Sunday, February 18, 2018

North Korea scenario: Army's (not Navy's) oil tankers

Together with the PLA Air Force and the Navy, the PLA Ground Force also commands a large numbers Coastal oil tankers, mostly Type626 and Type632 classes.  They might be small (1,200 to 3,500 tons) but they deliver to small ports where where those big naval tankers could not.  They also have numbers on their side.

Those important logistics assets are generally overlooked by folks outside of China.






 Tankers running Chinese New Year supply run to PLA (Army) garrison at  Nanpang Island








Saturday, September 09, 2017


Winterfell’s defense

Winter is here. In addition to cold political rhetoric, the world also witnessed the power of Little-phat Night King’s fully operational Intercontinental Ballistic Dragon (ICBD).  It is now up to the PLA to mount a possible offensive defense.

In the following weeks,  this blog will start posting more Northern China (especially on the Northern Theater Command) centric updates.   Hopefully it will feature insight into the military options available to the King in Beijing.   One thing's for certain, the PLA can expect no Lannister army marching shoulder-to-shoulder with them -- Cersei tweets loud-and big but all she ever wanted is to build a wall facing the south (too late, no?).  Joking aside, the 28,500 strong Lannister army can’t mount a “boots on the ground” across the DMZ without completing an prolonged air campaign first. 





A note to the King in Beijing, A Lannister always pays his debts.  It stands at $1.15 trillion in Aug 2017 and counting. 

RRU -- the King in Beijing can count on 2 brigades of PLAN Marine (the third brigade is far from battle-ready), up to 9 airborne brigades and dozens of SpOs units.  Given China's advanced transportation networks coupled with their high-readiness rate,  majority of those RRU could reach the Yalu River delta area within 10 days.  This rapid troop movement capacity has been demonstrated during rescue phase of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake 9 years ago.  An assessment of PLA's response to the 2008 earthquake is here.   However, RRU are essentially light infantry units -- albeit well-trained -- with limited light direct and in-direct armor and fire support.  They also lack heavy artillery and engineering assets to overcome fortified defensive positions and mountainous terrain dotted across the entire area-of-operations.  They should know, they were there during the 1950s. 

Furthermore, unlike their Western counterparts, close tactical air support is still an luxury item few units have access to. Therefore, those RRU will not advance without support from local "heavies".   But if they do, they will be "all in".



More to follow.....


One new Type 903 replenishment ship under construction in Guangzhou

When it is commissioned, the PLAN will command nine Type 903 replenishment ships (20,000 tons each). Furthermore, they can count on:
-- One Type091 (48,000 tons) with another Type091 under construction.
-- Six Type094 (15,000 tons)
-- One Type908 (37,000 tons)
-- Two Type905 (21,750 tons)

As the PLAN increases frequency and duration of her deployments, it is natural to build a more robust supporting infrastructure to accommodate the new demand.



PLAN Marine training with ZBL09 wheeled IFV

One of the newly commissioned PLAN Marine units is seen here training with ZBL09 wheeled IFV..   Perhaps they are just waiting for their AAAV to arrive, or they are not intended to "storm the beach" like their 1st and 2nd Marine Brigade counterparts but rather fan-out rapidly after a beachhead is secured.    But one thing is certain -- they are willing to trade armor protection for speed.

As a side note, the PLAN Marine stationed in Djibouti here is also sporting the same wheel based ZBL09






ZTL09 Wheeled light tank is also spotted






Saturday, January 14, 2017


ZTL09 8x8 Wheeled Light Tank to the PLAN Marine??

ZTL09 8x8 Wheeled Light Tanks sporting the now-famous "Blue Smurf" camo were spotted in Sanya City, near the HQ of the PLAN Marine.  Rumor has it that they are now getting those wheeled new toys to increase their mobility for MOOTW and non-amphibious operations.  Time will tell.



Thursday, February 15, 2018

Poor Bloody Infantry (PBI) of the day: Type 17 uniform to be issued

This is to address the long legitimate PBI grievances  -- those F-ing boots are too heavy.  The newly issues Type 17 Summer and Winter boots will be 20% lighter than the current Type 07 (here).



The lighter summer (top) and winter (bottom) boots













The second operator of the newly issued QTS-11 OICW is Sirius commandos, 76th Special Ops Brigade, 76th Group Army, Western Theater Command

The Sirius commandos has a proud history with its linage tracing back to the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937.  As part of the leading anti-terrorism units in China's Western region, it participated in the "Friendship 2010" anti-terrorism drill at Pakistan (here) and (here)






Tuesday, January 16, 2018

ZH-05 OICW is now QTS-11 单兵综合作战系统

Since the ZH-05 has entered service for sometime now and more importantly inspected by THE BOSS himself, the PLA Daily (here)  finally confirmed its in-service designation as the QTS-11 单兵综合作战系统 (Single-Troop, Comprehensive, Combat System).


Xi is like "I like what I saw!"  Pow.  







Reconnaissance Battalion, 112th Mechanized Infantry Division's fancy QTS-11



Saturday, January 31, 2015

ZH-05 OICW seen with the PLA Marine SpOps








Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ZH-05 OICW

By Blitzo

In the past week, a rush of new information and photos have come to light concerning the PLA's OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon), dubbed ZH-05. Speculation is rife that the weapon is due to be officially declassified and/or reveal an in service status.








