Monday, November 20, 2017

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

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
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.

I n 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
(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.

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.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cloud Shadow, China's anti naval fast attack craft UAV

Another year, another major UAV debut.

What makes the Cloud Shadow stand out is its anti-ship missile payload.  In addition to your normal array of guided missiles and glided bombs, it is sporting a pair of Eagle-Strike YJ-9E (鹰击9E) Anti-Ship Missiles,  YJ-9 is a light variant of the standard YJ-81/83 Antiship Missile found on most of the PLAN mid-size naval vessels.    The YJ-9 was first revealed to public in 2004 on board of a PLAN Z-9D anti-ship helicopter. and now a go-to light-weight ASM for the PLAN.   It is armed with  a 30 kg armor-piercing warhead, has an air launched range of 18km at Mach 0.85 speed.

The YJ-9 can also be carried by L-15 trainer and other light Chinese aircraft for near-shore anti-ship missions. 

 YJ-9 on a Z-9D
 Cloud Shadow with a pair YJ-9E

‘Cloud Shadow’ high-altitude drone debuts at Dubai Air Show
Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/13 21:53:39

A Chinese-produced "Cloud Shadow" UAV debuts at the Dubai International Air Show. Photo: Courtesy of AVIC

The "Cloud Shadow", a high-altitude high-speed multifunction unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by AVIC Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Co, made its debut on Sunday at the ongoing Dubai International Air Show.

It is the first UAV, or drone, to be exported in the "shadow" series to meet international demand.

In a note sent to the Global Times on Monday, AVIC said the drone has an avionic flight control system, among other features.

With a high-end turbojet engine, the UAV has a cruising altitude higher than the range of most surface-to-air missiles and a speed much faster than the first generation of UAVs.

In a battle with medium intensity, the product can safely conduct fast and extensive intelligence gathering and long-distance precision land/sea attacks, the note said.

There are three types of "Cloud Shadow" UAVs, and the "Cloud Shadow 1", equipped with a high-altitude high-definition CCD camera and synthetic aperture radar (SAR), can capture more than 10,000 square kilometers of optical images per hour at an altitude of 13 kilometers.

The "Cloud Shadow 2", equipped with a full-band radar signal detector and a communication signal detector, can detect and locate all ground-based radar systems within 400 kilometers and all communication signals within 200 kilometers.

The "Cloud Shadow 3", equipped with an SAR as well as an advanced opto-electronic reconnaissance device, can work with multiple types of advanced assault weapons to launch high-altitude reconnaissance and attacks toward targets beyond 50 kilometers.

Since its founding in the late 1950s, the Chengdu branch has successively developed and produced thousands of J-5, J-7, JF-17 and J-10 fighters and exported more than 700 fighters.

AVIC said it will launch more products in the market in the future.

Correcting the Wikipedia: Zimbabwe IFV on the news is not Type90 IFV

Wikipedia mistakenly labeled the Zimbabwean Norinco YW 531H (Norinco industrial model designation) as the Type90 APC (PLA in-service type designation), which is incorrect.

Type 90  China Infantry Fighting Vehicle -- -- Seen on the streets of Harare during the 2017 Zimbabwean coup d'état[74]

The 25mm armed YW 531H IFV on the news is a smaller and lighter version of the WZ534 (13.6 vs 14.3 tonnes), and called Type85 in China.  WZ535, on the other hand,  is in service with the PLA and is known as the Type89, with ~1000 copies still in service within China.

YW 531H is an export only IFV with a limited customer base including Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand and of course,  Zimbabwe.

Nippick?  Yeah, just a bit.

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

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Animated gif of the day: Releasing PL-10 Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles from J-20's weapon bay

Open the bay door, HAL.

Friday, November 10, 2017

PLAAF pilot training tracks

PR aside, this PLA Daily offers an official glimpse into PLAAF's pilot training tracks.  A topic that is not covered in detail by the West; they seem to be interested only in tech specs.

PLA Air Force's flight incident rate less than 0.1 per 10k flight hours

Source:  China Military Online
Editor: Zhang Tao
Time: 2017-11-09
By Du Maolin

Reporter: The famous test pilot Li Zhonghua of the Chinese PLA Air Force recently said on CCTV that many pilots have given their lives since the PLA Air Force was formed in November 1949. What do you think of this?

