Sunday, May 31, 2015

New wine, old bottle

One way the PLAAF maintains its current bomber fleet's ORBAT in constant is by recycling its pennants with newer and more capable variants.   Take the H-6 for example, older D modes are being replaced by the newer K modes on a near to one-to-one basis. 

Old D model 20201
 New H model 20210

Old D model of 20119
new H model 20119

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Photo of the day: H-6M of the 108th Regiment, 36th Bomber Division, PLAAF

It seems that PLAAF's H-6K is making the round in the news lately with its capability to carry
CJ-10 cruise missiles (range between 1,500 to 2,000 KM).  What is lesser-known is that the older K-6M bomber can also deliver the CJ-10s at two per sortie.   The newer H-6K has a payload of 7 CJ-10s (3 at each wing plus one inside of the fuselage)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

PLAAF "in the news" of the day: H-6K, god-of-war (small g)

 H-6K bombers delivered to PLA Air Force

By Chen Boyuan, June 22, 2013

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force recently received 15 H-6K bombers with nuclear capabilities, according to British military digest Jane’s Defence Weekly.

The H-6K, an updated version of the H-6 bomber, is a medium-sized craft designed for long-range attacks, stand-off attacks and large-area air patrol. Unlike its predecessor, the H-6K can carry cruise missiles under its wings. The H6-K also maneuvers more deftly than the H-6 and requires a smaller crew to operate. Jane’s Defence was the first media outlet to confirm that the H6-K had formally entered active service.

The most visible departure from the H-6 is the H6-K’s nose, where a nose randome has replaced a navigation cabin. Military expert Fu Qianshao said that the H6-K’s nose should greatly improve avionics, search and detection, navigation, fire control and weapon precision.

Fu said that the H-6K has a larger engine inlet than does the H-6, which may mean that the newer bomber’s engines have greater thrust. If so, the H-6K would also have a greater maximum takeoff weight and payload than the H-6. A more favorable weight-to-thrust ratio would improve fuel efficiency and lengthen cruising range, Fu said.

H-6K reportedly has a combat radius of 3,500 KM. The nuclear-capable Changjian (long sword)-10 cruise missiles it carries have a range of 1,500-2,000 KM, effectively extending the bomber’s combat range to 4,000-5,000 KM - long enough to reach Okinawa, Guam and even Hawaii from China’s mainland.

Analysts stipulated that PLA Air Force missiles be able to reach Taiwan, southwestern Japan and Guam, a range of control that requires a 3,000-KM combat radius and powerful attack capability. Only the combined combat radii of the H6-K and Changjian-10 currently satisfy the length requirement.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Final installment of D-30KP-2 delivered to China

The following is a Google translated news from (here), the same in Chinese (here).   Thus far there are two known use of D-30KP-2 by the "Chinese customer" they are the H-6K "God of War" bomber program and the KJ-2000 Mainring AWAC fleet.  Since the existing KL-2000 fleet does not require 55 new engines, it is likely that more H-6K will be manufactured in due course.

NPO "Saturn", 25 March 2011
March 23 fifth installment of D-30KP-2 production of JSC "NPO Saturn" put the Chinese customer. This is the final party of 11 engines, the contract between Rosoboronexport and the China People's Republic, which entered into force in April 2009, to supply 55 engines for the period until 2012.
Delivery of the final installment of D-30KP-2 is scheduled before the end of March this year. Contract also provides technical support from the manufacturer within the warranty period.

The previous four parties of D-30KP-2 were delivered by the Russian side, respectively, in November 2009, March, May and October 2010.During the acceptance of work members of the Chinese delegation and a representative of the PRC Embassy in Moscow, Zheng Kai noted with satisfaction the early and qualitative performance of OAO "Saturn" contractual obligations.

According to the commercial director of NPO Saturn, Sergei Popov, "for" Saturn ", which has longstanding friendly relations with Chinese customers, a great honor to successfully complete the work under this contract. We look forward to an early extension of the Russian-Chinese cooperation. In particular, the continued supply of engines to China, the D-30KP-2.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Philippines Navy commissions its largest "Made in China" vessel

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy commissioned its first oil tanker BRP Lake Caliraya (AF-81) over the weekend to facilitate vessels' refueling.

The oil tanker was formerly one of the largest vessels in the fleet of the oil transport corporation. Built in Zhejiang Zhongxing Shipyard in Taizhou, China in November 2007, the AF-81 was commissioned by the PNOC in January 2008. - Camille Diola

Saturday, July 09, 2011

China offers to train the Armed Forces of Philippines

After aiding the Armed Forces of Philippines in their fight against the communist rebels, the PLA continues to maintain its military training invitations to the AFP despite the current dispute.  Exchanges as such demonstrate the relationship between China with its neighbors in Asia is complex and not driven by a single issue. 

China invites AFP for schooling
July 7, 2011, 6:51pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been invited by China to send some local officials for schooling in its military school, a move that could bolster relationship between the two countries amid tensions brought by the alleged intrusions at the disputed Spratlys Island.

But Commodore Jose Miguel Rodriguez, AFP spokesman, was quick to clarify that China has been sending invitations in the past only that this year’s invite is being highlighted because of the Spratlys tension.

“China has invited us to send our students to take up the GSC and that is something that will build personal relations, the way we are doing it with other countries,” said Rodriguez.

GSC stands for General Staff Course, a requirement for promotion to colonel.

Such invitation, along with the visit of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario could ease the tension between the two claimant-countries according to Rodriguez.

The official would not comment on the talking points on del Rosario’s visit but said that the presence of the latter in China would stabilize the situation amid the issues raised by the Philippines that there have been at least six intrusions committed in Spratlys believed to be by China.

“We are just very hopeful that there will be a lot of positive results in the visit,” said Rodriguez.

But for Rodriguez, what is needed to ease the Spratlys tension is for claimant-countries to be open and transparent on the things they do inside the disputed island group.

“More exchange of information, more openness, a lot more transparencies like if you are going there you should at least inform the other country,” said Rodriguez

Monday, December 06, 2010

Philippines, China to sign military logistics deal

It is an upside-down world out there -- the PLA is helping the Philippines army to fight against its Maoist rebels.

Philippines, China to sign military logistics deal

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines, a long-time US ally and former colony, said it will sign a logistics supply deal with China to source military equipment to combat domestic security threats, including from Maoist rebels.

General Ricardo David, Chief of Staff of the 130,000-member Armed Forces of the Philippines, will fly on Tuesday to Beijing, where he will meet senior defense and army officials and also tour military facilities, the Philippine military said.

David will sign a defense logistics deal with his counterpart in the People's Liberation Army (PLA), with talks expected to cover regional security concerns, including tensions in the Korean peninsula and the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea, where Beijing and Manila have competing claims.

"I would suppose this will start the influx of logistics coming from mainland China," military spokesman Brigadier-General Jose Mabanta told reporters on the planned deal.

The Philippines has one of the weakest militaries in the Asia-Pacific region, in part relying on second-hand aircraft, boats and assault rifles from the United States, its closest security partner and former colonial ruler.

"I don't think there will be any political implications," Mabanta said when asked about the likely U.S. reaction. "The Philippine Armed Forces really lack funds and equipment and is ready and willing to accept equipment and much-needed resources from any donor country. This includes, of course, China."

Expanding soft power

Last year, a US congressional report warned of China's "soft power", of expanding its influence in the region through billions of dollars in development assistance and investments, particularly in the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

In August, US military officials said Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea was causing concern in the region.

China has previously donated engineering equipment, such as graders and bulldozers, which the army used to build roads in rural areas where the Maoist New People's Army (NPA) is active. It has also offered to sell artillery, helicopters and boats.

Since 2000, Washington has donated more than $500 million of military equipment and supplies to Manila. It has also provided training and advice on countering Islamic militants in the south.

The United States has also funded assistance to poorer rural communities to check the spread of NPA influence and control.

The Philippines has a modernization fund of about $150 million to upgrade transport aircraft and combat helicopters to fight Muslim separatists and Maoist guerrillas.
as of 12/07/2010 12:07 AM

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

China coast guard's "10,000-ton" cutter under sea trials

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Photos of the day: China's second 10,000 ton Coast Guard cutter under constuction in Shanghai


From this aerial of Jiangnan Shipyard, the twin 10,000 Ton class cutters are clearly visible, together with 3 Type 052D, 2 Type 052 C DDGs and 2 LCACs.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Photo of the day: China’s new 10,000 ton Coast Guard cutter 2901

China builds world's largest patrol ship: report

By Yang Jingjie Source:Global Times Published: 2014-1-22 0:38:03

China is reportedly building a 10,000-ton class marine surveillance vessel, the largest of its kind in the world, amid the country's buildup of its maritime law enforcement force against the backdrop of territorial disputes at sea.

