Friday, September 28, 2012

A closer look at the J-15 Multirole Naval Fighter Project (SAC)

Fueling suspicion that the J-15 programme may be much further advanced than we think.

There were already four or five in Navy grey by May 2011, one of which I read as c/n 0003.

In April 2011, a newcon J-15 in yellow similarly seems to be c/n 0008.

That was 17 months ago. And we know that they normally build about 24 a year…

 -- franco-russe

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Good bye Type 051 Luda class DDG 131 "Nanjing"

it seems that the PLAN just had another ceremony -- this time for the decommissioning of DDG 131 "Nanjing" after 35 years of service. (here).  Just don't write-off the Nanjing just yet; it will be recommissioned as a civilian CMS ship after a refit.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Meet Sr Col Zhang Zheng, Captain for China's first Aircraft carrier platform

Sr Col Zhan Zheng on the left, Political Officer Mei Wen on the righ.

Sr Col Zhang Zheng's CV in Chinese 

张峥,男,1969年9月出生,浙江长兴人,中共党员。1980年8月起在定海一中读初、高中,在校期间,品学兼优,1986年高中毕业后考入上海交通大 学自动控制系。1990年8月,分配到海军东海舰队司令部,任助理工程师。1992年8月至1995年8月,在海军大连舰艇学院就读,获硕士学位。 1995年8月至2001年7月,分配到海军91991部队,任部门长、参谋、副舰长、舰长。2001年7月至2003年8月先后到英国国防语言学院和英 国三军联合指挥与参谋学院深造。2003年8月起任海军某部队副参谋长(正团级),中校军衔。2012年9月任中国第一艘航母“辽宁”号舰长

and quick-duty google translated English.

Zhang Zheng, male, born in September 1969, Changxing, Zhejiang Province, CPC member. Early August 1980, in Dinghai a read, high school, during school, academic achievers, after graduating from high school in 1986, was admitted to the Department of Automatic Control Shanghai Jiaotong University. In August 1990, assigned to the East China Sea Fleet Command, Assistant Engineer. August 1992 to August 1995, studying at the Dalian Naval Academy, a Master's degree. August 1995 to July 2001, assigned to the Navy 91,991 troops, any department, General Staff, Vice Captain, Captain. July 2001 to August 2003 went to the the British Defense Language Institute and the British armed forces Joint Command and General Staff Academy. August 2003, an army deputy chief of staff of the Admiralty (positive group level), Lieutenant Colonel rank. Captain in September 2012, he was appointed the first aircraft carrier "Liaoning"

Commissioning ceremony of the Chinese aircraft carrier platform “Liaoning”

Dr Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins have done a terrific job in keeping us up-to-speed on the development of the Liaoning with this latest write-up.   So enjoy.

