In articles "Overlord" in Peking style "," The logic of the Chinese sea wall "and" Attack of the Chinese aviation industry "weekly" MIC "has already reviewed the current state of the Chinese Navy and Air Force. They noted the rapid growth of the combat capabilities of the country in the last decade. It was also said that in Russia and in the West there is a very popular myth that China still produces poor quality military equipment, in addition, in small batches.
It is well known that the production of equipment in small batches is simply unprofitable economically (after all, the more units of production are made, the cheaper each unit is) and completely senseless in military terms. If there is little technology, each sample becomes gold both economically and militarily. But since this practice is now being demonstrated by Russia and Europe, they believe that China behaves the same way. In fact, in the People's Republic of China, it has been accepted for a long time to experiment with various types of equipment of the same class, choosing the optimal sample and eliminating various disadvantages. These experimental samples are really produced in small batches. In this case, the Chinese follow their principle of “crossing the river, feeling for the stones”, according to which their reforms are carried out. Having achieved the optimum, from their point of view, result, they switch to mass production of the most successful sample. This mass that neither Europe nor Russia never dreamed of.
It is necessary to note one more fact. If a military conflict between China and the United States happens, it will occur at sea and in the air. Accordingly, in American and Western publications in general, the maximum attention is paid to the development of the PLA Navy and Air Force. In Russia, these western sources simply correspond, which is somewhat strange. After all, we have a land border with China with a length of 4,3 thousands of kilometers. Moreover, China’s significant territorial claims on the Russian Federation have not gone away.
With the ground forces of the PLA, the same thing happens with the air force and navy: a rapid qualitative update, while maintaining quantitative indicators.
Replacement tanks full swing
Despite significant reductions in the number of personnel in the 80-ies, the PLA still remains the largest in the world in terms of this indicator, having improved dramatically qualitatively. Thanks to a huge excess of recruiting resources, the peacetime army combines the merits of a mercenary and a conscript. On the one hand, citizens go to serve for their homeland, and not for money (by conscription), on the other hand, the surplus people allow them to choose the best for service (that is, primarily urban youths), many of them then remain serving under contract. Those young people who were not drafted into the PLA (as a rule, from the countryside, with a low level of education) are undergoing primary military training and should obviously form a mass army in case of a major war. For the sake of it, in China, the mobilization system is fully preserved (in relation to both the population and industry). For a similar reason, most of the PLA ground forces formations remain divisions. Only a small number of them reformed into brigades. The latter are designed to wage local wars, but the basis is the divisions intended for large-scale war.
“Thanks to a huge excess of recruiting resources, the Chinese peacetime army combines the advantages of hired and conscription”
For the same big war today, China is creating the world's largest tank park. Here I would like to remind once again that it is impossible to conduct a normal war without tanks. This truism has to be repeated because the tank is regularly “buried”, claiming that it is outdated. These statements contain a deep internal contradiction, which for some reason no one notices. From the point of view of the "grave-diggers" of the tank, it is outdated because it has become too vulnerable, no other charges are brought against the tank. Indeed, billions of dollars are being invested in the development of anti-tank funds around the world, and a lot of them have been created. The point, however, is that any other class of ground equipment is one or two orders of magnitude more vulnerable than a tank. If a tank is outdated due to vulnerability, it means that a ground war can no longer be waged at all. What can hardly be discussed seriously. There is nothing comparable to a tank in terms of combining firepower, mobility and security. "MIC" wrote in detail about this in the article "On the" funeral "of tanks is out of the question." It also discussed in detail the state of the Chinese tank park. The troops have already received at least four thousand modern tanks Ture-96 and Ture-99, and the replacement of old ones with new ones is based on the “one-to-one” principle. That is, a radical qualitative update does not lead to quantitative reductions. Machines Toure-96 / 96А have already arrived in all seven military districts of the PLA, Toure-99 - so far only in three districts: Shenyang, Beijing and Lanzhou (precisely those that are adjacent to the borders with Russia). However, they will also gradually appear in all districts, although in our literature it is still possible to meet the phrase that this tank in limited quantities comes only to elite units. How many elite parts are now in the PLA ...
