F-35: Super Hornet hedge

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

wrightwing

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2109
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2008, 15:22

Unread post14 Jun 2012, 14:21

neurotech wrote:
10" motor wouldn't have the thrust to intercept a ballistic missile travelling at Mach 3+. They would have to go faster than that. The Russians have fielded larger missiles launched from fighters like the Mig-31 and Su-27 series.

And BTW Since when has DoD chosen the "cheapest" solution? Its usually the best value solution that meets the requirements.


The AMRAAM already travels at M4+ with the standard motor. The 10" motor would be for range, more than speed.
Offline

bigjku

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 378
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2012, 21:00

Unread post14 Jun 2012, 15:27

First your wrong, I do give our forces a lot of credit. I am a member of that force. But you seem to be discounting the growing Chinese threat the exact way we discounted the Japanese threat the last time a major Pacific war materialized. It's amazing how history repeats. Perhaps it's the fact that they are Asian. Or we are simply blind to change when it involves moving away from something we feel comfortable with (like battleships in 1940 and huge carriers now).


Again you can keep saying this but it is factually untrue. One only has to reference the Two Ocean Navy bill to see it. The USN was ordering carriers on a 2.5 to 1 rate against battleships in 1940 which was a higher carrier mix than any other major nation. The Royal Navy put into service in 1939-43 6 real full up carriers against 5 battleships.

As far as I can tell without getting out some books buried way deep in my basement the Japanese had just one real carrier being built at the war's outset (the Taiho). They had a gaggle of smallish carriers and conversions they were working on or did but the next class of major carriers (Unryu Class) were all laid down in 1942. During this whole period Japan was working on three monster battleships that tied up immense resources.

You are trying to cite a historical precedent for what is going on now that is just flat not accurate. That does not mean you might not be right this time but to throw out the "history repeating itself" mantra showcases a lack of understanding of the realities entering WWII.

Second, I am not talking about what systems the Chinese have now. As I stated, I am talking about the the decade of 2020 - 2030. How many anti-ship missiles they have now is not relevant. Look at their current acceleration of military growth and project it out 10 -15 years and then reassess what their capabilities might be.


Fair enough but you seem to be doing little projecting for the other side as well. If the Chinese were to actually build a thousand of these missiles there would be a response of some sort, would there not?
Third, the EMP blinding I am talking about is NOT non nuclear. Why wouldn't they use Nukes for EMP effects over our fleet to open the door for their conventional anti-ship missiles? No US President is going to retaliate to that with a tactical nuclear attack on the Chinese mainland. And assuming the Red fleet doesn't come out to play in the blue water, where else could we retaliate? Losing a Carrier group is one thing, all out nuclear war is something all together different. Remember, our deployment of tactical nukes is not decentralized to the combatant CDR (thank God). It's lies with the president alone. And he or she would not go there due to an EMP motivated employment against our fleet. If the Chinese were willing to go to war with us over Taiwan, this type of Nuclear employment might be very practical (from their point of view) and actually very low risk. You can bet their planners have at the least war gamed the idea extensively.


Sorry but this is just out to lunch. If someone fires a nuke at you, even if it is used for EMP, a response on some level is going to be called for because things have already gotten really serious. You may be right that they won't start knocking over Chinese cities for it but what would stop the US from launching an EMP attack on the Chinese mainland with high-altitude burst and neutralizing their defensive capabilities in that way? I don't think you can draw any hard line that says one side can use a nuke to do X and the other side won't respond.

The Chinese have no way of knowing that the US won't interpret that as the opening salvo of a threat to its national existence and respond by launching a counter-force strike of its own. Might be likely, might not. No one is going to lightly take the nuclear genie out of the bottle for EMP purposes for that very reason. You may be 90% sure you are right but if the other 10% plays out you could have just doomed your people to national death.

Fourth, I appreciate and generally agree with your opinion of the manned spaced based observation. Be advised though that I was not advocating at all that this would be their primary means of targeting. I could however see it being one of several redundant back-up methods. The Chinese really would not be worrying about losing a few Cosmonauts.


