Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Navy's Z-9C anti-sumarine helicopter: current status

The helicopter industry as a whole due to capacity constraints, China has developed anti-submarine helicopters, the long-standing state of stagnation. Until the mid-90s of the last century, the Chinese Navy, only a limited number of aircraft and the modifications introduced by AS 565 has SA 321Ja antisubmarine capabilities, at a time when the world has more than 50 countries and regions, the number of various types of ship-borne helicopters, more than 2,500 aircraft , of which more than 60% with the implementation of anti-submarine-related tasks. Especially for no large-scale shore-based or ship-based fixed-wing anti-submarine aircraft in terms of countries and regions, anti-submarine helicopters, has become their sole provider of air anti-submarine force. As the Chinese navy in a few decades of the development process of taking the detour too many fields of arrears too much equipment development, coupled with the domestic in basic scientific research is difficult to keep up with new equipment and research and development needs, so China in anti-submarine helicopters the overall technological level and operational efficiency with the U.S. Navy there is a very large gap. Chinese Navy's AS 565 is not only difficult compared to a U.S. Navy's SH-60B, and even and the "Lynx" This weight, compared to a similar size in anti-submarine helicopters, weapons and equipment configuration also has significant gaps. More importantly, the French developed AS 565 mid-80's main purpose is to meet foreign market demand for light-ship-borne anti-submarine helicopters, the French Navy, and are not equipped with their own, so a wide range of technical requirements are constrained, for high-intensity Some powerless at sea anti-submarine warfare, which led to this type of helicopter for export in small quantities. So far, only Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates ordered less than 30 anti-ship type, while the anti-submarine type, including China, is only sold in less than 10.

To sum up, AS 565 difficult to meet the Chinese navy in the late 90's the need, and therefore Z-9C in the development of China's anti-submarine helicopters, requires that the beginning of the main technical and tactical performance higher than the AS 565. However, due to weaker domestic helicopter industry, leading to  a number of subsystems developed for Z-9C delay the progress of the development of the machine speed, resulting in the 2l century, before the onset of difficult to enter the Chinese Navy.

At present, Z-9C anti-submarine helicopters and British and French naval equipment use a lot of "Lynx" anti-submarine helicopters in the vast majority of performance at the same level, its maximum is not small enough to carry sonar buoys, so that it served as antisubmarine defense mission there a great lack of. As an internal equipped with sonar and amplifiers, antennas and anti-submarine helicopter with a contact acoustic detection equipment, sonar buoys may be in the submarine-infested waters by a certain law into the sea, by setting a good program down to a predetermined depth, in order to actively or passively work, according to the submarine speed, quietness, and sonar buoy the hydrological conditions of work, its detection range of submarines can reach 1.5 to 3 km, and anti-submarine helicopters, communication distance of 15 to 20 km. Passive sonar buoys used for a wide range of sea submarine target detection, you can put 3 to 5 pairs of 300 square kilometers of the vast waters effective detection, but can not accurately determine the distance and direction the submarine, it is generally needed and active sonar buoys (or dipping sonar) used in conjunction in order to determine elements of the submarine campaign, Xie calculate the submarine campaign data, determine the program and select the anti-submarine weapons attack attack. It is clear that the role of sonar buoys to the modern anti-submarine warfare is very important. The United States, Europe and the Soviet Union as early as 60 years in the last century began the anti-submarine helicopters, equipped with sonar buoys, after nearly half a century of development, is now dipping sonar and air together account for the modern ship-borne anti-submarine detection equipment in half.

China in the development of sonar buoys had also made gratifying achievements. As early as the mid-60s in the last century, China designing and finalizing SKF 1 a passive omni-directional sonar buoys, 1972, designing and finalizing HF a two-type non-directional sonar buoys, close to the overall performance of 60 mid-level of technology abroad, the main equipment in the Do not the Chinese Navy and the Marine H-1 6 1 5 water anti-submarine aircraft. Into the 90's, along with the internal acoustics, electronics and manufacturing technology continues to improve, develop high-performance sonar buoys are technically no longer exists insurmountable difficulties, which also provides for the modification of Z-9C conditions. As an anti-submarine helicopter Z-9C has limited space inside the fuselage, can not be installed simultaneously in the cabin air dipping sonar and sonar buoys and their launchers, to resolve this contradiction, I believe that is entirely possible by the United States SH-60B / F development ideas to perfect the overall anti-submarine warfare capability of Z-9C. On existing Z-9C, based on the abolition of the air inside the cabin and the associated dipping sonar winches and other devices (keep other airborne radar, weapons and navigation systems), so can install the next 20 to 30 sonar buoys and related control and launchers. Taking into account the filling, use and impact on the body structure, I believe that, like SH-60B used as a  launch the layout of the more desirable side, but also relatively easy to implement. After such a modification would not increase the weight of too much, right Z-9C and structure of the basic flight performance did not particularly large impact. Thus, the Chinese Navy's active-duty and the next generation of surface warships can be a certain percentage of completely mixed two kinds of anti-submarine helicopters, due to both the body structure, the main radar, electronic equipment and weapon systems are basically the same, so it will not increase the logistical support pressure, with a new generation of destroyers and convoy ships fully meet the present stage around China's naval modernization of submarines against the requirements.


China succeeded in a number of imported technology to absorb and digest, according to their own requirements, the use of characteristics and threats had targeted improvements, an end to the Z-9C become a feature of modern anti-submarine helicopters, you can perform a modern anti-submarine warfare the task light anti-submarine helicopters, which will be the development of China's ship-borne anti-submarine helicopters leave an impressive mark in the course.

In the large ocean-going warships are still less the case, light such as an anti-submarine helicopters Z-9C better suited to the requirements of the Chinese Navy, the use of also large, medium-sized anti-submarine helicopters even more handy, but their own lack of functions is entirely possible rely on continuous improvement, modification, and rational use of anti-submarine tactics to carry out to make up. I firmly believe that, even in the next generation of medium-sized anti-submarine helicopters in service, the straight one Z-9C will still be in the Chinese Navy's carrier-based anti-submarine forces occupy an important seat.