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Subject: JDF F-4s Scramble to Intercept PLAAF Bombers
Softwar    1/2/2008 9:13:55 AM
http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200801020031.html Aggressive military action by China's air force in the East China Sea triggered alarm in Japan that resulted in emergency scrambling by Self-Defense Forces fighter jets on two days in September. Chinese bombers made more than 40 sorties in airspace around the disputed Chunxiao gas field, known as Shirakaba in Japanese. SDF jets were scrambled 12 times, according to Taiwanese military sources. Japanese government sources later confirmed the account. China's action initially was seen as provocative. However, Japanese experts say the exercise could have been part of the Chinese military's readiness in the East China Sea in the event of an emergency situation in Taiwan. China regards Taiwan as one of its provinces. Japan and China remain locked in a dispute over natural gas resources under the seabed. It remains unknown whether the Chinese sorties had any connection to political wrangling between Tokyo and Beijing on this issue. Clearly, though, the strategic value for China of the area around the gas field cannot be underestimated. Hong-6 bombers stationed at the Huaining air force base in Anhui province made 20 sorties to the area on Sept. 11 and 23 the following day, each time taking almost an identical air route. Japan's Air Defense Identification Zone extends to waters west of the gas field as part of the nation's overall national security interests. Because of this, F4 fighter jets scrambled from Naha base in Okinawa Prefecture four times on Sept. 11 and on eight occasions the next day. The Japanese pilots came within just 5 kilometers of the Chinese planes, according to a Taiwanese military source. The waters around the Chunxiao gas field are used by U.S. aircraft carriers stationed at Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, and other areas of Japan when they embark for Taiwan. "Hong-6 bombers can carry long-range air-to-sea missiles," said Kensuke Ebata, a critic on military issues. "So it is possible for the bombers to attack vessels at sea. Personally, I think the bomber pilots were undergoing a training exercise under the scenario of blocking the arrival of U.S. aircraft carriers in Taiwan in the event of an emergency situation there. "The flights may also have been aimed at trying to contain U.S. forces following large-scale maneuvers near Guam in August under a scenario that the United States was at war with China." China's military regards areas off Okinawa to the Philippines, including Taiwan, as the so-called first line of islands. Based on that view, long-term military planners have sought to make the waters around the Chunxiao gas field part of China's "inland seas." In recent years, Chinese military forces have been intensifying their activities in the East China Sea. In May 2007, a fleet of Chinese warships departed for the Pacific Ocean via waters close to Okinawa. "Even in the neighborhood of the Taiwan Strait (located between Taiwan and China), there has been a sharp increase in the presence of Chinese military aircraft," said a Taiwanese military source. "The aircraft are not only engaged in training but also showing off their abilities. China clearly is trying to show its neighbors that it regards these waters as Chinese territory."
 
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Nanheyangrouchuan       1/3/2008 12:21:21 PM
It wouldn't be beyond belief that in the near future MiGs come along as escorts for the bombers.
 
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Softwar       1/3/2008 4:43:26 PM
The SU-30 combined with an IL-76 tanker is perhaps the most potent combination of escort.  I suspect the MiG-21 (J-7) knock offs will retain their short range point fighter role and stay close to home.  The SU-27/SU-30 with refueling probes are likely to add a long range punch to H-6 patrols.  This has the JDF worried and the main reason for Tokyo seeking the F-22.
 
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Yimmy       1/3/2008 5:32:48 PM
I would expect Japanese pilots in their F15's and new F2's would be able to handle the Chinese operated Su30's without too much trouble, especially with Japanese AWACs support.

Perhaps it is time to get rid of the F4's though.


 
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RockyMTNClimber    F35's v. SU's   1/3/2008 5:41:40 PM
F35s are more than a match for the next gen. PLAAF types. If they are smart enough to get on board the program.
 
Check Six
 
Rocky
 
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displacedjim       1/3/2008 7:25:27 PM
Ummm... does the PLAAF even *have* Il-78s?  While I would guess PLAAF can conduct some aerial refueling, between a shortage of assets and the certain attrition I doubt they could send Su-30s with the H-6s to Japanese waters very often in wartime.
 
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Claymore       1/3/2008 7:30:24 PM
Anyone know the logic behind where Japan deploys its fighters? The F-4,F-15J, and F-2s?

