Chinese ARG Amphibious REady Group)

Discussion in 'Navy' started by Jeff Head, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. Jeff Head
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    Jeff Head General
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    The US has for decades utlized Amphibious Ready Groups, usually consisting of an LHD, an LPD, and an LSD. Those three ships carry about 3500 marines and all of their equipment. Tanks, artillery, jeeps, trucks, IFVs, attack aircraft (with the HArrier junp jets now being replaced by F-35B 5th gen stealth fighters). They also have numerous escrots. Usually destroyers and frigates and at least one SSN. Sometimes, depending on the ize of the ARG, they would add a Ticonderoga Crusier.

    The PLAN now had good sized LPDs and they have a lot of LSTs. The Type 072A Lst is the latest and they have buiolt six more of those in the past couple of years and may build more, having 15 of them now. They have 10 of the previous Type 072 II and then eight og the original Type 072 and Type 072 II.

    Thats a total of about 34.

    I have seen pictures of Type 071s leading groups of four to six Type 072s.

    A good ARG for the PLAN would be two Type 071 LPDs and maybe ten Type 072 LSTs with the escort vessels. I have already built two of the LPDs in 1/350 scale and have all the esrots. I am tryiong to get my friends in the 3D world to make Type 072A LSTs. As soon as I do, I will by two to four of them and create a PLAN ARG.

    Of course getting a Type 081 LHD would be best...but despite all the rumors over the last ten years...one has not been forthcoming whereas we have seen the Type 071s and the Type 072s training tgether quite bit.

    So, for my money, the first PLAN ARG is c couple of Type 071 LPDs and eight or more Type 072 A LSTs and their escorts and I am going to build them.

    Here are some pics:

    A Model in 1/350 scale of one of my Type 071 LPDS:

    lpd998-58.jpg IMG_5635.jpg 1_lL0k1U1nC3X3Sq07NGEUCQ.jpg 072.jpg cn-amphi2.jpg EU0FB8X.jpg

    Enjoy. I will have a youtube video of the same as soon as I get the Type 072As.
     
  2. asif iqbal
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    asif iqbal Brigadier

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    Jeff does your LCAC carry tanks ?? :cool:
     
  3. Bhurki
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    Bhurki Junior Member
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    How many lcac does your model fit?
     
  4. goat89
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    goat89 New Member
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    Looking forward to this Jeff... both on the discussionof PLAN ARG and the actual mdoels you are gonna get!
     
  5. Hendrik_2000
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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    China is enlarging the Marine It is about time sofar all those threat against Taiwan are empty thread They don't have enough transports for even 1 Battalion of army of 10000 or 2 brigades They need to built those LPD and LST by hundred and expands and train at least 100,000 marine Just for comparison US has 200,000 marine with well supplied LHD, LST, LPD etc. Mined you I am not even sure amphibious operation is possible in the age of precision missile But still word must be backed up with real hardware Good article on the expansion of Chinese marine
    https://jamestown.org/program/the-chinese-navys-marine-corps-part-1-expansion-and-reorganization/

    The Chinese Navy’s Marine Corps, Part 1: Expansion and Reorganization
    Publication: China Brief Volume: 19 Issue: 3
    By: Dennis J. Blasko, Roderick Lee


    February 1, 2019 04:27 PM Age: 14 hours

    [​IMG]
    PLAN Marine Corps personnel conducting winter training at a base in Xinjiang, January 2016.
    Editor’s Note: This is the first part of a two-part article discussing organizational reforms and evolving missions for the PLA Navy (PLAN) Marine Corps. The first part focuses on the growing order of battle for the PLAN Marines. The second part, which will appear in our next issue, will focus on the creation of a service headquarters for the PLAN Marines, and their expanding training for expeditionary warfare and other missions. Taken as a whole, this two-part article provides significant new information and analysis to update the December 3, 2010 China Brief article titled “China’s Marines: Less is More.”

    Introduction

    On August 16, 2018, the Department of Defense Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018, reported that “One of the most significant PLAN structural changes in 2017 was the expansion of the PLAN Marine Corps (PLANMC).” The PLA Marine Corps (中国人民解放军海军陆战队) has historically been limited in terms of personnel, geography, and mission—with a primary service focus on amphibious assault, and the defense of outposts in the South China Sea. However, under currently estimated plans for service expansion, “by 2020, the PLANMC will consist of 7 brigades, may have more than 30,000 personnel, and will expand its mission to include expeditionary operations on foreign soil.” [1]

    The expansion of the PLANMC, which commenced in April 2017, is an important element of reforms to the PLA’s operational forces. For the past two decades, the Marine Corps consisted of only two brigades, the 1st and 164th Marine Brigades (each estimated to number from 5,000 – 6,000 personnel) assigned to the South Sea Fleet stationed in Zhanjiang, Guangdong. After recent reforms, the number of brigades now amounts to a total of eight, with four new Marine combined arms brigades, a Special Operations Forces (SOF) brigade, and the core of a shipborne aviation (helicopter) brigade added to the previously existing two brigades. The four new combined arms brigades were formed out of units transferred from the Army, while the SOF and helicopter brigades were created from standing Navy units. A corps-level headquarters for the Marine Corps also has been identified. Though the Chinese government has not officially explained these developments, this new structure probably amounts to a total of up to approximately 40,000 personnel distributed among eight brigades at full strength.