How does a human in orbit help this process at all? This just makes me wonder about your grasp of the physics of the situation to some degree. I have to orbit the same sensors regardless of if I put people in orbit to run them. To put people up there with them I have to put up supplies, a means to return to earth, environmental equipment and all the equipment I need to run the sensors as well as probably the same communications equipment I would need with any recon sat so I can relay the picture to the ground. From a resource standpoint this makes no sense at all. That is why no one stuck with it back in the early days of the Cold War when it was first thought up. You are basically just having to loft extra crap into space for no return.


Again, I want to state I am not discounting China at all. But you are positing a scenario(s) where the following happens.

1) China builds a up a huge missile force of the next 15 years and the US fleet basically stays the same.
2) China fires a nuclear weapon at the US military with no response.
3) The US does not do much of anything to interrupt a very long and exposed detection and firing process for these theoretical weapons.

This is a very complicated scenario with far more problems than you are granting it. To simply say the carrier is dead is drastically premature yet you have basically accepted that as a fact and declared everyone in the US military command to be guilty of repeating history (even though you are not remembering that history correctly in the first place).
Offline

neurotech

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1949
  • Joined: 09 May 2012, 21:34

Unread post14 Jun 2012, 19:40

wrightwing wrote:
neurotech wrote:
10" motor wouldn't have the thrust to intercept a ballistic missile travelling at Mach 3+. They would have to go faster than that. The Russians have fielded larger missiles launched from fighters like the Mig-31 and Su-27 series.

And BTW Since when has DoD chosen the "cheapest" solution? Its usually the best value solution that meets the requirements.


The AMRAAM already travels at M4+ with the standard motor. The 10" motor would be for range, more than speed.

Can the AMRAAM climb hard and still do mach 4+ with a standard motor? I don't think so. Practically all the AMRAAM shots I've seen have been in relatively level flight.
Offline

bigjku

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 378
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2012, 21:00

Unread post14 Jun 2012, 19:42

neurotech wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
neurotech wrote:
10" motor wouldn't have the thrust to intercept a ballistic missile travelling at Mach 3+. They would have to go faster than that. The Russians have fielded larger missiles launched from fighters like the Mig-31 and Su-27 series.

And BTW Since when has DoD chosen the "cheapest" solution? Its usually the best value solution that meets the requirements.


The AMRAAM already travels at M4+ with the standard motor. The 10" motor would be for range, more than speed.

Can the AMRAAM climb hard and still do mach 4+ with a standard motor? I don't think so. Practically all the AMRAAM shots I've seen have been in relatively level flight.


New AMRAAM's are designed for lofted flight I believe.
Offline

neurotech

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1949
  • Joined: 09 May 2012, 21:34

Unread post14 Jun 2012, 20:21

popcorn wrote:IMO it's not practical to mate a missile to a fighter with intention to intercept an incoming BM warhead. The F-15 ASAT test decades ago ws intended to shoot down a low flying satellite with a predictable orbit known well in advance, a much simpler undertaking than taking out an incoming warhead. Any extended range supposedly afforded by an aircraft will be within the capabilities of SM-3, in particular the Blk 2 variants and terminal BM defense to be provided by a modified SM-6 which the Navy selected over a PAC-3 design.

Mating a missile to take out a BM in boost phase i.e. NCADE, thar's more like it.

Taking out a missile in boost phase is preferred, but a terminal intercept capability is also required. The AIM-120 wasn't in service during the Gulf War in 91 to even attempt a boost phase intercept.

The ability of a missile to intercept a target depends on range and energy management. If a missile can't conduct terminal maneuvers its combat effectiveness is reduced. A SL-AMRAAM launched from the ground would incur a range/speed penalty compared to the fighter version.

