The interest of readers is understandable. Everything that is covered with a halo of mystery naturally attracts attention. And the operations, reports of which periodically appear in the press, look really impressive. Moreover, due to the incompetence of correspondents, or for other reasons (which is no secret, advertising is even necessary in such a case. Remember the Soviet "In the zone of special attention" and "Response") such messages are overgrown with details that terrify and respect for the townsfolk, and cause outright laughter of experts.
“Alexander, why journalists, including you, speak and write about the US, British and other countries' MTR units, but completely ignore our closest neighbors? Why are there no articles about Turkish special forces, about Chinese, about former Soviet republics? After all, everyone understands that such units are there. What is the reason for such ignoring? Weakness? Lack of information? Reluctance to tell? "
This is an excerpt from a letter I received recently. By the way, thanks to everyone who writes. Thank you not only for questions and suggestions, but also for interesting memories and materials that you generously share with me.
The answer to the question about the reason for the lack of materials for some countries in the absence of reliable information. Alas. By the way, this also applies to the Chinese SSO. Information "hides" not only behind the regime of secrecy, but also behind the vagueness of the concepts themselves. I will explain. Many remember the words of Goebbels about what should be a lie to believe in it. But few understand that you can do the same with the truth. The fact around which the "cordon" of fiction is created always begins to be in doubt. Therefore, I ask you not to take my article as the ultimate truth. It is simply an attempt to systematize what is known from open and "ajar" sources.
For some reason, it is believed that the special-purpose units in the PLA appeared thanks to Deng Xiaoping. It was he, then the head of the CPC, in June 1985 of the year stated that "the Communist Party does not see a global war in the future, therefore, the PRC should be prepared for transient border conflicts." And this statement was fundamental to the creation in 1988 of the first MTR unit in the Guangzhou Military District.
However, if you look into history China, the way I think, there are doubts about this thesis. The fact is that even during the war of the Kuomintang and the Communist Party (1927-1950), the Chinese widely used amphibious units prepared at US military bases. True, they acted against the CCP. And acted quite successfully. So much so that Mao decided to create similar units in the PLA.
Therefore, again, in my opinion, the beginning of the creation of the MTR of China should be considered the 50-s of the last century. And the first combat operations were carried out by new units during the war of North and South Korea. And in repelling the attacks of Taiwanese nationalists, it was not without the participation of these units.
Immediately after the end of the Korean War, at the end of the 50-x-beginning of the 60-s, three airborne divisions were formed in the PLA. There is nothing interesting and new for the Russian reader in these compounds. Just because they were formed with the help of the USSR. But the fact that in parallel with the creation of the Airborne Forces in the PLA, special reconnaissance units were created is more interesting.
The fact is that in the formation of such units initially completely opposite tasks were laid. They carried out reconnaissance and opposition intelligence of the enemy. They acted as DRG and, at the same time, were used to counteract the enemy DRG. And such "versatility" somewhat reduced efficiency. However, it was these divisions, the best of them, that became the basis of future PLA MTRs. And it is precisely from these divisions that the groups that are available today for conducting special operations are formed.
Chinese masters on flowery expressions. Yes, and the attitude of the Chinese to their sun is amazing. Many readers have seen Chinese units at the recent military games in Russia. Such an attitude was expressed in the names (known today) of the SSO detachments. "Falcon", "Hawk", "Flying Dragon", "Dunbey Tiger", "Night Tiger", "Magic Sword of the East", "Sharp Sword of Southern China".
The "discovery" of the PLA SSF occurred during the competition of the special forces units in Estonia (ERNA). Nobody knows the Chinese special forces then, in the 1998 year, from the 20 types of competitions won 8. In addition, one second place and third 4. Agree, the result is more than good.
What are the features of training Chinese fighters? Why are the Chinese today considered the most difficult to counter? Let's try to deal with this issue.
I remember in the comments after the article on "Green Berets" among the readers there were a lot of people who were quite prepared to serve in the service. Well, try to "serve" in the special forces unit of China. Not in the elite, but (for the purity of the experiment) the usual division of the SSO. Here are the standard standards that any PLA SSO soldier must meet:
1. Climbing the wall of a brick building to the fifth floor without the use of improvised means (I carry everything with me, arms and legs) - 30 seconds.
