Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Photos of the day: 6th Marine Brigade is fully equiped.

Former 77th Motorized Infantry Brigade, 26GA, Jinan MR "Yellow Three", transferred to the Navy Feb 2017


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Photo of the day: PLAN Marine's ZTQ15 105mm Light Tank

Finally the PLAN Marine has a tank of their own to fill a critical gap before becoming a true expeditionary force.   No, ZTD05 is an amphibious assault gun, not a real tank.

Marine smurf blue

ZTQ15 in army camo

PLAN Marine ZTD05 amphibious assault gun in their "deployment camo"

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Photos of the day: PLA Marine's amphibious assault breacher vehicle in action

PLAN Marine's Amphibious assault breacher vehicle, based on  ZBD05 Amphibious Infantry Fighting Vehicle chassis firing obstacle-breaching rockets :

PR attempt aside, it is not nearly as impressive as her USMC counterpart -- they use a real tank for this breaching job.

Note to papa smurf, it is time to give those boys some real armor to work with.  Remember  IFV is not a tank and engineers make a world of difference.

Funny thing -- the PLA actually has large numbers MBT based assault breachers already in service.  Such as the GSL130/WZ6411 Armored Breeching Vehicle based on the  ZTZ79 chassis here:

Saturday, January 06, 2018


Non sequitur memes of the day: "Begun the blue smurf war has"

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Norinco CAESAR in service with the PLA

SH-1 started as an export project with Pakistan and Burma be the two known customers.  Latest photos from the 72nd Artillery Brigade, 72nd Group Army,  Eastern Theater Command confirms that SH-1's PLA domestic equivalent is now in service at home.   The 72nd Artillery Brigade also commands PHL03 300mm long range MRL and PLZ05 155mm tracked SP howitzer, a heavy hitting unit indeed.

This truck mounted 155mm concept was first revealed in 2007 based on the towed Type89 (PLL01) 155mm/L52 system.  It can fire all standard 155mm NATO ammunition in addition to Norinco's 155mm laser-guided round.  It is mounted on a standard Chinese 6x6 truck chassis but can be easily "remounted" with a local truck and a secondary 12.7mm machine gun for defense.

While the SH-1 sports no armor protection, it is light enough to be airlifted by a C-130 or a Y-9 class transport, making it a more flexible option for China's growing Rapid Reaction Units

 SH-1 from the 2016 Zhuhai Airshow

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Norinco SH-1 Truck-mounted 155mm Gun-Howitzer of the Tatmadaw

While the Burma military is showing off their newly ordered Norinco SH-1 Truck-mounted 155mm Gun-Howitzer and other made-in-China hardware during their 68th Armed Forces Day parade in Naypyitaw,  the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) continues to use their made-in-China hardware to fight back in this endless civil war.

Type 81 mod and Type 89 Heavy Machine Gun in service with the KIA

Photo courtesy of irrawaddy.org

Saturday, July 07, 2018

PLA ground force SpOps preps to deploy aboard warships

Recently, 1st Destroyer Flotilla, Northern Theater Command, cross trained with a certain ground force SpOps brigade aboard of non-amphibious assault ships (DDG116 and FFG538).  If this is a beginning of a new trend, aircraft carriers, destroyers and even military cargo ships could become home to Ground Force SpOps, amphibious units as well as PLAN's own smurfs heading out to make this world safe for Confucianism.

After years of naval build up, the CMC still has only four Type071 LPD capable of long distance blue-ocean operations. With no amphibs on regular patrol at high sea, the CMC might not able to deploy to a region where contingencies could erupt.  Hope I am not reading too much into this, but putting additional high-readiness ground force SpOps on naval vessels could help to meet growing "Historical Mission" requirements in Africa and elsewhere.

Clearly, the plan is in the early stage, but having an additional determent aboard could give naval combatant commanders a hand in recovering downed pilot, pulling Chinese out of an embassy under attack, providing humanitarian assistance after a rapid developing natural disaster.  For the ground force SpOps, that means new types of sea duty on ships across the all three Theater Commands.  The newly commissioned naval marine brigades could focus on their core mission of recovering a run-away province.  This is a way to make sea services more versatile, agile and flexible.

 Army green vs smurf blue

 Ground force SpOps.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Chinese Joint Rapid Reaction Force (JRRF) in the making?

Soon, the CMC will have two corps of light infantry (The Marine with six infantry and a SpOP brigades and the Airborne of the same), two Army Air Assault Brigades (the 121st and the 161th) and  a super heavy Mech Infantry Division (the 112th) under its direct strategic command.  It does not take much of an imagination to picture a Joint Rapid Reaction Force in the making.  The JRRF (kuaisu fanyin budui) concept was first proposed by the British Army in the 1990s consists of combat and support elements from land, sea and air to a trouble spot rapidly and at a short notice.  More importantly than just showing the flag, a JRRF is capable of fighting a high intensity small/medium scale engagement.

The CMC might not able to project the 15,000 personnel of its British Army counter part to a great distance.   However, it has demonstrated previously on several occasions, both in drills and in natural disaster responses, that it can deploy several First Echelon battalion size battle-groups within a 48-hour window (here).

"2 days after May 12th 2008 Earthquake hit,  of 81,000 PLA troops arrived, there were 4,000 airborne, 2,600 Marine, Naval, and Air Force personnel, and troop units directly affiliated with the CMC’s four general headquarters/departments."
Of course, the size of the Chinese JRRF First Echelon will decrease in accordance with the deployment distance -- It is one thing to deploy 81,000 troops to Sichuan via internal rail and highway, it is a completely different picture if the destination is North Africa, for example.  CMC's strategic transportation assets would be the bottleneck in such an example.  Its deployment capability can be easily calculated by assessing the number of ships and transport planes currently available.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

15th Airborne Corps' new ORBAT 


The CMC decommissioned three divisional headquarters (43rd, 44th and 45th) on April 19th,  their regiments are now reformed into 6 brigades (127th, 128th, 130th, 131st, 133rd, and 134th) directly under the corps headquarters .   Additionally,  there will be a new SpOps Brigade, a Strategic Support Brigade (Engineering, Communication, etc) and an Aviation Brigade(Fixed And Rotary Wing Aircraft) bringing to a total of 9 line brigades.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Photos of the day: Vacation housewarming in Djibouti

999 Jingangshan LHD and 868 Donghaidao Mobile Landing Platform composing the first task force.

Here comes the PLAM

CCTV screen capture of the day: Launching Zubr LCAC from 868

Without the piggyback of a Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) such as the 868, the Zubr Class reaches 480 KM from shore on its own. When paired with a MLP, that 480KM limitation is no longer an issue.  As to what purpose such a pairing serves, your guess is as good as mine.