The plans air-launched missile are there. Lockheed Martin & Raytheon received a contract for the development. http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... ce-330664/
The program is ongoing and hasn't been cancelled. It is referenced in 2011 on The DEW Line http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-d ... im-9x.html
Offline

hb_pencil

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 754
  • Joined: 18 Aug 2011, 21:50

Unread post14 Jun 2012, 21:20

redbird87 wrote:bigjku

First your wrong, I do give our forces a lot of credit. I am a member of that force. But you seem to be discounting the growing Chinese threat the exact way we discounted the Japanese threat the last time a major Pacific war materialized. It's amazing how history repeats. Perhaps it's the fact that they are Asian. Or we are simply blind to change when it involves moving away from something we feel comfortable with (like battleships in 1940 and huge carriers now).

Second, I am not talking about what systems the Chinese have now. As I stated, I am talking about the the decade of 2020 - 2030. How many anti-ship missiles they have now is not relevant. Look at their current acceleration of military growth and project it out 10 -15 years and then reassess what their capabilities might be.


Sure, can I also include projected growth in Japanese and Taiwanese NMD/TMD systems, or a slowing Chinese economy? Sure the Chinese can build a 1000 DF-21Cs... but how many will they then have to take out air bases in mainland japan... or Taiwan? You're positing a extremely negative view of Sino-American+allies, power balance in the region.

As I've mentioned in this thread and others, history is littered with examples where analysts have completely overshot projections and claimed a threat that never materialized. Rather than Pearl Harbor, to me a more apt comparison is the British Dreadnought debates of 1908 (see AJP Taylor's From the Boer War to the Cold War for a good overview.)

Everything I've seen is that this is a threat that is being taken seriously by the military establishment and national security apparatus. Whether or not you assess these systems are effective, Missile defense is robustly funded (particularly compared to other areas.) Its measured, which is probably the proper approach.


Third, the EMP blinding I am talking about is NOT non nuclear. Why wouldn't they use Nukes for EMP effects over our fleet to open the door for their conventional anti-ship missiles? No US President is going to retaliate to that with a tactical nuclear attack on the Chinese mainland.

And assuming the Red fleet doesn't come out to play in the blue water, where else could we retaliate? Losing a Carrier group is one thing, all out nuclear war is something all together different. Remember, our deployment of tactical nukes is not decentralized to the combatant CDR (thank God). It's lies with the president alone. And he or she would not go there due to an EMP motivated employment against our fleet. If the Chinese were willing to go to war with us over Taiwan, this type of Nuclear employment might be very practical (from their point of view) and actually very low risk. You can bet their planners have at the least war gamed the idea extensively.


I can accept that many of your points are valid, if contestable, but there is no way you can assuredly say that the NCA would never respond in kind with nuclear weapons. Escalation dominance is an integral part of the US military's nuclear strategy dealing with China; for the arsenal's deterrence value to be credible there must be a response. I culled this from a 2001 maxwell paper which illustrates one such scenario with possible options.

Image


There is significant diplomatic prestige at stake, particularly considering the recent efforts by Obama to reinforce America's alliances in the region. If nuclear attack (including EMP) were to occur against a US task group, resulting in US deaths, the political pressure would be immense to respond in kind.

Whether that response would be salutary, be proportional or overwhelming is up to question. You are right that it might not happen. But I would never claim that the it wasn't in the realm of possibility.

Fourth, I appreciate and generally agree with your opinion of the manned spaced based observation. Be advised though that I was not advocating at all that this would be their primary means of targeting. I could however see it being one of several redundant back-up methods. The Chinese really would not be worrying about losing a few Cosmonauts.

Fortunately (hopefully), this entire argument is probably moot as long as we are China's biggest customer. However, who knows what the world population situation is going to be like in 2025. And who knows what the Chinese political philosophies will be then. And who knows how bad they really want Taiwan? One thing is for certain, our recent cessation of significant arms sales and support to Taiwan is eroding their organic deterrence and not helping matters at all.


