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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

All-Weather Friendship Scales New Heights

Pakistan’s efforts to have a sea-based minimum credible nuclear deterrent vis-a-vis India took a significant step forward last May when the state-owned, Wuhan-based China State Shipbuilding Industrial Corp (CSIC) ferried the first Qing-class conventional attack submarine (SSK) to Shanghai to begin a year-long series of sea trials, which is likely to include the test-firing of three CJ-10K submarine-launched, 1,500km-range land attack cruise missiles (LACM) capable of being armed with unitary tactical nuclear warheads. Called the Qing-class SSK, it is a variant of the Type 041A Improved Yuan-class SSK, which is also due to begin its sea trials later this month. It is now believed that the contract inked between CSIC and Pakistan early last April calls for the CSIC’s Wuhan-based Wuchang Shipyard to supply six Qing-class SSKs, all of which will be equipped with a Stirling-cycle AIP system and will be able to carry up to three nuclear warhead-carrying CJ-10K LACMs each. The double-hulled Qing-class SSK, with a submerged displacement close to 3,600 tonnes, bears a close resemblance to the Russian Type 636M SSK, and features hull-retractable foreplanes and hydrodynamically streamlined sail. The first such SSK was launched in Wuhan on September 9 last year, and a total of three such SSKs are on order from China’s PLA Navy as well.

The AIP system for the Qing-class SSK was developed by the 711th Research Institute of CSIC. R & D work began in June 1996, with a 100-strong team of scientists and engineers led by Dr Jin Donghan being involved in developing the Stirling-cycle engine, while another team led Professor Ma Weiming of China’s Naval Engineering University began developing the all-electric AIP system. The two projects entered the production engineering stage in 2007, with the Shanghai Qiyao Propulsion Technology Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the 711th Institute, becoming the principal industrial entity charged with producing the AIP system. Incidentally, the Qing-class SSK’s all-electric propulsion system is a derivative of a similar system that was developed about a decade ago for the PLA Navy’s six Type 093 Shang-class SSGNs and three Type 094 Jin-class SSBNs.

The submarine-launched CJ-10K LACM has been developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp’s (CASIC) Hubei-based Ninth Academy (also known as the Sanjiang Aerospace Group, or 066 Base) on cooperation with the Third Academy’s Beijing-based  Xinghang Electromechanical Equipment Factory (159 Factory). Final assembly of the CJ-10K is undertaken by the Beijing-based Hangxing Machine Building Factory (239 Factory). The CJ-10K features an imaging infra-red optronic system for terminal homing, and it makes use of a ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system combined with a GPS receiver to receive navigational updates from China’s ‘Beidou’ constellation of GPS navigation satellites.

In another development, during Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s four-day official visit to China beginning May 17, the decks were cleared for the Pakistan Navy to acquire for a 10-year lease period the two Jiangkai I-class Type 054 guided-missile frigates (FFG) Ma’anshan (FFG-525) and Wenzhou (FFG-526), which have been in service with the PLA Navy’s East Sea Fleet since 2005. The Type 054 Jiangkai I-class FFG, built by CSTC’s Shanghai-based Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard and the Guangzhou-based Huangpu Shipyard, displaces around 4,300 tonnes, and comes armed with twin quadruple launchers amidships housing the YJ-83 anti-ship cruise missile (equipped with a 165kg warhead), one CPMIEC-built eight-cell Hong Qi-7 short-range SAM system designed to engage aircraft in all-weather conditions out to a range of 12km, a single-barrel 100mm main gun developed by China’s 713 Institute, four six-barrel 30mm AK-630M close-in weapon systems (CIWS), twin 18-tube countermeasures dispensers, and twin Type 87 six-tube 240mm anti-submarine rocket launchers, with 36 rockets. The FFG has a combat management system built by China Electronics Technology Group Corp (CETC), and a sensor suite that includes a Type 360S 2-D air/surface radar operating in E/F-band and having a range of 150km, one I-band MR-36A surface search radar, an I-band Type 347G radar for CIWS fire-control, an I/J-band Type 344 radar for main gun targetting, SNTI-240 SATCOM radio, HZ-100 EW suite, twin I-band RM-1290 navigation radarsm and a J-band Type 345 radar for fire-control of the Hong Qi-7 SHORADS. The FFG also comes fitted with a Russian MGK-335 fixed hull-mounted medium-frequency active/passive panoramic sonar suite. The propulsion system is of the combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) arrangement and employs four SEMT Pielstick (now MAN Diesel SA) 16 PA6V-280 STC diesel engines to give the FFG a cruise speed of 27 Knots. China imported the 16 PA6V-280 STC’s production rights in the late 1990s and is now producing the engines locally under licence at Shaanxi Diesel Factory. Each 16 PA6V-280 engine can produce a sustained power of 4,720kW (6,330hp), giving a total power of 18,880kW (25,320hp). The Jiangkai 1-class Type 054 FFG also has a helicopter deck capable of housing a Harbin Z-9EC multi-role shipborne helicopter, three of which are presently in service with the Pakistan Navy.—Prasun K. Sengupta

