while also holding advantages in island landing missions.

Two scaled models for the Type 15 were displayed at the National Museum of China as part of a grand exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of the country's reform and opening-up in Beijing

Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times on Sunday that "the Type 15 is equipped with a 105-millimeter main gun capable of firing armor-piercing rounds and gun-launched missiles, making its firepower not much inferior to a heavier main battle tank."

Compared with the Type 99 and Type 96, two main battle tanks in service of the People's Liberation Army, the Type 15 is significantly lighter, weighing about 32-35 tons, Wei said, noting that its engine can provide 1,000 horsepower driving force.

Because of the tank's light weight, it is easier to operate on plateau, forest and water-intensive areas, he said.

Another military expert, who asked not to be named, told the Global Times on Sunday that the tank is a great choice for China's southern area, given its mountainous terrain there.

The Type 15 can also be quickly deployed in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region if border dispute reoccurs, the expert said.

He referred the Type 15's light weight as advantage when compared with heavier ones in the past.

Although the Type 15 was spotted several times by Chinese citizens in the past, this is the first time that China officially introduced its latest light tank.

In July, a tank suspected to be a Type 15, which was painted with naval camouflage was photographed in China at an unknown location. The photo sparked discussions among military observers, with some saying that China could deploy the tank when there is a need to seize an island.

Wei said that the light-weight Type 15 can be transported to an island via landing ships, as the tank can provide strong fire support and cover for infantries.

After gaining ground on the shore, a tank like Type 15 can work better than an amphibious tank when charging into deeper areas due to its higher mobility, Wei noted.

The anonymous military expert stressed that the tank can be used in a potential landing operation in case force has to be used to keep Chinese territory integrated.

Wei highlighted the fact that the tank is so light, it is possible for transport aircraft to airlift it to the frontline.

Although a traditional airdrop might be difficult, the transport aircraft can fly low and slowly and drop the tank protected by large parachutes, Wei said.

Boasting a similar 105-millimeter main gun, the 30-ton-class VT-5 made by China North Industries Group Corporation is a made-for-export light tank that is also compatible with various types of terrain.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Boring logistics pictures of the day: 2nd Type 901 Class Fleet Replenishment Ship ready for commission.

With a displacement of more than 45,000Tons,  this little boat can carry a lot of goods.

Photos of the day: 5th PLAN Marine Brigade with Lynx 8x8 all-terrain buggy

Photo released on Nov 24, 2018 by the PLAN WeChat account.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

5th PLAN Marine Brigade update (4/12/2018)

Recon elements of the 5th Marine Brigade just received its Lynx 8x8 All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) .   The fact that they are issued ATV instead of dedicated amphibious IFV is a telling story of what their intended role will be.

Photo credit goes to Andrew KC

Note some of the smurfs are still sporting 1970's old "steel helm"

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The 5th PLAN Marine Briagde is here

It just completed its first field deployment drill in minus ten degrees near its home port of Qingdao (here).   The 1st and 2nd PLAN Marine Brigades are home-ported in Zhanjiang, South Sea Fleet.  Since the 5th Marine Briagde is in Qingdao, it is likely under the North Sea Fleet.

Wishful thinking or the little engine that could?

The Lynx 8x8 all-terrain (87 hp diesel) has been in PLA service since 2010 and has long been associated with PLA's heliborne assault doctrine development from the get-go.   The Lynx is also widely reported in service in rough terrains such as Xinjiang, Tibet and near the Sion-Vietnam boarder.

CCTV capture from 2010 and photo from 2011

Now it is being aggressively marketed - judging by recent Zhuhai Airshow - as an entire light family of assault and heliborne solutions ranging from transport, indirect and direct fire support, to air defense

 107mm MRL
 Light Trans

 120mm Mortar-Howitzer
  120mm Mortar-Howitzer
  120mm Mortar-Howitzer
 120mm Mortar
 107mm MRL
 82mm rapid mortar
 23mm Autocannon + MANPAD
 Gatling gun + 2x2 MANPAD

Sunday, November 11, 2018

GIF of the day: VP16B Remote control 40mm fire support platfrom

Chassis is the standard "Lynx" all-terrain vehicle that has been in service with the PLA for over a decade.

The design is clearly geared toward rapid deployment. A design that can bring light, easy transportable, fire support to both the Marine and the Airborne units