Saturday, November 15, 2008

Recent news from PLAN land

I was going to get to Zhuhai airshow, but I wanted to wait for some analysis to come out on it first. J-10 certainly made a huge splash, but let's look at what's going on with PLAN and also the new naval weapons shown in Zhuhai airshow.

First, we head to HD shipyard, where the second F-22P is under construction. You can see its photos below.

Second, we saw more photos of the 3rd 054A from HP shipyard taking shape. The front mast has now been installed and it looks just like other 054A in that aspect.

Next, we get some pictures of the two largest medical ships serving for PLAN. So contrary to my opinion, 866 actually got sent to the ESF. We also see 865, which was converted from German built 1300TEU container ship "QIU HE". We can see their photos below.

As promised, let's take a look at all the Anti-ship missiles that they displayed from this airshow and I'm skipping C-602 and C-802A here, since they are so common.

And of course, the missile that we thought was HQ-16, but actually turned out to be a long range guided rocket system.

You can even see a video of it in action here.
From the information I read, it seems to have the necessary range for the Taiwan scenario. It's another in the long line of long range rocket that China has developed.

One of the big stars of this airshow is the FL-3000N, which looks like a Chinese version of SeaRAM. You get a good look at the system + the missile + an article on this if you can read Chinese.

The article basically says that it fits 24 missiles (also has 12, 8 and 4 missile launchers?), the combat station can handle 2 FL-3000N launchers (one in the front and one in the back). It can defend against subsonic and supersonic AShM. It has two guidance modes: passive radio frequency/infrared homing, infrared only. The missiles locks-on-after-launch, it's fire and forget and engages multiple targets.


duskylim said...

The new F22 frigate is no surprise, however, I did not know that the bridge had so many watertight doors (4 on each side), why so many? Are those compartments separate or they feel the need for rapid movement of personnel outside? Another thing, why are the ship's boats stowed where the anti-ship missiles are mounted? This is probably temporary...

The new 054A also holds few surprises, except maybe that it shares the original 054's angled superstructure above the bows. What was new to me was the access doors in the low-visibility mast for service, I did not notice them before.

duskylim said...

The C-705 looks like an inverted C-602, hmm, why flip the missile on its back, or is that just for testing puposes?

The SY-400 clearly is developed from a vertically-launched SAM, but why do it for a SSM? Why go to the trouble of providing a vertical launch system when you can just point the launcher in the general direction of the target? Thrust-vectoring control is necessary for a rapid-reaction SAM where the threats could come from many angles simultaneously, but for a SSM? Its an unnecessary expense...Furthermore a SSM certainly does not need mid-mounted low-aspect (hence high-drag) wings, the money for all these expensive trappings (read gimmicks)is better spent on improved terminal or active guidance - giving higher accuracy, lethality and kill probability.
This is clearly a case of the SAM maker trying to sell the same missile as a SSM.

The FL-3000N is a long overdue addition to the PLAN's Anti-missile inventory and if properly developed should be an extremely useful upgrade on all PLAN combatants.

Feng said...

I actually never bothered to look at the doors and compartments. I'm more looking at the struture and sensors and such.

As for C-705, it does remind me of C-602. All export systems.

SY-400 is to me a really expensive export item that they developed. If they can get the unit price down, it would be tremendous for PLA. I think the TVC is to increase the accuracy of the system, allowing it make terminal adjustments to accurately hit the targets.