Wednesday, January 17, 2018

All along the watchtower

In an attempt to convert PLA's UN Peacekeepers into Hendrix's fans (sorry Dylan) Norinco introduced a series of Mobile Watchtowers for their overseas missions.  It is very similar to IDF's Akrab Mobile Command/Observation Post concept -- in addition to improving peacekeepers' musical taste, it offers add-on bonus protection against mortar/sniper attacks.  

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - All Along The Watchtower (Official Audio)

  IDF's Akrab on a M60 chassis 

Thursday, June 02, 2016

UN peacekeeper from China killed, 4 injured in Mali attack


BEIJING, June 1 (Reuters) - One Chinese United Nations peacekeeper has been killed, and four injured, after an attack in Mali, China's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, calling for an investigation into the incident to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Soldiers of a United Nations peacekeeping mission have been stationed in northern Mali, along with French forces, for three years since separatists joined jihadists to seize the region from the government in Bamako.

The militants have staged several high profile attacks in the past year, not only in Mali but also in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

A peace accord signed last year was meant to bring stability to the region, but attacks against the U.N. mission, Malian military and civilians are still frequent.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China urged the Mali government and the United Nations to investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.

"This is a grave and intolerable crime. China strongly condemns it," Hua told a daily news briefing, describing the incident as a terrorist attack on the U.N. peacekeeping mission.

She did not say who China thought was behind the attack.

China now has more than 2,400 peacekeepers in Mali and other African countries, she said, adding that the country would continue to positively contribute to U.N. peacekeeping missions to help ensure peace and stability in Africa.
China will contribute a tenth of the budget for U.N. peacekeeping operations between 2016 and 2018, slightly behind the United States, the U.N.'s peacekeeping chief told the country's official Xinhua news agency on Sunday.
Five U.N. peacekeepers from Togo were also killed and one person was seriously injured in an ambush in central Mali on Sunday. (Reporting by Michael Martina; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Non-headline news of the day: Chinese combat peacekeepers in Mali

China's peacekeepers working in Mali
Xinhua | 2013-12-13 21:51:02
By Agencies   
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The first batch of 135 peacekeepers in Mali have conducted the mission's first defense drilling operation to improve emergency handling capabilities, according to the Chinese Ministry of National Defense on Friday.

China sent the peacekeepers to Mali on Dec. 4, marking the first time the country has dispatched security forces for such a mission.

The team consists of engineers, medical staff and security guards from the Shenyang Military Area Command and the 211 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army. They are the advance troops of a 395-strong force that China will send to Mali at the request of the United Nations.

After they arrived, they prepared tents and constructed military bunkers, according to a statement from the ministry's peacekeeping office.

More than 1,700 tonnes of equipment and materials have been transported by sea to the area.

The team will be tasked with repairing roads and bridges, airport runways and facilities at camps, safeguarding the security of mission headquarters, as well as providing medical treatment and epidemic prevention.

The force's remaining servicemen are ready for departure according to the UN arrangement.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

China commits combat troops to Mali

After weeks of speculations,  China has officially committed combat troops to Mali today.

You can read a good summary from today's

June 27, 2013 2:14 pm
China commits combat troops to Mali

By Kathrin Hille in Beijing

China has publicly committed combat troops on a UN peacekeeping mission for the first time, marking a big shift in Beijing’s foreign policy.

Having close to 1,900 personnel deployed as of December last year, China is already the largest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions among the five permanent member countries of the UN Security Council. But Beijing has long shied away from sending combat troops.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

ZH-05 OICW is now QTS-11 单兵综合作战系统

Since the ZH-05 has entered service for sometime now and more importantly inspected by THE BOSS himself, the PLA Daily (here)  finally confirmed its in-service designation as the QTS-11 单兵综合作战系统 (Single-Troop, Comprehensive, Combat System).

Xi is like "I like what I saw!"  Pow.  

Reconnaissance Battalion, 112th Mechanized Infantry Division's fancy QTS-11

Saturday, January 31, 2015

ZH-05 OICW seen with the PLA Marine SpOps

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


By Blitzo

In the past week, a rush of new information and photos have come to light concerning the PLA's OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon), dubbed ZH-05. Speculation is rife that the weapon is due to be officially declassified and/or reveal an in service status.

