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Subject: China: OK I'm prepared for flying objects
Thomas    4/27/2013 5:44:46 PM
After my last venture in here, where I was generally considered a pathetic nut - now with senility added - I'm in for more humiliation. During the latest half year China has presented some new aircraft in the fighter arena. They appear generally to be all right - provided you are prepared to fight a 1970'ies war. I.e. they are on top of a Nimitz-class carrier, when it was launched. There are some improvements in the Chinese designs with respect to stealth - at least from certain viewing aspects; but that is about it. The bomber or attack plane would be very deadly with a nuclear device toss-bombed at the carrier. This is how the problem should have been addressed in 1970-75. But it presupposes that the rest of the systems are able to find the carrier for an attack to be mounted - even in distributed numbers along a broad front. That is to say send out enough and hope one of them will find the carrier and get close enough to release its weapon. That makes sense - provided there are enough of attacks so the chance of finding the carrier is reasonable. But it doesn't really take into account that the carrier might be escorted at some distance by f.i. destroyers with control- and warning facilities. Not that these destroyers are targets in themselves; but they just might be placed there to provide early warning so the carrier can launch fighters to deal with a low flying bat out of Hell, that doesn't turn very well. So to be honest the tactical concept - as far as I can judge - is marginal - at best. The real flaw is that the Chinese think, that the USNavy has stuck to their 1970'ies concept against the Russians. The typical French general staff assumption - that the Germans will fight the next war in the same way they lost the most recent. Sort of: "I'll honour my granddad's memory as an admiral, by doing the same dumb thing he did!" Why, with the USNavy everything is possible, but there must be admitted a fair chance that junior has not been totally lobotomised in primary school. For starters: As I said: The planes look all right as developments of f.i. the F-105 Thunderchief or perhaps something between late model F-4 and prototype F-15. What is apparently wrong is that present day F/A-18's are - if we are fair and conservative - two generations ahead of a F-105: Engine, avionics, weapons, range - you name it - might be a tad lower on manoeuvrability (compared to an F-16) supposing present day naval aviators guts are looser than their ancestors. This will mean that the death-wishing Chinese pilots are to face an enemy that in every respect is two generations ahead of him in the hardware department. This in itself reduces the chance of success (or even survival) from slim to remote. It also assumes, that the tactics of the USNavy will NOT take advantage of longer range and keeping destroyer scouts far ahead of the carrier - so the interceptors can be directed to the radar-reflecting butt of the attacker. So even if the carrier screen only uses hand-cranked AAA and not Goalkeeper or something like that few pension funds - even in the USA, where an death in infancy is considered a fair assumption - will even consider taking the Chinese pilot on as a client. Is the situation like that, that the Chinese are not to be taken serious? Oh no, nuclear weapons are always serious - ask in Tjernobyl. Even the remote risk of a nut-case getting through is devastating. The only real defence against nuclear weapons is being far away from where they explode - very far indeed. Here we come to the next point: Hardly had the Chinese revealed their latest prototypes with panache before the USNavy demonstrated to the Chinese chagrin an idea that made their second-hand carrier spilling off a fighter seem slightly silly. The USNavy sort of responded: "Nice for a first try; but why do You actually need a pilot?" They did this by launching a fighter size drone off a carrier. If that isn't urinating on their parade, I don't know what it is! Comparing generations it is safe to assume that the difference between the technologies of China and USA is around three - give or take the odd decade. It does vary from weapon to weapon. Helicopters are probably maybe two if you take the SeaKnight-Osprey distance. Furthermore it isn't a one off as the USS Dewey showed off a laser AAA - how practical it will be in actual combat remains to be seen. The practicality raises the issue of tactics: I can see at least two options with a stealthy drone - apart from the obvious recce. a) Use them as pack-mules to carry ammunition - or extra missiles which would force any Chinese fighter formation to fly through a crossfire of homing missiles with the controlling fighter somewhere well back. You might nail the drone; but which one? The drones might run out of missiles; but ehhmm what about their replacement - either transferred from the other fighter pairs or even launched from carrier before retrieving the empties. b) As an arial minefield: Drones with an autonomous evil temper shooting at everything within range and the defending fighters well back. This would mean constantly launching and retrieving drones - sure; but carriers have sort of that figured out. Anyhow, for how long would you need that mine field. Mines are generally a nuisance - not only during; but particularly after the war. The Baltic is still infested with mines from WW1 - where some might even be working today. I wouldn't count on it; but an attacker would be brave to disregard the possibility - and the possibility that the minefield might have been refreshed at a later date. The carrier? So far to sea from the coast that it will be out of Chinese worst case range. The conclusion is that this is a race China can't win! 1) Your weapons are outdated at the introduction into service - a drawback that might be compensated with numbers. 2) Not only that, but the successors to the weapons China is introducing are outdated. 3) The Americans are very cruel indeed. They only introduce the solution to China, when China is committed to large scale production - running of antiques off the assembly line. The yanks are even nastier: If China thinks they can skip a generation and catch up - that leap is met by an American generation ahead of that - while having plenty of elderly - but still advanced planes compared to the Chinese - in long term storage.
 
