Saturday, September 16, 2017

PLA's STUFT (Ships Taken Up From Trade) capacity in a North Korean crisis

While it is fashionable to cite the PLNA having the"capable of sea-lifting only one infantry division" (TM), but without the PLAN, the PLA can draw upon its own organic amphibious warfare assets, which is enormous in its own right.  Furthermore,  the CMC also has a long tradition of STUFT-ing civil assets in a crisis.

When-and-if the PLA is able to secure a beachhead near the plain of Pyonyang, undoubtedly they will use captured ports to send supply and reinforcement from Dailian, Yantai and Shanghai.   Distance between Pyongyang and Dalian 224 miles across the Yellow Sea. 

Here is a look at China's STUFT (Ships Taken Up From Trade) capacity as of 2012.

-  Bohai Ferry Fleet. 11x Ropax liners with 1400-1600 passengers + 200+ vehicle spaces each.  That is 22,000 vehicles and 28,000 troops. 

 - State owned CSC-sinotrans has 27 Ro-ROs 
 http://www.sinotrans-csc.com/art/2016/9/30/art_12507_221252.html
Jinling Shipyard has to date delivered 27 RORO ships of various types. It was awarded the project for the 16,000-ton RORO ships, further consolidating its advantageous position in the global RORO ship building sector, and indicating the acknowledgment by the ship-owner of the Jinling RORO brand for its fully guaranteed timely ship delivery. At present, Jinling Shipyard is has received the contracts for and is in the process of building 10 RORO ships, which fall into the four series, i.e., 6700-vehicle, 3800-vechile, 12,00-ton and 16,000-ton ships, with the ship-owners being internationally renowned big companies. 

 - Five Ocean going rail ferries.


I n short,  if the CMC is committed to STUFT its entire Ro-Ro fleet, it could drop 150,000 troops together with their supply and vehicles in a single lift.  











Sunday, August 12, 2012


After Shangyang MR, Jinan MR is also getting STUFT-ed

China Launch Passenger RoRo Ship with Military Capability
PLA Daily
Friday, August 10, 2012

China's largest RoRo 'Bohai Emerald Bead' with the longest reach leaves Yantai Port in East China.

Different from ordinary ships, the 36,000 displacement civilian passenger and roll-on/roll-off ship was constructed in accordance with national defense requirements in mind in its design and construction so that it can carry organic troop units and heavy equipment.


The 178-meter-long and 28-meter-breadth ship can carry 2,000-plus persons and be loaded with over 300 vehicles of various sizes simultaneously.

The "Bohai Emerald Bead" is the first ship of its kind to be built in China, and there are three more of the same design under construction.

According to Rong Xianwen, director of the Military Transportation Department under the Jinan Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), the passenger and roll-on/roll-off ship is the most optimal ship type in maritime transportation of military troops as it possesses the advantages including large transportation quantity and high loading efficiency.

It is not only the means of transportation, but also a temporary barrack. Such type of ship is often utilized in military operations by western developed countries.


















Thursday, January 19, 2012


STUFT-ed, Chinese Style.

According to the Chinese edition report of the same (here), the China Army will STUFT (Ship Taken Up From Trade) a total of four large size Ro-Ro ships under the command of the Shenyang MR.  
Advanced passenger ro-ro ship commissioned in Shenyang MAC
http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/news-channels/photo-reports/2012-01/19/content_4772483.htm
(Source: China Military Online) 2012-01-19

The “Qingshandao” large-scale passenger ro-ro ship (China Military Online/Chen Li and Du Mingjun)

Escorted by related personnel of the military representative office of navigation affairs under the Shenyang Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Passenger Ship Co., Ltd of the China Shipping Co., the 23,000-ton “Qingshandao” large-scale passenger ro-ro ship smoothly arrived at the Dalian Port from the Guangzhou Shipyard on Jan. 12, 2012. The commission of this most advanced ship lays a solid foundation for improving the maritime strategic projection capability of the Chinese Navy.(China Military Online/Chen Li and Du Mingjun)

Editor:Zhang Qingxia

Of course, all those news release could be part of a Communist propaganda attempt to deceit -- China, as a nation, still only capably of sea-lifting one division at a time.  Don't believe me? See this official US government report.
 
