The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLA Navy) recently tested ship-borne helicopters in live-fire drills in the South China Sea, to verify attacking targets at sea.
During the exercise, two helicopters reached target area flying at a low altitude, avoiding radar detection and locked in on the target using radar while waiting for attack orders, a China Central Television (CCTV) broadcast showed on Tuesday.
Equipped with special anti-ship missiles, the modified Z-9 anti-submarine helicopters provide a reliable method to handle approaching small high-speed warships and will offset the blind area of long-range anti-ship attacks, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times.
Song said finding and targeting a rapidly moving vessel is not an easy task for helicopters, although they have greater flexibility.
"The helicopter will be exposed to the enemy's anti-aircraft fire when it hovers to launch attacks… Hence, the helicopter pilot must find, lock into and attack the target and quickly fly away… it is quite a test for the pilots," Song explained.
The live-fire drills also showed the PLA Navy's shortcomings in sea target attacks, which would require further actual combat training, Chen Jingguang, a leader of an aircraft battalion of the PLA's South China Sea Fleet, was quoted as saying by CCTV.
An improvement in the PLA Navy's sea target attack capability is aimed at, but not limited to, confronting the island of Taiwan and countries at the foot of the South China Sea, Song said.
Some countries and regions will attempt to siege the PLA Navy's large ships with wolf pack tactics using high-speed missile gunboats.
However, the very agile anti-ship helicopters could completely counter this scheme, Song added.
Chinese air force pilots of Sukhoi Su-35 and Su-30 fighter jets and H-6K bombers conducted combat exercises over the western Pacific Ocean and South China Sea recently, local media reports. According to spokesman, Senior Colonel Shen Jink, the People's Liberation Army Air Force conducted the exercises in two groups
China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has commissioned its first comprehensive supply ship featuring a 4,800-ton displacement, into service last Friday. A domestically-made vessel Type 901 combat support ship, the Hulunhu (965), will reportedly surpass the Japan Self-Defense Force's integrated supply ship as Asia's largest comprehensive supply ship,
China has commissioned two new Guided-missile Frigates onto East China Sea Fleet of the country's Navy on Monday. The new guided-missile Frigates, Baoding and Heze, are similar to the Peoples liberation Army Navy's Type 056 corvette family
China will have about 415 warships that includes four aircraft carriers and about 100 submarines by 2030, James Fanell the former director of the US Pacific Fleet's intelligence and information said in a two-day conference held by the US Naval War College's China Maritime Studies Institute, DefenseNews reported Sunday. During the event, which was held to discuss the PLA Navy's shipbuilding progress and challenges, Fanell said that apart from 99 submarines and four aircraft carriers, the 415 warships include 26 corvettes, 73 amphibious ships, three missile craft, and 102 destroyers and frigates
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