With the new photo that we are seeing from JN shipyard, it's quite apparent that we will see a huge PLAN shipbuilding boom in this area. And for all the PLA followers out there, I don't think there can be a more exciting time. Just recently, we already saw at least 4 finished Type 022 FACs in the 3rd line of the Changxin shpyard (where all the military ships are built). Now, people are pointing at different sections trying to say which section is for what kind of ship. Of course, the speculation in the picture below is that it is the first section of China's first aircraft carrier to be built. I can't verify the validity of the statement, but I figure the work must have started already, since a lot of the parts are already supplied there. Give it a couple of years, we should see the ship really taking shape in this yard. The only question is whether we will see 1 or 2 carrier getting built at the same time. I suspect 1, since China likes to test out its design before continuing production. Other possible large ships would be the Type 081 LPH and Type 071 LPD, although it seems LPD construction is left to HuDong and Dalian shipyard. People are also speculating which large section is for the newly planned DDGs. Unfortunately, we only get aerial views of this shipyard, so we don't get those really nice up-close photo of the newly built ships anymore. For those of us that have been following 054A and 071 construction, it really is quite a disappointment. In many ways, this year hasn't been the building boom I predicted. Most of the large ship built have been medical ships, YuanWang ships and large tug ships. With JN finally seeing light of the day, we could well be seeing aircraft carrier, 071, 052D, 054A, Yuan and 022 being built at the same time.
Here are some photos from HD shipyard showing the sensors fit on the first F-22P. The pictures are for the front mast and the sensors supporting CIWS on top of the hangar
And this is a very good recent full view photo of the 3rd 054A being built in HP shipyard. It's showing the bow mounted sonar getting installed and the little platform for the AK-176M FCR getting installed. The platform for AK-176M was installed a few days ago. The windows are still nice and tiny.
Finally, I read some other interesting stuff on China's ASBM doctrine since the last post. It seems that PLAN placed heavy emphasis on the seeker of the ASBM. It expects to use land based OTH radar (I know, sounds crazy) and SAR satellites (I'm guessing the Yaogan series here) to track the location of the ship. Then, it will fire off a DF-15 or DF-21 to that location with not much mid-course updates. For a ballistic missile with a maximum speed of mach 6 (7400 km/h) , it will reach a target 2000 km away in less than 30 minutes. In 30 minutes, a carrier group can move at most 15 nm (< 30 km). In 10 to 20 minutes, a carrier group can move at most 10 to 20 km. The Chinese believe that the seeker on ASBM at really high altitude will be able to seek ships in a much large circumference. I would think finding the ship while traveling at such high speed would pose the largest technology barrier, since a seeker of something that fits a ballistic missile would be able to easily find a large ship within a 40 km radius if it's moving at much slower speed(an advanced multi-function fighter radar can detect ships at 300 km range). We know that fast AShM like Onix can find ships from that far out traveling at mach 3. The seeker for the BM would have to scan faster and have a really fast processor to process all the information. In the end of the day, all of the Chinese sources I have read express pretty firm belief that this ASBM doctrine is ready to be executed, while Western sources seem to believe that this is still being developed. I would tend to side with Chinese sources when I see this kind of conflicting views.
Interestingly from this list post, we saw what is probably the most detailed description of PLAAF tactic and J-8H performance. I don't ever recall seeing something so exact I guess. The source seems to be good, but it's hard to imagine how he was allowed to post something this specific. Anyway, for your convenient I have translated it.
100千米。发现目标距离中 高空通常为75---90千米，最远110千米。截获目标距离在中高空通常为45---70千米。最远 80千米。低空通常为35---55千米。攻击目标距离在中高空通常单机进入一次实施两次攻击，首次攻击距目标40---65千米，最远80千米第二次攻击距目标20---33千米，最近4千米。攻击间隔5---11秒。低空通常为3---8千米。气象条件：可遂行战斗任务时目标区云底高600米，云量3---4个。机场区云高400米，云量6---8个，能见度5000米。
It says that J-8H can operate over 80% of time, with over 18 aircrafts (each regiment has 24). It takes 1 hour and 20 minutes to prepare the plane to fly again from a new airbase after arriiving there from another. It takes a "Dadui" 2 minutes and 33 seconds to fly out and a "ZhongDui" 33 seconds to fly out. There are 16 seconds between the takeoff of 2 consecutive "Zhongdui". Zhongdui means a medium team and Dadui means a large team. I'm not sure what is the size of large team and medium team. It takes large team 9 minutes to land and a medium team 1 minute 44 seconds to land.
Combat format, combat flights normally operate in 2 to 4 4-plane formation making a large team. When intercepting aerial targets, normally operate in a 4-plane formation. Going after ground targets, normally operates in 2-plane formation. The optimum distance between 2 2-plane formation is 1000 to 1500 m. The planes in the 2-plane formation are 110 m apart.
Flight speed - It flies fastest at 17 km altitude, flies at 2337 km/h = 646 m/s = mach 1.9. At 200 m altitutde, it flies at 1010 km/h = 280 m/s = mach 0.82. It does ground attack missions at speed of mach 0.57 to mach 0.71. It intercepts planes at mach 0.65 to mach 1.6.
Flight altitude - the maximum flight altitute is 18 km. In ground attack missions, when doing A2A combat, operates at 2000 to 4000 m. When cruising, operates at 800 to 3000 m. The maximum altitutude is 12 km. Ground attack planes returns at 1200 to 4500 m, maximum altittude is 9000 m. When actually doing ground attack, typical altitude is 700 to 1600 m. Leaving bombing mode, the altitude is normally 500 to 2100 m. When abandonning diving in attacks, the altitude is normally 350 to 400 m. It will rise to 1000 m+ to shrug off target.
Ground attacking normally operates at 500 to 1500 m, lowest is 200 m, highest is 3000 m. When attacking aerial targets, operating altitude is 3000 to 15000 m, lowest is 600 m.
When doing ground attack, a regiment normally sends out 1 large team, which is 8 plane (explains the first part I guess), Joins the combat navigation route when about 15 km from target. Typically dives down at 10 to 20 degrees to attack, sometimes 30 to 45 degree. Everytime, a single team can attack 2 to 4 times, maximum 6 times. A single plane can operate in the target area for 6 to 17 minutes. When firing off missiles at 500 m in altitude, at 900 km/h, the launch distance is over 50 km. At 6000 m in alttutde, the firing distance is over 100 km.
Interception of targe - Attack method - At medium to high altitude, it typically uses 90 and 180 degree turns to point toward the direction of attack or use 90 and 180 degree turns to shrug off tailing attacks. Altitude difference is typically around 800 to 2500 m, minimum is 200 m, largest is 5000 m. In low altutde, use a lot of tailing and attacking from high altitutde, altitude difference is 500 to 2000 m. Entering attack at angle of normally 10 to 30 degrees, minimum is 0 degree, maximum is 70 degrees.
Radar is turned on normally 45 to 80 km from target, maximum of over 100 km (there might be some lost in translation here). First detect the target in medium to high altitude at 75 to 90 km, maximum of 110 km. Tracks the target in medium to high altitude at 45 to 70 km, maximum 80 km. In low altitutde, this happens at 35 to 55 km. When attacking target in medium to high altitutde, enters into 2 attacks per encounter. The first attack happens at 40 to 65 km away, maximum range is 80 km. The second attack happens at 20 to 33 km, minimum 4 km. Attacks happen 3 to 8 km apart. low altituude encounters happens at 3 to 8 km. And then it talks about operating with clouds around.