Saturday, August 11, 2018

Type056 Light Frigate/Corvette update 8/11/2018

The 51st Type056 launched at the Huangpu Shipyard in Guangzhou and christened with a name of Zhangzhou.    She will join the 18th Escort Squadron,  Northern Theater Command after commission

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.

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

 PHZ10 122-mm SPMRL
 Such a showoff
 PGZ09 35mm SPAAA

China, Warship exporter.

Last month there were three warship export related news out of China, they are:

-- Commission of the 1500-ton Pakistan Coast Guards cutter PMSA 143 Kashmir

-- Steel cutting for the first of the four littoral mission ships for Malaysia, a deal that was signed in April 27th 2016 (here)

-- Four patrol boats and rocket-propelled grenade launchers to the Philippines Navy (here)

 PMSA 143 Kashmir

 Malaysian littoral mission ship

Boring logistics pictures of the day: 9th Type 903 class replenishment ship launched in Guangzhou

Photos of the day: Type-99A of the 194th Combined-Arms Brigade, 81st Group Army, Central Threater Command

Type-99A tanks rumble in desert -- the 194th is the third confirmed operator of the latest Norinco Type-99A MBT variant, its older ZTZ99s were handed over to another unit in June this year.  

The 194th's previous designation was the 1st Armored Brigade, 65th Group Army, Beijing MR before last year's re-org. 

Type 04A IFV to provide moible infantry support to 194th's MBT fleet (here)

Saturday, August 04, 2018

LG6, Norinco's latest man-portable 40mm automatic grenade launcher

This new LG6 fires the standard 40x46mm caliber grenades and has a 300 rounds per minute rate of fire about to a range of 400 meters.

LG6 is light weight, which is 4.8kg without ammo.  Other automatic grenade launchers are heavier thus  requires to be mounted on vehicles or move by weapon crew with biped/tripod before they can be deployed.  Well, not LG6, it is a single-troop portable, fire-support machine -- think of it as the American classic "China-Lake" on steroid.

US "China Lake" of the Vietnam war fame