I think that's a highly contestable assertion. Arms sales may well result in increased tension with little actual redress to the balance of power. They are a useful stick to redress bad Chinese behavior in the area.
Offline

redbird87

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 170
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2007, 20:00

Unread post15 Jun 2012, 13:23

hb

The "Face Saving" nuclear response you are penning that part of your argument on assumes a lot about who ever is in the white house. The POTUS isn't going to make that call based on some flow chart. And whether you think so or not, or like it or not, EMP blasts over the Chinese mainland is a serious escalation compared to an EMP blast over the Pacific. I'm not sure the president would take such a step. I'm not sure I'd even want him/her to. It'd be a tough call no doubt. I wouldn't want it made due to "prestige" or "saving face".

As far as the balance or power, I am precisely calculating what I think the balance will be based on the current trends. The Chinese economy is maturing more than it is slowing. At this point, it is extremely strong. The US is hopelessly in debt. There is very little political will evident that this problem is going to be addressed effectively.

Worse yet, the current administration has curtailed most significant arms sales to Taiwan. Despite the fact that they badly need to recapitalize their fighter fleet, and we badly need to put people to work, we have quashed their F-16 block 60(ish) requests. That's just one recent example, there are others. Newer and more Patriots, AH-64s, M-1 tanks. All on hold indefinitely. Why?

You mentioned our air bases in Japan. Have you seen a map? Taipei is 387 miles to Okinawa (so well over 400 to the center of the Island). So Kadena is not too bad, but it's still a long round trip with combat in the middle. Misawa is forever from Taiwan. Yokota is a very long haul as well. Iwakuni is a little better, but sorties from any of the above are going to require a lot of tanker support (which we tend to take for granted in low and mid intensity conflicts). It won't be so easy in this high intensity fight. Meanwhile, the Chinese are RIGHT THERE, 100 miles from Taiwan, with as many redundant airfields as they want to build. Taking them out early with Tac Air would be a big key, along with our littoral submarine warfare efforts for sea denial. Of course, they would likely attempt to use tactical nukes against our subs and deny it to the hilt. That one is easier to deny than big EMP motivated blasts over our fleet.

Could we get it done? Defend Taiwan if they were willing to defend themselves? I think so. I hope so. It would not be easy though. Letting Taiwan's deterrence strength dwindle and decay certainly isn't helping matters. The first 72 hours would be critical, so it really boils down to intelligence. Hopefully we have CONPLANs in place which are activated quickly by the cyber attacks and troop movements that would certainly precede offensive kinetic actions. There can be no political wavering and hesitation during those first few hours, or the Chinese will simply overwhelm Taiwan before we can deploy enough force to stop them.

This article came out yesterday: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/ ... 4Q20120614

Perhaps robust basing in the Philippines is part of the answer?
Offline

weasel1962

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 261
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore

Unread post16 Jun 2012, 01:38

Did a count in April. 16 chinese runways up to 500km from Taiwan. Add 27 runways bet 500-700km + 4 building. Mostly commercial airports though. At least 8 more airport/bases + 3 building up to 1000km. Listings on the cdf forum.

On the flipside, Japan does have 13 commercial runways under 800km from Taiwan (within F-35B combat radius) beyond those on Okinawa. 12 of which are under 6000ft in length which likely means STOVL ops capable only. 6 of which are under 400km from Taiwan. These 12 in my estimation can probably operate 11 squadrons (176) of USMC F-35Bs/harriers. Listings/locations also on the cdf forum. These will test USMC FARP/forward basing capabilities assuming Japan enters the war/allows US usage.

Okinawa air bases are ~600+km from Taiwan with 4 runways and capability to house multiple fixed wing squadrons. Okinawa is defended by Patriots.
Offline

hb_pencil

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 754
  • Joined: 18 Aug 2011, 21:50

Unread post16 Jun 2012, 05:52

redbird87 wrote:hb

The "Face Saving" nuclear response you are penning that part of your argument on assumes a lot about who ever is in the white house. The POTUS isn't going to make that call based on some flow chart.


No, really? Call me surprised.

Its a useful illustrative device to show escalation behavior... like the ones created by Schelling, Kahn, Brodie... people that were absolutely instrumental for constructing the nuclear strategy followed by the United States throughout the Cold War. I was using it to illustrate the decision-making sequence that might go into a nuclear weapons.

redbird87 wrote:And whether you think so or not, or like it or not, EMP blasts over the Chinese mainland is a serious and escalation compared to a blast over the Pacific. I'm not sure the president would take such a step. I'm not sure I'd even want him/her to. It'd be a tough call no doubt. I wouldn't want it made due to "prestige" or "saving face".


I'm sorry, but if China utilizes a nuke on a CBG, then it is a direct challenge towards American military credibility, both internationally and domestically. I would be inclined to believe that US president did not respond in kind to a nuclear attack that basically caused the death of several thousand Americans, domestic opposition would make him. Furthermore I think the distinction between EMP+ASMs doing the killing vs straight tacnukes is an artificial and dangerous one. The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review basically states that they wouldn't even need an EMP; conventional superiority is a good enough rationale for first use.

In the case of countries not covered by this assurance – states that possess nuclear weapons and
states not in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations – there remains a
narrow range of contingencies in which U.S. nuclear weapons may still play a role in deterring a
conventional or CBW attack against the United States or its allies and partners. The United States is therefore not prepared
at the present time to adopt a universal policy that the “sole purpose” of U.S. nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear
attack on the United States and our allies and partners... Indeed, the United States wishes to stress
that it would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the
vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners.


I wonder how many states possesses overwhelming conventional superiority that might make nuclear weapons necessary? Its not a hard answer. The 2002 Nuclear Posture Review was even more direct.

Immediate contingencies involve well-recognized current dangers… Current examples of immediate contingencies include an Iraqi attack on Israel or its neighbors, a North Korean attack on South Korea, or a military confrontation over the status of Taiwan

So there you have it. Say what you will, but two administrations, one of which has been the most active on nuclear disarmament, basically have stated they were willing to use nuclear weapons in the region as part of their deterrence. I think that is a pretty loud signal that if you utilize EMP, you're probably going to invite a nuclear response.

Furthermore the international implications of failing to respond, beyond the immediate conflict, are immense. If the US fails to respond to a nuclear attack on its personnel then what value would the Japanese place on their treaty, or the Koreans? Or NATO members? And what does that have to say to adversaries like the Chinese, North Koreans, Russians and Iranians? EMP the Americans and they cut and run? That is what credibility and prestige mean. Its basically the basis of US military power internationally.




redbird87 wrote:As far as the balance or power, I am precisely calculating what I think the balance will be based on the current trends. The Chinese economy is maturing more than it is slowing. At this point, it is extremely strong. The US is hopelessly in debt. There is very little political will evident that this will be addressed effectively. The current administration has curtailed most significant arms sales to Taiwan. Despite the fact that they need to recapitalize their fighter fleet and we need to put people to work, we have quashed their F-16 block 60 requests. That's just one recent example, there are others.


Which that current trends? There are plenty of signs the Chinese economy will slow in the coming years, particularly as the reservoir of cheap labour starts to dry up. This will continue as the one child policy starts to damage the demographic vitality of the economy. Brookings had an excellent discussion about the upcoming challenges facing China. You might want to listen.

http://www.brookings.edu/events/2012/05/01-china-reform



redbird87 wrote:You mentioned our air bases in Japan. Have you seen a map?


Have you? I have, and I've also read the status of forces agreement and visited JSDF Facilities. There are more than just those four current US bases. There are eight major JASDF, JMSDF and JGSDF bases closer than Iwakuni, three of which have current joint-sharing arrangements and all of which can be covered by the SOFA (meaning they are designed to house US forces if need be). These include;

Nyutabaru, Tsuiki,Omura Hofu-Kita, Ashiya, Ozuki, Metabaru and Kanoya.

