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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spendings stuck, India trails China in firepower

(China Military News cited from -- A year after China paraded its military might to mark 60 years of Communist rule, an internal study by South Block shows that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is way ahead of India in terms of strategic missiles, artillery, development of indigenous military hardware and acquisition. This comparison study has been shared with the UPA government at the highest levels.

China’s defence budget, pegged at $77.5 billion, is more than twice that of India’s $32-billion but its 2009 military parade has set off alarm bells in Delhi given the shortcomings in indigenous production capability and gaps in acquisition of military hardware — for a few years now, the Defence Ministry has not been able to spend the allocated capital for modernisation of the armed forces.

This is what the internal study found:

The PLA has a clear lead over the Indian Army in terms of infantry weapons, armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and artillery guns.

The Army has no answer to the Chinese QBZ-97 Type 97-2 5.8/5.56 mm anti-riot gun, the AK-74 modified QBZ-95 Type 95 automatic rifle, the M-16 NATO rifle modification Type 95B carbine.

The 9 mm Indian Army sub-machine gun (SMG) is considered inferior to the Chinese Type 5 sound-dampener 9 mm SMG, a modified version of the German Heckler & Koch MP 5 SMG. The original HK MP-5 is used by the Special Protection Group in India.

The Indian 5.56 mm INSAS is considered superior to the Chinese 7.62 mm (Type 85) assault rifles but the PLA QBZ-95 automatic rifle is better than the Indian 7.62 mm standard issue rifle.

There are seven specialised variants of the QBZ-95.
QBZ-95 (Rifle)

This is the standard version of the rifle used domestically, chambered for the 5.8x42mm DBP87 round.

The PLA has reportedly undertaken a program to improve the Type 95. The lead designer of the Type 95 program Duo Yingxian (朵英贤), who’s now retired, has stated that the project is being worked on by some of his students. Known goals for the program are to:

1. Improve the rifle’s ergonomics/controls.
2. Chamber it for new ammunition with double the effective range.
3. Add a quick-firing grenade launcher.

QBZ-95B (Carbine)
This is a shorter and lighter version of the standard rifle. From pictures seen the QBZ-95B is seen issued only to Naval Officers, possibly due to the limited room in Naval vessels that would prohibit the full length rifle being used in close quarters.

QBB-95 LSW (Light Support Weapon)
This light support weapon fulfills the role as the squad machine gunner. It’s in the same respect as the QBZ-95 Rifle with modified longer and heavier barrel, higher firing rate, heavier cartridge and is equipped with larger 75-round drum magazine.

QBZ-97 (5.56 mm Assault Rifle)
The Chinese have constructed an export version, the QBZ-97, which is similar to the QBZ-95 in all respects except that it is chambered for 5.56 mm NATO instead of the original Chinese 5.8 mm cartridge and has a deep magazine well designed to accept STANAG magazines.

QBZ-97A (5.56 mm Assault Rifle)
This variant is a QBZ-97 with the addition of a 3-round burst mode and a bolt hold-open device; it also differs from the QBZ-95 and the QBZ-97 for the shape of its grip, now missing the “front grip” part in front of the trigger guard. This weapon is the only QBZ-95 variant to have seen commercial success and military use outside of China; QBZ-97A rifles are in use by 911 Special Forces of CambodiaSpecial Operations personnel.

QBZ-97B (5.56 mm Carbine)
This is the carbine version of the QBZ-97. The official distributor of the QBZ-97B assault carbine on the international market, Jianshe Industries (Group) Corporation, advertises and sells it under the denomination “5.56mm Short Automatic Rifle Type NQZ03B (97)”.

QBB-97 LSW (5.56 mm Light Support Weapon)
The light support weapon model of the QBZ-97.

The new QBZ-95G addresses several reliability, ease-of-use issues, and has improved ergonomics.

QBZ-95 variant titled “G” fires the heavier 5.8x42mm round, with a heavier longer barrel and a redesigned muzzle break. The “G” variant has an altered butt stock, trigger guard, and a repositioned thumb fire selector switch above the pistol grip. The carrying handle has retained the Chinese quick release mount rail, but also has added the Picatinny rail as a supplement. It has been seen in service in small numbers for testing and evaluation in first quarter of 2010. It has been speculated that this variant will enter full service in late 2010, replacing the original QBZ-95 assault rifle introduced into service in 1995. The original QBZ-95 rifles will be handed down to second line and reserve troops, while front line troops receive this variant.

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