2. Forcing a water barrier long in 5 km with full equipment and weapons (automatic and 4 grenades) - 80 minutes.
3. Ride 10 km in a bag with tied legs and duffel 4,5 kg weight.
4. In full combat gear, in the rain, on a broken mountain road for 12 minutes to overcome the distance: excellent - 3,5 km and more, good - 3,4 km, satisfactory - 3,3 km.
5. Lifting on the crossbar and pushing up on the bars at least 200 times.
6. Obstacle course (400 meters) with a group of 4 people with 14 targets hit - 105 seconds.
7. Push up for 1 a minute - 100 times.
8. Lifting dumbbells weighing 35 kg per minute - 60 times.
9. Shooting: hit a moving vehicle at a speed of 50 km / h on a growth target at a distance of 200 meters.
10. Throw a grenade into the car window from a distance of 30 meters.
I understand that most readers now thought that the regulations are clearly not feasible. However, it is these standards that are established in the Chinese manuals for SSO. And, most importantly, the regulations are feasible. But for this you need to be Chinese and serve somewhere in the Beijing airport area.
The thing is that the special forces training itself takes place at the limit of human capabilities. The differences that exist between the fighters are due to the location of the unit and the tasks for which the fighter is being trained. Analogues of Chinese training in the world yet. At least, so say the Chinese commanders.
To get into the elite units of SSO is quite difficult. Unlike the majority of similar detachments from other countries, there is no possibility for PLA to join the detachment of their own accord. The selection is carried out from the soldiers of the usual parts. Moreover, often the candidates do not even know that they were "hit the pencil" by a special forces officer. There are almost no refusals to offer to serve in the SSO. This is the dream of the PLA soldiers and officers.
The basis for the training of fighters laid the technique of maximizing the physical and psychological capabilities of the human body. Ancient Chinese versions of martial arts, methods of training Tibetan monks, Chinese Wushu gymnastics, various variations of qigong are used. Some sources talk about non-Chinese yoga and similar techniques.
Special attention is paid to the development of not only strength, but also agility. And clearly focused on the performance of specific tasks. Self defense without weapons. Different options for Chinese and Japanese martial arts. Learning to swim at the level of a serious swimmer. There is evidence that, for example, "night tigers" or "falcons" are trained in the conduct of underwater combat without the use of scuba gears due to a special breathing technique. In other teams, professional climbers and skiers are trained.
There are Chinese special forces and a distinctive feature that makes them quite "noticeable" for counterintelligence. The fact is that according to the same training methodology, each fighter must necessarily master a special exercise called “Iron palm”.
Those readers who are engaged in martial arts, are well aware of the opportunity to "get a hand." When for a long time a fighter literally stuffs the edge of his palm or knuckles to the state of appearance of coarse cloth or "corns". This allows not only to reduce the pain from strikes on a hard surface, but also to increase the very force of the blow due to the appearance of "brass knuckles".
At one time, when karate was banned in the USSR, the police perfectly figured out the karatekas precisely according to their crowded knuckles and the “ribs” of their palms. Hide it was difficult.
The “iron palm” is the daily stroke of the palms of beans with the palms of the hands. 300 beats daily. In addition, fists, elbows, feet, knees, head are also stuffed ... Simply put, every Special Forces officer “wears” a bag with beans a thousand times a day, with different parts of the body.
Naturally, the skin coarsens and ... "stuffed" parts of the body increase in size. This becomes a signal to move to the next stage of training. Beans are exchanged for metal chips. And now this “shell” becomes a constant companion of a fighter. And enlarged palms are the calling card of the PLA SSO Special Forces Officer.
In addition, soldiers of the SSO without fail undergo the most severe training in survival in any terrain. And none of the commanders and chiefs especially think about the safety and life of the person being tested.
For example, the survival exercise for the soldiers of the naval special forces looks like this. The group is dropped from a helicopter at a distance of 5 and more kilometers into the sea near an almost “naked” island. Each soldier has a supply of drinking water, a knife, and rations for a day.
