Wednesday, December 26, 2018

New PLAN Marine equipment of the day: 76mm naval gun on a 5x5 wheeled chassis

The PJ26 76 mm dual purpose gun can be deployed in both direct and indirect fire support missions for the PLAN Marine.  Additionally, it could provide anti-air point defense by laying down a protective screen with AHEAD (Anti-missile rounds) rounds (120 rounds/min).  The wheeled configuration is clearly bias toward rapid deployment over protection.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

PLAN Marine's two new wheeled light tanks

One is the standard ZBL09 as noted by my previous blog posts, the other one seems to be a mod with a different pair of water jets being the most notable feature.  Smoke grenade launchers also relocated to mid-turret in this mod.

Technically speaking ZBL09 is an assault gun. Then again, what do I know?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

PLAN Marine training with ZBL09 wheeled IFV

One of the newly commissioned PLAN Marine units is seen here training with ZBL09 wheeled IFV..   Perhaps they are just waiting for their AAAV to arrive, or they are not intended to "storm the beach" like their 1st and 2nd Marine Brigade counterparts but rather fan-out rapidly after a beachhead is secured.    But one thing is certain -- they are willing to trade armor protection for speed.

As a side note, the PLAN Marine stationed in Djibouti here is also sporting the same wheel based ZBL09

ZTL09 Wheeled light tank is also spotted

Saturday, January 14, 2017

ZTL09 8x8 Wheeled Light Tank to the PLAN Marine??

ZTL09 8x8 Wheeled Light Tanks sporting the now-famous "Blue Smurf" camo were spotted in Sanya City, near the HQ of the PLAN Marine.  Rumor has it that they are now getting those wheeled new toys to increase their mobility for MOOTW and non-amphibious operations.  Time will tell.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Photo of the day: PLAN Marine's wheeled PLL09 122mm 8x8 Self-Propelled Howitzer

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Photos of the day: PLA Marine Corps conducts massive groundbreaking maneuvers

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

PLA Marine Corps conducts massive groundbreaking maneuvers

Source: Global Times
Editor: Huang Panyue


In the largest exercise of its kind, more than 10,000 troops traveled more than 2,000 kilometers to arrive on Monday at two army training bases in Southwest China's Yunnan Province and East China's Shandong Province and begin battle training, China Central Television show Military Report reported.

The largest ever trans-regional training of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Marine Corps combined diverse modes of transport including air, water, railway and motor, the report said.

The process of multi-dimensional delivery of troops and long-distance arrival was accompanied by battle exercises.

The marine officers and soldiers will next carry out training in subtropical mountainous jungle areas in more than 30 specialties including combat, attack and defense, hiding and searching.

This massive military maneuvers proved the marine corps is striving to improve combat capability, according to a military expert who asked to remain anonymous.

Marines are frontline troops that seize beachheads in war time, and work as a rapid reaction force in peacetime ready to deal with emergencies, the anonymous expert said.

In 2016, the Marine Corps of the People's Liberation Army Navy conducted its first live-fire drills in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Unlike previous marine corps training that involved a few thousand personnel and hundreds of vehicles, this training involved over 10,000 that amounted to a significant upgrade in the military structure and organization of the troops.

China plans to expand its marine corps from 20,000 to 100,000 to better protect the country's rising overseas commitments, the South China Morning Post reported in March last year.

Some marines will be assigned overseas including Djibouti and Gwadar Port of Pakistan, the Hong Kong-based newspaper reported.

The information bureau of China's Ministry of National Defense said afterwards that the expansion of the PLA Navy's Marine Corps relates to the reform of the Chinese military, which is being steadily implemented.

The corps is also acting as guarding troops in Djibouti, according to the CCTV report.

"Performing tasks outside the country can greatly enhance the marines' combat capability such as emergency and rapid response skills," the expert said.

Performing guarding tasks overseas demands marines with higher capabilities, the expert noted, as vigilance and combat-readiness are closer to real combats.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Chinese Joint Rapid Reaction Force (JRRF) in the making?

Soon, the CMC will have two corps of light infantry (The Marine with six infantry and a SpOP brigades and the Airborne of the same), two Army Air Assault Brigades (the 121st and the 161th) and  a super heavy Mech Infantry Division (the 112th) under its direct strategic command.  It does not take much of an imagination to picture a Joint Rapid Reaction Force in the making.  The JRRF (kuaisu fanyin budui) concept was first proposed by the British Army in the 1990s consists of combat and support elements from land, sea and air to a trouble spot rapidly and at a short notice.  More importantly than just showing the flag, a JRRF is capable of fighting a high intensity small/medium scale engagement.

The CMC might not able to project the 15,000 personnel of its British Army counter part to a great distance.   However, it has demonstrated previously on several occasions, both in drills and in natural disaster responses, that it can deploy several First Echelon battalion size battle-groups within a 48-hour window (here).

"2 days after May 12th 2008 Earthquake hit,  of 81,000 PLA troops arrived, there were 4,000 airborne, 2,600 Marine, Naval, and Air Force personnel, and troop units directly affiliated with the CMC’s four general headquarters/departments."
Of course, the size of the Chinese JRRF First Echelon will decrease in accordance with the deployment distance -- It is one thing to deploy 81,000 troops to Sichuan via internal rail and highway, it is a completely different picture if the destination is North Africa, for example.  CMC's strategic transportation assets would be the bottleneck in such an example.  Its deployment capability can be easily calculated by assessing the number of ships and transport planes currently available.

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