Of these Nyutabaru, Tsuiki, Omura, Kanoya can accommodate very heavy aircraft, while the others are of varying lengths and composition. They can all take Tac-air capabilities. However this does not not even count commercial airports that may be utilized like Fukuoka Airport (which has an Auxiliary USAF Field for transport.). So there is a vast reservoir of facilities for US to base a counteroffensive from.

China would need to expend hundreds of MRBM to knock Japan out of the war, and that's not even accounting for the fact that the Japanese mainland is basically the most heavily defended area in the terms of ABM systems and radars. Put all together, basically China needs thousands of DF-21s to even have a hope of denying US entry into a Taiwan straits conflict.

This said I'm not blind to the challenges the US faces in this region. Any conflict would be unbelievably ugly and cause untold carnage. The US may not be successful in defending Taiwan. However I try to be realistic about what we may face. Defense planning should never be based on groundless worst case scenarios that you seem intent to be putting out... assigning performance characteristics for an opposing system that has never even been tested or deployed, or claiming unlimited economic growth for the next two decades. That nearly bankrupted the British State on the eve of WWI. Doing so in this scenario may well help to do so in 2012.
Offline

redbird87

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 170
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2007, 20:00

Unread post17 Jun 2012, 00:57

hb

We can agree to disagree to a point and also agree on some points. The EMP question in particular presents difficulties. If the Chinese keep their fleet in port or in the Strait, we would really have no target for an in-kind response. That would mean detonations over the mainland of China. I'm telling you, that is an escalation, and a dangerous one. If they counter with EMP blasts over Japan and Hawaii, or worse yet the US mainland, you are right at the precipice of intercontinental nuclear war. Perhaps the Chinese are smarter than to start those dominoes falling, but history is full of maniacs who have risen to power and done foolish things. I'm just telling you, the POTUS would have a very tough call, and the call may be to pursue other (non-nuclear) options. Like I said before, it's even trickier if they use nuke's against our subs. It's very likely they won't be able to defeat our subs through any conventional means for the foreseeable future. And I realize fully that it's a very clumsy, dangerous, and far from automatic approach, so there is no need to attempt to educate me on that fact. Still, it reduces the odds of our being able to simply dominate the Strait with attack subs, and it is more plausibly denied. It would become a he said she said.

You seem well read so you probably know this, but in military decision making (an area that I am very experienced in) your intelligence estimate ALWAYS includes at a minimum, the enemy's most dangerous course of action (as well as his most likely COA, his objectives, and his centers of gravity). The scenarios I have mentioned are far from "groundless" worst case ones. The enemy uses the same intelligence process. He knows our centers of gravity in this fight will be the carrier group(s) and our subs. (As well as Japanese based Tac Air, of which, the viability in this fight we will just have to agree to disagree on. I see it as a factor, but not a decisive one). So with the Chinese' assumed tactical disadvantages against the before-mentioned sea-based centers of gravity, what can they do to prevail? How can they overcome those disadvantages? I have mentioned a couple, and I promise you, the J-1 (Intel) folks brief our naval CDRs that these very actions are among the most dangerous enemy COAs in this fight. (And no, I've not been to one of these briefings, not my branch, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out). They need to kill our carriers and subs to take Taiwan and they probably can't do it in a straight up conventional fight. That leaves what alternatives? One, is to overwhelm a politically and militarily weakened Taiwan before we can effectively respond. That is probably the most likely Chinese COA in this discussion. Two, is to use tactical nukes as combat multipliers to their conventional efforts. This is the most dangerous Chinese COA for our fleet (short of simply nuking the fleet directly, which seems unthinkable). With this COA, they would be taking the risk that we will not escalate with a like tactical, effects based (EMP) response over their mainland.