Survive as you please. You can drown, not sailed to the island. You can starve (the supply of water allows you not to die of thirst, and death from hunger comes much later). And you can live in "your pleasure", feeding on the fact that he lives in the sea or on an island. The only inconvenience is the absence of fire. But not at the resort. The Chinese also remember the "military service".
Survival "on the ground" is not at all easier. Here's an example from the Falcon. A group of 6 special forces heading into the mountain-wooded area. Equipment standard. Knife, lightweight machine and helmet. It is allowed to take 1 kg of rice, 5 pieces of pressed biscuits, salt and matches. Everything else is withdrawn. March-March Conditions: For 7 days, the group must pass 200 (sometimes 300) km through mountainous wooded areas. Part of the route passes at an altitude above 2700 meters above sea level. Most water sources are not suitable for consumption. The area is "teeming with" poisonous insects and other "reptiles". Therefore, clothing should always be buttoned at all buttons and zippers.
The task of the fighters is not only to pass the route. But also to determine reservoirs suitable for use (most often this is done in the footsteps of birds and animals), eat all sorts of "delicacies" like mice and insects in the mountains (other "goodies" do not live there). A "snack" to perform even more 20 combat missions, such as taking a prisoner, remove the sentry, destroy the object, bypass the outpost, etc.
Such training in the life of PLA SSA fighters takes 3-6 months in a year ...
An important issue for understanding the combat potential of the PLA MTR is the equipment of such units. Armament and equipment. Alas, but in modern war even the best fighter without special equipment and good weapons is weak. I think we should start with the most famous types of weapons.
Pistols The main pistol of the SSA PLA is a QSZ 5,8 pistol created by Chinese designers with a device for silent flameless firing and a telescopic sight. The gun was created under the new low-impulse cartridge DAP 92x5,8 mm. The cartridge has a greater penetrating and damaging ability than other ammunition. And also has a more flat flight path.
The gun has a weight of 0,76 kg. Made with the use of composite materials. It has inserts on the pistol grip, allowing you to adjust the size of the handle. What makes the recoil momentum much smaller than from a standard NATO pistol. The shop is designed for 20 cartridges. The double-lever lever safety lever is used for the safe descent of the cocking. The frame has grooves for mounting a tactical flashlight or laser pointer. It is possible to shoot with both hands, either with the right or with the left hand. The trigger guard has a rounded shape (a feature of a slightly different shooting technique from the "short bar", characteristic of China). The length of the gun 190 mm, barrel length 115 mm.
But, as in other units of such a profile, the fighters can use other pistols of the armies of the world. Depending on the tasks and skills. By the way, the Soviet TT is still popular.
In addition to pistols, the SSO also has submachine guns of type 05. The Chinese use PP under the same cartridge as for the gun - 5,8 mm. 50 magazine capacity. Bullet speed 480-500 m / s. Automation with a free shutter. Composite materials are used. Shooting is conducted in three modes - single, in 3 bursts of shot and in bursts of arbitrary length. It is possible to install a collimator or optical sight, tactical flashlight.
Automatic. Here the question is quite complicated. The fact is that today, three domestic developments are already in service with the PLA SSO in service. And they are all quite interesting. Talking about preferences is difficult.
Let's start with the most common - army QBZ-95, adopted by the 1995 year. 5,8 caliber mm. Used domestic cartridge 5,8х42 4,1 g weight with a steel core. The initial speed of the bullet 930 m / s. 30 magazine capacity. 3,35 weight kg. The length of the machine 760 mm. The length of the barrel 490 mm. The layout bullpup. There is a Chinese-made grenade launcher (40 mm) and a bayonet. Sighting range 500 meters.
The next modification of this machine for some reason turned into a carbine. Honestly, I do not understand. So, QBZ 95-1. A rifle with a telescopic sight and an 35-mm rifle grenade launcher. The machine gun is much more popular in spetsnaz than the first army version. The differences are quite noticeable. From ejection liner (45 degrees forward) to quick-detachable optical sight. In addition, this machine has a shortened version.
