Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Shipyard photos of the day: The fifth Zubr LCAC under construction and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency's first 1,500-ton cutter

Friday, June 02, 2017

Newspaper scan of the day: Mobile Landing Platform + Zubr

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

China just launched its 98,000t DWT Mobile Landing Platform (MLP).

COSCOL’s 98,000t DWT newbuilding semi-submersible vessel “Guang Hua Kou” was successfully launched on April 28th at Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI). The “Guang Hua Kou” will be one of the largest vessels of its type when delivered end of this year.

Expert: Chinese Navy needs bigger semi-submersible ships for open sea operations

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Yao Jianing
2016-03-28 17:40
BEIJING, March 28 (ChinaMil) – China needs semi-submersible ships with greater tonnage in the future as the country constantly updates its naval equipment, according to Cao Weidong, a military expert, in an interview with CCTV’s Asia Today.
The USNS Montford Point, the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) of the United States, acted as a mobile offshore port and performed all the material transfer tasks at sea during the Exercise Ssang Yong 16 concluded on March 18, a biennial military exercise focused on strengthening the amphibious landing capabilities of the U.S. and its allies.
Cao Weidong said in the interview that China has similar equipment known as semi-submersible ship, but its tonnage is much smaller than that of the USNS Montford Point.
Cao said that as China constantly updates its naval equipment, semi-submersible ships with greater tonnage are needed in the future.
The Exercise Ssang Yong 16 was held from March 7 to 18, 2016. Yonhap News Agency reported that the U.S. sent more than 9,200 marines and 3,000 sailors in the exercise while the ROK sent more than 5,000 marines and sailors. In addition, Australia and New Zealand also sent army soldiers to the exercise.
In the exercise, the U.S. first dispatched a large cargo ship loaded with supplies and logistics equipment to the designated sea area, and then the USNS Montford Point approached the cargo ship and connected to the cargo ship with ropes.
Part of the deck of the USNS Montford Point can be wrapped into the water and therefore large air-cushioned landing craft can directly reach the deck of the ship. Then supplies were lifted from the cargo ship to air-cushioned landing craft and finally transported ashore.
Throughout the entire process, it can be concluded that with the help of the USNS Montford Point, the U.S. military will no longer need ports when transporting heavy equipment and logistics materials from the sea to the front as the whole transportation work can be completed at sea. That is, the MLP acts as a mobile offshore port or base at sea.
The U.S. military officials said that the U.S. military logistics support can only last 15 days after the landing of its Marines in the past but now the mobile port provides logistics support for the troops on land at any time.
U.S. media disclosed that the U.S. had been brewing the strategic vision of sea bases at least for one decade, but didn’t find the right equipment. The construction of the USNS Montford Point started in 2012 and the ship was delivered to the U.S. military in 2013.
Its full load displacement is 78,000 tons and the range exceeds 9,000 sea miles. The U.S. Navy is scheduled to purchase at least two such ships.
Logistics and equipment support are essential for a force that conducts operations at open sea. It is undoubtedly a piece of good news if this supply does not rely on ports.
In fact, the Chinese Navy has similar equipment. The semi-submersible ship Donghaidao officially joined the South China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy on July 10, 2015. This is China’s first semi-submersible ship.
According to the website of the Chinese Navy, Donghaidao is a new semi-submersible ship developed and manufactured independently by China. The ship is 175.5 meters in length and 32.4 meters in width. Its full load displacement exceeds 20,000 tons.
The ship looks similar to the USNS Montford Point and the U.S. has paid great attention to Donghaidao. The U.S. Navy Institute published an article on the official website, saying the Donghaidao ship will significantly improve the amphibious combat capability of the Chinese Navy.
Cao Weidong said that China has its own semi-submersible ship and it looks similar to the USNS Montford Point because they have to perform similar task, the logistics support.
He said that China’s semi-submersible ship can transport logistical supplies and conduct tasks such as maintenance for combat ships and submarines.
Though China’s semi-submersible ship is essentially a logistical support base, its usage is different compared with that of the United States.
First, China will not send its semi-submersible ship to territories of other countries. Instead, China’s semi-submersible ship is for the maintenance and logistics support for its own ships during open sea tasks.
Second, the tonnage of China’s semi-submersible ship is much smaller than the USNS Montford Point, in accordance with China’s naval defense needs and the overall capacity.
Cao concluded that China needs semi-submersible ships with greater tonnage in the future as the country constantly updates its naval equipment.
The author is Huang Zijuan, reporter from the People’s Daily Online. The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and don't represent views of the China Military Online website.


