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Little Flying Dragons Of China


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#101 Josh

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 1014 AM

The PRC doesn't really need additional strike assets (IMO). It seems to me the primary role of PLANs CVWs will be CAP, in which case long range would be nice but not altogether useful: if you're stuck to helo AWACS platform that can only see out to ~150km, then you're CAP isn't going to be able to venture too far from formation its covering anyway. I don't think J-20 brings much to the table as an interceptor without a fixed wing AWAC platform in support.

 
If they're operating in the South China Sea then couldn't they have land based AWACS support?


Then why not used land based fighters? All that would be necessary was a sufficiently large tanker force or forward island basing, one of which they have and the other is far easier to establish than a carrier capability. Inside the first island chain a CV brings nothing to the table that the Chinese couldn't do with land based air. Its just a pricy target. Their long term goal I believe is to have a CSG capable of operating out of area, something their land based assets can't effectively do without minimally crossing another country's airspace or ADIZ.

#102 glenn239

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 1206 PM

There will never be any time in the future that a Chinese aircraft carrier will be able to safely operate anywhere at sea - close to China or not - if at war with the United States.



#103 Josh

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 1209 PM

There will never be any time in the future that a Chinese aircraft carrier will be able to safely operate anywhere at sea - close to China or not - if at war with the United States.


I would agree with that. If a Chinese D/E is a threat to USN CVs, US nuke boats are a death sentence to PLAN CVs. And soon the B-1 fleet will be able to spit out AShMs like a pez dispenser. But China has interests and competitors outside of countries that the US has direct defense treaties with, most notably India. Being able to sail a CV in the IO and defend it from the Indians is a real goal they could achieve medium term IMO.

Edited by Josh, 12 December 2017 - 1211 PM.


#104 KV7

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 0207 AM

The PRC doesn't really need additional strike assets (IMO). It seems to me the primary role of PLANs CVWs will be CAP, in which case long range would be nice but not altogether useful: if you're stuck to helo AWACS platform that can only see out to ~150km, then you're CAP isn't going to be able to venture too far from formation its covering anyway. I don't think J-20 brings much to the table as an interceptor without a fixed wing AWAC platform in support.

Do you mean to remain stealthy they need to not emit and get directions from AWAC ? I think there is a potential problem here because AWAC are going to possibly be too vulnerable (due to long rang AAM etc.) to get close enough to pick up stealthy targets anyway. I think doing CAP half blind is going to be unavoidable, hence the case for some semi-expandable recon drones.



#105 Tranquil

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 0242 AM

There will never be any time in the future that a Chinese aircraft carrier will be able to safely operate anywhere at sea - close to China or not - if at war with the United States.

I would agree with that. If a Chinese D/E is a threat to USN CVs, US nuke boats are a death sentence to PLAN CVs. And soon the B-1 fleet will be able to spit out AShMs like a pez dispenser. But China has interests and competitors outside of countries that the US has direct defense treaties with, most notably India. Being able to sail a CV in the IO and defend it from the Indians is a real goal they could achieve medium term IMO.

Not that i disagree re then life expectancy of any .cn CV. The threat of sams AShM cspabilty hasn't worried any peer/near peer adversary since well forever...

Tiny little sub sonic harpoons have and will never be relevant

Edit missed the "soon" bit. AGM158c should be in service "soon" to provide sam with a relevant conventional AShM capability

Edited by Tranquil, 13 December 2017 - 0256 AM.


#106 JasonJ

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 0317 AM

Harpoon is old and not as effective as it once was, but I think they still have relevance for at least a decade or so. A volley of old harpoons can still put a cost to anti air defense systems, or even over load the system, so maybe some of a volley may still pass through and score a hit and enable other air assets to move such Ospreys, F-18s, or what have you.

#107 glenn239

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 0840 AM

Pump a dozen or two Harpoons into a carrier and at best case you have a twisted forest of metal needing months of dock time, but at some sort of port repair facility where B-2's can't come visit for some reason.



#108 Josh

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 0914 AM

The PRC doesn't really need additional strike assets (IMO). It seems to me the primary role of PLANs CVWs will be CAP, in which case long range would be nice but not altogether useful: if you're stuck to helo AWACS platform that can only see out to ~150km, then you're CAP isn't going to be able to venture too far from formation its covering anyway. I don't think J-20 brings much to the table as an interceptor without a fixed wing AWAC platform in support.

