Wednesday, August 26, 2009

China refuses Japanese naval ships visit to Hong Kong

China has good reason to refuse a proposed visit to Hong Kong of three Japanese warships, Chinese media and experts are saying.

They said the ships should not be made welcome following recent decisions in Tokyo to host Xinjiang separatist Rebiya Kadeer and allow planned visits from former Taiwan leader Lee Teng-hui and the Dalai Lama.

The website of Japan's Asahi Shinbun newspaper reported Sunday that the three Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) vessels, with more than 700 naval officers and crew on board, set off from Tokyo in April. The ships called in at 13 countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe and are due back home in early September.

Though the mini fleet had no plans initially to visit Hong Kong, Japan has since raised the idea of a stopover sometime late this month or in early September in an attempt to improve exchanges with the Chinese navy, said the website.

According to the report, the Chinese government told the Japanese embassy in Beijing that "it is a sensitive issue, so far there is no atmosphere for approving Japanese warships' stopover in Hong Kong".

The report quoted Japanese analysts as saying that China was expressing its discontent following Japan's reception of Kadeer, Lee Teng-hui and the Dalai Lama.

Kadeer is head of the World Uighur Congress, which is suspected of having instigated the July riots in Xinjiang that claimed at least 197 lives.

Lee and the Dalai Lama are scheduled to visit Japan and make speeches there in September and November.

A diplomat with the Japanese embassy, who declined to be named, told China Daily yesterday that Japan was still negotiating with China about the suggested visit.

An official with the Foreign Ministry's spokesman's office said the ministry was studying the case, while the Ministry of National Defense made no comment yesterday.

Hong Kong-based Shing Pao Daily News said in an editorial yesterday that "Beijing is assured and bold with justice" in declining the visit.

"The request for JMSDF ships to visit Hong Kong would ordinarily be normal practice among military exchanges with China but what the Japanese government did recently contradicts with the principal of friendly cooperation and made the atmosphere unsuitable," it said.

Su Hao, director of China Foreign Affairs University's Center for Asia-Pacific Studies, said the request from the Japanese warships to visit Hong Kong was significant because it was unprecedented, even though there is an agreement between Beijing and Washington to allow US warships to stop in Hong Kong for supplies.

The first Japanese warship to visit China after World War moored at a naval base in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, last summer, drawing national attention because of Japan's past invasion of China.

"It's understandable for the government to decline such a request at a time when many sensitive issues have emerged in bilateral relations," Su said.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

China's stealth Type 022 Fast Attack Missile Craft

The Type 022 (NATO codename: Houbei class) is the new-generation catamaran (twin-gull) missile fast attack craft (FAC) built for the PLA Navy. The first-of-class (hull number 2209) was launched in April 2004 at the Qiuxin Shipyard based in Shanghai. Six contractors are now involved in the construction of the Type 022. Approximately 81 or more of these missile boats are currently in service with three flotillas, having gone through serial production. The vessel replaces the ageing Type 021 (Huangfeng class) that were commissioned between the late 1960s and early 1980s.

The wave-piercing catamaran offers great high-speed, long-distance cursing performance. The twin hulls of the catamaran enable the vessel to be more stable when travelling at high speeds than the conventional single-hull craft. Catamarans are especially favourable in coastal shallow waters, where large single-hull warships have limitations due to their deeper draft. The Type 022 missile FAC was likely to be used for costal defence roles in conjunction with larger surface ships and land-based aircraft.


* Displacement: 220 tons full load
* Length: 42.6 m
* Beam: 12.2 m
* Draft: 1.5 m
* Speed: 36 kt
* Crew: 12
* Armament:
Anti-ship missiles: 8 C-801/802/803 or
land-attack missiles: 8 Hongniao missile-2 long range land attack cruise missiles.
Surface-to-air missiles: FLS-1 surface-to-air launcher with 12 QW class MANPAD missiles
Guns: 1 x licensed copy of KBP AO-18 6-barrel 30 mm gun (AK-630) by ZEERI
* Propulsion: 2 diesel engines @ 6,865 hp with 4 waterjet propulsors by MARI
* Radars:
Surface search radar: 1 Type 362
Navigational radar: 1
Electro-optics: HEOS 300

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Latest update on China's aircraft carrier project

Chinese jet trains to take off using ski ramp.