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Maratabc       4/27/2013 9:25:22 PM
Formatted for clarity.
 
After my last venture in here, where I was generally considered a pathetic nut - now with senility added - I'm in for more humiliation. During the latest half year China has presented some new aircraft in the fighter arena. They appear generally to be all right - provided you are prepared to fight a 1970'ies war. I.e. they are on top of a Nimitz-class carrier, when it was launched.

There are some improvements in the Chinese designs with respect to stealth - at least from certain viewing aspects; but that is about it. The bomber or attack plane would be very deadly with a nuclear device toss-bombed at the carrier. This is how the problem should have been addressed in 1970-75. But it presupposes that the rest of the systems are able to find the carrier for an attack to be mounted - even in distributed numbers along a broad front. That is to say send out enough and hope one of them will find the carrier and get close enough to release its weapon.

That makes sense - provided there are enough of attacks so the chance of finding the carrier is reasonable. But it doesn't really take into account that the carrier might be escorted at some distance by f.i. destroyers with control- and warning facilities. Not that these destroyers are targets in themselves; but they just might be placed there to provide early warning so the carrier can launch fighters to deal with a low flying bat out of Hell, that doesn't turn very well. So to be honest the tactical concept - as far as I can judge - is marginal - at best. The real flaw is that the Chinese think, that the USNavy has stuck to their 1970'ies concept against the Russians.

The typical French general staff assumption - that the Germans will fight the next war in the same way they lost the most recent. Sort of: "I'll honour my granddad's memory as an admiral, by doing the same dumb thing he did!" Why, with the USNavy everything is possible, but there must be admitted a fair chance that junior has not been totally lobotomised in primary school.

For starters: As I said: The planes look all right as developments of f.i. the F-105 Thunderchief or perhaps something between late model F-4 and prototype F-15. What is apparently wrong is that present day F/A-18's are - if we are fair and conservative - two generations ahead of a F-105: Engine, avionics, weapons, range - you name it - might be a tad lower on manoeuvrability (compared to an F-16) supposing present day naval aviators guts are looser than their ancestors.
 
------------------------------------>
 
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Maratabc       4/27/2013 9:26:11 PM
============================>
 
This will mean that the death-wishing Chinese pilots are to face an enemy that in every respect is two generations ahead of him in the hardware department. This in itself reduces the chance of success (or even survival) from slim to remote. It also assumes, that the tactics of the USNavy will NOT take advantage of longer range and keeping destroyer scouts far ahead of the carrier - so the interceptors can be directed to the radar-reflecting butt of the attacker.
So even if the carrier screen only uses hand-cranked AAA and not Goalkeeper or something like that few pension funds - even in the USA, where an death in infancy is considered a fair assumption - will even consider taking the Chinese pilot on as a client. Is the situation like that, that the Chinese are not to be taken serious? Oh no, nuclear weapons are always serious - ask in Tjernobyl. Even the remote risk of a nut-case getting through is devastating. The only real defence against nuclear weapons is being far away from where they explode - very far indeed.

