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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Links of the Week

U.S. Asia-Pacific Strategic Considerations Related to PLA Naval Forces Modernization  House Armed Services Committee  Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces

Four of arguably the most knowledgeable US experts on China including Dr. Andrew Erickson testify before Congress on China's Naval modernization. Some of Erickson's testimony:  

"Washington must be careful not to compete with Beijing in excessively expensive and ultimately ineffective arms competitions. It should not counter China’s A2/AD weapons by attempting to acquire a more sophisticated, expensive counter in each and every instance...Instead, as China works to deny U.S. forces an ability to operate close to the mainland, the U.S. aim at a minimum should be to deny China the ability to resolve territorial and maritime disputes by the use of force. To resolve disputes conclusively, China would have seize and hold territory and also resupply its forces. This is inherently difficult on small islands, where geography imposes vulnerability. To demonstrate that China cannot achieve this, and thereby deter it from ever trying, the U.S. and its allies should maximize disruption capabilities—their own form of A2/AD....U.S. submarines can oppose any Chinese naval forces engaged in invasion, resupply, and protection. Long-range air or missile delivery can blow any lodgment off disputed islands or rocks. To be sure, both U.S. SSNs and LRASMs and Chinese A2/AD forces could achieve denial effects. Long-range surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and air-to-air missiles from both sides might hold operations in the air over the features in question at risk, prevent continuous operations, or even fully create a 'No Man’s Land'. U.S. forces, other than SSNs, might not be able to operate without assuming great risk, and hence be denied unfettered access. But Chinese forces would also not have access, and would also be denied their objective of seizing and holding disputed territory. It might not be necessary to defeat China militarily; preventing it from achieving its objectives would suffice. Demonstrating this to China would be an effective deterrent: Beijing could not afford to risk the likelihood of not achieving its objective." - Dr. Andrew Erickson, 2013 

- video name U.S. Asia-Pacific Strategic Considerations Related to P.L.A. Naval Forces Modernization (Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces) 12/11/13

While conducting surveillance of the Liaoning in international waters, the guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens was ordered to stop by Chinese naval vessels. As the Cowpens was in international waters, US sailors ignored PLAN demands. A PLAN vessel abruptly moved in front of the Cowpens resulting in a near collision.

A detailed examination of why Russia is willing to sell some of its most advanced weaponry to China despite the risk of reverse engineering. 

A detailed look at how Jang Song Thaek, the former second highest ranking North Korean official, was likely ousted from power and subsequently executed. 

New Russian Air-to-Air Missiles Will Field Almost Perfect Accuracy - By Ankit Panda

“An active phased array antenna consists of a large number of cone-shaped cells installed under a transparent-to-radio-waves cap on the nose of the missile. Each cell receives only a part of the signal, but once digitally processed, the information from all cells is summarized into a ‘full picture,’ enabling the K-77M missile to immediately respond to sharp turns of the target, making interception practically inevitable.”

With no disrespect to my Russian colleges, this seems like a pipe dream and this is certainly not an actual revolutionary capability.  In order to successfully complete an air-to-air intercept, the missile must first successfully find and the desired target. Secondly, the missile kinetically intercept it. Nearly all methods of defeating a air-to-air missile involve disrupting the two aforementioned processes e.g. maneuvering and chaff or a towed decoy system like the AN/ALE-55. Missiles have become increasingly adept at the kinetic intercept aspect with the addition of thrust vectoring nozzles (e.g. jet vane control AIM-9X) but the guidance area is where missiles can still be routinely defeated. My understanding of the K-77M is it is more adept at the kinetic intercept aspect but just as vulnerable to failure if the Missile is jammed with an AESA or the aircraft uses a towed decoy, etc.

On a not so serious note: While China may have just landed a rover on the moon, the US has them beat by about half a century. Some sweet footage from Apollo 16...MURICA. 


  1. Hay Matt,
    Thanks for the Info,

    With the Russia with love article:

    I pretty sure China is negotiating for the Sale of Amur class Submarines not the Lada Class.

    As well some reports have said china "folded under pressure" from Russia on the Sale of Su35s, with them buying 80+, but Russia, have had to agree to sell engine technology/transfer and licensed for there own domestic Su35. Comments out of Russia is that they are locking in the contract before "negotiating" over Radar and missile tech for the Su35.

    I think the person who wrote, is not got a lot of his facts right, all he need to do is look at some Russian comments over the past 3 months to see where the deal is going to be done, most likely early 2014. He has gotton one fact right Russia needs china more that china needs Russia.

    New Russian Air-to-Air Missiles Will Field Almost Perfect i read that on Saturday.

    Us Bases, gee those are BIG FK Bases, that where some of that $780billion defense budget goes.....ha

    If I don't post again befor Xmas, have a good Xmas and Happy Safe New Year :-)

    1. Hi Stone :) Yeah I've been keeping tabs on the Russia-China deal but I haven't really seen anything too concrete as of late. Most of what I've seen is speculation on figures, price, timeline, etc made from unreputable sources. What specifically have you seen that makes you confident it will be for 80+ aircraft?

      I will try to publish before xmas! I've finally completed the research portion of the submarine article and its like 1/3 of the way written. I refuse to write on a new topic until I feel confident in the subject matter and I don't sound like an idiot (one of the reasons I try and cite my sources unlike many other blogs).

  2. Hay Matt,

    What I have read, ( might get the order wrong)
    Original, it was 48 fighter's Russia Proposal, China came back and said they wanted 24, Russia said NO and the deal fell through.

    Then they started talking again, Russia Said 48 with XXX amount of engines with the deal, stating form Rosoboronexport, China wanted engine transfer tech. This time Russia walk away.

