China Built A Mothership For Training Its Forces To Defend Against Drone Swarms

War Zone – China looks to have launched an odd mini-aircraft carrier of sorts that is intended to launch and recover small aerial drones earlier this year. A model of this catamaran vessel appeared at this year’s Zhuhai Airshow, where it was ostensibly described as a platform for mimicking enemy “electronic” systems during training exercises. This ship will be able to simulate hostile drone swarms, along with other kinds of threats, such as high-volume anti-ship missile strikes and distributed electronic warfare attacks. It also reflects the Chinese military’s interest in operational swarming capabilities, and especially in the maritime domain.

Signs Point to China’s Third Aircraft Carrier Launching Soon

CSIS – Steady progress on the construction of China’s third aircraft carrier has continued throughout 2021, and the vessel—commonly known as the Type 003—may launch in the coming months. Commercial satellite imagery of Jiangnan Shipyard captured on October 23, 2021, reveals that the installation of the carrier’s main external components is nearing completion. Work on other military vessels at Jiangnan appears to have slowed as the shipyard works to fill commercial orders.

Chinese Ferry Tales: The PLA’s Use of Civilian Shipping in Support of Over-the-Shore Logistics

Chinese Maritime Studies Institute – The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has long provided indications it will use civilian shipping in direct support of a cross-strait invasion of Taiwan. To date, however, there has been little effort to gauge the PLA’s actual ability to leverage China’s commercial fleet in the most challenging part of any such campaign—operations over-the-shore. Drawing from ship tracking data, satellite imagery, media reporting, and the writings of PLA experts, this report analyzes recent military-civil fusion exercises and training to assess current capabilities.

PLA practices cross-sea troop transport with large civilian ferry

Global Times – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently held an integrated military-civilian cross-sea troop maneuvering exercise using a large civilian ferry with a displacement of 45,000 tons, much larger than similar vessels used in previous practices. The move aimed to enhance the troops’ transport efficiency in future battlefields.