    The expanded Marine Corps, supported by Navy long-range sealift, likely will become the core of the PLA’s future expeditionary force. Training that began in 2014 further indicates that the eventual objective for the Marine Corps is to be capable of conducting operations in many types of terrain and climates – ranging beyond the PLANMC’s former, and continuing, focus on islands and reefs in the South China Sea. The manner by which the force has expanded, however, suggests that the PLA leadership was not motivated by an immediate need for a larger amphibious capability; rather, it appears to be consistent with several new missions undertaken by the Chinese military over past decade that have provided impetus for the addition of new Marine units. It will likely take several years for all of the Marine Corps’ new units to reach full operational readiness as measured by personnel, equipment, and training.

    Expanded Order of Battle

    After “below the neck” reforms and restructuring implemented throughout PLA in 2017, Marine units are now found along China’s eastern seaboard from Shandong in the north, to Fujian and Guangdong in the east opposite Taiwan, to Hainan in the South China Sea. In northern Shandong, a former Army motorized infantry brigade of the old 26th Group Army has been transformed into a new Marine brigade (Jiefangjun Bao Online, September 30 2017). On Shandong’s southern coast, a second new brigade has been formed from what likely was a former Army coastal defense regiment located near Qingdao (Qingdao Television, February 12 2018). Further south, an Army coastal defense division stationed around Jinjiang, Fujian was the basis for a third new brigade that remains in that same locale; and may also have provided manpower and resources for a fourth new brigade that recently moved to Jieyang in eastern Guangdong province (Anxi, Fujian Government website, August 1 2017; Jieyang News, August 17 2018). Although the PLA has not widely publicized either the creation of these new brigades or their true unit designators, the emergence of photos and new military unit cover designators associated with the Marine brigades both suggest a 1st through 6th brigade numbering scheme. [2]

    As the new Marine brigades are being organized and equipped for their new missions, the two previously existing brigades also appear to have been reorganized. Most significantly, to streamline their chain of command, the former amphibious armored regiment headquarters appear to have been eliminated: command is now passed directly from brigade level to the newly established combined arms battalions (similar to the Army’s brigade command structure). Marine combined arms battalions are distinguished between amphibious mechanized and light mechanized combined arms battalions. Some, if not all, marine brigades also have, or will likely have, units trained for air assault operations (Jiefangjun Bao Online, December 10 2017), and will be reinforced by operational support battalions [3].
     
  6. Hendrik_2000
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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    (cont)
    It is likely that in coming years older equipment will be retired and all Marine units will be issued new amphibious vehicles—such as the tracked ZBD05 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), tracked ZTD05 Assault Vehicle, PLZ07 122mm Self-Propelled Howitzer, the eight-wheeled ZBL09 IFV, the eight-wheeled ZTL11 assault vehicle, and the Mengshi Assault Vehicle. (The latter three vehicles have been observed deployed to the Djibouti Support Base). Some reconnaissance units are also receiving light 8×8 all-terrain-vehicles for terrain that is inaccessible to larger vehicles (Chinaso.com, April 9 2018).

    In total, the Army probably transferred over 20,000 personnel to the Navy’s new Marine units, while retaining its own amphibious capability. The Army’s two former amphibious infantry divisions—one previously stationed in the Nanjing Military Region near Hangzhou and the other in the Guangdong Military Region near Huizhou—were both transformed into two combined arms brigades each, while keeping their amphibious weapons and capabilities. A fifth former amphibious armored brigade also was converted into a new Army combined arms brigade located in Fujian. The decision to maintain these amphibious units in the Army reflects that service’s continued role in building capabilities to deter further steps toward Taiwan independence—one of the missions of foremost importance to the PLA.

    Had the senior PLA leadership perceived the need to increase rapidly the Navy’s amphibious capacity, it could have decided to transfer to the Marine Corps those existing Army amphibious units, all of which were equipped and trained for assault from the sea. But by transforming a motorized infantry brigade and multiple coastal defense units—none of which were outfitted with amphibious equipment, nor trained extensively in amphibious operations—the PLA leadership understood that it would take multiple years for these units to be equipped, and even more annual training cycles before they would be fully trained to undertake amphibious operations. So, while the Marine Corps has been expanded in size, its actual amphibious capabilities will increase gradually over the next several years.

