Second Type 901 carrier supply ship in service with PLAN


Images recently emerged showing newly commissioned Type 901 fast replenishment ship Chagan Hu (967) with a recently commissioned Type 927 acoustic surveillance ship (780) berthed alongside. Source: Via Sina Weib

Andrew Tate, London – Jane’s Defence Weekly

12 February 2019

Photographs posted in online forums indicate that a second Type 901 fast replenishment ship has completed sea trials and entered service with China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

Although no official announcement has been made and no reports by state-owned media have been published about it, unverified internet sources suggest that the commissioning took place in late December 2018.

The imagery shows that the ship, which is believed to have been named Chagan Hu , bears the pennant number 967.

The 240 m-long vessel, which has a beam of 31 m and an estimated full-load displacement of 45,000 tonnes, was launched in in the first half of 2017at the Guangzhou Shipbuilding International (GSI) yard on Longxue Island on the Pearl River.

First-of-class Hulun Hu (with pennant number 965), entered service with the PLAN in September 2017.

The Type 901 class is estimated to be capable of reaching a speed of 25 kt. Its primary role is assessed to be supporting the PLAN’s increasing number of aircraft carriers.

The class features five liquid transfer stations (three on the port side and two on the starboard) for replenishing fuel oil and aviation fuel, and two solid supply transfer rigs for replenishing food, armaments, and general stores.

The ships are also equipped for refuelling astern – a procedure that the PLAN appears to practise regularly – and have a large flight deck and hangar facilities for two helicopters (at present most likely to be Z-8 medium-lift helicopters), which would enable them to also undertake vertical replenishment.

Source: Jane’s 360 “Second Type 901 carrier supply ship in service with PLAN”

Note: This is Jane’s 360’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

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PLA Navy commissions amphibious assault ship, destroyer


A PLAN Type 071 LPD at a commissioning ceremony held at what is believed to be China’s Zhanjiang naval base on 12 January. Source: Via haohanfw.com

Andrew Tate, London – Jane’s Defence Weekly

15 January 2019

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has commissioned its sixth Type 071 (Yuzhao)-class amphibious assault ship and another Type 052D (Luyang III)-class destroyer.

Although there has been no evident coverage of the commissioning in Chinese state-owned news media, photographs posted on online forums show a combined ceremony held for both warships that is said to have taken place on 12 January.

The latest Type 071 landing platform dock (LPD) vessel to enter service has been given pennant number 987 and is thought to have been named Wuzshi Shan . The location of the commissioning ceremony is unconfirmed but it appears that the event took place at the Zhanjiang naval base, with both ships likely joining the South Sea Fleet.

The first three Type 071 LPDs were allocated to the South Sea Fleet and are based at Zhanjiang. The first entered service in November 2007, the second in October 2011, and the third in September 2012. There was a pause in construction of nearly four years before the fourth entered service with the East Sea Fleet in early 2016.

The fifth Type 071 is believed to have been commissioned in September 2018 and also allocated to the East Sea Fleet but received no coverage in Chinese state-owned news media, nor were any images circulated online.

A similar news embargo appears to have been in place for the launch of the seventh Type 071, which is believed to have entered the water on 28 December 2018 at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard, which has built all ships of the class.

There is also some uncertainty about the number of Type 052D destroyers now in service, as the previous confirmed commissioning ceremony took place on 22 January 2017, when the fifth ship of the class, Xining , entered service.

Source: Jane’s 360 “PLA Navy commissions amphibious assault ship, destroyer”

Note: This is Jane’s 360’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Pentagon notes Chinese naval global expansion and regional control


Michael Fabey, Washington, DC – Jane’s Navy International

20 August 2018

The Pentagon’s recent annual report on the Chinese military spotlights growing Chinese naval capability, underscoring the narrowing gap between the Asian power’s maritime forces and those of the US Navy (USN), as well as drawing attention to China’s increasing dominance in the Western Pacific.

The report, ‘Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018’, was released on 16 August and also highlights the global naval ambitions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) – which are far beyond the traditional perimeters of its land-based defence systems.

“The PLAN continues to develop into a global force, gradually extending its operational reach beyond East Asia and the Indo-Pacific into a sustained ability to operate at increasingly longer ranges,” the Pentagon reported. “The PLAN’s latest naval platforms enable combat operations beyond the reach of China’s land-based defences.”

In particular, the Pentagon said, “China’s aircraft carrier and planned follow-on carriers, once operational, will extend air defence coverage beyond the range of coastal and shipboard missile systems, and enable task group operations at increasingly longer ranges.”

The PLAN’s emerging requirement for sea-based land-attack will also enhance China’s ability to project power,” the US Department of Defense said. “Furthermore, the PLAN now has a sizable force of high-capability logistical replenishment ships to support long-distance, long-duration deployments, including two new carrier operations. The expansion of naval operations beyond China’s immediate region will also facilitate non-war uses of military force.”