It is necessary to note the fact that in May 2012 of the year during the battles for the controversial city of Heglig the tanks Ture-96 of the Sun of Sudan destroyed at least four T-72 of South Sudan (bought by this country in Ukraine) without any loss from their side. Thus, the most massive Chinese tanks, at least, are not inferior to those of the most massive Russian. It is hardly possible to explain the outcome of Heglig’s battles with poor training of South Sudanese tankers, for there is no reason to believe that Sudanese tank crews are better trained. Of course, it can be assumed that the Toure-96 crews consisted of Chinese, but then the T-72 crews could well have been staffed by Eastern Slavs ...
The most powerful MLRS
The Chinese have created a whole family of amphibious combat vehicles led by the WZ-502 BMP (aka ZBD-04), on which the tower is mounted from our BMP-3 (the Marine Corps has already received such machines before), their production continues. Naturally, the fact of amphibiousness was unequivocally regarded by all the experts in the light of the preparation for the landing force on Taiwan, although these vehicles can successfully cross, for example, Amur and Ussuri. However, then in the PLA noticed that amphibiousness leads to a weakening of security. After that a new modification of this BMP was created - WZ-300G. Due to the increased armor protection, it no longer floats. But, according to Chinese sources, the WZ-502G turret, as well as the hull forehead, withstand an 502-mm armor-piercing projectile from a distance of one kilometer, and the hull sides - 30-mm ammunition from 14,5 meters. By an interesting coincidence, the 200 millimeters is the caliber of the 30А2 gun, which is the main weapon of the Russian BMP-42. For reference: the American BMP "Bradley" installed 2-mm gun M25. And the 242 millimeter is a unique caliber. He has only one machine gun in the world - our KPVT, the main armament of all domestic armored personnel carriers. The maximum caliber of western machine guns - 14,5 millimeter.
In addition to the newest BMPs, various armored personnel carriers and armored cars, including, interestingly, built using MRAP technology, that is, intended for counterguerrilla wars, are being commissioned by the PLA.
Barrel artillery is developing rapidly. In particular, the 155-millimeter SAU PLZ-05 comes into service (at least 250 units have already been received).
Traditionally, the main strength of the ground forces of the PLA is rocket artillery. The country has created many samples of multiple rocket launcher systems (MLRS), both on the basis of Soviet and fully own. It is logical that China developed the most powerful and long-range MLRS in the world - WS-2 (6х400 mm), the first modifications of which have a firing range of 200 kilometers, and the last (WS-2D) - 350 – 400 kilometers. Neither the American MRLS and HIMARS, nor our "Smerch" is even close at TTX to WS-2.
In general, the use of MLRS for ground-based area targets is much more profitable than the use of them aviation. Indeed, there is no risk of losing an extremely expensive aircraft and even more expensive crew training, and very expensive fuel is also not wasted. Only ammunition is consumed, and even they are cheaper at the MLRS than aviation. The insufficient accuracy of the MLRS firing is compensated by the large number of shells fired in one salvo. In addition, now and MLRS shells are being adjusted. In particular, this applies to shells WS-2. Moreover, each launcher of this MLRS will have a personal reconnaissance drone, which will further increase firing accuracy. MLRS are also significantly superior to tactical missiles in combat power at a much lower cost of shells. The main drawback of the MLRS compared with aviation and TR has traditionally been considered an insufficient firing range. But now the Chinese have eliminated this shortcoming.
It should be noted that WS-2D from the depths of Manchuria can instantly destroy all parts of the RF Armed Forces in the areas of Vladivostok - Ussuriysk, Khabarovsk and Blagoveshchensk - Belogorsk. And from the border areas of Manchuria (but still from Chinese territory) this MLRS will destroy Russian troops and air bases in the Chita area and strategic enterprises of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. In this case, small-sized projectiles WS-2D have a hypersonic speed, their flight time, even at the maximum range does not exceed five minutes. Russian air defense is not something to hit, even to detect them will not be able to. Moreover, it will be absolutely impossible to detect the deployment of the MLRS in Chinese territory, since their launchers resemble ordinary trucks (even the guides have a box-like shape very suitable for masking under the truck body). And this is not a defensive, but a purely percussive, offensive system. The American "Tomahawks", of course, have a much longer range, but their speed is subsonic, so the flight time to the maximum range is not five minutes, but two hours. In addition, their PU (cruisers and destroyers) certainly do not mean that you can not disguise. There is nothing even NATO countries have even remotely comparable in TTX with WS-2.