Introducing the ‘Liaoning’: China’s New Aircraft Carrier and What it Means

By Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins
China’s first aircraft carrier, now referred to as the “Liaoning ” by China’s Ministry of National Defense, has been officially “delivered and commissioned” to China’s navy, according official Chinese media. The handover ceremony, with top Chinese leaders presiding, took place on the morning of September 25 at a naval base in Dalian, a port city in northeast China’s Liaoning province.
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
This photo taken on September 24, 2012 shows China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, docked in Dalian, in northeast China’s Liaoning province.
Just as Liaoning the province was created when existing northeastern provinces and municipalities were merged and integrated into a more powerful whole in 1954-55, so too “Liaoning” the carrier integrates a mix of building blocks into a warship that has the potential to bolster China’s regional influence—and also to force China’s leaders to confront perhaps the most complicated naval diplomacy questions in the PRC’s history.
The Liaoning’s commissioning matters, both symbolically and in terms of China’s naval power and regional influence. The largest ship to be delivered to the Chinese navy to date, the carrier when operational could have a significant influence on regional maritime disputes, in particular China’s smoldering conflicts in the South China Sea.
Names Matter…
Chatter about the commissioning of China’s first carrier began in early September, when photos surfaced online showing the carrier with the hull number “16,” followed by reports in local media that the vessel would be named the Liaoning, after the province that contains Dalian Naval Shipyard, where it has been refitted.
The carrier was built using the hull of an old Ukrainian carrier called the Varyag. Rumors had long circulated among Western analysts that the carrier would eventually be renamed the Shi Lang, after a celebrated Qing dynasty admiral.
In July 1683, Shi Lang used 300 warships and 20,000 troops to defeat the Zheng family, which ruled Taiwan, in a conflict known as the Battle of Penghu. The victory enabled Taiwan’s formal incorporation into the Qing polity, as a prefecture of Fujian Province. This was an historical first: Neither the Ming nor any previous dynasty had ever attempted to incorporate Taiwan directly in to official mainland administration.
Because of Shi’s aggressive efforts to bring Taiwan under mainland administration and his allegedly corrupt and overbearing post-war actions as an official vis-à-vis the island, naming China’s first aircraft carrier after him would send the wrong message for cross-Strait relations, whose stability Beijing seeks to encourage in order to facilitate reunification.
PLA Navy (PLAN) ship naming conventions suggest that ships are typically named after Chinese localities. The rare exceptions in which PLAN ships are named after individuals include training vessels (Deng Shichang and Zheng He) and research ships (Li Siguang ), but not larger combat-operations-focused vessels. Since China’s first aircraft carrier will be its largest and most prominent warship, it would be logical to name it after one of the largest Chinese localities, particularly the one in which it was refitted—hence, “Liaoning.”
But Actions Speak Louder than Words…
Whatever the official nomenclature and symbolism, however, the Liaoning is attracting the world’s attention as a prominent, if modest and incremental in capabilities, indicator of how China will use its growing power. As Major General Qian Lihua declared in November 2008, “The question is not whether you have an aircraft carrier, but what you do with your aircraft carrier.”
Encouragingly, China’s MND lists developing “Far Seas cooperation” and capabilities to address non-traditional security threats as missions for the Liaoning. At the same time, however, it mentions safeguarding national sovereignty as another mission—presumably to address territorial and maritime disputes closer to home.
Despite a statement by Chinese National Defense University Professor and PLA officer Li Daguang that the timing of the Liaoning’s commissioning was designed to demonstrate resolve regarding the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute, for the foreseeable future the vessel cannot pose a direct threat to U.S. or Japanese forces. Yet, even in this modest form, it already worries its smaller South China Sea neighbors. Vietnam, in particular, has reason for concern: It lost skirmishes with Chinese naval forces over disputed islands in 1974 and 1988, even though those forces lacked significant air support. With a vulnerable land border and no U.S. alliance, Hanoi could even conceivably be at risk of suffering defeat in a third clash as it vigorously pursues island and maritime claims vis-à-vis China—this time against a Chinese navy with undeniable airpower from land, and eventually from sea.
China won the Johnson South Reef Skirmish of 14 March 1988, but quickly retreated for fear of Vietnamese air strikes and Soviet retaliation. Rear Admiral Chen Weiwen (PLAN, ret.), commanded the PLAN’s three-frigate force in the conflict with initiative that was temporarily controversial but now widely acclaimed.
In a 2011 interview with Modern Ships, Admiral Chen, who served as a commander in a 1988 conflict with Vietnamese forces in the Spratly Islands, emphasized the difference that an aircraft carrier could make. China had won the battle, but quickly withdrew:
During the Spratly Sea Battle, the thing we feared most was not Vietnam’s surface vessels, but rather their aircraft. At that time, Vietnam had Su-22 fighter aircraft, which had a definite ability to attack ships. The Spratlys are very far from Sanya, and at that time we also lacked airfields in the Paracels. Flying from the nearest airfield, Lingshui [on Hainan Island], our aircraft only had loiter time of 4-5 minutes; in such a short time, they could not solve problems before they had to return, or they would run out of fuel. So we felt deeply that China must have an aircraft carrier: If during the Johnson South Reef Skirmish, we had our own [air] cover from a nearby aircraft carrier, we would simply not have had to fear Vietnam’s air force. Now that the Spratlys have airfields, it is much more convenient. If China’s aircraft carrier enters service relatively soon, and training is well-established, this will solve a major problem. We will seize air superiority; Vietnamese aircraft will not dare to take off.
The idea of using deck aviation to address China’s sovereignty claims is hardly Admiral Chen’s alone. According to “Science of Campaigns,” an authoritative volume written by scholars at China’s National Defense University, carriers can play a crucial role by providing air cover beyond the range of land-based air to support long-range amphibious landing operations against small islands: “Combat in the deep-sea island and reef region is relatively more independent, without support from the land-based force and air force. Under this situation, an aircraft carrier is even more important in winning victory in the campaign.” In a recent interview, Sr. Capt. Li Jie, an expert at the PLAN’s strategic think tank, was quoted as stating that “China’s first aircraft carrier…will play an important role in China’s settlement of islands disputes and defense of its maritime rights and interests.”
Looming Large and Making Waves?
So how might Liaoning ultimately influence Chinese naval operations and future naval procurement? The answers to this question will substantially shape other countries’ views concerning the strategic course China takes.
China’s maritime neighbors in Southeast Asia, as well as Japan, India, South Korea, Russia, Australia and the U.S. will pay especially close attention. With Liaoning officially in the fleet, the next questions that China’s military and civilian leaders must grapple with are, first, how to use the ship; second, how many more carriers to build; and third, how to protect it from the increasingly capable anti-ship weapons being acquired by neighbors such as Vietnam, which is due to take delivery of its first Russian Kilo-class diesel attack submarine by the end of 2012. The Liaoning’s existence will likely impel China to develop more advanced surface combatants and anti-submarine forces to protect the symbolically valuable, but operationally vulnerable, asset.
At present, the Liaoning remains first and foremost an emblem of future Chinese sea power. All of its 10 sea trials to date have occurred well within Chinese waters. Chinese naval aircraft have not achieved the basic milestone of landing on its deck with the help of arrestor wires, or “traps,” a process that their American counterparts have been perfecting for decades.
Yet, while the Liaoning’s capabilities will remain modest for the foreseeable future, it will be watched carefully as an important symbol of Beijing’s intentions. As Rear Admiral Yang Yi wrote in a commentary published immediately after the commissioning was made public: “In order to counterbalance the theory that its new aircraft carrier is a threat, China must not only continue to make clear its strategies and policies, it must also take practical actions to convince the world that with the development of China’s military strength, especially the strengthening of its overseas projection capability, it will enhance its role as a defender of regional stability and world peace.”
[CORRECTION: Dalian is a port city located in Liaoning province. An earlier version of this column mistakenly described it as the capital of Liaoning. The capital of Liaoning is Shenyang. Thanks to a reader for pointing out the error.]
Andrew Erickson is a professor at the U.S. Naval War College and a research associate at Harvard’s Fairbank Center. Co-founder of China SignPost (察中国), he blogs at