Here we come to the next point: Hardly had the Chinese revealed their latest prototypes with panache before the US Navy demonstrated to the Chinese chagrin an idea that made their second-hand carrier spilling off a fighter seem slightly silly. The USNavy sort of responded: "Nice for a first try; but why do You actually need a pilot?" They did this by launching a fighter size drone off a carrier. If that isn't urinating on their parade, I don't know what it is!

Comparing generations it is safe to assume that the difference between the technologies of China and USA is around three - give or take the odd decade. It does vary from weapon to weapon. Helicopters are probably maybe two if you take the SeaKnight-Osprey distance. Furthermore it isn't a one off as the USS Dewey showed off a laser AAA - how practical it will be in actual combat remains to be seen.

The practicality raises the issue of tactics: I can see at least two options with a stealthy drone - apart from the obvious recce. a) Use them as pack-mules to carry ammunition - or extra missiles which would force any Chinese fighter formation to fly through a crossfire of homing missiles with the controlling fighter somewhere well back. You might nail the drone; but which one? The drones might run out of missiles; but ehhmm what about their replacement - either transferred from the other fighter pairs or even launched from carrier before retrieving the empties. b) As an arial minefield: Drones with an autonomous evil temper shooting at everything within range and the defending fighters well back.

This would mean constantly launching and retrieving drones - sure; but carriers have sort of that figured out. Anyhow, for how long would you need that mine field. Mines are generally a nuisance - not only during; but particularly after the war. The Baltic is still infested with mines from WW1 - where some might even be working today. I wouldn't count on it; but an attacker would be brave to disregard the possibility - and the possibility that the minefield might have been refreshed at a later date.

The carrier? So far to sea from the coast that it will be out of Chinese worst case range. The conclusion is that this is a race China can't win! 1) Your weapons are outdated at the introduction into service - a drawback that might be compensated with numbers. 2) Not only that, but the successors to the weapons China is introducing are outdated. 3) The Americans are very cruel indeed. They only introduce the solution to China, when China is committed to large scale production - running of antiques off the assembly line. The yanks are even nastier: If China thinks they can skip a generation and catch up - that leap is met by an American generation ahead of that - while having plenty of elderly - but still advanced planes compared to the Chinese - in long term storage.
 
 
 
 
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Maratabc       4/27/2013 9:27:07 PM
1. Are you drunk?
 
2. Submarines.
 
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Thomas    Thanks for formatting   4/28/2013 1:44:49 PM
I don't know what went wrong - but no - I wasn't drunk at the time, but I've had problems before with the software.
 
Submarines - no not really.
 
I do think however that is the real bone of contend with Japan. As long as Japan stick to the string of islands submarine listening and control is almost certainly in place and would be hard pressed NOT to work against the mediocre Chinese subs.
 
That would mean a Seawolf class sub would be able to deal with anything liable to come through BEFORE reaching the carrier. There are three of them (including the Jimmy Carter), which should be enough to have two at sea at any one time.
One for the south China Sea and one for west of Greenland. Otherwise I think waters are too shallow to be a problem for a "linebacker" Los Angeles - or indeed a Virginia.
 
It is true that Chinese submarines sneaking up on a task-force has been reported. What wasn't reported was the behavior of the US sub following the task force. No need to upset nervous souls.
 
To be quite honest I don't think Chinese submarines are a problem as long as you observe them. If they were making technological advances we would have seen building of more Seawolf class. So far the Chinese seem to be more than adequately catered for by the Virginia class supplementing their income day job belting out Tomahawks.
 
 
 
 
 
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Maratabc       4/28/2013 5:05:43 PM
You are welcome.
 
Submarines (true ones, not the diving boats that still define the way diesel/electric boats work) remain a major threat, as they have both speed and silence to use as exploits to stalk surface ships. The main target for a submarine against the Americans is the service squadron ships that sustain their combat ships at sea.  This is also true for the Chinese. Neither navy can count on oversea bases to sustain them in time of war. 
 
Carrier killing remains mainly an underwater event. Every carrier war-killed in history has either been torpedoed or scuttled by its crew after it burned up, with the exception of that British carrier sunk by gunfire off Norway. (It might have been scuttled, no one is sure.). Whether the torpedo was dropped by an aircraft or launched by a submarine, the point is that this remains the preferred way to ruin an aircraft carrier. It works, because unlike air attack; torpedoes, once launched, (if employed properly) almost impossible to stop.
 