China continues to learn lessons from operating its first aircraft carrier, Liaoning , the Pentagon pointed out.

“[China’s first domestically produced aircraft carrier was launched in 2017 and is expected to be commissioned in 2019 – the beginning of what the PLA states will be a multicarrier force,” the Pentagon reported. “China’s next generation of carriers will probably have greater endurance and be capable of launching more varied types of fixed-wing aircraft, including EW [electronic warfare], early warning, and ASW [anti-submarine warfare] aircraft.

Source: Jane’s 360 “Pentagon notes Chinese naval global expansion and regional control”

Note: This is Jane’s 360’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China’s 055 Destroyer Better than All Others Except US Zumwalt


In its article “Five things to know about the home-built destroyer that will guard China’s next-generation aircraft carrier” on August 5, SCMP compares China’s new Type 055 destroyer with all other advanced destroyers in the world.

Type 055 destroyer is of the size of a cruiser, being more than 180 metres long and 20 metres wide with a full displacement of more than 12,000 tonnes, The articles says, “‘In fact, in the US defence department’s annual China military power report, Type 055 is called a “cruiser’, which, by the US definition, is the largest and most powerful surface combatant after an aircraft carrier.”

It has a 112-cell VLS for HHQ-9 air defense missiles, YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missiles, CJ-10 land-attack cruise missiles and missile-launched anti-submarine torpedoes, a 130mm dual-purpose naval gun and close-in weapon system and carries two anti-submarine helicopters.

Its advanced X band radar in four active electronically scanned arrays and integrated electronic system are similar to US warships’ Aegis combat system.

However, as it is a later design than US Ticonderoga class cruisers and Arleigh Burke class destroyers, its radar, electronic and missile systems use newer technology; therefore, it is stronger than those US warships.

Compared with Japan’s best Atago-class and South Korea’s Sejong the Great Class analysts said that they believe Type 055 surpasses the Korean and Japanese vessels in size, radar system performance, missile capacity and multifunctionality.

Therefore, the article quotes analysts as saying, “In theory, Type 055 is the world’s second most powerful destroyer after the US Navy’s DDG-1000, or Zumwalt class.”

DDG-1000 has a powerful 155mm gun system and is stealth in shape but DDG-1000 class destroyers are so expensive that the US can afford the construction of only 3 of them.

Type 055 however, is well affordable for Chinese navy, which has launched 4 within 13 months and is building 4 more.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2158059/five-things-know-about-home-built-destroyer-will-guard.


Will China have aircraft carrier that can match US Navy’s?


Screen shot from Chinese media shows a conference at the No.701 Research Institute of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation with picture in the background of China’s two current ski-jump carriers flanking a larger ship with a flat deck thought to picture what China’s third aircraft carrier will look like.

By Brad Lendon, CNNUpdated 0038 GMT (0838 HKT) June 22, 2018

(CNN) — The US Navy’s newest aircraft carrier is regarded as the world’s most-advanced warship — but for how much longer?

A story published Thursday on the English website of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army said the country’s top shipbuilding company is working on an aircraft carrier with an electromagnetic catapult aircraft launch system, something featured exclusively aboard the US Navy’s most expensive carrier ever, the USS Gerald R. Ford.

Aircraft launched by electromagnetic catapults can get airborne quicker and with greater quantities of fuel and ammunition, giving them an advantage over planes launched by standard steam catapult.

For decades, US carriers have used steam catapult systems, where steam explodes into a piston attached to the plane’s landing gear, powering it off the deck. Besides the Ford, the other 10 carriers in the US fleet use steam catapults.

Currently, Chinese carriers launch planes using a use a different, less advanced system, known as the ski-jump, meaning planes rely on their own power when lifting off.

The US Navy touts the electromagnetic system as capable of launching a wider range of aircraft at a better pace and requiring less maintenance. It’s also planned for the next ships in the Ford class, the USS John F Kennedy and USS Enterprise.

China has been undergoing an extensive naval modernization and expansion program, and a carrier to equal the US ships has long been thought to be an ambition of Beijing.

The story gave new support to that. Written by the state-owned Global Times and posted on the PLA’s website, the story centers around a photo that is “believed to be the country’s first aircraft carrier equipped with an electromagnetic aircraft launch system.”

The photo in question was released by the No.701 Research Institute of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation and shows China’s two current ski-jump carriers flanking a larger ship with a flat deck.

That flat deck “makes an electromagnetic aircraft launch system possible,” the story says, citing military expert Song Zhongping.

“Three catapults on board show that the new ship will be able to launch aircraft faster and more frequently than the previous carriers, and therefore will possess stronger combat capabilities,” the Global Times story goes on to say.

The story included speculation that the new carrier is already under construction in Shanghai.

The new flat-top carrier would be China’s second domestically built carrier and its third carrier in total, following the acquisition and refit of a former Ukrainian vessel.

Last month, its first homegrown carrier, a 50,000-ton ship temporarily named Type 001A, began its first sea trials. The PLA’s website reported Wednesday that those trials were successfully completed this week. The Type 001A is expected to officially join the PLA Navy’s fleet sometime before 2020.

But experts said while the Type 001A will dramatically boost China’s military power in the Asia region, its technology was still outdated and lagged far behind the American fleet.

“This is, in and of itself, not designed to be some frontal challenge to US power in the Asia Pacific, because it simply isn’t in the class of America’s aircraft carriers,” Sam Roggeveen, senior fellow at Sydney’s Lowy Institute, told CNN in May.

China’s first carrier, the Liaoning, a retrofitted Soviet-era vessel bought from the Ukraine, was hailed as the fulfillment of a “70-year dream” of the Chinese nation when it launched to much celebration in 2012.

CNN’s Serenitie Wang and Ben Westcott contributed to this report.

Source: CNN “Will China have aircraft carrier that can match US Navy’s?”

Note: This is CNN’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Footage of Chinese New-type Submarine Sub-Launches Missile


At 12:02 pm Beijing time, China’s central television (CCTV) displays in its “News 30 minutes” footage of live-ammunition drill of stealth surprise attack by China’s new-type destroyers and submarines. The following photos are taken from the footage.

China’s New-type submarine

Inside China’s new-type submarine

Sub-launch of missile by a new-type submarine

Source: CCTV “Navy conducts integrated tests and drills to speed up the realization of real combat capabilities of new equipment” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the TV report in Chinese). The footage is available at http://tv.cctv.com/2018/06/14/VIDEccKtROVKog8AqKMYL6ll180614.shtml.


Exclusive: Satellite images reveal show of force by Chinese navy in South China Sea


Satellite photo dated March 26, 2018 shows Chinese ships south of Hainan, China. Planet Labs/Handout via REUTERS

Satellite photo dated March 26, 2018 shows Chinese ships south of Hainan, China. Planet Labs/Handout via REUTERS

James Pearson, Greg Torode March 27, 2018

HANOI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show.

The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirm a Chinese carrier group has entered the vital trade waterway as part of what the Chinese navy earlier described as combat drills that were part of routine annual exercises.

The Liaoning carrier group last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defense ministry.

The photos, taken on Monday, show what appear to be at least 40 ships and submarines flanking the carrier Liaoning in what some analysts described as an unusually large display of the Chinese military’s growing naval might.

Sailing in a line formation more suited to visual propaganda than hard military maneuvers, the flotilla was headed by what appeared to be submarines, with aircraft above.

Jeffrey Lewis, a security expert at the California-based based Middlebury Institute of Strategic Studies, said the images showed the first confirmation that the carrier was joining the drills.

“It’s an incredible picture,” he said. “That’s the big news to me. Confirmation that, yes, the carrier participated in the exercise.”

While the Liaoning has previously entered the South China Sea as part of drills in uncontested training grounds south of Hainan, its annual exercises are closely watched by regional and international powers eyeing Beijing’s growing military might.

It is unclear where the flotilla was headed, or how long operations will last. China’s defense ministry did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.

Collin Koh, a security expert at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, described the deployment as unusual for its size and scope.

“Judging by the images, it does seem they are keen to show that elements of the South Sea Fleet are able to routinely join up with the carrier strike group from Dalian in the north,” he said.

“It does seem they want to show inter-fleet interoperability – something the (Chinese) navy has been quietly working on for some time.”

Chinese naval and coast guard forces have expanded rapidly in recent years and now patrol the vast swathes of the South China Sea, but little is known about their combat readiness and co-ordination.

Koh said as well as the destroyers, frigates and submarines that would ordinarily support a carrier, the flotilla appeared to include a large oiler for re-supply as well as smaller corvettes and possibly fast attack catamarans.

“While it highlights an extensive ability to deploy, we are still left to guess at the PLAN’s combat readiness,” Koh said.

As well as Vietnam, China’s claims in the South China Sea are disputed by the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei while Taiwan also has claims.

The exercises come amid fresh signs of tension in the resource-rich waterway, with Vietnam recently halting oil exploration off its coast by Spanish firm Repsol under pressure from Beijing.

Beijing also objected to a so-called freedom of navigation patrol by a U.S. warship last week close to one of its artificial islands in the Spratlys archipelago further south.

Reporting By Greg Torode and James Pearson, additional reporting by Ben Blanchard. Editing by Lincoln Feast.

Source: Reuters “Exclusive: Satellite images reveal show of force by Chinese navy in South China Sea”