Sunday, January 31, 2016

Photo of the day: "Long March 8", the second Shang Class nuclear-powered attack submarine

This 7000 tons attack sub was launched in 2003 but we have to wait 13 years for this official news photo

Friday, January 29, 2016

Boring logistics picture of the day: The new 3000 Ton Troopship is ready for commission for South China Sea Missions

The PLAN is ready to replace its old QiongShan class Troopship NanYun830 with a modern ocean-going design.   The first "NanYun830" or "South Troopship 830" weighting-in 2159 tons with a top speed of 16 knots. It can carry 400 troops or 350 tons of cargo

The new South Troopship 830 is capable of 20 knots and an estimated range of 5000 nm

The decommissioned NanYun830

China's Marine Corps, a view within China

Expert: Marine Corps' overall combat capability needs to be enhanced
Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Zhang Tao
2016-01-26 17:260

BEIJING, January 26 (ChinaMil) -- Adm. Wu Shengli and Adm. Miao Hua, respectively commander and political commissar of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, observed the realistic confrontation exercises of the Marine Corps in the Gobi desert of Xinjiang on January 23.

This is the first time for the PLA Navy's top leaders to observe and instruct military exercises on the spot in 2016 according to public report, and the third time that Wu Shengli observed the cross-region exercises of the Marine Corps.

Zhang Junshe, associate researcher from the Military Academic Research Institute of the PLA Navy, said on January 25 that China's Marine Corps has large room for progress and will enhance its overall combat capability in the future.

It is reported that on January 22 and 23, the Marine Corps carried out live fire verification exercise, the confrontation exercise and the counter-terrorism drill involving special operations regiment in the Gobi desert for the first time. This is the fourth cross-region exercise of the Marine Corps since March 2014 and Wu Shengli has observed and instructed three of them, indicating the great importance he attaches to the Marine Corps.

"With a vast territory, China is faced with complicated surrounding situations, diversified threats and challenges, and volatile conditions. As we have expanded our national security interests and overseas interests, realistic war threats not only exist in the surrounding waters, but may also appear in more directions, remoter areas and vaster space", according to Zhang Junshe.

Therefore, Zhang stressed, "the Chinese Marine Corps has to be well trained in amphibious attack and carry out realistic trainings in high-elevation and cold areas, mountains, forests and Gobi desert, so as to adapt to different tasks and requirements under all kinds of circumstances."

The U.S. has the world's largest and strongest Marine Corps with nearly 200,000 troops, with three Marine Divisions as the ground combat force and close to 400 planes in the aviation force, including helicopters and F/A-18 and F-35 warplanes.

The U.S. has also deployed amphibious combat troops in all major theaters around the world, and has formed three ground expeditionary forces based on the three Marine Divisions, two deployed in the Pacific Ocean and one in the Atlantic Ocean.

Unlike the American Marine Corps that's focused on strike, Chinese Marine Corps' main mission is defensive combat. Although it is quite strong in the world, it still lags behind the American counterpart.

According to Zhang Junshe, "China's Marine Corps is much smaller than the U.S. counterpart in size. It lacks fixed-wing warplanes and the aviation force is too small. Moreover, China is weak in amphibious and long-distance power projection, and the PLA Navy lags far behind the American Navy that has about 30 large amphibious warfare ships."

Speaking of the Marine Corps development, Zhang Junshe believed the priority is to enhance its capability of amphibious landing operations and full-spectrum combat. Second, it should hone the ocean-going operation capability, with Chinese Marine Corps' participation in the Gulf of Aden escort missions and overseas Chinese evacuation operations being excellent practices.

In terms of equipment, the main battle equipment of the Marine Corps has to be further improved, including upgrading the tank performance and reinforcing aviation strike and transportation forces.

Moreover, large amphibious warfare ships with greater cruising ability, larger tonnage and higher speed shall be developed that can deliver Marines for combat operations quickly and improve their capability in amphibious landing operations, full-spectrum combat, and implementing diversified tasks.

The author is Guo Yuandan, reporter from the Global times. The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and don't represent views of the China Military Online website.

PLAN commission of the day: Gaoyaohu Type 903 Replenishment Tanker

The PLAN commissioned its fourth Type 903A  Replenishment Tanker.   Gaoyaohu weighting in at 23,00 tons marks the sixth overall Type 903 class currently available for overseas missions.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Chiense Marine in Gobi Desert

Would you please put some armor on?!  It is cold outside.

While the Chinese Marine's amphibious IFVs might be sporting proper desert camo this time, they definitely can use better armor protection. No matter which "Desert Region"  they eventually ventured into, it will be floored with RPGs, recoilless rifles.... and more recently, US supplied TOW missiles.  Come to think of it, the new ZTQ 105mm light tank might just do the trick.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Professional China-Watcher Article Of The Day: Barriers, Springboards and Benchmarks: China Conceptualizes the Pacific ‘Island Chains’ proudly presents Andrew S. Erickson and Joel Wuthnow's latest China Quarterly article "Barriers, Springboards and Benchmarks: China Conceptualizes the Pacific ‘Island Chains'".  I trust that you will find it as intellectually stimulating as I did.

The entire article, in PDF format, can be downloaded here;topic=7380.0;attach=106451

Barriers, Springboards and Benchmarks: China Conceptualizes the Pacific “Island Chains”
Andrew S. Erickson, US Naval War College, Newport, RI
Joel Wuthnow, US National Defense University, Washington, DC
US government reports describe Chinese-conceived “island chains” in the Western Pacific as narrow demarcations for Chinese “counter-intervention” operations to defeat US and allied forces in altercations over contested territorial claims. The sparse scholarship available does little to contest this excessively myopic assertion. Yet, further examination reveals meaningful differences that can greatly enhance an understanding of Chinese views of the “island chains” concept, and with it important aspects of China’s efforts to develop as a maritime power. Long before China had a navy or naval strategists worthy of the name, the concept had originated and been developed for decades by previous great powers vying for Asia-Pacific influence. Today, China’s own authoritative interpretations are flexible, nuanced and multifaceted – befitting the multiple and sometimes contradictory factors with which Beijing must contend in managing its meteoric maritime rise. These include the growing importance of sea lane security at increasing distances and levels of operational intensity.
美 国政府报告把中国设想的西太平洋 “岛链” 概念描述为中国军队为在有关领土争端的 “反干涉”作战中试图打败美国和盟国部队而设立的狭窄的界线。寥寥无几的相关研究对这个过于短视的看法也没有提出不同意见。然而, 进一步的分析却发现此概念有迥然不同的含义。这些含义能大大增强我们对中国为发展成为一个海洋大国所做出的努力的理解。这个概念是在中国有一个现代的海军 或海军战略家之前由其他有影响力的大国为争夺亚太地区的影响力而发展起来的。如今, 中国对此概念的权威解释显示出其灵活性, 微妙性和多面性。这些解释特征恰恰能与北京在管理其海上崛起过程中许多有时是相互矛盾的因素相适应。这些因素包括由于不断增大距离和活动强度所导致的海上 通道安全日益增长的重要性。
China; island chain; strategy; military; maritime; navy

Monday, August 24, 2015

Photos of the day: Fuel stop at Yong Xing Island, South China Sea

With three external fuel tanks, it seems that the JH-7 fighter-bomber has the range to reach out to Yong Xing Island.

Just in case you're wondering, they are from the 32nd Regiment, 11th PLAAF Air Division, Shenyang Military Region.   Shanyang Military is bordered by North Korea.  Perhaps they are vacation, wanting some sun and sand!

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Photos of the day: Yong Xing Island, South China Sea, Vacation spot.

Wifi included.