    But they where still talking

    Russia then did the French Air Show, which was pretty amazing flying by the pilot. Reports then came after that, from Russia that china could be looking at 100 Su35 with full options.

    Then Rosoboron export then came out with a statement, saying the deal will be announced after the new year. But if china want's the Advance Avionics they would have to do a separate deal.*********(Note)

    Then you have this,
    " Russian aerospace company Sukhoi estimated that among the 200 aircraft it produces, 100 will be sold to foreign nations, the report said."

    Out of those 100, I only know china which are buying the SU35, no other country is buying it at the moment, even though the article stated 24. Which Russia have refused to sell such low numbers.

    This article pop up after the French show 100 order

    another 100 sale

    So you have to take this article as a grain of salt.

    Where I get the 80+, is from an article about China Buying Russia Built Radar System direct from the manufacturer.
    A inquiring by china for 84 radar systems. Which at the time I thought might be for there SU27/J15. But it might be for this deal instead. (it was back in Jan-March read it),
    I am now thinking and pretty certain that china where always going to buy large numbers of SU35s from the start. These last 3-4 yrs have just been negation tactics to get best $$$$.

    You also wrote on China in talks on radar system. AESD????

    So to concluded, for your blog I would say 24-48, until the deal comes out.

    But it dose seem the PLAA got a hard on for the Su35s.
    The key reason why, from what i have read,
    >New Air refueling system, (i thought they had this capability, but looks like they like the Su35 new design)
    >New Radar, (we knew this)
    >New Engines, (we always knew this)
    >New Add refueling Tanks under neath belly of the fighter jet,
    >New communication between plan's, from what I understand/read, the PLAA want most??? Have no idea why.???? Still have doubts on this one, unless you have found something.

    All this will give the PLAA more time up in the air, as well PLAA are not Happy At ALL with there home grown jets.

    I have told you this before but I say it again, try to find facts, not what I type or anyone else types try to read the articles from the original source, and take my and anyone else comments as comments.

    I tend to read quite a few articles on my spare time, but I don't note them and tag them, especially if I don't think they are legitment or think they are telling me something I have already read.

    I see at as 2 ways this deal will go, 24 is unlikely IMO, but can happen. 48 is a very good possibility. If it's above 80 or the 100 being reported, then Russia has " Given them the Kitchen Sink, and bath tube with the baby still in it"
    The reason why Russia has done it, is that the Su35s is the last of the SU design. That might be the case.

    Be interested to see what you come up with, I hope i have not confused you...;)

    1. One last note,

      I think that china, thought that the Su35 was just an upgrade of the Su27/Su30mk version.

      But have not understood that the Su35 is a completely new next generation aircraft, even though it look similar to the Su27/Su30 it's nothing alike.

      That's where china is unable to understand or lack of experiences, is the difference between upgrade and next generation fighter get. (might be worth noting, but this is just my opinion)

      Su35s is a 4 gen +++, but is capable of competing in air combat with T50 and F35, removing the stealth capability. As well everything on the Su35 is new, not an upgrade.

      Sorry for writing so much, and Sorry if I confused you at all.

      my bad :-(

    2. Don't worry about it, I like to keep myself informed :) I might question the validity of watch china times though as Taiwan tends to hype up the China threat. Similarly, Chinese media articles tend to overstate or exaggerate the capabilities and means of Chinese forces. I'd agree that I think its implausible for China to purchase more than 48 from what you've sent me. From a needs perspective, the Chinese don't need an additional 3+ fighter squadrons anyway. India might opt for the Su-35 if the Rafale deal falls through especially if China acquires a large number of them (they've been negotiating for ever and HAL is really stubborn on technology transfer agreements it couldn't live up to anyway from what I've heard). I think the "from Russia without love" author got right is Russia taking advantage of both China and India. Honestly, India is shortsighted in pursuing some aspects of its ties with Russia.

      Regardless, this would certainly enable them to meet the 100 export number target. There are also discussions that the Egyptians might try and shift their arms acquisition back to Russia after the "not coup" coup happened and the US didn't deliver like F-16's. But I doubt the Egyptians will go through with transitioning to Russia, it would take a long time and require significant investment plus repair and compatibility issues would be a major problem in the short term.

    3. Have you seen Japans new shopping list

      Japan's new mid-term defense program, the government have approved an increase in their defense budget by $11.5 Billion annually by 2018.

      Also they newly planed to deploy below things over the next five years:

      17 MV-22 Osprey
      52 AAV-7A1 amphibious vehicle
      44 Type 10 tank
      99 Maneuver Combat Vehicles

      3 KC-767 or KC-46 tanker
      3 Global Hawk Block 40
      4 E-737 or E-2D AEW&C aircraft
      10 Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft
      28 F-35A
      * more F-35A to replace RF-4 reconnaissance aircraft

      2 BMD Aegis Destroyer
      8 Littoral Combat Ship
      5 Submarine
      23 Kawasaki P-1 ASW aircraft

      Its one of two things: China or Godzilla

    4. Haha good one. This certainly will shore up both Japan's defense capabilities especially in terms of ISR. However, its certainly not a guarantee that Japan will be able to go through with its massive procurement package due to its insistence upon domestic industry development over direct purchases from the US. Japan has THE worst domestic defense procurement system I've ever seen even beating out India and Australia with respect to the Collins class. They have been trying to make their domestic industry viable for decades with very little to show for it. Because of its insistence on domestic production, I doubt Japan will be able to acquire the F-35 in large numbers within the next ten years. "As the manufacturing of these components will be restricted to the airframes going to the SDF, economies of scale and other factors will likely lead to an estimated 150 percent increase in the cost of a unit compared to if Japan was simply purchasing a finished F-35A unit off-the-shelf from the United States." -

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