Analysts said the ship, with a higher continuous voyage capability than current Chinese ships, could better cope with conditions in the South China Sea and safeguard the country's maritime interests.

According to a Tuesday report by the Beijing Times, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) recently said on its official website that it signed contracts in 2013 to build two kinds of marine surveillance ships, one of them 10,000 tons.

However, the information was no longer available on the company's website on Tuesday.

CSIC's spokesman Liu Zhengguo Tuesday declined to confirm the news to the Global Times, saying it would take days to verify the information.

If confirmed, the vessel under construction would surpass Japan Coast Guard's two 6,500-ton vessels to be the world's largest patrol ship.

The China Coast Guard's (CCG) largest patrol ships in service have a tonnage of 4,000.

China Ocean News reported Tuesday that a 5,000-ton class patrol ship will be deployed to the waters around Sansha, China's newest city, set up to consolidate the country's claim over the South China Sea.

Li Daguang, a professor at the National Defense University of the People's Liberation Army, said that building large tonnage vessels has become a trend in shoring up China's maritime strength, as the fleet of the patrol ships used to be made up of outdated vessels as well as retired warships, which were refitted.

Liu Cigui, head of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), last week told a national maritime work conference that 20 new patrol vessels are under construction.

It is not clear to which area the 10,000-ton vessel allegedly under construction would be commissioned.

Wang Xiaopeng, a maritime border expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that as its continuous voyage capability is expected to be over 10,000 nautical miles, the ship will be able to carry out cross-sea patrols.

Yu Zhirong, a retired official from the maritime law enforcement authority in the East China Sea, told the Global Times the ship is more likely to be deployed in the South China Sea, given the absence of relay stations in the vast waters.

"With abundant supplies and fuel, it would be able to carry out enduring surveillance tasks," said Yu.

Wang shared similar sentiments, noting most of the illegal oil exploitation by foreign countries takes place in waters far away from China's coastal areas.

The expert estimated that the large vessel will be equipped with at least two planes and several boats. "Entering November, the disputed waters become choppy, therefore, only ships above 1,000 tons could sail to the high seas. Meanwhile, the boats attached to the large ship could enter the lagoons for patrol," he said.

Wang also noted that the 10,000-ton vessel could serve as both "shield and sword" in safeguarding China's maritime rights.

According to him, the large ship could more effectively drive away armed foreign fishing boats, which operate in waters claimed by China, and carry out close-up surveillance on offshore oil platforms set up by foreign countries.

Tensions have been running high between Beijing and Tokyo over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, while China is also locked in disputes on the South China Sea with some Southeast Asian countries.

At last week's maritime work conference, Liu, the SOA head, named the major goals set for this year, including fostering the "combat capability" of the CCG, which was established last July.

He also vowed to strengthen the Chinese maritime law enforcement force's regular presence at sea and deepen the CCG and military's coordination in their maritime operations.
Posted in: Diplomacy, Military

Photos of the day: This one time, at band camp.

JUBA, May 25 (ChinaMil) -- The Chinese first peacekeeping infantry battalion formally conducted their first patrol operation in Juba city of South Sudan on May 22, 2015. Two female soldiers also participated in the patrol.

  South Sudan suffers instability recently with constant conflicts in its northeastern regions and continuous tensions in the capital Juba. According to the arrangement of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion replaced the Nepalese peacekeeping infantry battalion on May 22 and carried out such tasks as urban patrol, refugee protection and camp defense independently.

  Before accepting the above tasks, the Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion has carried out comprehensive and detailed training and preparations, said Wang Zhen, head of the battalion. They have also launched joint patrol training with other foreign peacekeeping troops to establish sound plans.

  Single patrol covered dozens of kilometers and took three-plus hours, the reporter observed during their tour with the patrol detachment. Three soldiers stood on each armed patrol vehicle with guns, facing different directions. In some key sections, they also organized foot patrols.

  Many residents along the way showed the thumbs-up sign and some even said hello to the peacekeepers in Chinese. A local shop owner said: "Chinese peacekeeping force is reliable!"

Monday, May 25, 2015

PLAN commission of the day: LST 981 Dabieshan

This Yuting III mod is commissioned as the latest member of the 5th Landing Ship Flotilla, East Sea Fleet. It is the second PLAN LST to bear the name "Dabieshan", the first Dabieshan, a Shan class (ex USN LST) currently serving as a museum ship in Shandong. 

