Tuesday, November 21, 2017

North Korea scenario, major PLA unit of the day: 78th Air-Defense Brigade (防空第78旅), 78th GA

This newly reformed unit has HQ-7B SAM, PG99 35-mm and some of them ole school PG59 57mm AAA of Vietnam War fame.   Its TOE is fairly standard with gears from circa late 1990.   Then again, they are facing the might of the DPRK-AF, not sure they are losing any sleep over it.


That's ole school 57mm AAA in all its glory....and white walled tires to boot











Saturday, October 21, 2017


North Korea scenario, major PLA unit of the day: 202nd Combined-Arms Brigade, 78th Group Army (ex The 3rd Armored Brigade)

Together with her sister units up norther, she also sporting a full engineering and armor recovery elements.  



 Type 95/PGZ95 Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft System
 ZTZ99 MBT
 ARV unit
PPZ10 120-mm SP Gun-Mortar system
 PLZ89-122 of the artillery battalion




Saturday, September 09, 2017


Winterfell’s defense

Winter is here. In addition to cold political rhetoric, the world also witnessed the power of Little-phat Night King’s fully operational Intercontinental Ballistic Dragon (ICBD).  It is now up to the PLA to mount a possible offensive defense.

In the following weeks,  this blog will start posting more Northern China (especially on the Northern Theater Command) centric updates.   Hopefully it will feature insight into the military options available to the King in Beijing.   One thing's for certain, the PLA can expect no Lannister army marching shoulder-to-shoulder with them -- Cersei tweets loud-and big but all she ever wanted is to build a wall facing the south (too late, no?).  Joking aside, the 28,500 strong Lannister army can’t mount a “boots on the ground” across the DMZ without completing an prolonged air campaign first. 





A note to the King in Beijing, A Lannister always pays his debts.  It stands at $1.15 trillion in Aug 2017 and counting. 

RRU -- the King in Beijing can count on 2 brigades of PLAN Marine (the third brigade is far from battle-ready), up to 9 airborne brigades and dozens of SpOs units.  Given China's advanced transportation networks coupled with their high-readiness rate,  majority of those RRU could reach the Yalu River delta area within 10 days.  This rapid troop movement capacity has been demonstrated during rescue phase of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake 9 years ago.  An assessment of PLA's response to the 2008 earthquake is here.   However, RRU are essentially light infantry units -- albeit well-trained -- with limited light direct and in-direct armor and fire support.  They also lack heavy artillery and engineering assets to overcome fortified defensive positions and mountainous terrain dotted across the entire area-of-operations.  They should know, they were there during the 1950s. 

Furthermore, unlike their Western counterparts, close tactical air support is still an luxury item few units have access to. Therefore, those RRU will not advance without support from local "heavies".   But if they do, they will be "all in".



More to follow.....




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.


Monday, January 26, 2015


Photos of the day: PLAN Marine, Winter Warfare Specialist.

As noted before by this blog, the South China Sea is not the PLAN Marine's sole AOR.   As China is keeping close tabs on latest development from North Korea (here), the PLAN Marine, being the vanguard of the Chinese military, now has to familiarize themselves with Winter Warfare.


Training in cold region becomes normal for Chinese Marine Corps

(Source: China Military Online)   2015-01-12

The Chinese Marine Corps is loading equipment onto trucks on January 8, 2015, getting ready to head for a training base in northeast China for actual-combat cold region training. (Chinamil.com.cn/Liao Zhiyong)

  GUANGDONG, January 12 (ChinaMil) -- A brigade of the Chinese Marine Corps made up of 1,000-plus people and 100-plus vehicles set out from the west of Guangdong province on the night of January 8, 2015, and headed for a training base in northeast China which is more than 4,000 kilometers away for the cold region training.

  This is an onshore trans-regional actual-combat cold region training featuring the longest distance and longest time.