Caption: You know a weapon is set for public knowledge when it's at the forefront of a stage commemorating the PLAMC.

Indeed, previous rumours of Aden deployed PLAMC being armed with ZH-05 appear to be substantiated in this latest round of "leaks".

An OICW typically seeks to mate an assault rifle with an intelligent grenade launcher in a complete package, with a computerised fire control system to allow the small calibre grenade to burst at a predetermined distance for maximum lethality. However, current and previous OICWs such as the US XM-29 or Korean K11 are hindered by heavy weight and cumbersome volume, and indeed, only the Korean K11 is currently in service and represents the only OICW fully developed.

This changes with the ZH-05, which not only features a sleek, assault rifle-like profile, but is also remarkably light, at only 4.27kg unloaded and 5kg fully loaded (compared to the K11's 6.1kg unloaded). ZH-05 achieves its low weight through an innovative way of integrating only the laser range finder and fire control system with the gun itself, while keeping the optics modular and interchangable -- which not only lightens the weapon dramatically but also confers greater flexibility for the soldier who may wish to change between different scopes.

Caption: An early picture of the ZH-05, possibly at an arms exhibit, which surprised everyone both by depicting important specs, but also by the ridiculously low total weight of 5kg, which weighs less than the K11 unloaded, and only a little more than a loaded battle rifle!

Caption: A leaked picture displaying the laser range finder and fire control system integrated with the gun. Note the optics, which is separable from the gun

But an even more ingenious -- and pragmatic -- means of reducing weapon weight was through eliminating the semi automatic grenade launcher and magazine for a single shot bolt action mechanism. While at first glance this may appear a disadvantage compared with other OICWs, it has been suggested the deletion of the magazine was directed by the PLA itself after initial trials with prototypes with five round magazines. This not only significantly reduced weight, but also allowed users to fire different types of grenades with greater ease.

The use of different grenade types is significant, as the lethality of a 20mm round is greatly reduced with the complicated electronics to allow a single grenade to perform multiple functions from airburst, to impact detonation, whereas separating individual grenades for airburst, impact, redues the circuitry in each individual grenade, improving overall power.

Hongjian provides a succint summary of the ZH-05's 20mm development:

"1. The first variant had a 5 round magazine, but the PLA requested the single-shot, manually loaded bolt-action system not only because it would be easier to change munition-type, but it also would enable the designers to design single-purpose 20mm grenades. Compared to the XM-25, XM-29 and K-11's multi-purpose grenades, each individual chinese 20mm airburst grenade has only the airburst mode, the impact explosion grenade has only the impact explosion mode and so on, which increases the explosive load of those grenades as they reduce the room needed for complex electronics. To compare, the XM1018 20mm grenade has both impact and airburst modes, which consumes rougthly 60% of the grenade's volume for electronics, battery, sensors, limiting the the size of the warhead and reducing its destructive power.
The PLA has hence very high confidence in the wounding effects of their single-purpose 20mm airburst grenades during urban battle, as it apparently performed better in tests than even hand-grenades and approaching that of infantry mortars (as in higher killing co-efficiency; note that chart below).

2. Due to the single-shot, manually loaded bolt-action system, the soldier can very easily chamber the individual grenade type required for the specific tactical situation at hand, without having to play around too much with the electronic-fuse settings. This increases the reliability of the grenades and reduces the weight of the weapon overall due to simpler electronics.

3. There are three kinds of grenades for the grenade launcher: The conventional impact grenade, the airburst grenade, and, what is called as the 'secret weapon'; the 'shotgun'-grenade. Latter is described as a grenade which will explode into a barrage of shrapnels to the forward direction at a customized range as set by the user. One can think of a small AHEAD (Advanced Hit Efficiency And Destruction) round to imagine its underlying principle.
According to the users during field tests, this grenade is devastating in combat and has a high suppression value in close urban battle.
With these three grenade rounds available for this system, it gained its "three-in-one-launcher" nickname by the PLA.

4. TOE wise, the standard PLA squad is already divided into two fireteams. Traditionally, it is the RPG fireteam and the Machinegun fireteam. Now, each fireteam will receive one ZH-05, with two in total per infantry squad, raising the unit's overall combat efficiency dramatically."

