Sunday, July 25, 2010

Peace Mission 2010

Looks like the military exercise between Shanghai Cooperation Organization is becoming an annual occurrence instead of bi-annual.

According to rian, the next one will be this September. Previously, Peace Mission had taken place in 2005, 2007 and 2009. The article is as follows:

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will conduct a series of anti-terror drills from September 9 - 25 in Kazakhstan, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

The exercise, codenamed Peace Mission 2010, will be held at the Matybulak base near the town of Gvardeisky with each of the SCO member states (China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) contributing at least one operational-tactical group.

Iran, India, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status in the organization.

The drills will test the interoperability of the SCO armed forces in rendering assistance to a member state involved in an internal armed conflict or subjected to a mass terrorist attack.

In many ways, these exercises have come full circle. In 2005, it involved 10,000 soldiers and was widely reported by different media circles. At that time, Russians were using the exercise as an opportunity to show off new hardware to export to China. Russians also showed themselves to be much better than PLA in all of the different missions. As time went on, PLA have improved a lot in the past 2 exercises, but there is a still a large gap between the operational capability of the two forces. Much of that is due to the less intensive and realistic training method of PLA. The Russians have had recent ground combats, so they have used those live combat experience to develop training procedure and ROE that is much more effective than that of PLA. Even as late as 2009, PLA commanders commented that they were impressed with Russian troops strictness in cleaning and maintaining equipments and their ability to fly and enter battle zones in their helicopter at much lower altitude.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

J-15 finally appearing?

We've received the first good clear picture of what appears to be J-15, the naval fighter jet to be used on future aircraft carriers.

On a side note, it looks like PLAN's aviation arm is going to be taking some J-10s, although I doubt those will actually be naval fighters.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

071 deploying to Aden officially

According to this Xinhua article, China will be deploying 998, 170 and 887 to Gulf of Aden. It also reports that the flotilla will have more than 1,000 personnel, including Navy special forces troops. We also find out that 998's displacement is 18,500 tonnes in its mission configuration. It should be not a surprise that 998 is going on this mission. China has been sending all of its new naval toys out there. They waited until the LCAC is in service before sending 998 on this mission. The more interesting part are the photos that came out.

First, we have a really nice detailed diagram of 998. It looks like the well deck can only hold one LCAC, but it will also hold a couple of high speed patrol boat. I presume that these will all be used against the pirates. It also looks like the hangar is large enough to hold 4 Z-8s (assuming they do 2 side by side on top of 2 front and back). The Z-8s accompanying 998 were specially fitted with gun pods to assist in attacking pirates.

Here are some photos of the LCAC from the same magazine. Looks like the one traveling to Aden will be 3320. There is also a nice photo of LCAC going at high speed.

A picture of the well deck with patrol boat.

Finally, more pictures of 998 going on this mission.

Anyway, good to see we are finally getting more details on this ship.