516 "Jiujiang" Amphibious fire support ship
The amphibious fire support ship is a landing combat ship dedicated to direct fire support to the landing forces. It is used to destroy enemy shore facilities, clear the landing beaches and certain depth obstacles, and support the landing ships that are landing assaults. Specially built, the ship is equipped with weapons such as artillery and rockets. In the Second World War, the United States used rocket landing craft to provide fire support, but it did not develop after the war, and the Soviet Union also developed rocket firearms to support fire weapons. In modern landing operations, the ship's onshore fire support weapons are mainly naval gun weapons and ground cruise missile weapons, but these two weapons have their limitations. For example, naval guns are suitable for hitting target targets, but the fire coverage is not dense enough. Cruise missile strikes are more accurate, but they are extremely costly and are suitable for attacking high-value targets.
In the preparations for the military struggle against Taiwan for many years, the Chinese Navy has developed a fire support ship in a targeted manner, and developed a successful landing ship fire support ship with the platform of the No. 516 "Jiujiang" ship. The ship has a high firepower density. wide coverage, strong and sudden firepower firepower sustainability and other characteristics, with the carrier 122 to cover a beachhead against the beachhead mm rockets, with two pairs of 100 mm guns against point targets. In addition, the Chinese Navy has also developed a container-type 300mm long-range rocket fire support weapon system module, which can be quickly hoisted on civilian ships during wartime and become an amphibious fire support ship.
As a "fire support ship", the Jiujiang was equipped with five 50-tube 122mm rocket launchers. The "Jiujiang" No. 516 is a 053H (Jianghu 1) missile frigate designed and built by China. It was commissioned in April 1976 and was converted into a fire support ship in April 2002. The Jiujiang Ship is 103 meters long and has a ship width of 10.8 meters. It has a full displacement of 1,700 tons. It is powered by a diesel engine with a power of 14,400 horsepower. The maximum speed is 26 knots and the endurance is 2,600 nautical miles.
The "Jiujiang" has participated in many major military exercises organized by the Chinese navy and fleet, as well as maritime patrols, escorts and escorts, and has performed well. The "Jiujiang" fire support ship has five 2*25 rocket launchers with a caliber of 122 mm. A single volley can throw 250 rockets into the enemy's shore in a very short time.
On May 7, 2017, according to the Chinese news website Sohu.com, the 516 "Jiujiang" ship, the oldest frigate of the Chinese Navy, had recently retired. Despite causing some repercussions in the military circle, this news has not attracted public attention. However, this is not a low-key warship, but a warship that has assumed a special mission. The 516 "Jiujiang" ship was not an ordinary missile frigate. It was the only "fire support ship" of the Chinese Navy. It has assumed the heavy responsibility of providing fire support to the landing forces during the Taiwan Strait crisis. It is called "a weapon for attacking Taiwan." The retiring of the "Jiujiang" ship marked the end of an era of the Chinese Navy and the arrival of a new era.
Between the range of the traditional artillery tens of kilometers and the range of more than 100 kilometers of short-range ballistic missiles, there was a gap in firepower. Especially in the expected landing operations against Taiwan, this kind of fire support gap after the beachhead landing is particularly serious. The experience of the Gulf War in the United States was to compensate by including helicopter gunships, fighter jets, attack aircraft and even cruise missiles. Although the cost-effectiveness ratio was not high, it is still acceptable with US financial resources. However, the United States had to find a cheap fire support platform, so the modified the C-130 transport aircraft installed a cannon and a cannon to develop the AC-130 "air gunship" to achieve ground fire support at a lower cost. The United States even revived battleships built during the Second World War to support ground operations with its large-caliber 16-inch main gun.
With its strong air power, the United States can use the Air Force to make up for the lack of ground firepower, but China can't do it. As one of the alternatives, the "fire support ship" has become an option.
Landing fire support ship were developed during World War II. In order to adapt to the increasingly fierce island battle, the United States modified a number of LST/LSM tank landing ships and installed a large number of rocket launching nests to provide fire coverage to the Japanese defenders' defensive positions and support the landing operations of the Marine Corps. After the war, the United States also specially developed the IFS-1 "Carronade" nearshore fire support ship for nearshore landing fire support, and participated in the Vietnam War.
