Wednesday, April 30, 2014

China to bring 4 ships to RIMPAC naval exercise

China to bring 4 ships to RIMPAC naval exercise
Apr. 29, 2014 - 07:44PM   | 

By Audrey McAvoy
The Associated Press

HONOLULU — China plans to bring four ships to Hawaii this summer as its vessels participate in the world’s largest naval exercises for the first time.

China is expected to bring the Peace Ark, a navy hospital ship, as well as an oiler, a frigate and a destroyer, said Lt. Lenaya Rotklein, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Third Fleet, which is organizing the Rim of the Pacific exercises.

The drills are scheduled to begin on June 26 and last through Aug. 1.

The U.S. hosts the exercises, which are also known as RIMPAC, every other year. They began in 1971 and have since grown to become the world’s largest maritime exercises.

Twenty-three countries are expected to participate this year, including Canada, India, Japan and South Korea.

The Peace Ark will participate in medical exchanges with other participants, Rotklein said. The oiler, the frigate and the destroyer are expected to join a maritime interdiction operations task force.

The scenario for the exercise involves four fictitious countries — one of which is an aggressor — in an island region, she said.

Most of the drills will take place in and around the Hawaiian Islands. As in 2012, a small part of it will take place off Southern California, Rotklein said.

China sent military observers to watch the drills in 1998, but it has never sent ships before.

Chinese and U.S. naval vessels have only rarely exercised together in the past. Last year, China sent a guided missile cruiser, a frigate and a supply ship to Hawaii for a search-and-rescue exercise with the U.S.

The U.S. values such opportunities in part so the Navy and China’s fast-growing naval forces will learn to understand each other better and avert misunderstandings.

Last December, a U.S. Navy cruiser, the USS Cowpens, nearly collided with a ship accompanying China’s sole aircraft carrier in international waters of the South China Sea. The U.S. Navy said the Cowpens maneuvered to avoid crashing into the Chinese ship, in the two nations’ most serious sea confrontation in years.

Earlier this month, the U.S., China and two dozen Asia-Pacific nations adopted an agreement to improve communication at sea to reduce the possibility of incidents like that one and misunderstandings that could lead to conflict in the heavily trafficked sea lanes surrounding China, Japan and Southeast Asia.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Photos of the day: HQ-6D/LY60D airport point-defense SAM

On the surface, the following photos might seem insignificant, just another bunch of PLAAF PR shots, but look closer there is a HQ-6D point-defense SAM there.  Over the years, the PLAAF has slowly replacing their old 57mm and 37mm AAAs with short-range SAMs.  It is a development that seems to have missed by many.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

China defense forum is back online folks.

How about some nice classic Chinese steam locomotives prints celebrate?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A shameless plug on a special National Geographic documentary "MegaStructures - China's Ultimate Port, Yangshan Port"

The Port of Shanghai (Chinese: 上海港; pinyin: Shànghǎi gǎng), located in the vicinity of Shanghai, comprises a deep-sea port and a river port.

In 2010, Shanghai port overtook the Port of Singapore to become the world's busiest container port. Shanghai's port handled 29.05 million TEUs, whereas Singapore port was a half million TEU's behind.[1]

In 2012, Shanghai port set a historic record by handling over 32 million TEU

Monday, April 07, 2014

New Chinese Cruiser: Updated Pics from Wuhan

Yesterday we announced our identification of a new mockup at Wuhan as the first hard evidence of the design of China's new large surface combat ship.  In what has become the normal sequence for China watching as of late, the first distant hazy photos were rapidly followed by a string of ever closer and clearer images.

New cruiser mockup at right, existing CV mockup at left.

Clear side profile, note the bow and hangar deck are not constructed.

Extrapolated profile view (courtesy CDF member "Hongjian")

This contents of this unusual extended superstructure are hotly debated.

Closeup boasting an exceptionally large bridge deck.

CDF members surmise this aft superstructure to be a hangar and possible pedestal for an L-Band radar. 

The mockup of the CV LIAONING was built at Wuhan in late 2009, and the actual ship entered the fleet in 2012. Using this same timeline we might expect the keel of the new cruiser to be laid in 2015 with a 2017 commission date.

Revised dimensions (courtesy CDF member "Totoro").

We will continue to watch the developments at Wuhan.  Join us in the CDF Forum to discuss this and other Chinese military topics.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Photo of the day: The new Yuan variant (039C??) ready to journey down river form Wuhan to Shanghai before sea trial

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Photos of the day: high resolution pictures of that new Yuan class

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Are we looking at a new variant of the Yuan class (Type 041) diesel-electric submarine?

A series of photos surfaced recently of a new diesel-electric submarine under construction at the Wuhan shipyard and quickly caused a stir amongst Chinese military forums.  After some heated discussions, some now convinced that it is a new Yuan class variant due to the different sail structure already visible.   

Here is a standard Yuan class for comparison

New Chinese Cruiser: First Glimpse Seen in Wuhan

Pictures have emerged on Chinese internet sites showing what appears to be a full scale mockup of a new large surface combatant at the Wuhan Technical College of Communication, a PLAN facility for crew training and electromagnetic interference testing.
New CG mockup circled in foreground, CV mockup in left background.

This new mockup has been recently constructed alongside the full-size mockup of the CV LIAONING (Ex-KUZNETSOV).  When the LIAONING mockup was identified at Wuhan in 2009 it represented a first look at the rebuilt superstructure and new electronics fit of the former Soviet carrier.  It is expected that the new large surface combatant mockup will also mount the actual electronic and sensor array of PLAN's large warship.
Satellite imagery of the new surface combatant mockup foundation DOI 8/6/13

Based on the mockup, China Defense Forum member "Totoro" has extrapolated the projected dimensions of the new large surface combatant as follows"
The above image is, to the best of my ability, a try at getting the scale right, using all the available images. Starting with the GE measurement of 23 m as width, calculating other measurements from other images taken from up close.

Of course, there's bound to be some +/- 5% errors.
All the measurements of the full lines are real calculations.
The stern and the bow, in dotted lines, are just assumptions on my part. How long the stern be and how long the bow would be. Thus those two measurements are my guesswork.
The red line is true measurement/calculation of height of the Wuhan model, from the ground level to the top of the main deck. The image sort of assumes that's the height from waterline to main deck, but of course, 14,7 m may be a tad too much, so the ground level at Wuhan may not actually represent waterline of real ship.

The stern dotted lines also portray two possibilites, as it doesn't seem to me the current height of hangar structure is tall enough for the current wuhan model deck height. so either the hangar structure is not finished and will be taller, or the actual level of helo pad will be lower than rest of the main deck level.

It would appear that there's more than enough space for 64 fore and 64 aft vls cells. plus bunch of other systems.
The wuhan model has these five large openings on the sides of the main superstructure. their size and position suggest to me we might be looking at turbine intake holes.

Further, a new sensor previously identified at the Wuhan site is believed to likely be associated with the new large surface combatant.
i also did measurements of the sensor mast, from the available images on GE and near Wuhan. The whole mast, from base to tip seems to be 16.7 m tall. From base to middle of the sensor "ball" structure it's 13 meters tall. Diameter of the sensor ball seems around 5,4 meters. Again, +/-5% of error is applicable.

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