Gabe Collins is co-founder of China SignPost, founder of and is a J.D. candidate at the University of Michigan Law School.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

YouTube of the day: The first Zubr LCAC for China is near completion.


Thanks Imp for alerting the news.

According to franco-russe

The report mentions that the air cushion ship, he hull of which is probably damaged beyond repair, was the first of four ordered by China. There is now fear that China may cancel the contract (they would be following the Greek precedent). It adds that most of the employees of More are engaged in St. Petersburg (obviously Almaz shipyard) and in China, where they are building a shipyard analogous to the one in Feodosiya (really?).

 Please join our on-going conversation regarding the Zubr project (here)  

Previous blog entry

Friday, July 02, 2010

The Zubr deal has been finalized.

The last update on the Zubr deal transpired in April 2010 (here). after a prolonged negotiation, the deal seems to have finalized.

Blueprints are to be handed over to the Chinese side under the project, according to some sources
Expect a Chinese export variant coming to a trade-show soon.

(Thanks dylan for the news)

KYIV. July 1 (Interfax-AVN) - The implementation of a contract to build high-speed hovercrafts of the Zubr-type for China at the Morye shipyard in Feodosia will start in September, Prime Minister of Crimea Vasyl Dzharty said.

"The construction of the first two hovercrafts will begin in September," Dzharty said at the shipyard.

Crimea and Ukraine continue looking for new orders for Feodosia shipyards, he said.

"I think orders will come from Russia and from Ukraine," he added.

Earlier reports said that a $350 million contract for the construction of four high-speed amphibious hovercrafts of the Zubr-type for China was concluded by Ukrainian arms trader Ukrspetsexport in 2009.

Two were to be built in Ukraine and two in China with Ukrainian experts' participation. Blueprints are to be handed over to the Chinese side under the project, according to some sources.

Ukraine, Russia and Greece signed a trilateral contract in January 2000 for the delivery of four similar hovercrafts to Greece - two by Ukraine and two by Russia, worth a total of about $200 million. The contract with Ukraine was worth about $97 million and with Russia some $101 million.

The high-speed amphibious hovercraft of the Zubr-type is capable of carrying 150 tons of cargo, including up to three medium tanks, or 500 Marines. The hovercraft can develop a speed of over 60 knots (about 120 kilometers per hour) on land, water and ice. It can tackle obstacles of up to 1.5 meters high. Zubr has five 5 hp gas turbines.

Greek Navy's Zubr L81

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Type DDG 052D's arrangements for Vertical Launching guided missile system

Ever since the China navy unofficially unveiled its latest Type 052D LUYANG III-Class DDG 20 days, there has been a heated debate on the issue of its VLS arrangements. Hopefully this photo would put the debate to rest -- It is 64, 16 more than its predecessor of the Type052C.



Thursday, August 30, 2012

Type 052D LUYANG III-Class DDG, what we do know so far

There are two under construction -- they are sporting a new 130mm main gun and a set of much larger radar arrays

According to people who have seen the ship at HSH here are the observations.

1. Main mast is slightly different on the top, similar to 054A.
2. The space between the aft mast and aft VLS is still there, indicating no extended VLS area and probably still gonna have the two quad pack YJ62.
3. Nothing is installed on top of the hangar, indicating it'll be HQ10 not the deck penetrating 730.
4. Aft mast is the same so it's still the good ole 517 radar.

Here is a interesting diagram showing the main gun is moved forward by a little bit compare to the 052C, also shows how massive the new arrays are.

-- hmmwv