Navy support of ground operations with naval guns has not been a new thing, especially since the Navy entered the era of the Dreadnought. During the Second World War, the Japanese army, which suffered from the firepower of the US military, had evaluated the firepower of US warships. In Japan, the firepower of a US battleship was equivalent to that of a Japanese army.
China never had a battleship, and there was also a lack of large-calibre heavy artillery technology. In the 1990s, in order to solve the problem of cross-fire support in amphibious operations, China's army had adopted a temporary means to place the various types of artillery of the army on the deck of civilian vessels and participate in the preparation of fires.
In the "Dawn Flash 2017" exercise, the US military used HIMARS, namely: M142 rocket launcher, on the deck of the amphibious dock landing ship, and conducted a cross-attack drill. It was the first time the US military experimented with the ability to carry long-range rockets against the shore targets on the amphibious ship deck. The US military had quietly learned from the PLA.
The construction of large-scale fire support ships from scratch had problems in terms of technology and cost. It is the best choice to transform old warships. In 2002, the 516 "Jiujiang" ship of the 053H missile frigate No. 1 that had been in service for 27 years was transformed into a "fire support ship."
The two anti-ship missiles and the coffin deckhouse originally equipped with the "Jiujiang" ship were dismantled and replaced with 50-tube 122mm rocket launchers installed in the crotch and crotch, and equipped with ammunition depots and loading devices. Replaced the old double-mounted 100mm gun with two invisible double-mounted 100mm guns. After the modification, the "Jiujiang" ship can fire 250 pieces of 122mm rockets at one time, including bombs, cloud bombs and anti-armor bullets. A firepower is equivalent to a rocket rocket battalion of the Army. The firepower is fierce and the density is high. The ship has a special fire control system, which can automatically rotate and launch, and has a stabilizer. It can fire the target on the enemy's shore in a lower sea state, and the impact is accurate and high.
because the ship can be installed with more stability mechanisms and ballistic solution equipment, the 122mm rocket launcher on the Jiujiang is better than the land rocket. In addition, the two 100mm guns on the ship provide good sustained artillery support. It can be said that its fire support ability is very powerful.
However, there are problems with the Jiujiang. That is, the ammunition carried by it is too small. The 122mm rocket and the 100mm projectile cannot produce enough impact on the permanent fortifications, and only cover the ground exposed targets. This is the biggest flaw of Jiujiang. In addition, the No. 516 fire support ship has exposed many other problems. The first is that the 122mm rocket launcher on the ship has a range of only 40 kilometers. In order to ensure the shooting effect, the warship usually has to be close to the enemy coast for fire support. And this is extremely dangerous. In addition, the launching efficiency and power of the 122 rockets are also not satisfactory. It is reported that the firing performance of five 122mm rockets on the 516 fire support ship is only equivalent to one 122mm rocket launcher, and the operational efficiency is much lower than expected. Therefore, shortly after the completion of the modification of the No. 516 fire support ship, the PLA Navy stopped the plan to change the old frigates into a fire support ships.
Although the un-guided 122mm rockets can reach a maximum accuracy of 1/100 of range and the distance density can reach 1/150, they still cannot meet the PLA's need to attack the enemy's targets. And to continue to improve the accuracy of the method, the United States chose to use GPS inertial navigation technology on the M270 rocket. However, compared with the US M270 rocket, the space of our military 122mm rocket is too small. The installation of inertial components and actuators will inevitably affect the size of the warhead. Therefore, the control technology is not used on the ship's 122mm rocket.
The "Jiujiang" ship was only a temporary emergency measure. After the situation eased, the "fire support ship" program was not promoted in the remaining 053H missile frigates. With the retirement of the 516 "Jiujiang" ship, the "fire support ship" became a thing of the past in China.
Although the Jiujiang ship was retired, the ship's 122 mm modular shipborne rocket launcher technology was inherited. For example, the PLA Navy has successfully developed a new generation of 122mm multi-purpose shipboard rocket launching system based on the gun, and has become the standard configuration of the third generation of the main destroyer, mainly responsible for anti-submarine, anti-torpedo, air/opposite Interfering with missions and, if necessary, for land attack. In addition, based on the technology of the 122mm ship-borne rocket launcher, China has developed an 8-tube 300mm ship-borne rocket launcher designed by container, and tested it on the "Shichang" comprehensive training ship, but it is not equipped.
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