PR photos of the day: More air-assault pictures, this time with the navy

A Z-10 attack helicopter attached to an army aviation brigade under the PLA Eastern Theater Command flies alongside the amphibious dock landing ship Kunlunshan (Hull Number 998) during a maritime training exercise in mid-August, 2017. ( by Zhang Huanpeng)

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Photos of the day: 6th LH Brigade, 42nd Group Army, Southern Theater Command conducts training in South China Sea

The Taiwan Strait is 180 kilometers wide separating ROC and PRC.   The WZ10 attack chopper has a range of 800 kilometers while the Z-8 heavy-lifter enjoys an additional 100 kilometers to a total of 900. The math is fairly straightforward here.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The 1st LH (Army Aviation) Brigade is now the 161st Air-Assault Brigade (空中突击第161旅), 83rd Group Army, Central Theater Command

The great PLA orbat reform of 2017 continues -- the former 1st LH Brigade now has an organic light assault infantry detachment and renamed as the 161st Air-Assault Brigade accordingly.   It is no-longer just a battlefield transport arm of the 83rd Group Army anymore.

To be clear, the PLA has been experimenting with heli-assault tactics in combined arms operations since the formation of its LH (Army Aviation) Corps (here), albeit at a low scale.  In 2005, the CMC detached elements from the 149th Mech Infantry Division to form the experimental 155th Special Light Mechanized Regiment as a first step of putting theoretical theory into practice.  In addition to the 155th, a smaller Heli-Assault battalion battle group was also created at the Nanjing MR to further refine small-unit, heli-assault operations.   Fast forward to 2017, Air-Assault is now part of the ground force's arsenal.  More LH units are expected to be converted into Air-Assault Brigades as part the orbat reform.

The PLAAF is also doing the same (see below) 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Next up at the Stride 2015 - Zhurihe A "red-vs-blue" confrontational exercise, 1st Heli-Assault Brigade, Nanjing MR

This is 1st Heli-Assault Brigade's first "baptism of fire" at Zhurihe, China's premier operational level "red vs blue" proving ground. It should be interesting to see how fine-tuned the PLA air assault tactics are after 10 years of trial and error in adopting this new combat operation. 

The 1st Heli-Assault Brigade (or 直升机机降突击旅 in Chinese) started as the 1st Heli-Assault battalion battle group in 2005, expanded into a full assault brigade in 2008. According to its commander 厉振彪 Li ZhenBiao, due to shortage of organic vertical assets, flatbed trucks were pressed into service to simulate airdrops. Their first military exercise was feasible only by 2009 when additional  helicopters found their way to the Nanjing MR.  Despite taking part at this year's Zhurihe, the outfit is still fairly new by PLA standards, doubts about their effectiveness will remain for some time to come.

Here are CCTV captures of its first military exercise in 2009

Sunday, January 19, 2014

PR Photos of the day: Vertical assault of an PLAAF airborne battalion combined arms battle-group

Monday, January 18, 2010

15th Airborne Corps (ABC) is testing their vertical envelopment/air mobility capability

The 15th ABC's organic helicopter regiment was first revealed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake rescue work and then by a high profile fly-by during the 60th national day celebration.

It is now time for the 15th to test its newly found air mobility assault capability in a large military exercise. The advantage of air mobile assault over airdrop are many: ranging from entire unit delivery in one place--which immediately allows combat-readiness, precision resupply landings, to on-station fire support from helicopter gunships. In time, it will be interesting to see if a small portion of the 15th ABC will be converted into air-cavalry to enhance the corps' mission profile.

Airborne troops in training

(Source: China Military Online) 2010-01-18
Air-ground coordination

   Since the beginning of the training of the new year, a troop unit of the airborne force under the Air Force of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has organized the comprehensive exercise of live shell, actual-airdrop and actual-explosion strictly in accordance with the new Outline of Military Training and Evaluation. During the exercise, it stressed training on such subjects as command and control, airborne landing and airdrop, fire strike and comprehensive support, in a bid to enhance the core military capability of the troops. Shown in the pictures are some scenes of the troop unit in training.

  By Wang Haitao

Editor:Yang Ru