Caption: You know a weapon is set for public knowledge when it's at the forefront of a stage commemorating the PLAMC.


Indeed, previous rumours of Aden deployed PLAMC being armed with ZH-05 appear to be substantiated in this latest round of "leaks".



An OICW typically seeks to mate an assault rifle with an intelligent grenade launcher in a complete package, with a computerised fire control system to allow the small calibre grenade to burst at a predetermined distance for maximum lethality. However, current and previous OICWs such as the US XM-29 or Korean K11 are hindered by heavy weight and cumbersome volume, and indeed, only the Korean K11 is currently in service and represents the only OICW fully developed.

This changes with the ZH-05, which not only features a sleek, assault rifle-like profile, but is also remarkably light, at only 4.27kg unloaded and 5kg fully loaded (compared to the K11's 6.1kg unloaded). ZH-05 achieves its low weight through an innovative way of integrating only the laser range finder and fire control system with the gun itself, while keeping the optics modular and interchangable -- which not only lightens the weapon dramatically but also confers greater flexibility for the soldier who may wish to change between different scopes.









Caption: An early picture of the ZH-05, possibly at an arms exhibit, which surprised everyone both by depicting important specs, but also by the ridiculously low total weight of 5kg, which weighs less than the K11 unloaded, and only a little more than a loaded battle rifle!





Caption: A leaked picture displaying the laser range finder and fire control system integrated with the gun. Note the optics, which is separable from the gun



But an even more ingenious -- and pragmatic -- means of reducing weapon weight was through eliminating the semi automatic grenade launcher and magazine for a single shot bolt action mechanism. While at first glance this may appear a disadvantage compared with other OICWs, it has been suggested the deletion of the magazine was directed by the PLA itself after initial trials with prototypes with five round magazines. This not only significantly reduced weight, but also allowed users to fire different types of grenades with greater ease.

The use of different grenade types is significant, as the lethality of a 20mm round is greatly reduced with the complicated electronics to allow a single grenade to perform multiple functions from airburst, to impact detonation, whereas separating individual grenades for airburst, impact, redues the circuitry in each individual grenade, improving overall power.

Hongjian provides a succint summary of the ZH-05's 20mm development:

"1. The first variant had a 5 round magazine, but the PLA requested the single-shot, manually loaded bolt-action system not only because it would be easier to change munition-type, but it also would enable the designers to design single-purpose 20mm grenades. Compared to the XM-25, XM-29 and K-11's multi-purpose grenades, each individual chinese 20mm airburst grenade has only the airburst mode, the impact explosion grenade has only the impact explosion mode and so on, which increases the explosive load of those grenades as they reduce the room needed for complex electronics. To compare, the XM1018 20mm grenade has both impact and airburst modes, which consumes rougthly 60% of the grenade's volume for electronics, battery, sensors, limiting the the size of the warhead and reducing its destructive power.
The PLA has hence very high confidence in the wounding effects of their single-purpose 20mm airburst grenades during urban battle, as it apparently performed better in tests than even hand-grenades and approaching that of infantry mortars (as in higher killing co-efficiency; note that chart below).

2. Due to the single-shot, manually loaded bolt-action system, the soldier can very easily chamber the individual grenade type required for the specific tactical situation at hand, without having to play around too much with the electronic-fuse settings. This increases the reliability of the grenades and reduces the weight of the weapon overall due to simpler electronics.

3. There are three kinds of grenades for the grenade launcher: The conventional impact grenade, the airburst grenade, and, what is called as the 'secret weapon'; the 'shotgun'-grenade. Latter is described as a grenade which will explode into a barrage of shrapnels to the forward direction at a customized range as set by the user. One can think of a small AHEAD (Advanced Hit Efficiency And Destruction) round to imagine its underlying principle.
According to the users during field tests, this grenade is devastating in combat and has a high suppression value in close urban battle.
With these three grenade rounds available for this system, it gained its "three-in-one-launcher" nickname by the PLA.

4. TOE wise, the standard PLA squad is already divided into two fireteams. Traditionally, it is the RPG fireteam and the Machinegun fireteam. Now, each fireteam will receive one ZH-05, with two in total per infantry squad, raising the unit's overall combat efficiency dramatically."
http://www.guancha.cn/Hong-Xibo/2014_02_23_208026_2.shtml









Caption: CAD image of the 20mm grenade launcher component with a preliminary magazine design, later removed



Caption: Lethality rating of the 20mm airburst grenade compared with various other weapons. It can be seen that the 20mm airburst has greater killing co efficiency than a standard grenade, and approaches that of an infantry mortar!


And some specs of the ZH-05's 20mm grenade, again translated by Hongjian:
"20mm caliber
1.2 grams of propellant
85 grams
119MPa chamber pressure
219m/s muzzle velocity
800m range and 29.46 meters vertical
reaching the distance of 800m in 4.446 seconds with an arc of 7.02 degrees
7.7 meters killing radius"



Pictures depict ZH-05 armed soldiers with a new kit of body armour and a helmet mounted eyepiece display suggest this is part of a greater drive for PLA modernization. The eyepiece is thought to be connected to the weapon via a cable, and possibly projects an image of the weapon's scope for the soldier.





Certainly the PLA have experimented with such a function on existing rifles for many years.








Caption: the good old days