Sunday, July 31, 2011

CDF Book Review: Chinese Aerospace Power: Evolving Maritime Roles, edited by Andrew S. Erickson and Lyle J. Goldstein.

Chinese Aerospace Power: Evolving Maritime Roles, edited by Andrew S. Erickson and Lyle J. Goldstein

This fifth installment in the series “Studies in Chinese Maritime Development” was the result of the fourth annual conference of the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) hosted by the US Naval War College in Newport, R.I. Together with previous CMIS publications, the papers presented by this installation are of the highest quality with primary Chinese sources. They are written by the most respected authorities on the subject -- ranging from policy makers and influencers to retired flag officers, a former submarine captain and a former member of the PLA who has now become a professor at the USAF’s Air War College. In other words, no self-appointed journalists or political operatives were allowed in this publication.

This installment is arranged in six parts to address the major challenges facing China. In addition to the much discussed maritime strike role for Ballistic missiles, other important areas were summarized: helicopter missions, airborne anti-submarine warfare, cruise missiles, aviation and naval doctrine, naval aviation capabilities and intentions, employment of naval UAV, C4ISR, the role of the new found carrier task force, and the Chinese concept of deterrence and possible US response.

While unveiling fancy new equipment can generate headlines, the press generally doesn’t ask the deeper question of how new equipment may change existing PLA doctrine or examine potential implications. This is where the good folks from the CMSI come in and provide analyses that are lacking in the blogosphere (present company included). Upon closer examination, the challenges facing China are greater than the successes so far documented. China’s still weak ASW capability is often cited as case in point.

In my opinion, having this honest and professional assessment will help not only Washington decision makers, but also those in Beijing to "try harder" (to borrow a phrase from Adm (ret) McVadon) by engaging each other without poisonous public emotion.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

China's Aircraft Carrier: Smoke Means Progress!

Previous photos of China's first aircraft carrier, the refitted ex-Soviet "Varyag", have shown the deck cleared, repainted, and the lights on.

Now we see copious amounts of smoke pouring from the funnel.  In the recent past, naysayers have described China's carrier as an engineless white elephant that might perhaps be used as a towed training vessel.  Now we have definitive proof that there is a great deal of combustion going on inside the ship.  While the carrier still hasn't left it's moorings in Dalian, this blogger can conclude one thing from this photo...  Smoke means progress!

Just a bunch J-10 Photos

 Standard AA armament layout,  PL8+PL11
 5th J-10B (1035) Prototype powered by WS-10A

 Land Based, Navalized, J-10AH

Friday, July 29, 2011

Communist propaganda of the day: aircraft carrier program for scientific research

It is almost as bad as the Japanese uses "scientific research" to justify whaling.

With or without aircraft carrier, China pursues peaceful development

(Source: Xinhua) 2011-07-28

The undated photo shows the imported aircraft carrier body is refitted. China's Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the country is making use of an imported aircraft carrier body for refitting to be used for scientific research, experiment and training. (Xinhua)(mcg)

The undated photo shows the imported aircraft carrier body is refitted. China's Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the country is making use of an imported aircraft carrier body for refitting to be used for scientific research, experiment and training. (Xinhua)

BEIJING, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The Defense Ministry officially confirmed Wednesday that China was pursuing an aircraft carrier program aimed at refitting an imported carrier as a platform for scientific research, experiment and training.

It appears China is a long way off having a carrier with real fighting capacity since developing and building this type of vessel is a long and complicated process.

Even if China does equip its naval force with a carrier, it is unlikely to have much of an impact on the world, given a traditional military power such as the United States has 11 in service, and even lesser powers, such as Thailand, Brazil and India, each have one.

China, with an estimated total coastline of more than 10,000 km to defend and long, busy sea lanes to secure for the flow of materials and manufactured goods in and out of the country, is entitled to an aircraft carrier.

Apart from its need for national defense, the program will better serve China's purpose of international cooperation against maritime crimes, including the fight against Somali pirates.

Chinese navy fleets had by June escorted 3,953 ships from countries all over the world through the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, among which 47 percent were foreign commercial ships.

The carrier program will gear up China for a bigger role in peaceful cooperation worldwide.

In response to questions concerning China's carrier program, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said in a recent press briefing that China was sticking to the path of peaceful development and upheld a defense policy that was defensive in nature.

And China would always be a major force in safeguarding regional and world peace, he said.

In an article entitled "Commitment to Peaceful Development", Dai Bingguo, Chinese state councilor in charge of foreign policy, expounded on China's strategy of peaceful development.

Recognizing the profound changes in China as well as in China's relations with the rest of the world, China took a path of peaceful development, which accorded with the world development trend and suited its national realities, Dai wrote in the article, published in late 2010.

Peaceful development meant domestic harmony and development, and the strategy sought peace and cooperation in its relations with the rest of the world, Dai wrote.

China believed win-win cooperation with other countries, instead of expansionism or hegemony, served its national interests better, he said.

China's commitment to peaceful development would never change, Dai said.

With or without an aircraft carrier, China will unwaveringly pursue its peaceful development. And any misgivings or nervousness about China's aircraft carrier program are completely unnecessary.

Editor:Dong Zhaohui

Video more

ZBL-09 Assault gun variant unveiled.

Perhaps this latest unveiling would add more credence to the rumor of PLA's own Stryker Brigade, perhaps not. At any rate, it is no secret that the PLA high command is a huge fan of FM 3-0 and don't be surprise to see a more "full spectrum" focused than pure firepower approach to war fighting down the road  

SAT-Comm variant

Sunday, May 15, 2011

PLA's ZBL09 IFV (VN1 Export) 8x8 family

The rate it is going, they might have their own Stryker Combat Brigade soon.

Photo taken from the 2009 October 1st Military Parade

Engineering variant

122mm howitzer variant

120mm mortar variant

Recon variant
Command variant 

Lights on for China's first aircraft carrier.

In another sign of progress, the lights are on China's first aircraft carrier, formerly the Soviet "Varyag".  Also notable in this sequence of photos, most of the clutter on deck has been cleared.  It's still anybody's guess when exactly we will see fixed wing aircraft operating on this carrier.  Slowly but surely, we will see it happen.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Heading out again?

Only a few weeks after PLAN's annual cruise off Okinawa, a large task force from the East Sea Fleet is spotted traveling out to sea.    The single file is leaded by DDG 170 and flanked by a number of Type 022 Houbei class FACs. Not sure why they are bringing everything including the kitchen this time, but I am sure the PLA Daily will provide us with a reasonable explanation in no time.

Photo credit goes to HSH---GMDOS、北风之神