Saturday, March 12, 2011

Submarines + Cutters in Wuhan

Recently, I just got some new photo of ships that are under construction in WuChang shipyard. If you guys don't already know, many of the new submarines and cutters are produced here.

It looks like most of what WuChang had on order for China Maritime Surveillance (CMS) have already been delivered. Most recently, Haijian-50, which is the largest cutter on order at over 3000 tonnes, was launched. The only other CMS cutter that is this size is Haijian-83. That was delivered as part of the last 5 year plan. In case you are wondering, CMS places orders for cutters at the start of a 5 year plan (the current one of 2011-2015 is the 12th). They will send RFPs to different shipyards in the country, who then respond with their design and pricing. Once the selection is done, you will start to see them getting built in the shipyards. That's why we generally don't see CMS cutters getting built until around the end of the 5 year plan. Here are some of its photos:




There has been some articles like this this week about Pakistan acquiring Chinese conventional submarines. I don't think it's official, but such talks have been going on for the past couple of years. I think that if it does happen, it will be for the Yuan class submarines that are currently under mass production. They won't be as quiet as the Western options, but they do satisfy the AIP requirement. At the same time, they have much improved combat system and sonars compared to previous Chinese submarines. Here are some of the photos of the most recent variant of Yuan:

This picture shows the 6th Yuan next to that new mysterious submarine type at WuChang shipyard

This picture shows the 7th Yuan from WuChang shipyard

This picture shows the 5th Yuan at WuSong naval base

14 comments:

John said...

A while back, there were fishing disputes between Britain and Ireland in Irish Sea. British sent war ship, and Irish sent Fishery patrol boat to assert their rights. Both of them couldn’t open fire, so they rammed each other. British war ship suffered way heavier damage than the Irish ship, because the British war ship was designed for speed, not for ramming.

I wondered whether CMS has taken that incident into consideration when they were designing those cutters. I believed ramming against Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese will be a common manoeuvre for those cutters.

At the same are those cutters armed as heavily as those JCG cutters?

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Feng said...

I'm not really sure about how well armed they are. Considering that they are designed for ramming, they shouldn't do too badly imo. It seems to be a common theme of Japanese news report showing YuZheng (FLEC) ships being really aggressive in the EEZ.

Qasim said...

Feng - I was interested in why you felt it would be an order for the Yuan class.

Some news reports seemed to suggest that it might be a newer class, or a variation of the current mass-produced class(likely Yuan, rather than Song).

Considering that the Pakistani Navy was all set for the German U214 before the current government came and then the economic crisis set in, they may be interested in newer designs that China is working on. China has had a history of been very open and accommodating, in sharing tech with Pakistan.

Do you think successor projects to Yuan are sufficiently advanced enough to be nearing finalization?

Feng said...

I don't see any other real options. In projects like JF-17, ZDK-03 and F-22P, they have not gone for anything that's not already mature with PLA. If you are wondering about the new submarine in WuChang, it will take several years before they fix the problems in that design. It is a huge change from Yuan and we don't even know if it will be a successful class. The other thing is requirement. That new submarine is over 4000 ton in displacement and will be one of the largest SSKs out there. Does PN need a submarine that's so large?

I think there are a lot of PN followers who want something that's more advanced than Yuan, but that's simply not available right now. They could create something based on Yuan for PN, but if the modification is too much, then you run into a lot of risks.

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Kiron said...

@John, I think you are talking about the dispute (Cod Wars) between Britain and Iceland. using that example, you are absolutely correct, the sea keeping ability, structural strength of ships in case of ramming/collision and endurance should be the important considerations in ships designed to enforce EEZ rights. Lightly built British ASW escort vessels of that era were less than ideal when confronted by strongly built Icelandic cutter designed for the rough North Sea conditions. real weapons such as guns or missiles were largely irrelevant in that scenario because the political/public relationship penalty of starting a shooting match for such low intensity conflicts is unacceptable. we also need commanders on scene to be more in the mold of Picard rather than Halsey :)

John said...

@Kiron, although ideally Picard is the right guy, but you have forgotten about the fame seeking politicians. After commotion was created by the boys on the high sea, both nations’ politicians can have the photo op to show their graciousness that they are educated and have the greatness and intelligence to handle all difficulties came in their way, so they can be re-elected for another term in the office. Therefore Picard will never get the chance to show his stuff on this planet, only in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. :=)

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John said...

Here is a comment somebody posted on the theaustralian site. "I have just returned from Shanghai. Cruising up the river from the coast one could see a massive Chinese naval construction program underway. Row after row of patrol, amphibious, logistic support craft and a newly launched destroyer which appeared to be cutting edge in design." I wondered Feng would have any photo or info on those ships.

Kiron said...

not in China. at least for now, Chinese leaders don't need to worry about elections, and showoff to the masses. the still need to appear tough when a crisis happens, but hopefully Picard will prevent a crisis from happening in the first place.

Feng said...

Hi john, most of the stuff I post are from Shanghai and Guangzhou. So whatever they are mentioning in there, it probably has appeared in my blog at some point.

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