Seems that they have the F-4s on the front line.

 
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sentinel28a       1/3/2008 7:44:40 PM
For some reason the JASDF always treats Okinawa as the place to retire aging aircraft.  The F-4EJ squadron there replaced the last F-104J squadron (about 20 years ago, granted), and I believe Naha was also one of the last F-1 bases as well. The JMSDF apparently doesn't share the same attitude, as they have some of the newly refurbished P-3Cs at Okinawa.  Either that, or the JASDF figures that the Americans have a wing of F-15s at Kadena, so there's really no reason to deploy their own F-15s or F-2s (typical Japanese pragmatism!).  If the PLAAF keeps pulling this, that may change. 
 
That also brings up an interesting question.  Unless things have changed in the last few days, the USAF still has the F-15 force grounded.  This could've been a test to see what Kadena could put up.  The F-4EJ can easily handle a couple of H-6s, and I would give it even money against J-8s.  Against Flankers, though, it's at a severe disadvantage; you'd need a modern day Saburo Sakai in the front seat.
 
I don't think China has Il-78s, but a good number of their H-6s are configured as tankers.
 
 
 
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usajoe       1/3/2008 7:48:05 PM
The SU-30 combined with an IL-76 tanker is perhaps the most potent combination of escort.  I suspect the MiG-21 (J-7) knock offs will retain their short range point fighter role and stay close to home.  The SU-27/SU-30 with refueling probes are likely to add a long range punch to H-6 patrols.  This has the JDF worried and the main reason for Tokyo seeking the F-22.
 
Japan with its 17 Boeing E767 and E-2 Hawkeye AWACS air craft and over 200 F15 and Mitsubishi F-2
Fighters and Patriot PAC-3 sams,  is more than a match for the 300 or so J-11, SU-30mk amd J-10 air
craft, the only fighters in the PRC inventory of 2000 plus combat air craft worth a dam. Because PRC
pilots will have to fly over the ocean  they will also be targeted by JDF Destroyers, that and the fact the PRC
has no AWACS and there pilots are not that well trained most of them will get shot down over the ocean
and those classic almost WW2 era TU-16 bombers will be nothing but good old target practice for the
JDF pilots. China at the moment and the near future has no serious offensive air capabilities that can
threaten Japan, Taiwan, Russia, India or S. Korea. So Japan at the moment dont need the F-22 or even 
the F-35 they are good with what they have and that is air superiority over the PRC!
 
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dwightlooi       1/3/2008 8:07:16 PM

For some reason the JASDF always treats Okinawa as the place to retire aging aircraft.  The F-4EJ squadron there replaced the last F-104J squadron (about 20 years ago, granted), and I believe Naha was also one of the last F-1 bases as well. The JMSDF apparently doesn't share the same attitude, as they have some of the newly refurbished P-3Cs at Okinawa.  Either that, or the JASDF figures that the Americans have a wing of F-15s at Kadena, so there's really no reason to deploy their own F-15s or F-2s (typical Japanese pragmatism!).  If the PLAAF keeps pulling this, that may change. 
Hey, if the PLAAF keeps up the racket, maybe this will be a permanent sight at Kadena... we had 12 there last year. Maybe a squadron will be based there permanently in the future.
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/148/412713494_c9eed04e39.jpg?v=0">

 
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Softwar       1/4/2008 8:57:37 AM

Ummm... does the PLAAF even *have* Il-78s?  While I would guess PLAAF can conduct some aerial refueling, between a shortage of assets and the certain attrition I doubt they could send Su-30s with the H-6s to Japanese waters very often in wartime.



No IL-78s in the PLAAF inventory - the Russians are still po'd at China over stealing weapon technology and not paying for the SU-27/SU-30 deals.  The deal is on hold for now.
 
The H-6 can be configured into a tanker - yes but as you point out the limited capability of the PLAAF makes this kind of exercise a real reach and perhaps a one time thing after attrition.
 
The real fear is the PLAAF using the H-6 as cruise missile carriers - along with fast movers either in the CAP escort role or as strike fighter armed with Kh-31 ARM missiles.  Thus, the look down shoot down capability of the F-22 or AESA F-15Js is a requirement.
 
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