The wonders of digital photography (on the ground and from commercial satellites) provide evidence that China is testing the use of its Su-30 aircraft and a ski ramp type carrier deck design. China is expected to have an operational carrier soon, and it will be one using a ski ramp (instead of a steam catapult). It was suspected that there was a ski ramp training facility somewhere, now it's been located, in Xian-Yanliang. What's strange about this is the altitude of this airbase; nearly 500 meters (rather than sea level.) Then again, Xian-Yanliang is a windy place, which allows testing of the stationary ski ramp built there, with winds typical of what would be encountered when the carrier turned into the wind for the commencement of aircraft launching operations.

Late last year, China announced that its first class of carrier aviators had begun training at the Dalian Naval Academy. The naval officers will undergo a four year course of instruction to turn them into fighter pilots capable of operating off a carrier. The Russians have warned China that it may take them a decade or more to develop the knowledge and skills needed to efficiently run an aircraft carrier. The Chinese are game, and are slogging forward.

Earlier this year, the Russian aircraft carrier Varyag was renamed the Shi Lang (after the Chinese general who took possession of Taiwan in 1681, the first time China ever paid any attention to the island) and given the pennant number 83. The Chinese have been refurbishing the Varyag, one of the Kuznetsov class that Russia began building in the 1980s, for several years now. It is expected to be ready for sea trials by the end of the year.

The Varyag has been tied up in a Chinese shipyard at Dailan since 2002. While the ship is under guard, it can be seen from a nearby highway. From that vantage point, local military and naval buffs have noted that some kind of work is being done on the ship. The only visible signs of this work are a new paint job (in the gray shade used by the Chinese navy) and ongoing work on the superstructure (particularly the tall island on the flight deck.) Many workers can be seen on the ship, and material is seen going into (new stuff) and out of (old stuff) the ship. The new contracts are believed to be for more equipment for the Varyag, in addition to the non-custom stuff already going into the ship.

Originally the Kuznetsovs were conceived of as 90,000 ton, nuclear powered ships, similar to American carriers (complete with steam catapults). Instead, because of the cost, and the complexity of modern (American style) carriers, the Russians were forced to scale back their goals, and ended up with the 65,000 ton (full load ) ships that lacked steam catapults, and used a ski jump type flight deck instead. Nuclear power was dropped, but the Kuznetsov class was still a formidable design. The thousand foot long carrier normally carries a dozen navalized Su-27s (called Su-33s), 14 Ka-27PL anti-submarine helicopters, two electronic warfare helicopters and two search and rescue helicopters. But the ship can carry up to 36 Su-33s and sixteen helicopters. The ship carries 2,500 tons of aviation fuel, allowing it to generate 500-1,000 aircraft and helicopter sorties. Crew size is 2,500 (or 3,000 with a full aircraft load.) Only two ships of this class exist; the original Kuznetsov, which is in Russian service, and the Varyag. Currently, the Kuznetsov is operating in the Mediterranean.

The Chinese have been in touch with Russian naval construction firms, and may have purchased plans and technology for equipment installed in the Kuznetsov. Some Chinese leaders have quipped about having a carrier by 2010 (this would have to be a refurbished Varyag). Even that would be an ambitious schedule, and the Chinese have been burned before when they tried to build new military technology in a hurry.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chinese warship visits Kochi, India.

The timing of this ship visit coincides with the on going 13th round of Sino-India border negotiation. The 6000 ton ship (167 Shenzhen) belongs to China's North Sea Fleet, it is current deployed in the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy operations.

Chinese Navy's Guided Missile Destroyer Shenzhen that has docked at Kochi on a four-day visit on Saturday.

Kochi: A Chinese Navy ship, en route to the port of Zhanjiang after deployment in the Gulf of Aden on anti-piracy operations, docked at the port here on Saturday on a four-day visit.

Shenzhen, a guided missile destroyer of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), is commanded by Senior Captain Zhao Chang Sheng and embarks Rear Admiral Yao Zhilou, Deputy Commander of China’s South Sea Fleet.

The crew of the ship is expected to visit the training facilities under the Southern Naval Command during the port call. On Monday,

Zhang Yan, Chinese Ambassador to India, will call on Vice-Admiral Sunil K. Damle, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command. Apart from professional and social interaction, a basket ball match between the two Navies is also slated to take place during the visit.

Shenzhen is the only Type 051B Luhai-class destroyer with a displacement of about 6,100 tonnes. It has a slope-sided hull designed with a view to minimising radar signature to dodge detection. It took part in the PLA Navy’s first goodwill visit to Africa in 2000, Europe in 2001 and Japan in 2007.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Photos of China's J-10 fighter jet refueling over the sky of South China Sea

These are J-10S two seat version, they are refueled by H-6U tanker.
The pictures are amazingly clear.