Do you mean to remain stealthy they need to not emit and get directions from AWAC ? I think there is a potential problem here because AWAC are going to possibly be too vulnerable (due to long rang AAM etc.) to get close enough to pick up stealthy targets anyway. I think doing CAP half blind is going to be unavoidable, hence the case for some semi-expandable recon drones.


My thought was that unless you can detect threats far out or have a very clear single threat axis, you can't really send your CAP down range away from the CV formation. IE, I can't put my CAP 300km out to the North East if I potentially also have a threat from the West and I can't see past 150km.* If I have reduced warning time of air threats and they may come from multiple directions, my CAP has to be closer and closer to the CV to defend it and range becomes less of an issue than sortie rate. And a smaller fighter would probably allow for more to be carried or at least more room to move a/c around the ship to generate more CAP sorties.

That was my logic.

*EDIT: For clarity, I understand that a CAP doesn't all fly at one location. My point was just that trying to fight the 'outer battle' without AWACs will leave gaps in your CAP coverage unless you have a very narrow front from which you can expect the enemy to approach.

Edited by Josh, 13 December 2017 - 1034 AM.


#109 Josh

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 0916 AM

Edit missed the "soon" bit. AGM158c should be in service "soon" to provide sam with a relevant conventional AShM capability


Soon is within the coming year, yes. AGM-158C can be carried 24 at a time by a B-1, has a 300km+ range, accepts satellite updates, and has a low RCS with completely passive guidance. A pair of B-1s would be a significant threat to any formation.

#110 Josh

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 0919 AM

Harpoon is old and not as effective as it once was, but I think they still have relevance for at least a decade or so. A volley of old harpoons can still put a cost to anti air defense systems, or even over load the system, so maybe some of a volley may still pass through and score a hit and enable other air assets to move such Ospreys, F-18s, or what have you.


Not against a well defended target. First of all, most US ships don't carry it and US bombers don't at all. Second, how many F-18s would it take to put a credible strike against a single Aegis like AD system? A dozen? Two? Also does your typical CVN even keep Harpoons on board in those kind of numbers?

A strike with HARMs followed up my Mavericks would probably have a much better chance of succeeding than that out of date missile.

#111 JasonJ

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 0945 AM

 

Harpoon is old and not as effective as it once was, but I think they still have relevance for at least a decade or so. A volley of old harpoons can still put a cost to anti air defense systems, or even over load the system, so maybe some of a volley may still pass through and score a hit and enable other air assets to move such Ospreys, F-18s, or what have you.


Not against a well defended target. First of all, most US ships don't carry it and US bombers don't at all. Second, how many F-18s would it take to put a credible strike against a single Aegis like AD system? A dozen? Two? Also does your typical CVN even keep Harpoons on board in those kind of numbers?

A strike with HARMs followed up my Mavericks would probably have a much better chance of succeeding than that out of date missile.

 

 

Fair enough, didn't realize that the Burke flight IIAs didn't install them.



#112 KV7

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 1913 PM

 

 

The PRC doesn't really need additional strike assets (IMO). It seems to me the primary role of PLANs CVWs will be CAP, in which case long range would be nice but not altogether useful: if you're stuck to helo AWACS platform that can only see out to ~150km, then you're CAP isn't going to be able to venture too far from formation its covering anyway. I don't think J-20 brings much to the table as an interceptor without a fixed wing AWAC platform in support.

Do you mean to remain stealthy they need to not emit and get directions from AWAC ? I think there is a potential problem here because AWAC are going to possibly be too vulnerable (due to long rang AAM etc.) to get close enough to pick up stealthy targets anyway. I think doing CAP half blind is going to be unavoidable, hence the case for some semi-expandable recon drones.

 


My thought was that unless you can detect threats far out or have a very clear single threat axis, you can't really send your CAP down range away from the CV formation. IE, I can't put my CAP 300km out to the North East if I potentially also have a threat from the West and I can't see past 150km.* If I have reduced warning time of air threats and they may come from multiple directions, my CAP has to be closer and closer to the CV to defend it and range becomes less of an issue than sortie rate. And a smaller fighter would probably allow for more to be carried or at least more room to move a/c around the ship to generate more CAP sorties.

That was my logic.

*EDIT: For clarity, I understand that a CAP doesn't all fly at one location. My point was just that trying to fight the 'outer battle' without AWACs will leave gaps in your CAP coverage unless you have a very narrow front from which you can expect the enemy to approach.

 

Sure, but endurance will still help as you can reduce the demand on the runways, and have more on patrol and less in transit or refueling etc.






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