It is interesting to note that the PLAN is assigning all three of her 071 LPDs to the 6th Landing Ship Flotilla, South Sea Fleet, while the "Taiwan facing" 5th Landing Ship Flotilla soldiering on with smaller LSTs.  I suppose Taiwan is closer to the Chinese mainland then some of those South China Sea islands.   

Old Shan Class Dabieshan

Monday, March 02, 2015

Time to check in with our friends at Wuhan's Wuchang Shipyard.

First of all,  another Yuting III-class class LST under construction.  Consider the 3 Yukan-class class LSTs already have 30 years of service under their belts,  this new boat could be a Yukan replacement.  Otherwise, one would expect a much bigger hull or a more modern design.

Two Type056s of the Bangladesh Navy, F111 Shadhinota and F112 Prottoy

Of course, no Chinese shipyard picture is complete without a Coast Guard cutter under construction

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Photo of the day: second Army LSM under construction at Dalian

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

A new Amy (not Navy) Landing Ship Medium (LSM) undergo sea trials

A newbuilt ship of an entirely new type for the PLA Ground Forces is currently running sea trials in the Sea of Bohai. It was launched at the Army’s Songliao Shipard at Dalian in August 2013.

Officially described as an Army Ro/Ro Transport, it is really a Landing Ship Medium (LSM), equipped with the with the typical kedging anchor of landing ships, even though the bulbous bow would preclude the ship from beaching.

The ship is equipped with both bow and stern ramps and a short helicopter platform aft.  The armament consists of four twin 14.5 mm guns, two forward and two aft. Twin funnels indicate  twin-screw propulsion; in addition, it has a bow thruster for improved maneuvrability.The lifting capacity is probably a mechanised infantry company.

The ship is a striking departure from the Type 271III YUWEI class Landing Craft Tank (LCT) that has been building for decades for the Army, and of which there currently are some 85 in service with the Army’s landing craft units. The dark grey colour, too, is a departure from the usual blue of Army vessels.

It is not known if the new ship will go into series production nor which unit will operate the new ship. In view of its experimental nature, a good possibility would be the Ship Squadron (Unit 73502) at Dongshandao, attached to the Nanjing MR Amphibious Training Base.

Songlia Shipyard built another unique ship in 2012, the training vessel AL201 belonging to the Training Squadron of the Army/Air Force Navigation School at Zhenjiang. That ship was based on the Sea Police’s Hai Jing 31101 PUDONG (Type 718).

-- franco-russe

Coming soon, a Chinese Mobile Landing Platform (MLP).

This Chinese Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) H1138 is smaller than its USN counterpart; weighting in about 50,000 tons, USNS Montford Point in comparison weighting in about 34,500 tons.  This small size could suggest a limited role to only supporting float-on/float-off amphibious operations and not for long range force deployment and resupply.  USN’s MLP, on the other hand, is designed with those mission profiles in mind:  it’s MLP1 and MLP2 provision 25,000 square feet of vehicle and equipment stowage space and 380,000 gallons of fuel storage in addition to the support of 3 LCAC lanes.

Frankly speaking, until the PLAN processes additional LCACs, it is difficult to see the need for a bigger MLP. 

I think I need a bigger MLP

MLP concept from the USN.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here -- China is working on a V/STOL jet for her navy

Nation starts research on naval jet
(Source: China Daily)   2015-05-13

  Move addresses gap in PLA's equipment and will further strengthen combat capability

  China's aviation industry is working on the development of aircraft with short takeoff and vertical landing capabilities needed for an important role in the Chinese navy's future operations, military experts said.

  "Research and development on components of STOVL aircraft, such as the engine, have started," Wang Ya'nan, deputy editor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told China Daily.

  "The aircraft's principles are not new. They have been known for more than 40 years, so our aircraft designers should be able to develop the plane on their own," Wang said.

  In late March, the Aviation Industry Corp of China, the country's leading aircraft maker, announced on its website that two of its subsidiaries - AVIC Chengdu Engine Group and China Aviation Engine Establishment - have signed a cooperation agreement on the development of the STOVL aircraft's engine. The statement said the STOVL aircraft project aims to strengthen the People's Liberation Army navy's amphibious combat capability and address the absence of such a weapon in the PLA's arsenal.

  Compared with conventional fixed-wing aircraft, a STOVL plane can be readied for action in a shorter period of time and occupies less space in a hangar bay or on the deck of a ship. These features have made it a popular choice for naval powers since late 1960s, when Britain's subsonic Hawker Siddeley Harrier became the first STOVL aircraft to be put in service.

