Friday, April 13, 2018

Hi-res photo of the day: J-15 carrier-based multirole fighter two-seater variant prototype 561

Note the tailhook.   

Saturday, January 04, 2014

J-15's buddy centerline refueling store

Here is one potential solution to the challenge of limited takeoff weight and range of Short take-off but arrested-recovery (STOBAR) carrier borne aircraft -- Give them a “hard point mounted fuel pod with a hose-and-drogue system” (a.k.a buddy store) This arrangement  allows carrier borne aircraft to increase their combat range as well as their take-off weight without the need of a dedicated tanker support.

Judging from the following public release photos of China’s Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark, such a buddy store is available to the Chinese Naval Aviators, assuming that they have mastered the mid-air refueling techniques of course. Given the fact that the J15 is based on the Russian SU-33, the Shangyang buddy store bears resemblance to the UPAZ-1A Sakhalin centerline refueling store series currently available in the international arms market.

Prototype 556

SU-33's UPAZ-1A at play

Thursday, April 12, 2018

5th PLAN Marine Brigade update (4/12/2018)

Recon elements of the 5th Marine Brigade just received its Lynx 8x8 All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) .   The fact that they are issued ATV instead of dedicated amphibious IFV is a telling story of what their intended role will be.

Photo credit goes to Andrew KC

Note some of the smurfs are still sporting 1970's old "steel helm"

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The 5th PLAN Marine Briagde is here

It just completed its first field deployment drill in minus ten degrees near its home port of Qingdao (here).   The 1st and 2nd PLAN Marine Brigades are home-ported in Zhanjiang, South Sea Fleet.  Since the 5th Marine Briagde is in Qingdao, it is likely under the North Sea Fleet.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

PLAN Marine Orbat Update, Dec 23rd 2017

If the great "Chinese Internet" is to be believed, a total of 5 new PLAN Marine combat brigades will be commissioned to support PLA's “New Historic Missions”.  They are to supplement the existing 1st and 2nd Marine Brigades.   The new outfits are:  3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and Marine SpOps Brigade.

The Fourth PLAN Marine Brigade

High-res photo of the day: China's naval parade

When you got it flaunt it

The Chinese PLA Navy holds a grand maritime parade in the South China Sea on Tuesday morning. It is the largest naval parade ever carried out by the Chinese PLA Navy, with 48 ships and 76 aircraft taking part in. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), inspected the whole event. (ChinaMil / Photo by Mo Xiaoliang)

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Here it is, the first artist's impression of China's long-range strategic bomber project looks like from a semi-official source

May 2018's Aerospace Knowledge magazine cover.  Word of caution here -- it is only an impression at this point.
Project's display model

China needs long-range strategic bomber: state media
AFP•July 7, 2015
A member of the public waves the Chinese and Hong Kong flags as Peoples' Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers stand in the background at the Ngong Shuen Chau Barracks in Hong Kong on July 1, 2015
A member of the public waves the Chinese and Hong Kong flags as Peoples' Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers stand in the background at the Ngong Shuen Chau Barracks in Hong Kong on July 1, 2015 (AFP Photo/Isaac Lawrence)

China needs to develop a long-range strategic bomber to strike adversaries farther away from its coast in the event of conflict, state media reported Tuesday, quoting defence experts.

Beijing has been steadily beefing up its military through years of double-digit increases in defence spending, rapidly expanding its naval power, commissioning its first aircraft carrier and adding to its submarine and surface fleets.

But the government-run China Daily newspaper said in a full-page article that a recent military meeting had deemed the country's air force a "strategic force", citing the latest issues of Kanwa Defense Review, a Canada-based defence and weapons technology publication.

The title had previously been reserved for the military's Second Artillery Corps, which the paper described as China's "de facto strategic missile force".

The meeting agreed that a long-range strategic bomber would enable the air force to attack farther out into the Pacific Ocean, the paper quoted Kanwa Defense Review as reporting, as far as the "second island chain".

Chinese strategists conceive of the "first island chain" as the arc stretching from Japan to Taiwan, which includes numerous US military bases on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

The second chain refers to islands farther east in the Pacific, including the Marianas, the Carolines, and the US territory of Guam with its Andersen Air Force Base. A third "island chain" encompassing Hawaii is also sometimes mentioned.

China's increased military posture has come as Beijing asserts its territorial claims in the East and South China Seas, where it has disputes with several Asian neighbours including Japan and the Philippines.

Its moves have raised tensions with the United States, still the region's top military power.

A capacity to strike the second island chain would hinder foreign militaries from intervening in "an emergency or conflict", the China Daily said, citing the report.

In May, China's State Council, or cabinet, said in a white paper that the country would project its military power further beyond its sea borders and more assertively in the air.

The Chinese military defines a long-range strategic bomber as one that can carry more than 10 tonnes of air-to-ground munitions and with a minimum range of 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) without refuelling, the China Daily said.

Chinese defence technology magazine Aerospace Knowledge said in a series of articles last month that China needs a long-range stealth bomber, China Daily said.

"A medium-range bomber can't essentially fix the PLA air force's shortcomings in terms of strategic strike and strategic deterrence," it cited one of the reports as saying. "Thus the air force does need an intercontinental strategic bomber capable of penetrating an enemy's air defences."

But the China Daily quoted the publication's deputy editor-in-chief Wang Yanan as saying such an aircraft would require "a state-of-the-art structure and aerodynamic configuration as well as a high-performance turbofan engine".

"All of these are major problems facing the Chinese aviation industry," he added. "I don't think these difficulties can be resolved within a short period of time."

PAP unit of the day: Guiyang Special Police Linbao "Forrest Leopard" Commando, Mountain Mobile Unit

The Forrest Leopard was commissioned in 2006.  Together with other PAP Commando units, they have two sets of Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) -- the standard black for normal SWAT operations and the "field" BDU for drug traffick interdiction, hostage rescue operations near the Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos boarders.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Photos of the day: WZ-19 millimeter wave radar platform variant inducted into PLA Army Aviation service

This Chinese "AH-64D Apache Light" variant featuring a millimeter wave radar platform similar to that of An/APG-78 Longbow made its first pubic debut at the 2017 China Helicopter Expo.   The new millimeter wave radar is geared to improve WZ19's target acquisition as well as its reconnaissance capability. 

Existing WZ-19 already in service can be retrofitted with this new millimeter wave radar enhancement in due course.

Photo credit goes to DS北风

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

PR photos of the day: Twelve H-6K bombers fly over South China Sea

They are from the 108th Air Regiment, 36th Air Division (Bomber) Central Theater Command Air Force HQ.

The 36th commissioned in August 1952 with a batch of 10 Tupolev Tu-4 strategic bombers and took part in the 1959 Tibet operation.

 Airmen walk in formation prior to a combat drill with H-6K bombers. Twelve H-6K bombers assigned to a division of the PLA Air Force recently conducted a long haul flight from the hinterland of China's central Shaanxi Plain to a certain area to carry out military training, according to the official social media account of the Chinese PLA Air Force on the Sina Weibo, March 27, 2018. ( by Yang Ruikang)

Historical photos for the 60th anniversary of the PLAAF.

A rare photo of the Tu-4 "Bull" bomber (Soviet's B-29 copy) of PLAAF's 4th Independent Regiment , 10 were "given" by Stalin for Mao's birthday in 1953

No Bull! It is a Chinese AWAC!