"China Naval Modernziation: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities -- Background and Issues for Congress released by the US government.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/128334.pdf

Change in Amphibious Lift Capability Since 2000 Although China in recent years has deployed new amphibious ships and craft, DOD states that “PLA air and amphibious lift capacity has not improved appreciably since 2000 when the Department of Defense assessed the PLA as capable of sealift of one infantry division.”


"As China’s capabilities for local and regional operations have increased in certain areas since 2000, a number of limitations appear to have persisted. The PLA has developed new doctrine for joint warfighting and implemented organizational changes, such as including service commanders on the Central Military Commission, to facilitate the transition to a more “joint” force. However, joint integration still lags. Similarly, PLA air and amphibious lift capacity has not improved appreciably since 2000 when the Department of Defense assessed the PLA as capable of sealift of one infantry division. Likewise, China’s current ability to deliver about 5,000 parachutists in a single lift (less if equipment is carried at the same time) is similar to previous assessments. China’s at-sea replenishment has improved with experience since 2000, but the PLA Navy today remains limited by a small number of support vessels – much as it did then. In 2000, the Department of Defense projected aerial refueling as an operational capability by 2005. Today, while China has a few aerial refueling aircraft, it does not have the number of tankers, properly equipped combat aircraft, or sufficient training to employ this capability for power projection."






Previous blog entry:



Wednesday, July 01, 2009


The COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company) “Spirit”

The first “China design and build” Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) vehicle carrier launched on June 24, 2009 at Zhoushan shipyard marking a major advance in China’s building capability.


The COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company) “Spirit” 中远盛世 has a fully loaded displacement of 14,500 tons, capable of carrying 5000 vehicles with a design speed of 20 knots. Its dimensions are: 182.8 meters in length, 32.2 meters in width and 34 meters high. It has a total of 9 stationary and 3 adjustable decks to accommodate vehicles of different heights. Just like other modern RoRo’s, the COSCO Spirit is fully automated and allows for single-crew-piloting.


COSCO cited the increase in automobile imports as the sole reason to build such a fleet and indeed in January, China surpassed the US as the world’s largest car market. (Here) But the RoRo carrier can press into military service and is generally considered a national security asset according to the August 2006 report “The Role of United States’ Commercial Shipping Industry in Military Sealift” presented by the US DOD due to its capability to load and offload large volumes of vehicles in repetition. US civilian RoRo fleets under the US Transportation Command were credited as a necessary strategic asset during the recent gulf war as cited by the same report.


The RoRo carrier also played an important support role for the Royal Navy during the 1982 Falklands War by ferrying 4000 troops to the remote island battlefield. Today one of the Royal Navy’s auxiliary training ships, the HMS Argus, was also converted to a RoRo carrier.


Additional RoRo carriers will augment the PLA’s transport capabilities especially in situations where large numbers of Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFV) are needed. At the same time, one must be careful not to view it as an amphibious asset for operations directed at “a run-a-way island,” err, I mean “an investment partner” as RoRo carriers require a secure and undamaged deep seaport in order to offload.


Photos of COSCO "Spirit" with primer gray and a top deck that can accommodate helicopter operations.





It looks similar to the French Navy's amphibious assault ship Mistral (L9013)




Previous RoRo with imported designs are painted red such as the smaller Changjilong which launched in Sept 08, 2008






Other RoRo currently in civilian service








CCTV Reported a military exercise involving Yue Hai Tie 2, a railroad car RoRo, pressed into military service in Hainan Island.






Monday, September 11, 2017

The second-line PLA units facing the North

The consolidation of border defense regiments into brigades is one aspect of the recent PLA orbat reform that is largely missed by people outside of China.   As of today, there are 11 border defense brigades and 4 coastal defense brigades organic to the Northern Theater Command.   They were consolidated from nine border defense regiments from Heilongjiang, three from Jilin, six from Liaoning and nine from Inner Mongolia.  Plus nine coastal defense regiments from Shangdong.   Prior to the reform,  border defense regiments were subordinated to the provincial military commands, a layer under the old Military Region HQ.

The border defense units might be defensive in nature but they are capable of independent movement.  Their deployment will free up line units from rearguard duties when they advance deep into the North.   While not all border brigades will be deployed, they will count as "boots on the ground" to maintain the peace or to hold a possible insurgency a bay.  A lesson drawn from Operation Enduring Freedom I suppose.  In addition to those guards, the PLA line units can expect support from hundred of thousands of PAP and local police as well.

Northern Theater Command Border Defense Brigade:

321st Brigade
322nd Brigade
323rd Brigade
324th Brigade
325th Brigade
326th Brigade
327th Brigade
328th Brigade
329th Brigade
330th Brigade
331th Brigade    

Northern Theater Command Coastal Defense Brigade:

332th Coastal Defense Brigade (Liaoning)
333th Coastal Defense Brigade (Liaoning)
334th Coastal Defense Brigade (Shangdong)
335th Coastal Defense Brigade (Shangdong)

 Note the QBZ-03 "I hate bullpup" assault rifle the guardsman is carrying 





PLA orbat update, Northern Theater Command (78th, 79th and 80th GA)

Here's PLA TC facing the North -- 3 GAs together with 18 line brigades.   In addition to organic units, they can draw support from sister TCs such as the the Central and the West. 


-->
Northern TC16th Group Army78th Group Army8th Combined-Arms Brigade



48th Combined-Arms Brigade



68th Combined-Arms Brigade



115th Combined-Arms Brigade



202th Combined-Arms Brigade



204th Combined-Arms Brigade



78th SpOps Bridage



78th Artillery Brigade



78th Army Aviation Brigade



78th Engineer Brigade



78th Joint Logistics Support Brigade



78th Air Defense Brigade





39th Group Army79th Group Army46th Combined-Arms Brigade



116th Combined-Arms Brigade



119th Combined-Arms Brigade



190th Combined-Arms Brigade



191st Combined-Arms Brigade



200th Combined-Arms Brigade



79th SpOps Bridage



79th Artillery Brigade



79th Army Aviation Brigade



79th Engineer Brigade



79th Joint Logistics Support Brigade



79th Air Defense Brigade





26th Group Army80th Group Army47th Combined-Arms Brigade



69th Combined-Arms Brigade



118th Combined-Arms Brigade



138th Combined-Arms Brigade



199st Combined-Arms Brigade



203th Combined-Arms Brigade



80th SpOps Bridage



80th Artillery Brigade



80th Army Aviation Brigade



80th Engineer Brigade



80th Joint Logistics Support Brigade



80th Air Defense Brigade





40th Group ArmyDecommissioned



. .


Sunday, August 13, 2017

PLA orbat update, Southern Theater Command (74th and 75th GA)

 

41st Group Army74th Group Army1st Combined-Arms Brigade


16th Combined-Arms Brigade


125th Combined-Arms Brigade


132nd Combined-Arms Brigade


154th Combined-Arms Brigade


163th Combined-Arms Brigade


74th Air-Defense Brigade


74th Artillery Brigade


74th Special Ops Brigade


74th Joint Logistics Support Brigade


74th Engineering Brigade



42nd Group Army75th Group Army31st Combined-Arms Brigade


32nd Combined-Arms Brigade


37th Combined-Arms Brigade


42nd Combined-Arms Brigade


122th Combined-Arms Brigade


123rd Combined-Arms Brigade


121st Air-Assault Brigade


75th Air-Defense Brigade


75th Artillery Brigade


75th Special Ops Brigade


75th Joint Logistics Support Brigade


75th Engineering Brigade

 

 

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Winterfell’s defense



Winter is here. In addition to cold political rhetoric, the world also witnessed the power of Little-phat Night King’s fully operational Intercontinental Ballistic Dragon (ICBD).  It is now up to the PLA to mount a possible offensive defense.

In the following weeks,  this blog will start posting more Northern China (especially on the Northern Theater Command) centric updates.   Hopefully it will feature insight into the military options available to the King in Beijing.   One thing's for certain, the PLA can expect no Lannister army marching shoulder-to-shoulder with them -- Cersei tweets loud-and big but all she ever wanted is to build a wall facing the south (too late, no?).  Joking aside, the 28,500 strong Lannister army can’t mount a “boots on the ground” across the DMZ without completing an prolonged air campaign first. 





A note to the King in Beijing, A Lannister always pays his debts.  It stands at $1.15 trillion in Aug 2017 and counting. 

RRU -- the King in Beijing can count on 2 brigades of PLAN Marine (the third brigade is far from battle-ready), up to 9 airborne brigades and dozens of SpOs units.  Given China's advanced transportation networks coupled with their high-readiness rate,  majority of those RRU could reach the Yalu River delta area within 10 days.  This rapid troop movement capacity has been demonstrated during rescue phase of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake 9 years ago.  An assessment of PLA's response to the 2008 earthquake is here.   However, RRU are essentially light infantry units -- albeit well-trained -- with limited light direct and in-direct armor and fire support.  They also lack heavy artillery and engineering assets to overcome fortified defensive positions and mountainous terrain dotted across the entire area-of-operations.  They should know, they were there during the 1950s. 

Furthermore, unlike their Western counterparts, close tactical air support is still an luxury item few units have access to. Therefore, those RRU will not advance without support from local "heavies".   But if they do, they will be "all in".



More to follow.....




Saturday, April 29, 2017


15th Airborne Corps' new ORBAT

The CMC decommissioned three divisional headquarters (43rd, 44th and 45th) on April 19th,  their regiments are now reformed into 6 brigades (127th, 128th, 130th, 131st, 133rd, and 134th) directly under the corps headquarters .   Additionally,  there will be a new SpOps Brigade , a Strategic Support Brigade (Engineering, Communication, etc) and an Aviation Brigade(Fixed And Rotary Wing Aircraft) bringing to a total of 9 line brigades.


Monday, January 26, 2015


Photos of the day: PLAN Marine, Winter Warfare Specialist.

As noted before by this blog, the South China Sea is not the PLAN Marine's sole AOR.   As China is keeping close tabs on latest development from North Korea (here), the PLAN Marine, being the vanguard of the Chinese military, now has to familiarize themselves with Winter Warfare.


Training in cold region becomes normal for Chinese Marine Corps

(Source: China Military Online)   2015-01-12

The Chinese Marine Corps is loading equipment onto trucks on January 8, 2015, getting ready to head for a training base in northeast China for actual-combat cold region training. (Chinamil.com.cn/Liao Zhiyong)

  GUANGDONG, January 12 (ChinaMil) -- A brigade of the Chinese Marine Corps made up of 1,000-plus people and 100-plus vehicles set out from the west of Guangdong province on the night of January 8, 2015, and headed for a training base in northeast China which is more than 4,000 kilometers away for the cold region training.

  This is an onshore trans-regional actual-combat cold region training featuring the longest distance and longest time.

  This is another actual-combat cold region training for the Marine Corps after its organic units headed for a training base for the first time last year, marking that the cold region training has become normal for the Marine Corps, according to Li Xiaoyan, commander of the cold region training and deputy chief of staff of the South China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the People's Liberation Army (PLAN).

  This actual-combat cold region training will cover a number of subjects, such as troops assembly, mobile entry and stationing, technical and tactical basis under severe cold conditions, operation grouping and collaboration, and actual-troop confrontation in offensive combats on rugged terrains in cold region.

  This cold region training features a more complicated environment, higher latitude, lower temperature, and wider maneuvering range compared with that of last year.

  Some specific training subjects have been added based on the training of last year, and the troops will conduct the training under such complicated situations as long-distance maneuvering, unfamiliar region, and extremely cold weather, Li Xiaoyan said.

  In addition, from transfer-in of the troops' degree of combat readiness to maneuvering and withdrawal, the training command post will organize experts and instructors from institutions and universities to set up a directing and evaluating team, so as to test the troops' long-distance maneuvering and total-region combat capability in an all-round way.
The fully-armed officers and men of the Marine Corps are boarding vehicles to head for a training base in northeast China for actual-combat cold region training on the night of January 8, 2015. (Chinamil.com.cn/Liao Zhiyong)

Editor:Guo Renjie










Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Boring logistics pictures of the day: Shaanxi Automobile Group's next generation of Heavy Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMWV) for the PLA

This "third generation" military vehicle recently won second prize in the military scientific and technological progress award.










 What!  no cup holders!