21 comments:

Mr. Ra said...

Hope all the weathers cease to exist with the pole shift and axial shift of the earth. Lol...

Anonymous said...

Have we finally decided on the design of Project17a or we are still waiting for a special occasion while Pakistan keeps on increasing its strength ?

The work on P17a was suppose to start this year, has it started ?

Has P28 received govt. funding ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.28AM: The Project 17A's design was due to selected as far back as 2007!!! There's still competition underway between the Fincantieri/MDL group and DCNS/GRSE group. Fabrication of the first two of four P-28 ASW corvettes is well underway. Funding for them was approved way back in 2006.

Anonymous said...

6 Qing class SSK with 1500 km LACMs??? Now this is another headach for us.
Prasun Da, for proctecting our coastal areas, should we order another 6 aerostats and 12-15 additional missile firing units of MR-SAMs to intercept these LACMs?

Black Hawk said...

i thought china is a member of MTCR. can it transfer such a long range missile to pakistan for sea based deterrence.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.30PM: The CJ-10K/Babur on board the Qing-class submarines will be carrying nuclear warheads as part of Pakistan's survivable nuclear deterrent. Therefore, these cruise missiles will never be fired from shallow waters close to India's coastline. What India need to do in return is now increase her navy's ASW capabilities, which have been woefully inadequate for the past decade. Immediate decisions need to be taken to procure 10-tonne and 12-tonne shipborne helicopters equipped with lightweight torpedoes and ultra low-frequency dunking sonars, plus ultra low-frequency hull-mounted panoramic sonars and towed-array sonars for warships. The DRDO-developed Humsa Mk2, Nagan and Mihir systems are only low-frequency sonars of a bygone era.

To Black Hawk: MTCR is a regime, and not a binding treaty. Therefore, it is up to each regime member to have its own interpretation of the guidelines. Just as the US and Europeans will have no qualms about giving 650km air-launched cruise missiles and Tomahawk T-LAMs to NATO member-states, so will China continue to supply strategic weapon systems to Pakistan.

buddha said...

sir is there any chance for India to get Su34/35 type bomber or
tuplev bomber to counter and deep penetration strike in china by long rangecruise missile( light air version) to match china's 200 H-6 type bomber

buddha said...

