Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Photos of the day: J-16 fighter/bomber and H-6K twin-engine jet bomber in hi-res

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Photo of the day: J-16's holographic HUD

If the PLAN can field J-15 with a holographic HUD,  I am sure Shenyang Aircraft Company can put the same HUD on J-16, per request from the PLA-AF.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

No typo, J-16 is the Chinese Strike Flanker, Su30 MK2


China demonstrated fighter J16 to the press at aircraft factory Shenyang Aircraft Co; it is a copy of Russian Su-30MK2, reports Hong Kong military magazine Kanwa referring to a Chinese authoritative military source.

This airplane is a copy of Russian fighter Su-30MK2, the batch of them was sold to China early in 2000's, reports Interfax citing the source.

According to the magazine, Chinese Navy is quite satisfied with performance characteristics of Su-30MK2 fighter. The military asked the Shenyang aircraft factory to copy that fighter with antiship capabilities adapted for Chinese-made missiles. Basically, the fuselage remained the same as J11BS airplane has, said the source.

The magazine reports that the first batch of 24 fighters J16 had been already constructed.

Since early 2010, Chinese Navy began to receive the first batch of domestically-designed multirole all-weather fighters J10A which significantly increased technological level of Chinese Navy, reports Kanwa.

The Chinese military source told to the magazine that "national air force has not received 'cloned' Su-30MK2 yet. Normally, Chinese Navy gets new fighters first. For example, two-seat fighter bomber JH7 joined Air Force only after commissioning into the Navy".

Non-headline news of the day: Antarctic ship passengers 'to be evacuated by Chinese helicopter'

Antarctic ship passengers 'to be evacuated by Chinese helicopter'


Sydney (AFP) - Most passengers and some crew from a scientific expedition ship stranded off Antarctica will be evacuated by helicopter to a Chinese icebreaker if weather conditions improve, Russia said Monday.

Authorities decided to resort to the helicopter evacuation after the Aurora Australis rescue icebreaker was forced to retreat in the face of freezing winds and snow showers 10 nautical miles from the Russian-flagged MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which is stuck in an ice field.

Thick ice had earlier prevented both the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long and a French icebreaker from reaching the stranded crew.

"A decision has been reached to evacuate 52 passengers and four crew members by helicopter from China's Xue Long ship, should the weather allow," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

The MV Akademik Shokalskiy has been stuck on an ice field since last week with 74 people on board. The multinational passenger list includes scientists as well as tourists and crew.

Earlier Monday, the Australian Maritime Authority said the area where the ship was trapped was experiencing winds of up to 30 knots and snow showers.

"These weather conditions have resulted in poor visibility and made it difficult and unsafe for the Aurora Australis to continue today's attempt to assist the MV Akademik Shokalskiy."

The authority also said earlier Monday it was "unsafe to attempt to launch the helicopter from the Chinese vessel" given the weather, but further rescue attempts could be made once the weather improves.

Australia's rescue coordination centre is in regular contact with the ship, which has been stationary 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont D'Urville since December 24.

Its passengers, who had been following in the Antarctic footsteps of Australian Sir Douglas Mawson and his 1911-1914 expedition, remain safe and well on their well-provisioned vessel, the safety authority said.

Chris Turney, one of the leaders of the scientific expedition, said via Skype from the stranded ship that those on board were in good spirits and wanted their families and friends to know they were safe and well.

"It's Antarctica, we are just taking it one day at a time," he told AFP.

"The conditions are so extreme in Antarctica, you just never know. We are always hopeful."

In a brief video posted on his Twitter account shortly after 1830 GMT, Turney seemed optimistic that the weather was getting better and that a ship rescue could still be viable.

"A disappointing day but hopefully the icebreakers will get in tomorrow," he said.

He added: "Good news: Visibility improved to horizon. Wind moderate (20 knots)."

Turney, who is professor of climate change at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, said satellite images indicated that their vessel had become stuck in ice which had broken away from a glacier.

The fierce winds had pushed it into an area of normally open sea, blocking the ship's progress, and this ice was now three to four metres thick in some places, although in others there were gaps with no ice.

"It's an unusual event that's happened," he said. "We were in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Turney had earlier tweeted that cracks were developing in the ice around the bow of the ship, something he hoped would help free the vessel.

