Friday, March 29, 2013

Military experts interpret main warships of high-sea training taskforce

The debut of the 4 main warships, namely the "Jinggangshan" amphibious dock landing ship, the "Lanzhou" guided missile destroyer, and the "Yulin" and "Hengshui" guided missile frigates, making up the joint mobile taskforce carrying out combat readiness patrol and high-sea training organized by the South China Sea Fleet under the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), has recently caught wide attention. Military experts Du Wenlong and Li Li made a detailed analysis of these four main warships.

The combat readiness patrol and high-sea training of the joint mobile taskforce organized by the South China Sea Fleet is a routine military training. Among the taskforce, the "Jinggangshan" ship is currently the largest-tonnage amphibious dock landing ship in China with advanced weapon systems. The "Lanzhou" and "Yulin" warships used to perform the escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somalia coast, possess strong anti-aircraft, anti-missile and anti-submarine capabilities. The "Hengshui" warship is a new-type frigate commissioned to the Navy of the PLA not long ago.

The "Jinggangshan" amphibious dock landing ship is the first ship to combine the projection of military force and projection of equipment

According to Du Wenlong, the "Jiggangshan" amphibious dock landing ship serves primarily as a starting base for landing operations in the actual combat exercise. Specifically, it is used as the base for attacking operation and landing operation launched against islands and reefs and the landing troops.

Compared to the characteristics of previous landing crafts, the feature of the "Jinggangshan" amphibious dock landing ship is balanced loading. The "balance" refers to the balance of equipment and combat personnel. It can simultaneously accommodate infantrymen and such heavy weaponry and equipment as air-cushion boats and amphibious assault vehicles. Meanwhile, it is able to transport an entire organic battalion. The troops and equipment were separately transported in the past. This is the first ship to put troops and equipment together for transportation.

The guided missile destroyer and frigates form effective coordination

Speaking of the difference between the "Lanzhou" guided missile destroyer, also known as the "Chinese Aegis", and the "Yulin" and "Hengshui" guided missile frigates, Li Li said that these two types of warships are differently graded in tonnage. About 2,000 tons bigger than "Yulin" and "Hengshui" guided missile frigates in tonnage, the "Lanzhou" guided missile destroyer is mounted with more powerful air-defense guided missiles and radar-detection equipment than those in the frigates. Nevertheless, coordination must be formed between these two types of warships.

Although frigates are relatively small, they are very agile and can accomplish different tasks respectively under the unified command of the taskforce. During an air defense operation in an open air, the frigates can perform pre-phase security detection and early warning, and serve as an effective sentinel against the detection of the enemy's air defense areas.

Its anti-aircraft guided missiles can also form an effective protection shield. In terms of costs, frigates cost less than destroyers. Therefore, the taskforce composed by guided missile frigates and guided missile destroyers is an effective coordination and bears key importance.

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