Commentary: If this goes through, wonder if it’ll follow the usual pattern for French shipbuilders in Asia:
1. Contract signed.
2. Scandals and bribery revealed
Commentary: China continues its tradition of naming amphibious ships after mountains.
Commentary: for a seventy year old ship it looks to be in really good shape.
Oryx Blog: Iranian delivered North Korean Type-73 machine guns joining the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq
Commentary: Most people know the Oryx Blog as specializing in OSINT analysis of Middle Eastern military hardware. They also have several very good posts on the Korean People’s Army. It’s no surprise they caught this picture.
Commentary: A relative breakthrough, the H-6Ks flew straight through the strait and straight back. A long, long way from the aerial navigation skills of Russia’s Long Range Aviation and their cookie-cutter circumnavigation of Japan.
Commentary: It’s a bit weird that China would outfit the DF-5 with MIRVs. As the author points out the DF-5 is an older, liquid fueled missile. A liquid-fueled ICBM takes hours to prepare for flight, so it’s not the kind of a weapon to deter a no-notice attack. Why would China place more warheads from a limited stockpile on a vulnerable system?
It could be signaling by the PRC, that it can proceed with modernizing nuclear delivery systems if India and the U.S. do so.
The Great 2010 DPRK Nuclear Test Debate: Summarizing the Evidence | 38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea
Commentary: Ishigakijima and Miyakojima are two inhabited islands in the Ryukyus that flank the Miyako Strait. The PLAN has been sending surface task forces through the strait once or twice a year since 2010 or so.
Placing anti-ship missiles on both islands will close the strait during wartime or times of crisis, and short of occupying the islands there won’t be much China could do about it.
Commentary: Notice all of the coast watching stations face west or south.
Commentary: This is the second batch of Russian frigates for the People’s Navy and part of Vietnam’s anti-access/area denial fleet buildup. Eight Kh-35 Klub anti-ship missiles make each a considerable threat to the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
Four frigates and six submarines is a good start, but Vietnam has probably spent as much as it can on this naval buildup and the question is whether or not China will see this as a force to be reckoned with.