  This is another actual-combat cold region training for the Marine Corps after its organic units headed for a training base for the first time last year, marking that the cold region training has become normal for the Marine Corps, according to Li Xiaoyan, commander of the cold region training and deputy chief of staff of the South China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the People's Liberation Army (PLAN).

  This actual-combat cold region training will cover a number of subjects, such as troops assembly, mobile entry and stationing, technical and tactical basis under severe cold conditions, operation grouping and collaboration, and actual-troop confrontation in offensive combats on rugged terrains in cold region.

  This cold region training features a more complicated environment, higher latitude, lower temperature, and wider maneuvering range compared with that of last year.

  Some specific training subjects have been added based on the training of last year, and the troops will conduct the training under such complicated situations as long-distance maneuvering, unfamiliar region, and extremely cold weather, Li Xiaoyan said.

  In addition, from transfer-in of the troops' degree of combat readiness to maneuvering and withdrawal, the training command post will organize experts and instructors from institutions and universities to set up a directing and evaluating team, so as to test the troops' long-distance maneuvering and total-region combat capability in an all-round way.
The fully-armed officers and men of the Marine Corps are boarding vehicles to head for a training base in northeast China for actual-combat cold region training on the night of January 8, 2015. (Chinamil.com.cn/Liao Zhiyong)

Editor:Guo Renjie









Monday, November 20, 2017

PR photos of the day: Golden Helmet 2017

Talk to me Goose -- after more than 31 years, I see those young-and-impressionable PLA Daily photographers are still under the spell of that Hollywood movie.



PLAAF kicks off “Golden Helmet 2017” air battle contest

Source
    China Military Online
Editor
    Li Jiayao

Time
    2017-11-03


BEIJING, Nov. 3 (ChinaMil) -- The “Golden Helmet 2017” air battle contest of the PLA Air Force kicked off Wednesday morning in northwest China. In the next ten days or so, Sixteen Air Force aviation units and nearly 100 pilots from the five Theater Commands of the PLA will compete in hundreds of air combat confrontations for six Golden Helmet and one Skyhawk Cup.

This is the first competitive air battle contest after the restructuring of the PLAAF aviation troop units. In addition to the mid-range air combat confrontation, the close air battle confrontation is added in the “Golden Helmet 2017” to increase the intensity and difficulty of the contest.

The pilots will receive less orders from the ground command posts and make more decisions independently in the contests, which is designed to test the pilots' flight skills and air battle tactics in the real warfare environment.

The Golden Helmet is considered the highest honor for the PLA Air Force fighter pilots. The contest has been held for six consecutive times since 2011. From the same type of fighters to different types of fighters, from single-fighter combat to formation-based air combat, from long-range and medium-and-long-range to medium-and-short-range and short-range, the rules of the contest have been changing to be increasingly adapted to the real air battles.

By Guo Hongbo and Hao Maojin


Still looking for that missile lock....


 Slow-mo walk,  no PR photo shoot without it.
















More Chinese STUFT (Ships Taken Up From Trade) related news

China's cross-strait railway ferry conducts military flatcar transportation
Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-20 16:54:27|Editor: Xiang Bo


http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-11/20/c_136766293.htm


BEIJING, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's cross-strait Yuehai Railway ferry has conducted a flatcar military transport, boosting the military's rapid maneuver capabilities, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) flagship newspaper reported Monday.

With the railway capable of carrying out such operations, the time needed for military delivery from Guangdong to Hainan across the Qiongzhou Strait will be cut by nearly ten hours compared with previous means of having to transfer to shipping, the PLA Daily said.

Railway flatcar transportation via ferry, the first of its kind on the Yuehai Railway, was successfully carried out on Friday, marking a leap in the railway's capabilities in military transportation, the newspaper report quoted sources with the Central Military Commission's logistical support department as saying.

Yuehai Railway, which connects the island province of Hainan with Guangdong on the mainland covering a distance of 22.5 kilometers, came into service in 2003. It has been tasked with military transportation since 2006.

However, the service had not been used for flatcar or permitted overweight or oversize transportation, and related military missions had to rely on shipping, leaving the transportation volume and efficiency of the railway underdeveloped, the report said.

Authorities with the CMC started to research the railway carrying out such missions in 2015 and conducted analysis and tests, it said.

The opening of flatcar transportation is expected to further enable military transportation to and from Hainan through the rail, it said.



Saturday, September 16, 2017


PLA's STUFT (Ships Taken Up From Trade) capacity in a North Korean crisis

While it is fashionable to cite the PLNA having the "capable of sea-lifting only one infantry division" (TM), but without the PLAN, the PLA can draw upon its own organic amphibious warfare assets, which is enormous in its own right.  Furthermore,  the CMC also has a long tradition of STUFT-ing civil assets in a crisis.

When-and-if the PLA is able to secure a beachhead near the plain of Pyonyang, undoubtedly they will use captured ports to send supply and reinforcement from Dailian, Yantai and Shanghai.   Distance between Pyongyang and Dalian 224 miles across the Yellow Sea. 

Here is a look at China's STUFT (Ships Taken Up From Trade) capacity as of 2012.

-  Bohai Ferry Fleet. 11x Ropax liners with 1400-1600 passengers + 200+ vehicle spaces each.  That is 22,000 vehicles and 28,000 troops. 

 - State owned CSC-sinotrans has 27 Ro-ROs 
 http://www.sinotrans-csc.com/art/2016/9/30/art_12507_221252.html
Jinling Shipyard has to date delivered 27 RORO ships of various types. It was awarded the project for the 16,000-ton RORO ships, further consolidating its advantageous position in the global RORO ship building sector, and indicating the acknowledgment by the ship-owner of the Jinling RORO brand for its fully guaranteed timely ship delivery. At present, Jinling Shipyard is has received the contracts for and is in the process of building 10 RORO ships, which fall into the four series, i.e., 6700-vehicle, 3800-vechile, 12,00-ton and 16,000-ton ships, with the ship-owners being internationally renowned big companies. 

 - Five Ocean going rail ferries.


In short,  if the CMC is committed to STUFT its entire Ro-Ro fleet, it could drop 150,000 troops together with their supply and vehicles in a single lift.  











Sunday, August 12, 2012


After Shangyang MR, Jinan MR is also getting STUFT-ed

China Launch Passenger RoRo Ship with Military Capability
PLA Daily
Friday, August 10, 2012

China's largest RoRo 'Bohai Emerald Bead' with the longest reach leaves Yantai Port in East China.

Different from ordinary ships, the 36,000 displacement civilian passenger and roll-on/roll-off ship was constructed in accordance with national defense requirements in mind in its design and construction so that it can carry organic troop units and heavy equipment.


The 178-meter-long and 28-meter-breadth ship can carry 2,000-plus persons and be loaded with over 300 vehicles of various sizes simultaneously.

The "Bohai Emerald Bead" is the first ship of its kind to be built in China, and there are three more of the same design under construction.

According to Rong Xianwen, director of the Military Transportation Department under the Jinan Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), the passenger and roll-on/roll-off ship is the most optimal ship type in maritime transportation of military troops as it possesses the advantages including large transportation quantity and high loading efficiency.

It is not only the means of transportation, but also a temporary barrack. Such type of ship is often utilized in military operations by western developed countries.


















Thursday, January 19, 2012


STUFT-ed, Chinese Style.

According to the Chinese edition report of the same (here), the China Army will STUFT (Ship Taken Up From Trade) a total of four large size Ro-Ro ships under the command of the Shenyang MR.  
Advanced passenger ro-ro ship commissioned in Shenyang MAC
http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/news-channels/photo-reports/2012-01/19/content_4772483.htm
(Source: China Military Online) 2012-01-19

The “Qingshandao” large-scale passenger ro-ro ship (China Military Online/Chen Li and Du Mingjun)

Escorted by related personnel of the military representative office of navigation affairs under the Shenyang Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Passenger Ship Co., Ltd of the China Shipping Co., the 23,000-ton “Qingshandao” large-scale passenger ro-ro ship smoothly arrived at the Dalian Port from the Guangzhou Shipyard on Jan. 12, 2012. The commission of this most advanced ship lays a solid foundation for improving the maritime strategic projection capability of the Chinese Navy.(China Military Online/Chen Li and Du Mingjun)

Editor:Zhang Qingxia

Of course, all those news release could be part of a Communist propaganda attempt to deceit -- China, as a nation, still only capably of sea-lifting one division at a time.  Don't believe me? See this official US government report.
 
"China Naval Modernziation: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities -- Background and Issues for Congress released by the US government.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/128334.pdf

Change in Amphibious Lift Capability Since 2000 Although China in recent years has deployed new amphibious ships and craft, DOD states that “PLA air and amphibious lift capacity has not improved appreciably since 2000 when the Department of Defense assessed the PLA as capable of sealift of one infantry division.”


"As China’s capabilities for local and regional operations have increased in certain areas since 2000, a number of limitations appear to have persisted. The PLA has developed new doctrine for joint warfighting and implemented organizational changes, such as including service commanders on the Central Military Commission, to facilitate the transition to a more “joint” force. However, joint integration still lags. Similarly, PLA air and amphibious lift capacity has not improved appreciably since 2000 when the Department of Defense assessed the PLA as capable of sealift of one infantry division. Likewise, China’s current ability to deliver about 5,000 parachutists in a single lift (less if equipment is carried at the same time) is similar to previous assessments. China’s at-sea replenishment has improved with experience since 2000, but the PLA Navy today remains limited by a small number of support vessels – much as it did then. In 2000, the Department of Defense projected aerial refueling as an operational capability by 2005. Today, while China has a few aerial refueling aircraft, it does not have the number of tankers, properly equipped combat aircraft, or sufficient training to employ this capability for power projection."






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Wednesday, July 01, 2009


The COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company) “Spirit”

The first “China design and build” Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) vehicle carrier launched on June 24, 2009 at Zhoushan shipyard marking a major advance in China’s building capability.


The COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company) “Spirit” 中远盛世 has a fully loaded displacement of 14,500 tons, capable of carrying 5000 vehicles with a design speed of 20 knots. Its dimensions are: 182.8 meters in length, 32.2 meters in width and 34 meters high. It has a total of 9 stationary and 3 adjustable decks to accommodate vehicles of different heights. Just like other modern RoRo’s, the COSCO Spirit is fully automated and allows for single-crew-piloting.


COSCO cited the increase in automobile imports as the sole reason to build such a fleet and indeed in January, China surpassed the US as the world’s largest car market. (Here) But the RoRo carrier can press into military service and is generally considered a national security asset according to the August 2006 report “The Role of United States’ Commercial Shipping Industry in Military Sealift” presented by the US DOD due to its capability to load and offload large volumes of vehicles in repetition. US civilian RoRo fleets under the US Transportation Command were credited as a necessary strategic asset during the recent gulf war as cited by the same report.


The RoRo carrier also played an important support role for the Royal Navy during the 1982 Falklands War by ferrying 4000 troops to the remote island battlefield. Today one of the Royal Navy’s auxiliary training ships, the HMS Argus, was also converted to a RoRo carrier.


Additional RoRo carriers will augment the PLA’s transport capabilities especially in situations where large numbers of Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFV) are needed. At the same time, one must be careful not to view it as an amphibious asset for operations directed at “a run-a-way island,” err, I mean “an investment partner” as RoRo carriers require a secure and undamaged deep seaport in order to offload.


Photos of COSCO "Spirit" with primer gray and a top deck that can accommodate helicopter operations.





It looks similar to the French Navy's amphibious assault ship Mistral (L9013)




Previous RoRo with imported designs are painted red such as the smaller Changjilong which launched in Sept 08, 2008






Other RoRo currently in civilian service








CCTV Reported a military exercise involving Yue Hai Tie 2, a railroad car RoRo, pressed into military service in Hainan Island.