Chinese Wing-in-Ground Effect Vehicles - Ekranoplans in PLA service


Deino

Lieutenant General
Staff member
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In fact I'm not entirely sure if this is the correct location since WIGs are barely true aircraft but also not really ships ...

Anyway, one of the probably most unique - and barely known in the West - type in PLA service is the XTW-5 WIG (XTW = 信天翁 XìnTiānWēng = Albatros). From what I know - most of all from this site:
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- it entered service in 2003 within the PLA Border Defence Troops, 1 Patrol Boat Squadron/Jiamusi based at Dangbizhen at the Xingkai Lake in the former Shenyang Military Region; now Northern Theater Command.

But all i know are images of two different serial numbers ... nothing more. Are they still in service, how many were in service and most of all the Scramble coordinates at Dangbizhen do not (at least for my eyes) show a true military base?? Also, does anyone have more information or additional images ?

Deino

XTW-5 WIG operational - 1xs.jpg XTW-5 WIG operational.JPG XTW-5 - 1.jpg
 

taxiya

Major
Registered Member
In fact I'm not entirely sure if this is the correct location since WIGs are barely true aircraft but also not really ships ...

Anyway, one of the probably most unique - and barely known in the West - type in PLA service is the XTW-5 WIG (XTW = 信天翁 XìnTiānWēng = Albatros). From what I know - most of all from this site:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
- it entered service in 2003 within the PLA Border Defence Troops, 1 Patrol Boat Squadron/Jiamusi based at Dangbizhen at the Xingkai Lake in the former Shenyang Military Region; now Northern Theater Command.

But all i know are images of two different serial numbers ... nothing more. Are they still in service, how many were in service and most of all the Scramble coordinates at Dangbizhen do not (at least for my eyes) show a true military base?? Also, does anyone have more information or additional images ?

Deino

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Because it is not part of PLA? So no military base? See the national flag instead of army flag and no army insignia.

From 1983 to 2018, the border guard units are part of PAP, not PLA. Although PAP is under the command of CMC, and a para-military formation which is essentially a light infantry, it is officially gendarmerie. Except the division sized provincial troop, other PAP units like border guard units are small and scattered along the border, they don't really have their barracks or facilities that are large enough to resemble a military base.
 

Air Force Brat

Brigadier
Super Moderator
In fact I'm not entirely sure if this is the correct location since WIGs are barely true aircraft but also not really ships ...

Anyway, one of the probably most unique - and barely known in the West - type in PLA service is the XTW-5 WIG (XTW = 信天翁 XìnTiānWēng = Albatros). From what I know - most of all from this site:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
- it entered service in 2003 within the PLA Border Defence Troops, 1 Patrol Boat Squadron/Jiamusi based at Dangbizhen at the Xingkai Lake in the former Shenyang Military Region; now Northern Theater Command.

But all i know are images of two different serial numbers ... nothing more. Are they still in service, how many were in service and most of all the Scramble coordinates at Dangbizhen do not (at least for my eyes) show a true military base?? Also, does anyone have more information or additional images ?

Deino

View attachment 50691 View attachment 50692 View attachment 50693
These are indeed a classification of aircraft known as "flying boats", and more specifically "air cushion" aircraft,, they have a much greater useful load because they are operated in "ground effect".. in other words operating in "ground effect" maintains the high pressure cushion under the aircraft...

I would bet they would fly out of ground effect, albeit at a very reduced load, and control could well be slightly compromised as the stability of the "ground effect cushion" would disappear as soon as you lifted out of that ground cushion...

these a low horsepower "recips" and as such, were not really militarily significant in any regard, but made very handy "run-a-bouts" for patrol usage...
 

Xsizor

Junior Member
Registered Member
This is something i had in my mind for a good solution for effective island control. Ground effect vehicles should be able to travel atleast 3 times as fast as any maritime vessel. I don't think medium sized vehicles (as big as a minesweeper) would be able to travel from Hainan island to the SCS. But if a Reverse Delta wing solution, equipped with a good radar and half a dozen cruize missiles, is deployed to some strategic islands, then effective island patrol,deterrence and control would be possible.

I'm interested in the wigetworks Reverse Delta design
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. A craft that is twice as big should give China ( or any other nation) the required platform to base a good radar and a few cruise missiles. Maybe they can even do roles for submarine hunting with an underbelly doppler ? The iranian Bavar-2 seems to do just what i was having in mind. China could do a better one with better tech.
 

Dfangsaur

Junior Member
Registered Member
This is something i had in my mind for a good solution for effective island control. Ground effect vehicles should be able to travel atleast 3 times as fast as any maritime vessel. I don't think medium sized vehicles (as big as a minesweeper) would be able to travel from Hainan island to the SCS. But if a Reverse Delta wing solution, equipped with a good radar and half a dozen cruize missiles, is deployed to some strategic islands, then effective island patrol,deterrence and control would be possible.

I'm interested in the wigetworks Reverse Delta design
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. A craft that is twice as big should give China ( or any other nation) the required platform to base a good radar and a few cruise missiles. Maybe they can even do roles for submarine hunting with an underbelly doppler ? The iranian Bavar-2 seems to do just what i was having in mind. China could do a better one with better tech.
Isn't that the same as the one posted above? AFAIK ekranoplans don't work well on rougher sea states, so it isn't very practical to use in SCS.
 

Xsizor

Junior Member
Registered Member
Isn't that the same as the one posted above? AFAIK ekranoplans don't work well on rougher sea states, so it isn't very practical to use in SCS.
Yes. But they are technologically old, not designed to carry weapon loads and are too small. I've read about the seas of SCS being calmer ( from this forum itself).
 

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