Sunday, August 20, 2017

The 1st LH (Army Aviation) Brigade is now the 161st Air-Assault Brigade (空中突击第161旅), 83rd Group Army, Central Theater Command

The great PLA orbat reform of 2017 continues -- the former 1st LH Brigade now has an organic light assault infantry detachment and renamed as the 161st Air-Assault Brigade accordingly.   It is no-longer just a battlefield transport arm of the 83rd Group Army anymore.

To be clear, the PLA has been experimenting with heli-assault tactics in combined arms operations since the formation of its LH (Army Aviation) Corps (here), albeit at a low scale.  In 2005, the CMC detached elements from the 149th Mech Infantry Division to form the experimental 155th Special Light Mechanized Regiment as a first step of putting theoretical theory into practice.  In addition to the 155th, a smaller Heli-Assault battalion battle group was also created at the Nanjing MR to further refine small-unit, heli-assault operations.   Fast forward to 2017, Air-Assault is now part of the ground force's arsenal.  More LH units are expected to be converted into Air-Assault Brigades as part the orbat reform.

The PLAAF is also doing the same (see below) 






Saturday, June 27, 2015

Next up at the Stride 2015 - Zhurihe A "red-vs-blue" confrontational exercise, 1st Heli-Assault Brigade, Nanjing MR

This is 1st Heli-Assault Brigade's first "baptism of fire" at Zhurihe, China's premier operational level "red vs blue" proving ground. It should be interesting to see how fine-tuned the PLA air assault tactics are after 10 years of trial and error in adopting this new combat operation. 

The 1st Heli-Assault Brigade (or 直升机机降突击旅 in Chinese) started as the 1st Heli-Assault battalion battle group in 2005, expanded into a full assault brigade in 2008. According to its commander 厉振彪 Li ZhenBiao, due to shortage of organic vertical assets, flatbed trucks were pressed into service to simulate airdrops. Their first military exercise was feasible only by 2009 when additional  helicopters found their way to the Nanjing MR.  Despite taking part at this year's Zhurihe, the outfit is still fairly new by PLA standards, doubts about their effectiveness will remain for some time to come.

Here are CCTV captures of its first military exercise in 2009









Sunday, January 19, 2014

PR Photos of the day: Vertical assault of an PLAAF airborne battalion combined arms battle-group











Monday, January 18, 2010

15th Airborne Corps (ABC) is testing their vertical envelopment/air mobility capability

The 15th ABC's organic helicopter regiment was first revealed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake rescue work and then by a high profile fly-by during the 60th national day celebration.

It is now time for the 15th to test its newly found air mobility assault capability in a large military exercise. The advantage of air mobile assault over airdrop are many: ranging from entire unit delivery in one place--which immediately allows combat-readiness, precision resupply landings, to on-station fire support from helicopter gunships. In time, it will be interesting to see if a small portion of the 15th ABC will be converted into air-cavalry to enhance the corps' mission profile.

Airborne troops in training

(Source: China Military Online) 2010-01-18
http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/news-channels/photo-reports/2010-01/18/content_4119686.htm
Air-ground coordination

   Since the beginning of the training of the new year, a troop unit of the airborne force under the Air Force of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has organized the comprehensive exercise of live shell, actual-airdrop and actual-explosion strictly in accordance with the new Outline of Military Training and Evaluation. During the exercise, it stressed training on such subjects as command and control, airborne landing and airdrop, fire strike and comprehensive support, in a bid to enhance the core military capability of the troops. Shown in the pictures are some scenes of the troop unit in training.

  By Wang Haitao

Editor:Yang Ru
















Saturday, August 19, 2017

118th Combined-Arms Brigade (合成第118旅) "Tempest Division", 80th Group Army, Northern Threater Command on the move

Photo credit goes to Andrew KC

This Chinese "Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT)" like outfit was reformed from the old 118th Light Mech Infantry Brigade 3 months ago.  It is now ready for field deployment. 

ZBL09 30mm 8x8 IFV
ZBL09 Ambulance 

ZTL09 8x8 105mm Mobile Gun
 ZTL09 8x8 105mm Mobile Gun
 ZTL09 8x8 105mm Mobile Gun

 ZBL09 APC 12.7mm HMG
 ZBL09 APC 12.7mm HMG
 ZBL09 ARV

 Heavy ATGM (ZSL-02B) Red-Arrow 09
 HQ-7B, point defense SAM
 SAT-Comm Command APC