Thursday, April 10, 2008

054A and F-22P

As some of you may know, this blog was referenced by Ronald O'Rourke on a congressional research service report on PLAN modernization. While I'm flattered that this blog is referenced, I still would like to look through some parts of the report that I believe is slightly outdated. Since a part of it is reliant on SIPRI report from 2005. As I have said many times, 2-3 years is a long time in PLAN land. But this would come at a later entry.

So, we've finally seen some new photos out of HD shipyard in the past week. Quite extraordinary actually. We saw photos of the second 054A going to SSF, the discovery of the third 054A and the launching of the first F-22P.

So, this is the picture of the 2nd 054A before it leaves for SSF. It's interesting that unlike the HP ships, this one doesn't get the number painted before it goes there. This maybe a difference in practice between HP and HD.

Probably the bigger news is this photo. Now, the guy posting this claimed it to be the 3rd 054A. I have to say that he has never been wrong before (that I know of) and it does look a 054A. So, I guess we can finally officially say that HD is building its third one.

And finally, DDG-82 meets 568. On their port call to Shanghai, the American sailors got a nice look at China's new ship. I bet it's a fascinating thing for both sides.

And the F-22P has been launched. Well, the first one still needs a lot of fitting, but it's in the waters on schedule. And, the keel for the second one was laid down. As we can see with this next two photos, much of the sensors/weapons on the outside have not been installed yet. They probably launched it in a rush to meet the schedule of Pakistanis coming in.

And of course, there are also a bunch of saying how close the two sides are and how great the relationship has become. I think it's kind of interesting that the hull and some of the sensors/guns seem to be more advanced than most of us expected them to be. It definitely seems like they are upgrades over what Jiangwei II has. If you took a look at the gun, it looks more like the Type 730 than the AK-630s (that I originally expected) or the guns on Jiangwei II. I guess a lot more will be revealed in the coming days. What's even more fascinating will be PN's next frigate RFP. I'm quite confident China will win this with 054A. Clearly, it's a generation better than F-22P and would be an upgrade in every way. But, it would be interesting to see what the Europeans offer. Then, we can see what China offers to counter that. Of course now, I wouldn't expect China to be building 054As for PN until after the last F-22P is finished, but the contract should be signed much earlier than that. If F-22P is any indication, what China offers to PN will be different from 054A and unique to their requirements. At the same time, it would be hard to gage on what will appear on the ship at this point, because we simply don't even know what the 2nd batch of 054As look like. Most likely, a future variant of 054 (not sure when) will be switching to CODOG propulsion. If Richard Fisher's article is any indication, it will be 6 more 054As using the current CODAD propulsion before the switch to the CODOG. I'm guessing the newer variant will be larger and more oriented to ASW duties (rather than being the AAW ship it is right now). By that time, QC-185 should also be ready for warships. My guess is that PN would also be opting for a latter variant of the 054 series.


dlhh said...

Besides being flattered, you should also be prudent.

Ronald O'Rourke reports always highlight China's threat and the fact that he is using your blog shows how desperate these people are and is cluthing for straws.

While your blog is informative on the latest PLA developments, it must never be used as an unofficial spokesman for the PLA especially on PLA future trends on force projection.

Having watched CCTV, I have on numerous occasions seen how they have painstakingly projected an image of the peaceful rise of China and that China is not interested in having a Naval force with force projection like patrolling the Indian Ocean to protect the sea lanes.

PLA policies should only be explained by the PLA spokesman so as to protect your blog from being used by others to demonise China.

Jiang said...

We need a powerful Navy which consist at least 6 large Aircraft Carriers to protect our trade route.

What do you think about this Feng?

Feng said...

I think PLAN needs to slowly build up. The most important parts are improving the skills and quality of the sailors and the technology of the ships. Maintaining 6 carriers is very costly. China has neither the need nor the desire to have a global reach of the USN/USMC. However, it would be nice if it can have a carrier group + a helo-carrier centered group (like the USMC expedition strike group) in service at all time. And that would probably require 3 aircraft carriers, 3 attack helos carriers and 5+ LSDs. But again, things like this take a long time to build. The software part of it (personnel) is just as important as the hardware (ships+missiles)

Galrahn said...

"Ronald O'Rourke reports always highlight China's threat and the fact that he is using your blog shows how desperate these people are and is cluthing for straws."

Uhm, the Congressional Research Service doesn't form conclusions, they report the conclusions of others to the purpose of giving Congress as much information as possible to form their own conclusions. CRS doesn't shape the discussion, they report as much as possible about it without giving opinions.

That Feng is cited is indeed an honor, but it also confirms his objectivity in analysis, which is why many read the blog in the first place.

dlhh said...

"Uhm, the Congressional Research Service doesn't form conclusions, they report the conclusions of others to the purpose of giving Congress as much information as possible to form their own conclusions. CRS doesn't shape the discussion, they report as much as possible about it without giving opinions."

Thats the whole point. If all these so called analyst were to pick up points from various blogs to present information, is it valid?

Its like a reporter who picks up selected pieces of info from the internet to present his own point of view.

The most informative and accurate analysis is supposedly from the Pentagon report, with all the study of satellite and various electronic and ground intelligence.

However, critics have also said that the Pentagon routinely exaggerate the China threat to get more funds from Congress for the military budget.

While blogs can present an alternative view on PLA development, it would be erroneous to suggest that they can be the authorative view on PLA force projection intentions.

Galrahn said...


Don't disagree, I wrote about this when I learned about Feng being cited.

It is an interesting development, one to keep an eye on.

Jiang said...

Feng what do you think about the recent Tibet issue. Where Fu#king Tibetens kill Han and Muslim Chinese and Western media like BBC and CNN twist the fact and blame Chinese for this??

To be honest with you I am SO SICK of Tibetens and western countries now!!! I think right after the Oylmpic we should act quickly and be tougher on Tibetens!!!!

Feng said...

I try to keep that kind of stuff off my blog, but my view is that I think Dalai Lama's demands are too much and there is no way China can give in even 1/3 of that. The other issue is that he seems to have lost control of the younger generation who may eventually resort to acts of terrorism. And if you are outraged, you should organize pro-China rallies, understand all the viewpoints and presenting them to media. It does China no good if you just sit at home and get angry.

timurelame said...

There is certainly political warfare going on against China, mainly driven by the US and the EU
countries who fear China's ascendancy in the world.

It is, however, best to avoid injecting too much political discussions into this wonderful blog. Political discussions tend to generate too much heat, and can cause melt-downs of objectivity.

Jiang said...

Well, Feng if the young Tibetens dare to use terriest attack against it will be a wonderful excuse for us to erradicate them once and for all.

The main thing right now is to strengthen our economy and millitary. The recent White men's act just show how weak the white men are now days they can only talk the talk but would not dare to walk the walk.

Jiang said...

BTW, Feng. What are Dalai Lama's demand?? Can you name all of them?
I want to see what this sick old bastard want from us, and what ever he wants we will give him nothing but Sh!T!

Feng said...

look, as much as I appreciate your comments, I don't want to see any kind of racist remarks that you are making. Do your own research, that's all I ask.

Jiang said...

Sorry, Feng. From now on I will stop talking politic.

Feng said...

Thanks, I simply wish to leave politics out of this blog, that's all.