No one manufactures Sea-wolf type submarines anymore. They cannot operate well in the shallows. That is why the Americans build Virginias, which are happy in the shallows such as the Persian Gulf/Arabian Sea and the analogous areas of the East and South China Seas.
 
The Chinese are not good at ASW and the Americans (from their history) so love to sink oil tankers.

 

Submarines - no not really.

 

I do think however that is the real bone of contend with Japan. As long as Japan stick to the string of islands submarine listening and control is almost certainly in place and would be hard pressed NOT to work against the mediocre Chinese subs.

 

That would mean a Seawolf class sub would be able to deal with anything liable to come through BEFORE reaching the carrier. There are three of them (including the Jimmy Carter), which should be enough to have two at sea at any one time.

One for the south China Sea and one for west of Greenland. Otherwise I think waters are too shallow to be a problem for a "linebacker" Los Angeles - or indeed a Virginia.

 

It is true that Chinese submarines sneaking up on a task-force has been reported. What wasn't reported was the behavior of the US sub following the task force. No need to upset nervous souls.

 

To be quite honest I don't think Chinese submarines are a problem as long as you observe them. If they were making technological advances we would have seen building of more Seawolf class. So far the Chinese seem to be more than adequately catered for by the Virginia class supplementing their income day job belting out Tomahawks.

 

 


 

 

 
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WarNerd       4/28/2013 6:15:53 PM
Carrier killing remains mainly an underwater event. Every carrier war-killed in history has either been torpedoed or scuttled by its crew after it burned up, with the exception of that British carrier sunk by gunfire off Norway. (It might have been scuttled, no one is sure.). Whether the torpedo was dropped by an aircraft or launched by a submarine, the point is that this remains the preferred way to ruin an aircraft carrier. It works, because unlike air attack; torpedoes, once launched, (if employed properly) almost impossible to stop.
In the end you could say that any ship that sinks was scuttled.
No one manufactures Sea-wolf type submarines anymore. They cannot operate well in the shallows. That is why the Americans build Virginias, which are happy in the shallows such as the Persian Gulf/Arabian Sea and the analogous areas of the East and South China Seas.
The Virginia’s are no happier or sadder in the shallows than the Sea Wolf’s. Shallow water operations aren’t good for any submarine, and combat tends to be somewhat suicidal. But you can afford to lose some types more than others.
 
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Maratabc       4/28/2013 9:43:58 PM

scuttled  past participle, past tense of scut·tle (Verb)

Verb
  1. Run hurriedly or furtively with short quick steps: "a mouse scuttled across the floor".
  2. Sink (one's own ship) deliberately by holing it or opening its seacocks to let water in.

=========================================)

 
"The Virginia Class submarine is designed to perform a wide range of missions. It has several innovations that significantly improve its warfighting capabilities - with an emphasis on littoral (close-to-shore) operations. Virginia Class attack submarines are equipped with a fly-by-wire ship control system, which provides improved shallow-water control. The SSN 774 Class has features that support special operation forces such as the torpedo room, which can be reconfigured to house a large number of special operation forces, including all their equipment. The submarine also features a large lock-in/lock-out chamber for divers. In Virginia Class submarines, traditional periscopes have been displaced by two photonics masts that house color, high-resolution black and white, and infrared digital cameras on top of telescoping arms. With the removal of conventional periscopes, the control room has been moved down one deck and away from the hull's curvature. This provides more room and an improved layout that provides commanding officerd with enhanced situational awareness. Additionally, through the extensive use of modular construction, open architecture, and commercial off-the-shelf components, the Virginia Class is designed to remain state-of-the-art for its entire operational life. The submarine will constantly be updated with new systems and payloads as they become available."
 



Carrier killing remains mainly an underwater event. Every carrier war-killed in history has either been torpedoed or scuttled by its crew after it burned up, with the exception of that British carrier sunk by gunfire off Norway. (It might have been scuttled, no one is sure.). Whether the torpedo was dropped by an aircraft or launched by a submarine, the point is that this remains the preferred way to ruin an aircraft carrier. It works, because unlike air attack; torpedoes, once launched, (if employed properly) almost impossible to stop.