But the third machine - rather a tribute to the traditions and the "old" school. The fact is that the layout of the bullpup does not suit enough of many. What looks beautiful in the movie, most often not very adapted to perform specific tasks. Therefore, the SSO is also armed with a machine gun with a classic layout - QBZ-03. Weight slightly more - 3,5 kg. Length is also 950 mm. However, with a folded butt - 750 mm. 30 magazine capacity. By the way, the shops of all automata are unified.
Among the Chinese machine guns, QJY 88 deserves our attention. The development of Chinese gunsmiths. In my opinion, the weapon is a failure. 5,8 caliber mm. Under the domestic cartridge 5,8x42 mm. Weight with tripod 16 kg (body - 11,8 kg). Length xnumx mm. The length of the barrel 1151 mm. 600 tape ammo. It does not correspond to the needs of the MTR machine gun.
The more common QBB-95 light machine gun is nothing more than the Chinese equivalent of our RPK, only for the 5,8 caliber mm. Less reliable than our machine gun. Yes, and significantly inferior to the Soviet counterpart in firepower.
Probably, you should write about another, mandatory in special forces, the form of weapons. About sniper rifles.
The standard rifle of the PLA MTR is QBU-88, which began to enter service with the army in the 1997 year. 5,8 caliber mm. A special version of rifle cartridge 5,8x42 mm with a bullet with a steel core is used. Weight - 4,1 kg. Length xnumx mm. The length of the barrel 920 mm. Aim range - 640 meters. Optics domestic 800X. Shop 4 cartridges. It is possible to install almost all types of sights.
Large-caliber sniper rifle M99. Available in two versions. Under the cartridge 12,7X108mm (М99-1) and under the cartridge 12,7х99 mm (М99-2). It is intended for counter-sniper fighting, as well as for the destruction of easily armored targets, machine-gun nests, positions of grenade launchers, etc. The number of such weapons today is quite small. Therefore, it is still difficult to assess the combat quality of the new weapon.
More common large-bore rifle QBU-10. Under the cartridge 12,7X108 mm. Sighting range up to 1000 meters. However, the rifle is clearly "Chinese." To sniper standards does not reach. Length xnumx mm. The length of the barrel 1380 mm. Weight 780 kg.
It is clear that all types of weapons that are used in the PLA MTR are difficult to list. And not very important. It is clear that for certain tasks can be used completely different "trunks" or other weapons. Moreover, it is also clear that in any unit has its own "chips".
Chinese special operations specialists are not only army units. As in other countries where special attention is paid to this issue, there are quite serious police units in China. Such as the "Snow Leopard". By the way, in 2014, this particular division was recognized as the best in the world at competitions in Jordan. And those about whom I told above, then took the second place. This is from the 36 teams involved.
And in conclusion I want to cool down the fervor of particularly violent "fighters." The PLA MTR, the only ones in the world, have fully female divisions in their composition! No support services or individual military personnel. Namely, completely female. 4 a year ago, the PLA Command decided to create such units.
As part of these units today, women up to 30 years. Training is almost not different from the "male". The level of education is worthy of the most elite parts. Approximately 80% with higher education! In terms of combat potential, women's squads are valued, as not offensive to men, higher. The fact is that women compensate for the lack of physical strength by scrupulous performance of all training and combat tasks. And, therefore, prepared in general, better than similar male groups. And, again the paradox, women in battle are more fanatical fighters! This is an assessment of Chinese psychologists after analyzing the actions of women's units from various countries during wars and conflicts.
From various sources, periodically appear and other names of the detachments of the MTR of China. But the information about these units is so fragmentary and, often not without reason, fantastic, that it would be foolish to draw any conclusions about their preparation or purpose. These are "Panther", "Snow Wolf" and "East".
Judging by the tasks that are attributed to them by the sources, these are counter-terrorism units designed to combat terrorism and separatism inside and outside the country. So, they are still not army troops, but security officers. This is either the Ministry of State Security or the Ministry of Public Security of China.
Be that as it may, today the PLA MTRs have a stable authority among the staff of the relevant structures in most countries. Professionals always quickly understand who is in front of them. And respect those who are truly worthy of respect.