The team onboard has been carrying out the same scientific experiments which Mawson's group conducted during the 1911-1914 expedition in the hope they could help in climate change research.

Several members of the team have already battled sea ice to reach the historic Mawson's Huts -- built and occupied by the 1911-1914 expedition -- which have been isolated for years by a giant iceberg.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pole Party

More evidence that Chinese activities are causing the ice caps to melt.

But to their defense, what else  are you gonna do to after reaching the northernmost point besides swim a few laps and have a BBQ?

Chinese scientists reach North Pole

ABOARD XUELONG, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- A group of Chinese scientists reached the North Pole on Friday afternoon, extending their research on the Arctic Ocean to Earth's northernmost point.

Fourteen Chinese scientists were flown in by helicopter from icebreaker the Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, which carried a Chinese exploration team and reached a point at 88.22 degrees north latitude and 177.20 degrees west longitude.

The Chinese scientists' arrival point marks the Arctic Ocean's furthest north they have ever reached.

The scientists carried out a series of research activities at the Pole, including collecting sea ice and seawater samples and ecological observation.

China's South Pole research station.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

China continues fighting pirates off Africa

Citing escalating cost, there were speculations that the China Navy would stop sending ships to the Gulf of Aden as part of an International Counter-Piracy efforts off Somalia.    I think the following official news release can put those speculations to rest for now.    The Chinese high command still believes the long-term benefits of modern naval diplomacy, deployment opportunities, training and exercises still outweigh the cost of sending ships afar.    In addition to hard military benefits, China’s on-going naval mission to fight pirates offers something sorely missing for her military – a good PR story.  

For an in depth analysis of China's Anti-piracy Operations in the Gulf of Aden thus far, Dr Andrew Erickson and Austin M. Strange's "No Substitute for Experience" is the best out there, bar none.  You can download their article from US Naval War College's China Maritime Studies Institute website here


China continues fighting pirates off Africa

(Source: Xinhua)   2013-12-28

  BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- China will continue to send naval fleets on escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, described by a Chinese naval officer as the nation's international obligation.

  The pirates in the area have become more violent and are brazen in using weapons. Reinforcing escort forces is a real need and a long-term mission, Ding Yiping, deputy commander in the Chinese Navy, said on Thursday, the fifth anniversary of China's first such escort mission.

  In the past five years, China has sent 16 fleets composed of 42 warships to the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, escorting 5,465 vessels and rescuing 42 ships attacked by the pirates, said Ding.

  A total of 13,214 marines have participated in the escort missions.

  Pirate activity has dropped off drastically in the wake of the escorts from various countries, Ding said. Only 11 incidents have been recorded this year to date, and none of them were successful.

  The navy will expand its escort area and strengthen cooperation with international forces to ensure regional and world peace, he said.

  Ding said that China has no plan to send its aircraft carrier to the area as it is still in sea trials and is not yet combat-ready.

Editor:Chen Jie

Photo of the day: H-6M of the 108th Regiment, 36th Bomber Division, PLAAF

It seems that PLAAF's H-6K is making the round in the news lately with its capability to carry
CJ-10 cruise missiles (range between 1,500 to 2,000 KM).  What is lesser-known is that the older K-6M bomber can also deliver the CJ-10s at two per sortie.   The newer H-6K has a payload of 7 CJ-10s (3 at each wing plus one inside of the fuselage)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

PLAAF "in the news" of the day: H-6K, god-of-war (small g)

 H-6K bombers delivered to PLA Air Force

By Chen Boyuan
     China.org.cn, June 22, 2013


The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force recently received 15 H-6K bombers with nuclear capabilities, according to British military digest Jane’s Defence Weekly.

The H-6K, an updated version of the H-6 bomber, is a medium-sized craft designed for long-range attacks, stand-off attacks and large-area air patrol. Unlike its predecessor, the H-6K can carry cruise missiles under its wings. The H6-K also maneuvers more deftly than the H-6 and requires a smaller crew to operate. Jane’s Defence was the first media outlet to confirm that the H6-K had formally entered active service.

The most visible departure from the H-6 is the H6-K’s nose, where a nose randome has replaced a navigation cabin. Military expert Fu Qianshao said that the H6-K’s nose should greatly improve avionics, search and detection, navigation, fire control and weapon precision.

