Friday, March 30, 2012

CCTV Report of the day: Women J-7 pilots.

PLA Air Force trains 328 female pilots

BEIJING - A total of 328 female pilots have been trained by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force over the past six decades, according to figures disclosed at a ceremony held Thursday to mark the 60th anniversary of the debut flight of Chinese women pilots.

The PLA Air Force has recruited a total of nine groups of female pilot trainees over the past 60 years, and eight of these groups have already graduated, figures show.

Women pilots joined the flight mission of the PLA Air Force for the first time on March 8, 1952, when a group of them flew planes over the Tian'anmen Square in Beijing as a flight show.

Since then, they have successfully completed numerous key missions in chartered flight, disaster relief, research-oriented trial flight, and afforestation by airplane sowing, and they have flown in the National Day parade air show.

Xu Qiliang, a member of the Central Military Commission and commander of the PLA Air Force, attended the ceremony.

Official news release.

Note the PLA's PR department - hire a native English speaker.

China making preparations for aircraft carrier

(Source: Xinhua) 2012-03-30

BEIJING, March 29 (Xinhua) -- China is conducting scientific testing and training exercises for its aircraft carrier, Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said Thursday.

It takes time for weapons and equipment to be developed from scientific research to military use, Yang said at a monthly press briefing.

"Right now, China is working on scientific testing and training exercises for the aircraft carrier platform and other new weapons according to the schedule. The follow-up work will be carried out according to the progress of the activities," he said.

Editor:Ouyang Dongmei

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hawking plastic or something more substantial with China Shipbuilding Corporation’s Type081 LHD?

During the recent Defense 2012 and Security expo in Bangkok (here), China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSC) displayed what could be their next helicopter carrier. While rumors of a Chinese Type 81 LHD has been flowing around for years and the CSC is capable of building large Ro-Ro, this is the first time they display their LPD concept in public. With a displacement of 20,000 tons, this LHD could accommodate more a thousand marines in addition to providing vertical assets to its older Type 071 sisters in an amphibious operation.

The Type081 resembles a larger CSC RoRo Sprint. 

The CG drawing is from the current issue of Jianchuan Zhishi (Naval and Merchant Ships) of a non-export Type081

Previous blog entry on the CSC RoRo "Spirit"

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company) “Spirit”

The first “China design and build” Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) vehicle carrier launched on June 24, 2009 at Zhoushan shipyard marking a major advance in China’s building capability.

The COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company) “Spirit” 中远盛世 has a fully loaded displacement of 14,500 tons, capable of carrying 5000 vehicles with a design speed of 20 knots. Its dimensions are: 182.8 meters in length, 32.2 meters in width and 34 meters high. It has a total of 9 stationary and 3 adjustable decks to accommodate vehicles of different heights. Just like other modern RoRo’s, the COSCO Spirit is fully automated and allows for single-crew-piloting.

COSCO cited the increase in automobile imports as the sole reason to build such a fleet and indeed in January, China surpassed the US as the world’s largest car market. (Here) But the RoRo carrier can press into military service and is generally considered a national security asset according to the August 2006 report “The Role of United States’ Commercial Shipping Industry in Military Sealift” presented by the US DOD due to its capability to load and offload large volumes of vehicles in repetition. US civilian RoRo fleets under the US Transportation Command were credited as a necessary strategic asset during the recent gulf war as cited by the same report.

The RoRo carrier also played an important support role for the Royal Navy during the 1982 Falklands War by ferrying 4000 troops to the remote island battlefield. Today one of the Royal Navy’s auxiliary training ships, the HMS Argus, was also converted to a RoRo carrier.

Additional RoRo carriers will augment the PLA’s transport capabilities especially in situations where large numbers of Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFV) are needed. At the same time, one must be careful not to view it as an amphibious asset for operations directed at “a run-a-way island,” err, I mean “an investment partner” as RoRo carriers require a secure and undamaged deep seaport in order to offload.

Photos of COSCO "Spirit" with primer gray and a top deck that can accommodate helicopter operations.

It looks similar to the French Navy's amphibious assault ship Mistral (L9013)

Previous RoRo with imported designs are painted red such as the smaller Changjilong which launched in Sept 08, 2008

Other RoRo currently in civilian service

CCTV Reported a military exercise involving Yue Hai Tie 2, a railroad car RoRo, pressed into military server in Hainan Island.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chinese TRANSCOM at work

As with the USTRANSCOM, the PLA also has a special command (National Defense Mobilization Commission) 国家国防动员委员会 to coordinate civilian assets in air, land and sea transportation for the CMC in both war and peace. On March 26th, they Demonstrated their readiness with a strategic mobilization involving thousands troops of the 15th Airborne to the Tibetan Plateau. While the PLA has conducted massive airlifts before, most noticeably in March 1989 to Lhasa and in June 1989 to Beijing. This is the first time civilian cargo and passenger air trans were mobilized to the Tibetan Plateau.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Photo of the day: China Navy's trimaran "North Rescue 143"

This little guy was first spotted on September 15 near Guangxi, it is now moved  to Guangzhou for final fit-out before joining the North Sea Fleet.

Still not sure why they feel the need to arm a S&R boat.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Light at end of the tunnel?

It has been said that in order for the China navy to field a modern navy, it must possess more Replenishment Oilers (AOR). With only five AOR in its orbat, it can barely keep up with the Gulf of Aden commitment and the regular Western Pacific cruises. The situation might be improving in near future as recently posted photos suggesting that two more AORs are under-construction and one of those launched today in Shanghai.

I am sure that little flattop can be  quite thirty too. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012