Until recently, the weak side of the PLA ground forces was the absence of a full-fledged attack helicopter. Z-9, created on the basis of the French "Dauphin", could be considered as such only very conditionally. But now this problem has been overcome, the WZ-10 technology developed with the use of both Russian and Western technologies is coming into service (there are already 60 machines, production continues).
Very interesting are the teachings of the ground forces of the PLA. In September 2006 of the year, China conducted the unprecedented exercises of the Shenyang and Beijing military districts of the PLA, two of the seven most powerful in their potential. These districts are adjacent to the border with Russia in its eastern section, the length of which is 4,3 thousands of kilometers. During the exercises, units of the Shenyang Military District made a shot at a distance of 1000 kilometers to the territory of the Beijing Military District, where they conducted a training battle with parts of this district. The redeployment was carried out both under its own power and by rail. The objectives of the exercise were the development of maneuvering skills by army units at a great distance from the bases and increasing the level of control of the logistics of the troops.
In 2009, these trends were further developed. The largest in scale in its stories Kuyae-2009 military exercises. They were held on the territory of four military districts - Shenyang, Lanzhou, Jinan and Guangzhou. Up to 50 of thousands of army and air force soldiers, more than six thousand vehicles took part in them. During the maneuvers, the troops overcame a total of 50 thousands of kilometers. In particular, four combined-arms divisions marched (by rail, and then on their own) over a distance of two thousand kilometers. At the exercises, joint actions of all types of troops in the conditions of modern warfare were practiced. One of the objectives of the maneuvers was to check the latest weapons systems, as well as the operability of the Beidou national navigation satellite system being developed by China - an analogue of the American GPS.
It is quite obvious that such a scenario of the exercises obviously has nothing to do with the seizure of Taiwan, or to repel aggression from the United States. The seizure of Taiwan would be an airborne assault operation, while the size of the land theater of military operations (theater of operations) on the island is very small, its width from west to east does not exceed 150 kilometers, respectively, thousand-kilometer marches are impossible there. In addition, the troops of the Nanking Military Institution did not participate in the exercises, which are oriented to actions against Taiwan.
The aggression on the part of the United States, even if one imagines it, can only have the character of a high-precision strike from the sea and air. weapons in order to destroy the military and economic potential of the PRC. Actions on land for the United States would be suicidal because of the gigantic numerical superiority of the PLA, while being completely meaningless from a military, political and economic point of view.
Moreover, China cannot expect aggression from any other country, since such an attack would be for the invader the most effective and fastest way to suicide. Therefore, it does not make any sense to conduct strategic-scale exercises for practicing defense tasks; such tasks simply do not stand before the PLA. This is understandable to the PLA commanders, so the exercises are practiced not defensive, but offensive actions.
It is obvious that for solving internal tasks such operations are also deliberately redundant; separatism in Xinjiang and Tibet does not create problems for Beijing on such a scale that their solution required the transfer and deployment of large army units. Social unrest is also limited so far, although the country's leadership feared their expansion due to the economic crisis. The main thing is that military maneuvers against the army, rather than counterguerrilla war and the suppression of internal unrest, were practiced at the exercises.
Accordingly, the question arises: with which army do the ground forces and the PLA Air Force intend to wage war using the most modern combat technology, satellite navigation system and other advanced combat support systems?
It should be noted that offensive operations are possible only in Russia and Kazakhstan to a depth of two thousand kilometers. In Southeast Asia, the depth of the theater as a whole does not exceed 1,5 thousands of kilometers, on the Korean Peninsula is no more than 750 kilometers. In addition, the locality where the exercises were held, most of all, in terms of its physiographic conditions, corresponds to the regions of Central Asia, the Far East and Transbaikalia, and not South-East Asia.
Moreover, in the winter of 2012 – 2013, the forces of Shenyang and Beijing IN conducted a series of exercises with extensive use of armored vehicles and artillery in conditions of extremely low temperatures and deep snow cover. There is absolutely nothing to do with Taiwan or Southeast Asia ...