I'm as much of a hawk as anyone you will ever meet, but I disagree with you that such an escalation on our part would be prudent. It brings an intercontinental exchange into the equation. A carrier group, a sub, or Taiwanese autonomy isn't worth that risk to me. Neither of us have any idea if it would be worth it to the man/woman in the White House. You can reference treaty obligations all you want, but the fact is that you just don't know what the decision would be. My best guess is that we wouldn't escalate and risk our very civilization for "prestige" as you put it. If the Chinese planners feel the same, or if a maniacal faction ever comes to power there, our fleet could face those very dangers.

The best way to prevent this from ever happening is to keep Taiwan strong militarily and economically and to invest in more state-of-the art submarines. If the latter has to be done at the expense of one or two fewer carriers groups, I'm all for it. That's a whole separate Geo-political discussion though.

For the record, I had one grandfather who served on a carrier in WWII and another who served on subs. Interestingly, his was the last sub lost (with all hands) during the war. At almost the last minute, a friend of his who had been admin and never on combat mission asked my step-grandfather, Bernard, if he could take his place. Bernard had been in combat since '42 and said it was fine with him if the skipper agreed. He did, and rest is fate I guess. The carrier grandfather died in 74 and my grandmother remarried sub grandfather in the late 80s.
Offline

neurotech

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1949
  • Joined: 09 May 2012, 21:34

Unread post17 Jun 2012, 01:50

Air assets based in Japan are definitely a factor. It's likely that the USAF will deploy F-22s or B-2s or both to Japan if things heated up. The F-22 has speed and stealth advantages, and the B-2 will be upgraded to carry a large number of cruise missiles. The President could order conventional air strikes quite quickly from a FOB in Japan.

It's also likely that the Pentagon has multiple attack plans if the Chinese become hostile, and one of them would include an incapacitation strike against their command & control, and possibly telecom or power infrastructure.
Offline

redbird87

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 170
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2007, 20:00

Unread post17 Jun 2012, 02:22

neurotech wrote:Air assets based in Japan are definitely a factor. It's likely that the USAF will deploy F-22s or B-2s or both to Japan if things heated up. The F-22 has speed and stealth advantages, and the B-2 will be upgraded to carry a large number of cruise missiles. The President could order conventional air strikes quite quickly from a FOB in Japan.

It's also likely that the Pentagon has multiple attack plans if the Chinese become hostile, and one of them would include an incapacitation strike against their command & control, and possibly telecom or power infrastructure.


Agreed, good points.

Certainly, cruise and guided free fall munition strikes from B-1, B-2, and B-52 aircraft, as well as F-18s and F-15Es would accompany cruise missile launches from seaborne assets in an attempt to cripple Chinese C2. This fact is well known by the Chinese though. They would plan to mitigate the effects of these strikes as much as possible.

The first 72-96 hours would be the key. Could they establish a sizable beachhead and gain any momentum inland? Could they drop significant and effective numbers of paratroops onto Taiwan? Could they neutralize the Taiwanese airfields? If they didn't get those tasks done in that window, our forces should be able to stop them. Sea denial and the air defense of the island are the keys during that window. Our subs are golden for sea denial. However, the sheer potential number of ships and landing craft used could far exceed the munitions available on the subs on-station at the time of the attempt. If no carrier is close (a fair planning assumption), our Air Force currently lacks proficient tactical anti-ship capability. Mavericks are decent, but their numbers available in Japan is likely limited. Laser guided bombs are excellent, but this will be highly contested airspace and a SAM hornets nest. Plus, as already mentioned, Japan is a long ways off. (yes I know all about the B-52s and Harpoons - that has limited applicability in the Strait.) Beyond what our subs can do, sea denial will be largely up to the Taiwanese until our carriers can get close enough. Our tac-air, assuming viable tanker support and AWACS, could certainly be very helpful providing for the air defense of the island both through defensive CAP and OCA efforts.
Offline

neurotech

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1949
  • Joined: 09 May 2012, 21:34

Unread post17 Jun 2012, 02:57

Before paratroopers could drop, they'd need to take care of any SAMs in the area. A large transport flying slow at relatively low altitude could be shot down by IADS SAMs or even IR MANPADs before being able to drop paratroopers on a strategic target. Even the best EA/SEAD system would not eliminate the threat from MANPADs to transport jets.

