Monday, January 28, 2008

China’s Type 59P MBT shows more details

In last year August’s IDEX2007, China Poly Corporation once displayed the so-called T-59P MBT model in public. 5 Months later, pictures showed that Type 59P MBT dose not only remain in concept stage but has been produced out real sample vehicle and entered testing.

Some self-driving tourists pictured that the testing vehicle of Type 59P MBT in some area of North China.

Obviously, from the 5 pairs of road-wheels, the vehicle is modified from previous Type 59 MBT family. A more convictive result is that the chassis is from NORICO’s AL ZARRAR MBT for Pakistan. China has said that Type 59P is for foreign customers, and using a mature and highly praised chassis is not a bad idea.

From opened information of Type 59P’s armament, it has a 105 mm rifled gun, which can be nearly verified by picture. Some resources believed that Type 59P would equipped with more powerful 120mm smoothbore gun, but this will limited the ammunition carried by the vehicle. After all, 105 mm gun has provided enough firepower in most battlefields, like in some losing states.

Strangely, the main gun has a steel annular device, which is just placed behind the bore evacuator. Now this ring set’s purpose is still unclear.

It is hard to identify that the tank turret is improved from original Type 59 cast dome-shaped turret, except the hatch girder circled with concave holes. Arrow-shaped armor has been melted on the frontispiece of turret, but the armor bulge’s shape has nuance with those installed on Type 96 and Type 99 MBTs.

The front and side faces of arrow-shaped armor are also attached with some wasted steel pieces. Obviously, those steel pieces are being loaded for turret Counter-balancing and later will be replaced with ERA in practical model.

As a whole, previous Type 59 turret has modified to a new appearance. In additional of front side armor, the dome-shaped turret flank sides is also covered by new armor layer, on which slat armor and smoke grenade launchers are installed.

Unlike Type 59D’s observation and aiming system, Type 59P MBT’s “Sight system” is also almost similar to AL ZARRAR MBT. With upgrading protection, Type 59P MBT can be the ultimate variant of Type 59 family.

China is always seeking breakthrough in world weapon market, which is mainly occupied by U.S. Russia and Israel. Due to the quality and technological reasons, China’s weapon systems are usually inferior in hi-tech conflict. But in some unenlightened state conflicts and civil wars, cheap and easily manipulative Chinese weapons are still welcome.

In Sudan, Type 85-II MBT and other armed vehicles has been found; in Pakistan and Iran, Thunder Fighter and Missile craft are playing great roles. In future, large combat ship and tactic ballistic missile will be provided for buyers, who are the hidden allies of China.

PLA’s training is in Transformation—new 8th generation training doctrine is considered in Chinese armed forces

At the end of 2007, "PLA Daily", the official paper media of PLA, announced that its new generation training doctrine is being studied to improve PLA operational performance in future hi-tech conflicts and wars.

The new training doctrine has one special part for Joint Combat Training and the other 7 parts for troops and serviced personnel from Army, Navy, Air Force, Secondary Artillery, Armed Police, Testing Support units and reserved armed forces.

Comparing with previous training programs, 5 new features can be found to outline PLA's drilling methods improvement.

Number one, training subjects related to non-war operation like peace-keeping are added.

Recently, more PLA soldiers are sent to oversea areas for UN tasks. In 2006, China has become the largest peace-keeping mission man-power provider in UN Security Council. Meanwhile, the dispatched PLA units are facing more impacting missions than mine-sweeping before. A changing situation urges PLA to add tactical training programs for close combat and anti-riot operations.

Number two, joint combat training is being paid with more attentions by PLA.

PLA always has less experience in joint operation except some three forces joint combats for liberating literal islands in 1950s. But PLA still has no correspondent programs for joint combat training in the most time of PLA's 80 years history, even in 21st century.

PLA’s great disadvantage in joint combat has been a killing limitation for years. The ignorance on joint combat training partially based on PLA’s in-rooted “Great Army” creed, less military expenditure is also an important reason.

