Semi-Submersible Helicopter Ship - Ships Taken Up From Trade (STUFT)
CCTV military reported on 19 August 2020 that, in the past few days, an army aviation brigade of the 71st Army organized multi-type helicopters for offshore platform take-off and landing, oil amd bomb supply and emergency repair courses to test support capabilities and ensure supply lines. The pilots overcome difficulties such as strong winds at sea, variable wind directions, and the hull swaying in the waves, and under the guidance of the commander, they can accurately land on the ZHEN HUA 28 civilian semi-submersible ship.
The Z-8 landed on a certain type of semi-submersible ship. After the pilots landed on the semi-submersible ship, the ground crew carried out a series of supplementary fuel and ammunition for the armed helicopter on the ship. Xu Yifeng, deputy brigade commander of an Army Aviation Brigade of the 71st Group Army, said that this exercise has laid a solid foundation for helicopter cross-sea operations.
There are 3 helipads on the middle deck of the shipís hull. The civilian semi-submersible ship participating in this helicopter delivery exercise is a certain type of semi-submersible ship of Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry. The middle deck of the ship is equipped with 3 helipads, which can carry and protect Wuzhi-10 and Wuzhi- Active-duty helicopters such as 19 and Zhi-8 conduct cross-sea operations.
China currently has dozens of dual-use semi-submersible vessels.
Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP) operations were developed to reduce the time between turns for helicopters while conducting missions. The FARP has proven to save time and increase the time on target for each aircraft sortie. This time saving FARP configuration has been used by aviation units for many years. A FARP is strictly an arming and refueling concept, therefore there many different types of equipment can be used to establish a FARP.
The United States military relies heavily on the flexibility and maneuverability of its aviation assets on the modern battlefield. Aviation assets participate in combat, combat support and combat service support operations. During combat operations, the attack helicopters can participate in both close and deep combat operations. These operations play an important role in the ground combatant commanderís ability to shape the battlefield. During close operations, aviation units play a supporting role for the ground combat units. An aviation unit may provide flank security, serve as reconnaissance, identify targets, or destroy specific targets (FM 1-100, 1997). There are no other assets on the battlefield which can fulfill such a wide role for commanders to utilize.
In order for these aviation operations to be conducted they must be closely supported. In many cases these operations are conducted miles away from the aviation unitís base. This base moves, repositioning as combat operations progress forward. However, this base is typically located in the rear of the division boundary. If helicopters had to fly from the forward edge of the battlefield (FEBA) to the unitís base for fuel and armament re-supply, valuable time would be wasted. To reduce the turn around time between refueling and rearming, Forward Arming and Refueling Points (FARP) are established. A FARP may be located just a mile or two behind the FEBA. A FARP is a small team of soldiers and equipment which refuel and rearm helicopters. The number of soldiers and the amount of equipment per team is determined by the number of points the FARP will have.
Forward arming and refueling of aircraft dates back to WWII and the German Army. The great German pilot Hans Rudel placed stocks of fuel and ammunition forward on the battlefield in order to extend his wingís sphere of influence. These forward stocks allowed the Germans to attack deep into enemy territory destroying reinforcing elements and to fill holes in the German lines which were located long distances from logistic bases.
In the 1960ís the FARP began to develop into its current configuration. As the Army developed its air cavalry with the transformation of the 101st Airborne Division it relied heavily on the forward refueling and rearing of its helicopters. By the end of the Vietnam War the FARP had developed into a forward location where helicopters first refueled and then moved to another point to rearm. The difference in locations was due to several reasons. Refueling a helicopter took considerably less time than arming one with rockets and missiles also rearming was significantly more dangerous.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|