Friday, June 28, 2013

A little PLAN update

It's been a while since I posted due to work and personal commitments. Things haven't really stopped moving in the world of Chinese military, but it also hasn't been the most hectic spring season.

The biggest news from the past while is probably CV-16 (formerly Varyag) going on its first training exercise of the year out in the oceans. Since the take-off and landing tests in November of last year, they've been busy making preparations and training crew members in the naval aviation training facility close to Tianjin. There is a really nice thread here talking about the facility. From what we can see, the take-off and landing exercises in this second trip are done by the same two J-15 prototype aircraft that did the first one. Since J-15 has reportedly begun serial production, I was hoping to see more J-15 aircraft out in the ocean this time.

Other than that, Type 056 continues to be launched and commissioned into PLAN at a very fast pace. There have been at least 12 of them launched with at least 5 being commissioned. They are mostly replacing Type 037 currently in service with PLAN.

The production of Type 054A seems to be winding down. At least 15 have being commissioned now, with 3 more in HD shipyard that are in various stage of completion.

We are also seeing the unified Maritime Police fleet taking shape. Many of the larger cutters from CMS and FLEC have now been repainted and numbered into the new agency's colours.

And finally, I think one of the better articles I have read recently is this one by James Bussert. It's something I have been saying for a long time. You can see the scope of PLAN modernization by works done on their three weapon trial ships. For PLAN followers, this is the best place to look for what PLAN has in store.


Unknown said...

If PLAN decides to build the next generation of aircraft carriers with flat top using catapult, why do they keep building those skyjump ramps for training?

Feng said...

that is still several years down. They may choose to build ski-jump on the next one. Until then, a lot of training needs to be done for this air wing to learn how to take off from skijump.