In the end you could say that any ship that sinks was scuttled.


No one manufactures Sea-wolf type submarines anymore. They cannot operate well in the shallows. That is why the Americans build Virginias, which are happy in the shallows such as the Persian Gulf/Arabian Sea and the analogous areas of the East and South China Seas.


The Virginia’s are no happier or sadder in the shallows than the Sea Wolf’s. Shallow water operations aren’t good for any submarine, and combat tends to be somewhat suicidal. But you can afford to lose some types more than others.

 
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45-Shooter    Exactly!   4/30/2013 2:30:23 PM

1. Are you drunk?
I do not think so, it sounded well thought out to me?
2. Submarines.
Have you read anything on the Subs board? Do you think the Chinese are only two-three generations behind the rest of the world, or worse yet two more generations behind the American Navy, for a total of four to five?
If there is ever a shooting war between China and America, I think that any Chinese sub that survives to leave the pen and then survives to the 100 fathom line will be a miracle of seamanship and tremendous Joss!

 
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Maratabc       4/30/2013 11:09:47 PM
Reading the nonsense in red is why no-one should take the one called shooter seriously.
 
Simple refutation... The reasoning about what the Chinese do was seriously flawed, yet the one called shooter said it was well thought out.
 
This is what I expect from someone who pretends to knowledge. 
 
From one word I write, the one called shooter fantasizes a host of possibilities he thinks I imply.
 
What I said, (in the Chinese anti-carrier missile thread) was that the best answer to the Chinese BLUFF was to stalk their fleet with submarines, so that if it ever became necessary, the American delivered death blow could be quick and efficient. 
 
Gorshkov's tactics work for a navy that has the correct weapons. The American navy has the correct weapons.
 
The Chinese do not. Not that a fantasist would know this.
 

1. Are you drunk?

I do not think so, it sounded well thought out to me?
2. Submarines.

Have you read anything on the Subs board? Do you think the Chinese are only two-three generations behind the rest of the world, or worse yet two more generations behind the American Navy, for a total of four to five?
If there is ever a shooting war between China and America, I think that any Chinese sub that survives to leave the pen and then survives to the 100 fathom line will be a miracle of seamanship and tremendous Joss!


 
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Thomas    Subs   5/1/2013 12:38:47 AM
1) Tactics and boats for shallow water submarine operations are indeed very different. But to say submarines can't operate in very shallow waters ignores the greatest stomping ground for submarines: The Baltic sea - which Max Horton effectively owned during WW1 - with submarines. There are so many difficulties in ASW hunting in the Baltic - for one thing a thousand years of fighting and trade has left all sorts of hiding place in the form of wrecks and mines (which may or may not still work).
 
2) I do think the technological backwardness of the Chinese extends to submarines where I consider it highly unlikely that they will be able to operate outside the island chain north and south of Japan. The public Chinese posture of defence expansion does not come up well against hard facts. It does seem to ignore the possibility that their intended opponent just might have been thinking in the mean time. The recent American moves are a stark reminder to the Chinese that they should stop even thinking about challenging US naval domination: The USNavy has taken precautions - precautions the Chinese haven't even had the imagination to think of.
We are here not talking about the USNavy (or the Australian Navy for that matter) can whip China without taking either hand out of the pocket.
 
It is not so much the hardware in sight - though awesome - the Chinese should worry about; but what they can't see and don't know about. If the yanks really have plans to build these weapons - or the weapons are just something that didn't pan out - well that is left very much to speculation (for the Chinese) as the USA has plenty to demolish China with what they have discarded, not to mention what is in current use.
 
Aircraft are very much in evidence (though I have my suspicions of technology that might and might not have shown promise - which is the part the Chinese can see.
 
3) As to Chinese carriers: They will not be able to operate out of coastal waters simply because they can't keep it supplied. The bloody Danish Navy (as one retired British admiral called us a year or so ago) could - if need be - prevent that.
 
4) As to Chinas submarine threat against US carriers. The Chinese are very vain (and they are vain) to think, that the USA has anywhere near shown the full hand.
 
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