Until in 21st century, China’s military budget finally entered a high-speed rising period. With President’s Hu’s urge of “military fight preparation”, the giant PLA at last is going to turnaround from the basic training doctrines level but not propaganda in newspapers.

In 2007, PLA General Staff department once organized a demonstration of joint combat training in Chengdu Military Zone for . When an assaulting unit under attacks from enemies, the squad leader used hand-on GPS system to position the counter fire and ordered signalman to call air support by portable satellite communication device. After 10 minutes, armed chopper arrived to destroy enemy' firepower point.

The program mentioned above is a small but typical example to observe future training standard and pattern of PLA joint combat. Although huge gap with western countries still exist, remarkable changes have taken place in PLA.

Beside the air support in Army Aviation forces, PLA's next training doctrine is also touch a wider air-ground or air-ground-marine joint combat warfare, which involved PLA Air Force and Navy. Of course this will require more reliable battlefield awareness ability, mainly depending on serviced IL-76 AWACS, other C4iSR aircrafts based on Y-8 platform and Aegis-level destroyers.

Number three; more new systems and equipments will be involved in training in order to fully realize warfare systems' performance in war time.

Obviously, a joint operational training requires more high-technical weapon systems. Unlike the "restraint time in 1980s", today is the fastest developing time in PLA History. Whatever the billion-worth surface combat ships or high-tech gadgets for single soldier, PLA has become a technology-intensive armed force. However, the old training doctrine is still rest on 1970s standards. Although PLA has modified training programs for times, an embarrassing situation is most advanced system can not be fully operated by soldiers and sergeants.

Number four, most of training will be designed under sophisticated electronic-magnetic (EM) condition.

The electronic-magnetic jamming and countermeasure in modern battlefield is a real challenge to PLA. Since recent drills in 2006, like iron-fist 2006 and Cooperation 2006, the electronic warfare has been being focused by PLA. Via the opening news resources from PLA, some related added programs can be found.

In Army, Battlefield EM situation image determination and Trunking Communication Network construction are added for technological sergeants and officers.
In Navy, surface and underwater main warships will carry the training of "first fire" and long-range anti-ship missile attacking under electronic counter measuring conditions.
In Air Force, the aviation wings (divisions) drills the anti-radiation operations and air EM jamming programs. PLA's JH-7/A attacker squadrons have equipped electronic warfare pods. For the deterrence to enemy air assaulting, PLA Air Force wings have begun the training with land-bases radars.
In Secondary Artillery, the missile launching brigades are learning to launch tactic or strategic ballistic missiles in the condition of commanding & communication signal under strong EM jamming.

Number Five, the training and evaluation standards are closing to real combat.

New training doctrine firstly rules "Blue Army"(hypothetic enemy) as the basic training condition to prevent previous simple and formalized programs. The root organized bodies in PLA forces will all build their standing hypothetic enemy units for tactic training.
Comparing former "playing" alike training, new battle focus training and related examinations will be certainly carried with quantitative and fractionized evaluation to judge the final result.

Newly designed training skeleton also brings organizational transformation for multiple military operations. In some training condition, original typical mechanized infantry battalion will be added with reconnaissance, anti-tank, EM countermeasure and battlefield communication modules units for dominating drastically changing combat.

According to PLA resources, newly compiled doctrines have been in the argumentative period and are waiting the evaluating opinions from frontline forces. In the year of 2008, PLA's General Staff Department will formally release these training programs in text book, electronic documents and assistant DVD video. In January 2009, the new programs will be enforced throughout all units in PLA.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

PLA Navy Ming class Submarine equipped with Datalink system for long range attack

In January 2008, CCTV military news disclosed that PLA Navy Ming Class conventional submarine has equipped with datalink system for underwater attack.

In the TV news story, a submarine captain from the 12th submarine detachment of PLA Navy Northern fleet introduced that Ming class submarine has used datalink system.

Ming Class Conventional Submarine inside structure

Ming Class Conventional Submarine inside structure

Ming Class Conventional Submarine inside structure

Ming Class Conventional Submarine control panel

Class Conventional Submarine control panel

Class Conventional Submarine control panel

Class Conventional Submarine control panel

submarine staff

Training simulator for Ming Class Submarine

Training simulator for Ming Class Submarine

Training simulator for Ming Class Submarine

Friday, January 11, 2008

China release VN-3 4×4 muilti-purpose wheel armor vehicle

The vehicle's main armament is PLA's new type-02 14.5mm heavy machine gun

a test in water

a variant of VN-3 vehicle

Thursday, January 10, 2008

PLA Type 05 SPH firing 155mm Extended Range Projectile

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Yuan-class conventional Submarine appeared in Wuhan

Monday, January 7, 2008

China’s experimental scaled-model TAV unleashed

December 12, a shocking photo appearing on Internet effectively proves that China is researching on next generation reusable space vehicle. A No.40672 H-6 bomber was ready to take-off and carrying a scaled TAV (Trans-Atmospheric Vehicle) model on its central line hard point.

From the picture, The TAV model was painted with its Chinese name "神龙" (Shen-long, Supernal Dragon). This TAV model's design likes a miniature of U.S. Space Shuttle body, and probably fitted with small delta wings. CAC No.611 Institute is the main designer of TAV.

According to the H-6 size, the scaled TAV model is about 8-9 meter length. Without any scramjet inlets, this VAT has a rocket nozzle at the end tip. Apparently, Chinese developers have abandon to waste time on the hypersonic air-breathing propulsion system but choose a conventional rocket power system to realize Single-stage-to-orbit. As a matter as fact, U.S. Air Force once had a similar project in 1978.

This TAV researching in China is called as "803-706 Trans-Atmospheric Vehicle Project", which has begun since about 2000. Like 921 Shenzhou spaceship project, "803-706 project" is also a national scale cooperation project. Some scientists from Chinese military-technology-related universities, like NWPU and HIT, are also involved in project's relative researching areas, like flight control system, Magnet Blushless DC Motor, heterogeneous material and rocket propulsion system. China's initiate investment on TAV has been over 100 million RMB.

The dominant position of No.611 institute in this project just reflects the boom of China’s pre-research on aerospace aircraft in 1987, when China decided to set up “863-204” project. Research Institutes from Chinese Aviation and Space Industries respectively provided 11 concept designs about future aerospace transportation vehicles.

No.601 institute brought an air-breathing ramjet+ turbojet propulsion aircraft, which is an advanced design but underlines an extremely high technological threshold. And No.611 institute provided a design, which was esteemed as the most available one in competition. No.611 institute admitted to absorb advantages from French Hermes Shuttle and was consulting the cooperation with foreign countries. In CAC’s website, it said that the TAV design was finished in 2006.

The exif information of the Internet picture showed that the TAV model and its aerial platform were photographed in 2005. And in October 2007, Great Technology LTD, an IT company located in Sichuan Province, via its website to declare that it has complete the contract with CAC No.611 to reconstruct the "863-706 Long-distance Commanding & Controlling Center". It also means that China's TAV project has entered the hardware testing stage before 2007.

In 2002, Professor Zhuang Fenggan, Chinese famous aerodynamic specialist and member of Chinese Academy of Sciences, once said that China has focused on developing “aerospace plane” for a while and would use it as future aerospace transportation vehicle and space war platform. Zhuang’s words are the first credible prove of China’s "803-706 project"

Coincidently, just before the photo unveiled on Internet, Zhuang Fenggan was interviewed by a Hong Kong Newspaper and expressed the same opinion but did not give the exact schedule. And from China Aviation Newspaper’s report, the flight testing base in Yan-Liang will carry an “aerospace project” in eleventh 5-year-plan period. So China’s future aerospace vehicle or "803-706 project" will achieve its first milestone before 2010.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Chinese Military Truck Maker released new logistic vehicles

From Dec.5 to Dec.11, an International Heavy Truck & Equipment Exhibition was held in Beijing Exhibition Center. Some domestic and foreign vehicle makers, like were involved in this expo. The most interesting one is that Chinese Sanjiang Space Wanshan Special Vehicle LTD demonstrated its WS series heavy vehicles, which are just close copies of U.S. armed forces' logistic vehicles.