Does India have any plan for long range cruise missile of 2000-2500km range be it sub-sonic ,super or hypersonic missile
... Pakistan may be getting from china of 1500-2000km

Anonymous said...

prasun, BR has scredwed u sir, thy r calling u chorgupta on some threads and one guy has said u copy paste and make things up. they are not nice to u.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To buddha: There are no prospects for acquiring Su-34-type bombers or any other kind of strategic bomber. But there are plans to develop a submarine-launched version of the tactical nuclear warhead-equipped air-delivered munition (ADM) as well as a 1,000km-range air-launched subsonic cruise missile (externally resembling the Storm Shadow/Scalp-EG or Taurus KEPD-350) carrying conventional warheads.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.51PM: Whosoever did so is at best part of a neurotic fringe displaying compulsive jealousy and engaging in psychotic idiocracies. It is best to ignore tham as they neither pose nor can do any harm to anyone but themselves.

buddha said...

what may be the time frame of sub sonic-1000km missile....
is there any plane to develop any super sonic light weight cruise missile from shaurya for air force in upcoming future
..is there any plan to extend the range of shaurya to 2500-4000km to cover china

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To buddha: The R & D timeframe for the subsonic cruise missile depends on the GTRE's ability to develop a suitable turbofan as the powerplant. Presently, there are no plans to develop a lightweight version of the Shaurya. An extended-range SLBM version of the Shaurya is under development.

Mr. Ra said...

What design and practical limitations or problems can be envisaged, if Shourya is to be extended to reach to Harbin.

Anonymous said...

I guess it is very difficult and too costly to do the normal thief-police game, where in china gives pakistan a strategic weapon (as in this case the SLCM), and we will have to invest billions on low frequency detection systems. we do have to, but it should not be guided by the fear of our little enemy pak, but against better enemy china.


One better way is to give china a pill of its own medicine, and give strategic weapons to vietnam or some hostile-to china ASEAN countries. I guess the intentions to do so will suffice than the actual transfer.
These guys will go mad when US gives under billion dollar helicopters etc to Taiwan...what will they do if similar things are given to all the neighbours.
Basically they will get it...stalemate.
i think it is hightime for china to understand that there is nothing like allweathor friendship in politics, their own story with USSR is the best example...tomorrow pakistan taken over by a fanatic might be aiming the cj-10 on shanghai in support of uighurs. better watchout...

Anonymous said...

fully agree... we should some agnis to vietnam... sadly stupid italian mafiosi is only interested in stockpiling our money... rahul?? lol fly kites

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Mr Ra: As the Shaurya is only a tactical system with 750km range, it is not possible to extend its range much further. To reach Harbin one has to deploy the Agni-5.

To Anon@6.42AM: Believe me, even a country like Vietnam has its limits in displaying strategic defiance. It will never cross the red line by deploying IRBMs or MRBMs. In fact, none of the ASEAN member-states would not even dare contemplate such a step. Nor can India afford to defy China since here conventional deterrence against China all along the LAC is still weak. Things will improve only by 2018 after the Indian Army's four new infantry divisions are fully up and running. In the meantime, the best bet for India is to playt the two 'T' cards against Beijing--the Tibet and Taiwan cards, for nothing antagonises the PRC more than by increasing engagements of all kinds with the Tibetan Govt-in-Exile and with Taipei.

Anonymous said...

i am anon@6.42

i agree that barely any southern neighbour china has any capability to raise voice against china. But what i meant was that we should make it amply clear that if china gives strat weapons to our enemies, we can also do so. yes it risks flaring up of tensions, but properly managed by diplomacy could serve it, just like the last year militrary delegation visit and incidents followed it.
Taiwan is much riskier, Chinese are extremely sensitive there. giving support to Tibetans more than a certain extend, i dont agree is good. it will ulitmately backfire and it is against the overt ideology of our country not to entertain sessionists (though we break it more often than the tick of clock but covertly)...
I guess here china is trying to match russia (who supplies the nuke sub and delivery systems to India) to pakistan, and trying to make a point that they are better allies than US. But it is more opportunitstic relation than any allweather friendship...break the opportunity with promise of risk...all weather will change to good weather:P

soumyadip said...

and it will scale even newer heights and u see when pakistan will from that height it will hurt like hell so don't worry ....he he he....

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To soumyadip: Jingoism never helps.

Anonymous said...

prasun da, what is the known payload of CJ 10K LACM?