  Almost all STOVL aircraft in active service are based on the Harrier design, and they form the backbone of the naval forces of India and Spain.

  This move is not the first time China has aimed to build a STOVL aircraft. In the late 1960s, the PLA asked the aircraft institutes to develop a fixed-wing plane capable of vertical takeoff and landing. The project was later abandoned due to technical difficulties.

  The PLA also tried to buy the Hawker Siddeley Harrier in the late 1970s, but dropped the attempt because of cost, according to Western military observers.

  This time, AVIC appears to have made the right decision at the right time as the PLA navy now needs a STOVL aircraft because it will "significantly supplement and improve its amphibious capabilities", Wang said.

  "Though the PLA navy now has an aircraft carrier - the CNS Liaoning - it still lacks the experience of developing and manufacturing such a sophisticated naval platform, so there won't be more carriers in the short term," Wang said. "Let's assume that a conflict breaks out between China and another nation in the near future; the PLA navy's limited number of carrier-borne fighter jets, the J-15s, would have to engage in long-distance strikes as well as air defense for the carrier battle group, and they would have to be divided into small groups to perform these tasks simultaneously."

  If China had STOVL aircraft, they could be deployed on the CNS Liaoning and other ships to defend against incoming enemy aircraft, relieving the burden on the J-15s, which could then focus on long-range operations, Wang said.

  "Actually, in the foreseeable future, I don't see a high probability of China's involvement in a war far from its shores. Being dragged into limited amphibious conflicts in or near our territorial waters would be more likely. The STOVL aircraft will be the best choice for air support in such conflicts," Wang said, noting that it would be a perfect match for China's future amphibious assault ships.

  Amphibious tasks

  In November 2013, Yin Zhuo, director of the PLA navy's Expert Consultation Committee, told China Central Television that China is developing an amphibious assault ship whose displacement will be 1.5 times larger than the Japanese Izumo-class helicopter destroyer's 27,000 metric tons.

  Liang Tianren, a Hong Kong military observer, wrote in Hong Kong's Ming Pao newspaper in January that China is building a 50,000-ton amphibious assault ship that can carry 20 helicopters and 12 STOVL aircraft.

  "The government decided to build amphibious assault ships after the outbreak of Libyan civil war in 2011, in which some Chinese-owned assets were seized or damaged. China then had few military hardware to protect its properties," Liang said.

  "The situation made the government realize the importance of amphibious assault ships, which can fulfill various naval operations as well as conduct evacuations or humanitarian missions," he said.

  The first Chinese amphibious assault ship will be built before the end of this year, he said, reporting at least four such vessels will be made.

  Once the first amphibious assault ship is built, the navy will have to choose a suitable aircraft for it, Wang said.

  "The comparatively short deck cannot accommodate the fixed-wing J-15, and attack helicopters like the WZ-10 are slow and have a limited choice of weapons. But STOVL aircraft are fast - the maximum speed of the F-35B is nearly 2,000 km/h, and it has strong firepower," he explained.

  Vasily Kashin, a senior China analyst at the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow, told Sputnik News Agency, "If the PLA navy's amphibious assault ship is equipped with STOVL jets, it can be used as a light aircraft carrier, further adding to its combat capability."

  Senior Captain Zhang Junshe, a researcher at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, told China Daily: "The navy can deploy helicopters and STOVL aircraft on the amphibious assault ship, designating helicopters to conduct anti-submarine tasks and using STOVL planes to perform mid-and long-range air defense as well as air-to-surface strikes."

  Multiple roles

  The PLA air force will also find potential in STOVL aircraft, Wang said.

  "Compared with conventional aircraft, STOVL planes are quicker and more convenient to use in contingencies and conflicts because they have few airport or runway condition requirements. Even a poorly equipped airfield or takeoff/landing point can deploy a lot of them," he said. "They would be a good guard for front-line air bases."

  If the air force's bases were under attack, leading to conventional aircraft being grounded, STOVL fighter jets would still be able to take off to fight, gaining time for repairing the damaged bases and adding resilience to the air force, Wang said.

Photos of the day: French Mistral-class in China.

French Mistral-class protection and command (BPC) ship Dixmude arrives at the Wusong naval port in Shanghai, east China, May 9, 2015. A French naval taskforce consisted of the BPC ship Dixmude and the frigate Aconit arrived in Shanghai on Saturday for a 7-day visit. (Xinhua/Jiang Shan)