Sanjiang Space Wanshan Special Vehicle LTD is a subsidiary of CASIC, (China Aerospace Science & Industry Corp.) and located in Hubei province. In the exhibition, "SanJiang-Wanshan Vehicle" promoted its several types of 4×4, 6×6, 8×8, 10×8, 10×10, 12×12 and 14×12 diesel powered off-road trucks.

6×6 cargo Truck

U.S. MTVR (Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement)

For example, "SanJiang-Wanshan Vehicle" introduced a unnamed 6×6 cargo Truck, which is very similar to U.S. MTVR (Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement) MK.23 standard Cargo Truck. In the promotion plate, "SanJiang-Wanshan Vehicle" announced that this 6×6 vehicle can be used as a mobile platform for rocket launcher, air-defense and land-based anti-ship missile system. The vehicle is installed with a powerful water-cooling electronic control engine, automatic transmission, 2-Speed transfer case and independent Suspension to realize high-speed off-road performance. Besides, this 6×6 cargo Truck has CAN (Controller Area Net) for self-debugging.

Its other specification includes:

Size (mm): 8050×2500×3090
Gross Weight (kg): 11000
off-road loading capacity (kg): 7000kg
high-way loading capacity (kg): 14000kg
Maximum Speed (km/h): 105
Maximum Range (km): 600

Sanjiang's New 8×8 cargo Truck
Another unnamed 8×8 heavy truck just looks like Oshkosh M997 A2 HEMTT. And its specification can be described as below:
Size (mm): 10100×2500×2580
Gross Weight (kg): 15000
off-road loading capacity (kg): 10000kg
high-way loading capacity (kg): 16000kg
Maximum Speed (km/h): 105
Maximum Range (km): 600

Oshkosh M997 A2 HEMTT

14×12 heavy truck

"SanJiang-Wanshan vehicle" also developed a 14×12 heavy truck for PLA Secondary Artillery ICBM transportation and launching. This most powerful one in WS series heavy truck is designed in divided driving axle, assisted by a multi-axle steering system and 1600×800-685 tires. Other characters are listed in below.

Size (mm): 18250×3350×3280
Gross Weight (kg): 38000
Maximum loading capacity (kg): 67000kg
Maximum Speed (km/h): 50
Maximum Range (km): 500

Now PLA's heavy logistic vehicles are mostly from 5 brands, including "HanYang Special Vehicle"(HY series), "North-Benz" (ND series), "South-west Vehicle" (XC series), "SanJiang-Wanshan vehicle" (WS series) and "Tai-an Aerospace Special Vehicle LTD"(TA series)

Actually, HY series, WS series and TA series occupy the main part of PLA heavy truck market. In 1999 national parade, 6×6 HY 4260S was the tractor for DF-21 missile system and 8×8 HY 4330 for DF-31 ICBM. Meanwhile, 8×8 WS-2400 was the mobile launcher of DF-11 and recently a mysterious DF-25 ballistic missile was found on a variant of WS-2500 10×8 chassis.

In TA series, 20-ton class 8×8 TA5380 is used in WM80 rocket launching system and FT-2000 anti-AWACS missile, 25-ton class 8×8 TA5450 and its variant are produced for DF-15 missile system and A-100 rocket system. And 30-ton class 10×10 TA5570 has been selected as the transportation vehicle for an unknown improved DF ballistic missile system, whose photos have appeared on Internet.

30-ton class 10×10 TA5570
Apparently, WS series' new products in exhibition are to expand its percent in market. It is usually known that the heavy truck technologies of "SanJiang-Wanshan vehicle" mostly from Russia and Belarus. But the face changing of WS series trucks possibly indicates a new direction of PLA logistic vehicle development.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

China's New LCAC discovered in Shanghai

PLA NAvy's LCAC is bing built in Jiangnan Shipyard, Shanghai.

Comparing with U.S. Navy LCAC

From the stature of the workers, we can estimate the length of PLA LCAC