Fu Qianshao (An expert with the PLA Air Force): There is a standard to determine whether flight accidents are frequent. It's called flight incident rate/10k hours. This rate has been reduced from 0.2 or so to less than 0.1 in the Chinese PLA Air Force, which is very low even in comparison with those developed countries. Such a progress is attributed to the improvement of China's industrial capability and personnel competence.

It must be pointed out that accidents are unavoidable in warplane training, and an absolutely "safe" air force is most abnormal.

Given the warplane crash accidents happening in different countries in peacetime, the accident rate and crash rate always rise with the increase of training intensity, subject difficulty and confrontation intensity. If a country lowers the training standard and reduces flying frequency in order to achieve the "absolute safety", it will undermine real combat effect and lead to unimaginable consequences.

Chen Hong (A professor at the PLA Air Force Command Academy): In 2017, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces have had four major flight accidents, causing at least four deaths. This happened to the United States and Russia too. Incomplete statistics show that in the first 10 months of 2017, 12 planes have crashed in the U.S., and Russia also saw the crash of six main warplanes within 40 days from June this year.

Reporter: Real-combat training of both J-20 and carrier-based fighter jets will be more frequent. What measures should be taken to avoid training accidents as much as possible?

Fu Qianshao: As I said, it's hard to absolutely avoid training accidents, but the accident itself is a kind of warning and it urges the military to make further improvements in equipment and training reform.

To be more specific, we need to develop new trainer jets and improve training quality. Practice proves that trainer jets with exceptional performance can not only ensure flight training quality, but also play an important role in guaranteeing pilot safety.

Therefore, China has put forth a number of advanced new trainer jets in recent years, such as the FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle and JL-10. They have been commissioned the PLA Air Force on a large scale and are mainly used to foster Gen-3 and Gen-4 warplane pilots, which is helpful for improving training quality for Chinese pilots.

The great difficulty in training warplane pilots is the complexity of the Air Force's flying training system. Generally speaking, flight training consists of two parts - skill training and combat training, the former training the pilots' plane operation capability and the latter training their combat capability.

Different trainer jets are used in different training stages. For instance, for pilot selection and primary flight training in aviation colleges and flying academies, the CJ-6 primary trainer jet is the main model, while JL-8 is used for basic flight training at the middle level and in some advanced training. At present, advanced flight training of the PLA Air Force is mainly carried out by JJ-7, but the more advanced JL-9 and JL-10 will be used in the future.

Usually when a flying cadet graduates from the aviation academy, he becomes a qualified pilot, but he cannot fly the warplane yet. Only after he completes the training on trainer jets of the same model as the warplane at the aviation troop or training base will he become a real pilot who can fly fighter jets.

At the moment, the PLA Air Force is reforming its training system and training plane system in order to catch up with development and meet combat demand. An important aspect of the reform is adjusting the trainer jet system to be more scientific and rational, and another aspect is to upgrade the systems on some trainer jets, so they can simulate operation and use features of Gen-3 and Gen-4 fighters.

For instance, adding the satellite navigation system, HUD and multi-function display can familiarize the pilots with the cabin interface and operating habits of modern warplanes as early as possible, laying a solid foundation for avoiding training risks and intensifying tactical training.

Reporter: In November 2016, Yu Xu, the first female J-10 fighter jet pilot in China, died in a training flight, drawing extensive attention from society. Can you tell us about the development of female pilots in the PLA Air Force?

Chen Hong: There have been more than 500 female pilots in China since 1949, some of whom are retired. Fewer than 100 female pilots are serving in the PLA Air Force today.

China had its first batch of female warplane pilots in April 2009. Yu Xu was one of them, and she was also the first J-10 female pilot. They mainly flew the J-10 and JH-7.

General female pilots that we recruited in the past mainly flew military transport planes, or served air duty on the plane. But female warplane pilots today are different.

The PLA Air Force has begun to train female warplane pilots because they are more detail-oriented and thorough and have advantages in using precision equipment and identifying terrain.

Reporter: We noticed that the Chinese military has become more open and transparent in dealing with emergencies in the past two years. What does that mean?

Chen Hong: The Chinese military has indeed become more transparent in the past few years, which indicates China's growing strength in national defense.

As a matter of fact, increasing the military's openness and transparency is an important way of "deepening trust and dismissing doubts". It will help other countries in the world to have a correct perception of the Chinese military, and it also reflects China's sincerity in conducting foreign cooperation in military security and its wish to voluntarily increase military transparency.

Pics of JL-9 and JL-10 trainers