Fu said that the H-6K has a larger engine inlet than does the H-6, which may mean that the newer bomber’s engines have greater thrust. If so, the H-6K would also have a greater maximum takeoff weight and payload than the H-6. A more favorable weight-to-thrust ratio would improve fuel efficiency and lengthen cruising range, Fu said.

H-6K reportedly has a combat radius of 3,500 KM. The nuclear-capable Changjian (long sword)-10 cruise missiles it carries have a range of 1,500-2,000 KM, effectively extending the bomber’s combat range to 4,000-5,000 KM - long enough to reach Okinawa, Guam and even Hawaii from China’s mainland.

Analysts stipulated that PLA Air Force missiles be able to reach Taiwan, southwestern Japan and Guam, a range of control that requires a 3,000-KM combat radius and powerful attack capability. Only the combined combat radii of the H6-K and Changjian-10 currently satisfy the length requirement.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Final installment of D-30KP-2 delivered to China

The following is a Google translated news from (here), the same in Chinese (here).   Thus far there are two known use of D-30KP-2 by the "Chinese customer" they are the H-6K "God of War" bomber program and the KJ-2000 Mainring AWAC fleet.  Since the existing KL-2000 fleet does not require 55 new engines, it is likely that more H-6K will be manufactured in due course.

NPO "Saturn", 25 March 2011

March 23 fifth installment of D-30KP-2 production of JSC "NPO Saturn" put the Chinese customer. This is the final party of 11 engines, the contract between Rosoboronexport and the China People's Republic, which entered into force in April 2009, to supply 55 engines for the period until 2012.
Delivery of the final installment of D-30KP-2 is scheduled before the end of March this year. Contract also provides technical support from the manufacturer within the warranty period.

The previous four parties of D-30KP-2 were delivered by the Russian side, respectively, in November 2009, March, May and October 2010.During the acceptance of work members of the Chinese delegation and a representative of the PRC Embassy in Moscow, Zheng Kai noted with satisfaction the early and qualitative performance of OAO "Saturn" contractual obligations.

According to the commercial director of NPO Saturn, Sergei Popov, "for" Saturn ", which has longstanding friendly relations with Chinese customers, a great honor to successfully complete the work under this contract. We look forward to an early extension of the Russian-Chinese cooperation. In particular, the continued supply of engines to China, the D-30KP-2.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Photo of the day: China Army's Igloo

Parts of the Shenyang Military Region can be as cold as the Canada Central Arctic and here is how PLA recon troops protect themselves from the element in that region when camping vehicle is neither available nor applicable.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Photo of the day: ZBD04A/WZ502G of Chengdu Military Region

According to this PLAdaily article (here) an armored regiment of Chengdu Military Region (MR) is now upgunned with the latest ZBD04A/WZ502G, this marks the fourth China Army MR to be equipped with this latest Norinco IFV.  The first three MRs with ZBD04A/WZ502G equipped units are Beijing, Shanyang and Lanzhou.    The challenge now for this Chengdu MR unit is to adopt ZBD04A/WZ502G properly for operations in the mountainous terrain, over the primitive road network and to trailblazer a new highland war-fighting doctrine for other units to follow. 

Lanzhou MR's ZBD04A/WZ502G on maneuver, photo taken March 2013.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New tracked IFV entering service with a unit "up north"

More photos from the Chinese railway junkies

This new IFV appears to be sporting a BMP-3 turret mod.

Monday, June 06, 2011

A new Chinese tracked vehicle family emerges

Little is known about this new IFV but thus far it seems to have developed a complete family of variants in various stages of testing or field deployments. Some unconfirmed claims pointing to a heavy Type 89/ZSD89/YW534 mod, but without a closer inspection or an official acknowledgement from Norinco, they are still speculations.

At any rate, the PLA is long over due for a modern tracked vehicle,  this is especially true consider the weak armor protection the old Type89 and 86 families have to offer. 

 Engineering variant
 APC variant from the official Xinhua News
 Command variant
 Recon variant
SP 120mm turreted mortar variant

Photo from the PLAdaily

Monday, February 06, 2012

Photo of the day: New tracked IFV with bolted armor

Since not having enough armor protection is one of the loudest complaint against the ZDB04 tracked IFV, it was not popular with overseas customers.   it appears that Norinco took the complaint to heart and address that deficiency with some bolted armor slap on its new family of IFV.

Notice how thinly armored the older ZDB04 is

Other recently spotted variants since the last blog update.