Caption: CAD image of the 20mm grenade launcher component with a preliminary magazine design, later removed

Caption: Lethality rating of the 20mm airburst grenade compared with various other weapons. It can be seen that the 20mm airburst has greater killing co efficiency than a standard grenade, and approaches that of an infantry mortar!

And some specs of the ZH-05's 20mm grenade, again translated by Hongjian:
"20mm caliber
1.2 grams of propellant
85 grams
119MPa chamber pressure
219m/s muzzle velocity
800m range and 29.46 meters vertical
reaching the distance of 800m in 4.446 seconds with an arc of 7.02 degrees
7.7 meters killing radius"

Pictures depict ZH-05 armed soldiers with a new kit of body armour and a helmet mounted eyepiece display suggest this is part of a greater drive for PLA modernization. The eyepiece is thought to be connected to the weapon via a cable, and possibly projects an image of the weapon's scope for the soldier.

Certainly the PLA have experimented with such a function on existing rifles for many years.

Caption: the good old days

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Animated gif of the day: Bayonet drill with QBZ-95

Everything you always wanted to know about properly perform a bayonet  thrust with QBZ-95 but were afraid to ask.

 Now you have it.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

PLA Unit of the day: Marine Reconnaissance Battalion, Marine Brigade, China Navy

Each China Navy Marine Brigade has an organic Reconnaissance Battalion, they are trained to carry out all-terrain reconnaissance, battlefield surveillance, counter-reconnaissance missions as well as SpOps on bard of PLAN warships.  Since day one, each of the China Navy anti-piracy task force to the Gulf of Aden has been assigned those reconnaissance elements serving both in SpOps and traditional duties of Marines in ship's detachments.

As you can tell, they have two sets of uniforms -- traditional "smurf blue" when they are under their normal chain-of-command.  In that role, their are reserved in supporting their Marine comrades-in-arms by providing timely intelligence to their marine brigade command.   They switch to their "Right Said Fred - ‘I’m Too Sexy" black during a foreign deployment and under the Gulf of Aden task force Command at the CMC, headed by a naval flag officer.  

Special operations soldier assigned to a reconnaissance battalion with the Marine Corps under the PLA Navy fades into his background as he looks through the sight of his sniper rifle during a sniper training exercise. ( by Yan Jialuo, Pu Yuxiang and Xia Lei)

 Special operations soldiers assigned to a reconnaissance battalion with the Marine Corps under the PLA Navy establish their firing positions with rifles to provide security during a recent special operations training exercise. ( by Yan Jialuo, Pu Yuxiang and Xia Lei)

 Two special operations soldiers maneuver on skis as they lock in simulated targets with sniper rifles during a recent special operations training exercise. ( by Yan Jialuo, Pu Yuxiang and Xia Lei)

Special operations soldiers assigned to a reconnaissance battalion with the Marine Corps under the PLA Navy conduct diving operations underwater with rifles during a recent special operations training exercise. ( by Yan Jialuo, Pu Yuxiang and Xia Lei)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

VBSS body armor adopted.

Judging by the photos of PLAN's 9th Task Force to the Gulf and Aden, it seems the PLAN SpOps team has adopted Clear Duty's VBSS body armor.    Also noted from the photo of a fore-gripped Type95, the PLAN is allowing its elites a greater leverage in customizing their gear.

All those adjustments show that the decision to participate in the anti-piracy duties is paying dividends in unexpected ways for the PLAN.

Friday, June 10, 2011

PLAMC testing new VBSS body armor vest for boarding team 

Clear Duty VBSS body armor vest is being tested by the PLAMC for boarding party. It's made by a local Chinese private company. VBSS stands for Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure operation.

The CD VBSS is more comfortable and offers quick-release that the standard issued Type 06 body armor lacks. The quick-release is a life saver if a boarding team member fall into the water. All he needed it is just pull the quick-release to remove the vest (which will be loaded down with hard plates, ammo, pistol, comm & other gears) and swim to the surface.

The vest uses Kevlar material and has large SAPI size hard plate pocket in the front and back. --
- Timothy Yan