Saturday, June 27, 2015

Next up at the Stride 2015 - Zhurihe A "red-vs-blue" confrontational exercise, 1st Heli-Assault Brigade, Nanjing MR

This is 1st Heli-Assault Brigade's first "baptism of fire" at Zhurihe, China's premier operational level "red vs blue" proving ground. It should be interesting to see how fine-tuned the PLA air assault tactics are after 10 years of trial and error in adopting this new combat operation. 

The 1st Heli-Assault Brigade (or 直升机机降突击旅 in Chinese) started as the 1st Heli-Assault battalion battle group in 2005, expanded into a full assault brigade in 2008. According to its commander 厉振彪 Li ZhenBiao, due to shortage of organic vertical assets, flatbed trucks were pressed into service to simulate airdrops. Their first military exercise was feasible only by 2009 when additional  helicopters found their way to the Nanjing MR.  Despite taking part at this year's Zhurihe, the outfit is still fairly new by PLA standards, doubts about their effectiveness will remain for some time to come.

Here are CCTV captures of its first military exercise in 2009

Photo of the day: Night assault, 2nd Battalion, 369th Regiment, 123rd Heavy Amphibious Mechanized Infantry Division, Guangzhou Military Region

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thailand to buy 3 submarines from China

If this deal is realized, it will be the second Chinese submarine export success this year after the earlier Pakistan order.

Published: 8:29 AM, June 26, 2015
(Page 1 of 2) - NEXT PAGE | SINGLE PAGE

BANGKOK — The Thai navy has picked Chinese submarines costing 12 billion baht (S$447.5 million) each to be commissioned in the force, a source on the procurement committee says.

The majority of the 17-strong committee voted to buy three Chinese submarines, saying it was the “best value for money”.

The rest were split between submarines from Germany and South Korea.

The navy also received offers from Russia, Sweden and France.

The source said China beat other competitors as it offered subs equipped with superior weaponry and technology. Its subs are also able to stay underwater longer.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon backs the submarine project, citing a growing territorial threat and an increasing number of maritime missions. He said many neighbouring countries are also deploying submarines.

General Prawit said he would forward to the cabinet the navy’s submarine procurement decision once it becomes available.

Before the procurement panel made its decision, Gen Prawit was quoted by a navy source as saying that if the submarines were not bought by the current government, the navy might not have the chance to get them again.

In 2011, the navy looked into the purchase of six German-made submarines at a cost of 7.7 billion baht.

However, the project was rejected by the then Yingluck Shinawatra government.  

 The Chinese Type 039A "Yuan" class and its export variant the S-20

Monday, September 13, 2010

Made-in-China warships off to Gulf of Aden

Hunt begins for Somali pirates
Armed task force sets sail on security mission

Two Thai navy ships with 351 sailors and 20 special warfare troops on board have set sail for the Gulf of Aden to take part in the hunt for pirates off the coast of Somalia.

The mission marks the first time Thailand has sent forces overseas to protect its own interest.

The HTMS Pattani and HTMS Similan left yesterday with two helicopters lashed to the decks from Chuk Samet port at Chon Buri's Sattahip naval base to join a 28-country effort to police the shipping lanes off the Somali coast, which has become a piracy hotbed.

"The key mission of this 98-day operation is to protect Thai cargo ships and fishing vessels in those waters," said Adm Supakorn Buranadilok, Commander of the Royal Thai Navy Fleet.

The navy expects up to 60 Thai ships to pass through the Gulf of Aden during the course of the operation.

The navy's SEALs unit will be part of the fleet involved in the mission.

The budget for the mission has been set at 270 million baht.

The ships are expected to take 17 days to reach the Gulf of Aden on a journey covering 4,573 nautical miles.

The ships are expected to return about Dec 12.

Two navy ships with 371 sailors and special warfare marines on board set sail from Thailand to take part in international operations to protect ships from pirates in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia. JETJARAS NA RANONG

Political chaos and civil war in Somalia have allowed piracy to flourish off the country's 3,100km coastline.

Somali pirates were involved in more than half of the 406 reported pirate attacks worldwide last year.

They mounted 217 attacks in 2009, hijacking 47 ships and taking 867 crew members hostage with ransoms believed to total US$50 million (1.6 billion baht).

A number of Thai ships have been hijacked by Somali pirates over the past five years.

Photos of the day: 15th ABC in Belarus

May 25, 2015. A special airborne operation troop of the Chinese Air Force left for Belarus on June 15, 2015 to take part in the China-Belarus "Dashing Eagle 2015" counter-terrorism exercise, to end on June 27.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

PLAN commission of the day: Y-8GX6 (Y-8Q) ASW Aircraft (High New 6) commissioned with the North Sea Fleet

To some, the lacking of a dedicated turboprop anti-submarine like the US P-3 Orion is the area of greatest deficiency for the PLAN, especially in the neighborhood filled with advanced nuke and AIP equipped subs. If High New 6 platform is proven to be successful, we expect to see more of them in the future. After all, the PLAN has three fleets and they can all use additional ASW assets.

Out-of-focus foreground Y-8 is the ASW High New 6 (note the magnetic anomaly detector "MAD" boom)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Photo of the day: Y-8GX6 (Y-8Q) ASW Aircraft (High New 6)

All of a sudden, really, really big chin is back in fashion.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Y-8GX6 Patrol/ASW Aircraft, the Chinese P-3C Surfaced.

Not one but a pair.

Note the weapon bay

Speaking of Sino-Belarus military relations

Chinese airborne troops head for Belarus for drill

(Source: Xinhua)   2015-06-16

May 25, 2015. A special airborne operation troop of the Chinese Air Force left for Belarus on June 15, 2015 to take part in the China-Belarus "Dashing Eagle 2015" counter-terrorism exercise, to end on June 27.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

WS-32 long-rang rocket in the news.

The MRL in question is the ALIT /SCAIC WS-32, range between 60 to 150KM and with a CEP of 100 meters

 EurasiaNet Blog: The Bug Pit

Belarus Tests Rockets in China with Digs at Russia and NATO
June 18, 2015 - 8:50am, by Joshua Kucera

Belarus has announced that it tested its new rocket-launcher system in China, the latest sign of an increasing military partnership between the two countries. And Belarus's president Aleksandr Lukashenko took the opportunity to take swipes at both Russia and NATO countries, suggesting Minsk may be more comfortable with Beijing than with any of its neighbors in Europe.

The Polonez multiple-launch rocket system is Belarus's highest-profile defense industry innovation, and took the spotlight at the country's May 9 Victory Day parade this year. Many analysts have suggested that it bears traces of Chinese origin and may use rockets (which Belarus doesn't produce) from China. So the fact that it was tested in China certainly gives credence to that speculation.

But the press release announcing the test, which featured comments from Lukashenko, was unusually feisty for the genre. "Our ally, Russia, is not so active in supporting our aspirations. We will talk about that separately with the Russian president," Lukashenko said, without citing which aspirations were not being supported. "But we thank the People's Republic of China and its leadership for this support."

Lukashenko also took aim at NATO, though he was a bit more understanding to his western neighbors: "They constantly publicly demonstrate their activities, especially on our borders," he said. "This activity can not but alarm us. But this isn't really an issue. We understand the propaganda aspect of these acts. You need to keep your powder dry. We have always said this."

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Minsk in May (just after attending Victory Day celebrations in Moscow) and signed a "treaty of friendship and cooperation" with Lukashenko, which includes security cooperation. “The parties to the treaty take the joint efforts to preserve and strengthen peace and stability in Eurasia, to turn the region into a zone of peace, security and sustainable development, joint wellbeing and harmony,” the document says.

If confirmed, the Chinese role in the Polonez and the use of Chinese rockets would take military cooperation between the two countries "to a new level," wrote the Belarus Security Blog, suggesting that this could open the door for more advance equipment sales, such as China's J-10 fighter jet as a replacement for Belarus's ageing MiG-29s.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Photos of the day: The eighth 903A replenishment tanker launched

A total of four replenishment tankers under construction simultaneously at Guangzhou's GSI shipyard, something that is not seem post WWII.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Photos of the day: A new Type 094A replenishment tanker in the work at Guangzhou's GSI shipyard

And the seventh 903A replenishment tanker reported in Nov 2014 is fitting out right around the corner.