    The new Marine special operations force (SOF) brigade has been formed out of the Navy’s existing SOF Regiment stationed in Hainan, which includes the Jiaolong (“Dragon”) commando unit (China Central Television, December 12 2017). The former Navy SOF Regiment’s missions and capabilities overlapped with that of the Marine Corps, and therefore their transfer is a logical evolution as the Marine Corps expands. Eventually, the new brigade will likely number approximately one thousand personnel more than the old regiment (estimated to have been about 2,000 strong). Some of those personnel may have been transferred from the 1st and 164th Marine Brigades’ structure, each of which probably included SOF elements in their former reconnaissance battalions. Of all the new Marine units within the expanded force structure, the SOF Brigade currently is the most combat ready.

    The 2018 DOD report on the Chinese military also noted the creation of an independent aviation capability for the PLA Marines, stating that the expanding PLANMC “may also incorporate an aviation brigade, which could provide an organic helicopter transport and attack capability, increasing its amphibious and expeditionary warfare capabilities.” [4]The new Marine Shipborne Aviation (helicopter) Brigade apparently has been built out of elements from all three PLAN independent air regiments (Weibo, January 27 2018). These regiments have been busy since 2009, provided the aircraft for 15 of 30 of the Navy’s deployments to the Gulf of Aden escort mission (PLA Daily, July 16 2018).

    Currently, the new Marine helicopter unit likely has considerably less than a full contingent of aircraft compared to an Army Aviation Brigade, which when fully equipped probably consists of over 70 helicopters. The Military Balance 2018 estimates the Navy’s entire helicopter fleet at slightly over 100 aircraft, with about half being transport helicopters—while the others are anti-submarine warfare, early warning, and search and rescue aircraft needed to support the rest of the Navy’s operations [5]. Heretofore the Navy apparently has experimented with only a few armed Z-9 helicopters (People’s Navy, July 31 2012). Until additional attack helicopters are added to the force, as a stop gap measure it would be possible for the Army to temporarily assign a few of its attack helicopters to the Marines to assist in training and doctrine development for amphibious operations. Thus, it is likely that it will take several more years to add additional transport and attack helicopters and train the pilots and crews before the new Marine helicopter brigade is at full strength and combat ready.

    This article will continue in the next issue of China Brief, with “The Chinese Navy’s Marine Corps, Part 2: Chain-of-Command Reforms and Evolving Training.”

    Dennis J. Blasko, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired), was an army attaché in Beijing and in Hong Kong from 1992-1996 and is the author of The Chinese Army Today: Tradition and Transformation for the 21st Century, second edition (Routledge, 2012).

    Roderick Lee is an analyst with the United States Navy. His work focuses on Chinese maritime forces and strategy. He earned his Master of Arts degree from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

    The views and opinions expressed herein by the authors do not represent the policies or position of the U.S. Department of Defense or the U.S. Navy, and are the sole responsibility of the authors.
     
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  7. gelgoog
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    gelgoog Senior Member
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    If this report is accurate this means the creation of this expanded marine force will be used for military interventions abroad, possibly to ensure China has access to main sea lanes and ports rather than an invasion of Taiwan scenario like I expected. This is a major reorganization which is long overdue I think.

    If I was the Chinese however I would support the creation of all new equipment for these troops.

    I would design a replacement for the ZBD-05 which would feature an automated turret with a 40mm autocannon with anti-tank missiles. The aquatic environment does not provide the stability for a rifled gun.

    In case of a Taiwan invasion scenario I would train the troops not only for amphibious landings but also train some for close quarters fighting in cities. For this the appropriate weapons systems should be designed and/or procured.

    The procurement of air-to-surface missiles with anti-ship capabilities and enhanced sensor suites for the WZ-10 should be made. Also the WZ-10 attack helicopters should be navalized. Modern transport helicopters should be acquired.

    Seriously, they need to dump that blue pixelated uniform and cammo scheme. Even a gray scheme like the Australian Navy uniform would be better.

    LHDs, LSTs, etc.

    Furnish some marine units with heavy tanks. Or if they cannot do that for whatever reason then provide them with modern light tanks.
     
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  8. Viktor Jav
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    Viktor Jav Senior Member
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    unless there is a new way of transporting troops from one shore to another that is both much more effective and cost efficient, amphibious operations are both still necessary and possible, the issue will be how effective the attacking force can neutralize the defender's missiles prior to the actual invasion.
    All being told, just because China will have a 100,000 strong marine force in the future means that every one of those marines will need to be attached to a ARG. Even the USMC have barely enough amphibious ships for just then less then half of their troop numbers.
    And finally, for all the talk of Chinese ARG being formulated. I will only believe that when I finally see the Yuyi LCAC being utlilzed with a full load of troops or vehicles instead of being just showcasing an empty bay.
     
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