Saturday, June 22, 2019

Hi res photos of the day: infantry squad PF98A 120mm anti-tank rocket

Since 1999, the PLA has started deploying PF98 to both Company and Battalion levels for direct and sometimes indirect infantry fire support.  However, due to its weight the poor PLA infantry squad continues to solider on with their Type69-1/RPG7 mod (2.1 to 4.5kg depending on which warhead) and PF-89, Chinese equivalent of the one-shot-wonder AT4.  Both Type69-1 and PF-89 lack the necessary armor penetration to be considered an effective anti-armor solution in today's battlefield.

Enters PF98A, a lighter, less expensive variant of the PF98, purposely built for infantry squad operations.  Main changes are:  Tube service life reduced from 500 rounds to just 200 due to thinner material for weight reduction.   A single "stick" instead of a bipod/tripod - again - for weight reduction.   A fire team of 2 troopers carries only a total of four rockets (2x2) with them, weighting in about 15.33 kg for the entire kit, geared for a greater foot-mobility.  The tube by itself weights 22lbs or 10kg without warheads.

A 2-man fireteam and its 2-round backpack

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/10kg 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

Short vid of the day: 15th Airborne, HAHO High Altitude High Opening

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

PR photos of the day: All-female tank platoon of the 75th Group Army

Good photos of Norinco's Armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) round and its carrying case.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

PLA unit of the day: 14th Combined-Arms Brigade, 73rd Group Army, Eastern Theater Command

Photos of its 3rd Combined-Arms Battalion doing little summer swim.

Noted its new unit serial number of 3413 (4th company, 3rd battalion)  and 3311 (3rd company, 3rd battalion)

An amphibious armored assault vehicle (AAAV) attached to an amphibious combined brigade with the PLA 73rd Group Army fires its machine gun at mock sea targets during the live-fire maritime amphibious assault training in waters of the East China Sea on June 13, 2019. ( by Zhang Teng)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

PLA orbat update, ex31st Group Army / 73rd Group Army

Again, credit goes to Andrew KC, both photos and updates.

31st Group Army73rd Group Army3rd Combined-Arms Brigade

14th Combined-Arms Brigade

86th Combined-Arms Brigade

91st Combined-Arms Brigade

92nd Combined-Arms Brigade

163th Combined-Arms Brigade

73rd Air-Defense Brigade

73rd Artillery Brigade

The 86th Motorized Division of the former 31st GA has been re-organized into two brigades.  One of the brigades here is the 86th Combined-Arms Brigade (合成第86旅) of the 73rd GA, and most of its assets came from the armored regiment of the former 86th Division.   So far the Armored Infantry Battalion's ZBD04's from the former 91st Motorized Division have been consolidated into this new brigade.

 The new 86th Combined-Arms Brigade on the move

 The former 3rd Motorized Infantry Brigade of the former 1st GA is now subordinate to the newly formed 73rd GA.  It is now called the 3rd Combined Arms Brigade (合成第3旅).

The 91st Motorized Infantry Division of the former 31st GA is now the 91st Combined-Arms Brigade (合成第91旅) of the 73rd GA.  The unit is taking on amphibious role with hand-me-down Type 63A amphibious light tanks.  91st's four Combined-Arms Battalions (合成1,2,3,4营) are equipped with  2 companies of Type 63A each.

 91st Combined-Arms Brigade

 91st Combined-Arms Brigade
14th Combined-Arms Brigade 合成第14旅 was the 14th Amphibious Armored Brigade, 31GA, Nanjing MR at Zhangzhou

 14th Amphibious Armored Brigade

The AD Brigade of the former 31st GA is now the 73rd Air-Defense Brigade (防空第73旅) of the 73rd GA

 HQ-16 SAM
 The Artillery Brigade of the former 31st GA is now the 73rd Artillery Brigade (炮兵第73旅) of the 73rd GA.

73rd Artillery Brigade's two AFT-09 long-range ATGM battalions.