If no carrier is close (a fair planning assumption), our Air Force currently lacks proficient tactical anti-ship capability. Mavericks are decent, but their numbers available in Japan is likely limited.

And we can't borrow any from the Japanese because they use different missiles. The Japanese F-2s can carry ASMs but whether they'd directly get involved is another issue.

I agree the USAF anti-ship proficiency is limited. This could be rectified by training and weapons logistic improvements.
Last edited by neurotech on 17 Jun 2012, 03:18, edited 1 time in total.
Offline

delvo

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 546
  • Joined: 15 Aug 2011, 04:06

Unread post17 Jun 2012, 02:58

B-2s need specialized hangers which presently only exist in the USA, right?
Offline

redbird87

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 170
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2007, 20:00

Unread post17 Jun 2012, 03:53

neurotech wrote:Before paratroopers could drop, they'd need to take care of any SAMs in the area. A large transport flying slow at relatively low altitude could be shot down by IADS SAMs or even IR MANPADs before being able to drop paratroopers on a strategic target. Even the best EA/SEAD system would not eliminate the threat from MANPADs to transport jets.

If no carrier is close (a fair planning assumption), our Air Force currently lacks proficient tactical anti-ship capability. Mavericks are decent, but their numbers available in Japan is likely limited.

And we can't borrow any from the Japanese because they use different missiles. The Japanese F-2s can carry ASMs but whether they'd directly get involved is another issue.

I agree the USAF anti-ship proficiency is limited. This could be rectified by training and weapons logistic improvements.


I agree again. And I didn't know the Japanese used different missiles. You are dead on the mark on the paratroops and transport vulnerability. One thing the Chinese have a lot of is soldiers. Whether they could pull off an effective deception or surprise operation to get some troops deployed, or if they would be willing to brute force it and take the losses, are planning factors their OPs folks would be considering. Their obvious targets would be airfields, C2 and ISR platforms.

There are a lot of interesting vignettes and white-papers on the subject. I just happened upon this one. http://www.usnwc.edu/Lucent/OpenPdf.asp ... Transition

There should absolutely be more anti-ship training and capability tailored into USAF. This is a case where the individual service gets stove-piped in it's mission sets due turf wars and funding. The B-1B for example has the potential to be the world's preeminent long range anti-ship platform. It has the loiter time, the sensors (or could have), the situational awareness to track sea-borne targets and attack them on it's terms for maximized effectiveness and survivability. The Navy's new P-8 will be a good aircraft, but it can never do what the B-1 could. If properly equipped, supported by other Naval and USAF assets (P-8s, Growler's, Super Bugs to quarterback and provide cover, AWACS, etc) the Bone could dash into the Strait and target dozens of Chinese ships with precision release and forget weapons (such as the Navy's version of the JSOW). This could be initiated from the relative safety of Japan or Guam. A half dozen sorties a day, rotating on and off and hitting targets as directed Taiwanese forces or AESA equipped F-18s could shut-down any Chinese cross-strait efforts. But it takes a lot of joint training, proper weapons procurement, and basing. We are not that smart. We still stove-pipe our services. Turf wars and budget inefficiencies reign supreme. Anti-ship??? That's the Navy's job....even though the Air Force has the best long range platform, that can get anywhere and the world in short order, and carry a large anti-ship payload. It can loiter and deliver weapons independently, or better yet with help from other platforms (F-18s, UAVs, Satellites, AWACS, P-8/MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance, etc). Along with our subs and the Taiwanese strike aircraft, a dozen B-1s based in Japan and Guam, trained and equipped for this mission, could deny the Chinese any cross-strait success. We have already bought and paid for the perfect tool. Now the right munitions and serious joint training for the task are needed.
Last edited by redbird87 on 17 Jun 2012, 04:45, edited 1 time in total.
PreviousNext

Return to F-35 versus XYZ

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests