Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Type59 MBT, Unmanned Combat Systems

Just in case you are wondering what happened to all those Type59s.  Well, recently 300 of them have been exported to the Bangladesh Army (to be upgraded to as Type 59G(BD) Durjoy variant), some will be converted as VN11 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle, the lucky ones will be training targets and last but not least, became Unmanned Combat Systems

Type 59 as a training target

Type59 MBT, Unmanned Combat Systems

MARCH 21, 2018 / 9:02 AM / UPDATED AN HOUR AGO
China trials unmanned tanks in latest modernization push
Reuters Staff


BEIJING (Reuters) - China is testing unmanned tanks which could be equipped with artificial intelligence, a state-run newspaper said on Wednesday, as the country continues with its military modernization program.

State television showed images this week of the unmanned tanks undergoing testing, the Global Times newspaper reported.

Footage showed a Type 59 tank being driven by remote control, in what the paper said was the first time a Chinese-made unmanned tank has been shown in a public forum.

The Type 59 tank is based on an old Soviet model first used in China in the 1950s and has been produced in large numbers and has a long service life, it said.

“A large number of due-to-retire Type 59 tanks can be converted into unmanned vehicles if equipped with artificial intelligence,” Liu Qingshan, the chief editor of Tank and Armoured Vehicle, told the newspaper.

Unmanned tanks will be able to work on other unmanned equipment, integrate information from satellites, aircraft or submarines, the report added.

China is in the middle of an impressive modernization program for its armed forces, including building stealth fighters and new aircraft carriers, as President Xi Jinping looks to assert the country’s growing power.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Photos of the day: PLA Marine Corps conducts massive groundbreaking maneuvers

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

PLA Marine Corps conducts massive groundbreaking maneuvers

Source: Global Times
Editor: Huang Panyue


In the largest exercise of its kind, more than 10,000 troops traveled more than 2,000 kilometers to arrive on Monday at two army training bases in Southwest China's Yunnan Province and East China's Shandong Province and begin battle training, China Central Television show Military Report reported.

The largest ever trans-regional training of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Marine Corps combined diverse modes of transport including air, water, railway and motor, the report said.

The process of multi-dimensional delivery of troops and long-distance arrival was accompanied by battle exercises.

The marine officers and soldiers will next carry out training in subtropical mountainous jungle areas in more than 30 specialties including combat, attack and defense, hiding and searching.

This massive military maneuvers proved the marine corps is striving to improve combat capability, according to a military expert who asked to remain anonymous.

Marines are frontline troops that seize beachheads in war time, and work as a rapid reaction force in peacetime ready to deal with emergencies, the anonymous expert said.

In 2016, the Marine Corps of the People's Liberation Army Navy conducted its first live-fire drills in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Unlike previous marine corps training that involved a few thousand personnel and hundreds of vehicles, this training involved over 10,000 that amounted to a significant upgrade in the military structure and organization of the troops.

China plans to expand its marine corps from 20,000 to 100,000 to better protect the country's rising overseas commitments, the South China Morning Post reported in March last year.

Some marines will be assigned overseas including Djibouti and Gwadar Port of Pakistan, the Hong Kong-based newspaper reported.

The information bureau of China's Ministry of National Defense said afterwards that the expansion of the PLA Navy's Marine Corps relates to the reform of the Chinese military, which is being steadily implemented.

The corps is also acting as guarding troops in Djibouti, according to the CCTV report.

"Performing tasks outside the country can greatly enhance the marines' combat capability such as emergency and rapid response skills," the expert said.

Performing guarding tasks overseas demands marines with higher capabilities, the expert noted, as vigilance and combat-readiness are closer to real combats.

PLA to issue new Type17 uniform starting May 1st, 2018

Including the new QGF-11 combat helmet

Sunday, March 11, 2018

91st Combined-Arms Brigade, 73rd Group Army, Eastern Theater Command

The 91st Motorized Infantry Division of the former 31st GA is now the 91st Combined-Arms Brigade (合成第91旅) of the 73rd GA.  The unit is taking on amphibious role.  At the moment second-hand 63A amphibious tanks are making up the backbone of the four Combined-Arms Battalions (合成1,2,3,4营), with each battalion having 2 companies of 63A

-- Andrew KC

Just in case you ever wonder where some those 2nd hand Type63A light amphibious tanks ended up

Friday, March 09, 2018

Photos of the day: DF-16 MRBM "unshelled"

I believe this is the first ever publicly released PR photos showing this Chinese MRBM missile inside of its protective "shell".  It also confirms that a China Rocket Force launch battery commands six missiles.   While a six-missile battery format is not a secret per se, it is still nice to have a confirmation. 

Looks like a giant bullet. does not it?

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Photos of the day: Type96B MBT with remote weapon station

The PLA continues to improve their mainstay MBT fleet, the Type96, on a regular basis.  It will be interesting to see which unit will receive this nice little upgraded variant.

Thanks =GT for the photos.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Blast from the past of the day: Project 882

30 years ago after informing UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) that China intended to build a Marine observation station in Fiery Cross Reef, the PLAN kicked off Project 882 (Feb 1988) with a naval task force to start the construction soon after.  It was PRC’s first reclamation project in that area. 

Here's are screen shots from a documentary on Project 882: