Sunday, June 24, 2018

PLA unit of the day: 651st Independent Air Defense Brigade, Tibet MD

651st Independent Air Defense Brigade, PLA ground force's only Air Defense unit covering the entire Tibet MD.  This unit was enlarged in 2012 by injecting the old 651st Anti-Aircraft Artillery regiment with surface-to-air missile elements.

Its TOE includes, PG59 (57mm AAA), PG99 (35mm AAA),  HQ-7A SAM, HQ-16 SAM and NH-6 MANPADS.

PLA's orbat in Tibet has not been changed much, still thin with 3 line brigades (52nd, 53rd, and 54th) and limited support elements such as the 651st.   

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Nuke-powered icebreaker

China one step closer to nuke-powered aircraft carrier with cutting-edge icebreaker comes on stream
By Zhao Yusha

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/22 18:58:39

China has opened the bid to construct its first nuclear-powered icebreaker support ship, a move to prepare for the construction of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, military observers said.

China National Nuclear Corporation on Thursday opened public bidding for the nuclear-powered icebreaker ship, its website said.

It will be China's first nuclear-powered icebreaker support ship, and it will be able to break ice, open waterways in the polar region and provide electricity.

Bidders are required to participate in research, appraisal, building and testing of the ship, and provide technology support for the user.

This is China's first nuclear-powered ship, which is of great significance to China's development of nuclear-powered vessels, an anonymous military expert told the Global Times.

The ship's nuclear power unit is huge and can be applied to a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier once updated, so it can be seen as a preparation for the aircraft carrier, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times.

Nuclear power technology will also be applied to other military vessels, which allows them to travel long distances, and thus protect national security and overseas interests, Song said.

The US and former Soviet Union used their experience with nuclear-powered icebreaker ships to build a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, he noted.

China is attaching more importance to the polar regions, as the ice in the Arctic is melting, and many countries are actively paving new waterways and exploring seabed resources, the anonymous expert said.

The building of a nuclear-powered icebreaker support ship will enhance China's ability to conduct scientific explorations in these regions, according to Song.

In February, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) said in a statement that it plans to "speed up the process of making technological breakthroughs in nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, new-type nuclear submarines, quiet submarines, maritime unmanned intelligent confrontation systems, maritime three-dimensional offensive and defensive systems, and comprehensive naval warfare electronic information systems."

The statement has caused heated discussion as this is the first time a State-owned Chinese defense company has openly identified nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

China commissioned its first aircraft carrier Liaoning, a refurbished Soviet ship it bought from Ukraine, in 2012. Its second carrier and the first domestically built carrier, known as Type 001A, was launched in April last year.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A glimpse inside: China's latest Type 093G Shang-class nuclear-powered attack submarine

This "Long March 16" is the last Shang class to enter service thus the youngest among her G variant siblings. Only the best for comrade Xi, right?  The other three sisters are "Long March 13, 14 and 15" and all four are capable of launching CY-10 cruise missile. 

The first 093 pair are "Long March 7 and 8", they carry the older YJ-82 missile.  All together there are 6 Shang class SSN (2x093 and 4x093G) currently in PLAN service. 

Gangway banner reads "Navy Long March 16 Vessel"

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Professional publication of the day: PLA Air Force's Four "Key Training Brands"

PLA Air Force's Four "Key Training Brands"

By Jana Allen and Ken Allen, CASI / Published May 31, 2018

The PLAAF’s desire to advance its strategic transformation through qualitative changes is evidenced by its development of what it calls the “four key training brands” (四大品牌). These include: the Golden Helmet (金头盔) military competition; the Golden Dart (金飞镖) military competition; the Blue Shield (蓝 盾) exercise, which includes the Golden Shield (金盾) competition; and the Red Sword (红剑) exercise. This report provides an overview of these annual training events, which are described by the PLAAF as its “four main actual-combat oriented training series.”

Article here:

Monday, June 04, 2018

Photos of the day: Dalian shipyard June 2018

Photo credit goes to Longshi

Visible here are 4xType052D DDG and 2x055DDG (NATO Renhai-class cruisers).  When all of them are commissioned, the PLAN will have 17xType052D and 6xType055 in service.  Both classes are being constructed two yards, Shanghai and Dalian

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Photos of the day: Dalian shipyard 2006 vs 2016

Note the second-hand, Ukrainian Riga class floating casino in the background.  Not sure what will they do with that rusty bucket.  I am telling you, Chong Lot Travel Agency's US$20 million investment is a complete waste -- as of 2016, not a single slot machine is found there generating gambling income.

 2006, DDG115 Shenyang under construction

Aug 2016

2x Type 051C (DDG115 and DDG116)

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Here it is -- PLAAF's tip of the spear "Ménage à trois" for air defense penetration

Joking aside,  folks should see this new "high end package" of J-20, J-10C plus J-16 formulating from miles away.  It should come as no surprise to anyone, in fact it is an expected and natural consequence of the recent development.

China's fighter jets hold 'perfect combination' training

    Global Times
    Li Jiayao


China's People's Liberation Army Air Force recently conducted combat training involving three types of its most advanced fighter jets, carrying air-to-air missiles, which a Chinese expert called a perfect combination.

China's most advanced stealth fighter jet, J-20, conducted joint training with multi-role strike fighter J-16 and multi-role fighter jet J-10C, engaging in air defense penetration drills, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Thursday.

The fighter jets used domestically developed mid-range air-to-air missile PL-15 and short-range air-to-air missile PL-10 in the training, Beijing-based news website Sina reported on Saturday.

"The three fighter jets… and the two missiles are perfect combinations," Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday.

The J-20 is capable of destroying a hostile air defense system. The J-10C can then take air supremacy, while the J-16 can strike enemy ground forces, Song said, adding that using the PL-15 and PL-10 together can cover both long-range and short-range aerial combat.

"The combination will serve as an important aerial deterrent against external forces," Song added.

 wo fighter jets attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Southern Theater Command soar over the sky for a combat sortie during a flight training exercise in late May, 2018. ( by Tang Jun)

J-20 with J-10 to its left

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Offical photo of the day: J-11B with next generation of Chinese AAM (PL-10 ASRAAM and PL-15 LRAAM)

Since the 2016 Zhuhai airshow, photos of J-10 and J20 armed with PL-10 ASRAAM and PL-15 LRAA are now a common sight.   PL-10 is China's answer to the US AIM-9X Sidewinder, both with high off-bore sight capability, thrust-vectoring control (TVC) and able to "lock on" via helmet-mounted sights (HMS).  Paring with the PL-10 is the PL-15 LRAAM with a range of 200km, tasked for beyond visual range engagements, similar to US' AIM120-D of the same class.

Judging by this photo released by China's official Xinhua news agency yesterday, the PLAAF has retrofitted their older J-11B heavy fighters with this latest pair of advanced AAM.   They are not just for PLAAF top-of-the-line anymore.

J-11B with PL-10 and PL-15 AAM

J-10C with PL-10 and PL-15

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Photos of the day: J-20 mounting a pair of PL-10 Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles

PAP Forestry Command Heli Detachment - 1st Battalion

This battalion has a fleet of 9 "confirmed" Z-8 / AC313 under its command