Author Topic: US military's vulnerabilities vs. China, Russia  (Read 12007 times)

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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US military's vulnerabilities vs. China, Russia
« Reply #50 on: June 01, 2020, 12:40:36 »
Start of a post:

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More US Navy “Jeep” Carriers (LHA) for Marine F-35Bs, what about the USN’s big Carriers?

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US Navy’s Supercarriers (CVN) Slowly to Go the Way of the Battleship (BB)?

a lot of thinking is still going on but it’s good that people are realizing there likely will have to be major changes to the fleet to deal with the PRC’s rise–by David B. Larter (tweets here) at Defense News:

Quote
US Navy upgrades more ships for the F-35 as the future of carriers remains in flux
...
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/06/01/more-us-navy-jeep-carriers-lha-for-marine-f-35bs-what-about-the-usns-big-carriers/

Mark
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US military's vulnerabilities vs. China, Russia
« Reply #51 on: June 11, 2020, 15:24:26 »
Start of a post--US services planning to cope with "missile gap" with PRC:'

[
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Who will be Willing to Host US Intermediate-Range Missiles in the Western Pacific?

(Photo at top of this post: “An experimental version of a new cruise missile is fired from San Nicolas Island, Calif., last August, part of the Pentagon’s effort to develop new intermediate range missiles that could be based in Asia.”)

Further to this post,

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Dragon Facing Down the Eagle in the Western Pacific

since the US withdrew from the INF Treaty in 2019, the US military is seeking places to station new ground-based missiles (see what the US Army and US Marines are working on, including cruise, ballistic and hypersonic missiles. They consider this basing is needed to overcome a major land-based missile gap in the area resulting from the fact that the PRC was not limited by the INF Treaty (more on that here). The US services now want to be able to take on both the PLA Navy at sea, and targets on land, with conventional warheads:

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U.S. seeks to house missiles in the Pacific. Some allies don’t want them
...
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/06/11/who-will-be-willing-to-host-us-intermediate-range-missiles-in-the-western-pacific/

Mark
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US military's vulnerabilities vs. China, Russia
« Reply #52 on: June 15, 2020, 14:02:38 »
Start of a post:

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Euro NATO Willing to try to Deal with a Growling Bear as US faces the Dragon Ascendent?

Further to this post,

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Does US Lose non-Nuclear War with China?
   
Julian Lindley-French (tweets here) worries at his blog over the effects of the US having to focus militarily on the PRC (as the UK was forced to focus on Wilhelmine Germany and its naval menace in the run-up to World War I) at the expense of its NATO commitments...
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/06/15/euro-nato-willing-to-try-to-deal-with-a-growling-bear-as-us-faces-the-dragon-ascendent/

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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US military's vulnerabilities vs. China, Russia
« Reply #53 on: June 22, 2020, 14:45:28 »
Start of a post:

a lot of thinking is still going on but it’s good that people are realizing there likely will have to be major changes to the fleet to deal with the PRC’s rise–by David B. Larter (tweets here) at Defense News:
...
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/06/01/more-us-navy-jeep-carriers-lha-for-marine-f-35bs-what-about-the-usns-big-carriers/

Mark
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Now some really radical thinking about USN's carriers and air wings--excerpts:

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The Aircraft Carrier We Need
By Jerry Hendrix

A strategic design update is due

On April 24 the U.S. Navy announced that a fifth weapons elevator had been certified for use onboard the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). (A weapons elevator lifts munitions, such as bombs and missiles, from the storage area to the flight deck.) Six more elevators remain uncertified, requiring additional testing and modifications before the carrier can be deployed. Originally estimated to cost $10.5 billion to build, the ship was officially “delivered” to the Navy in May 2017, some 18 months behind schedule, at an eye-popping cost of $12.9 billion. However, even those cost numbers and dates are misleading, as the ship still does not have all of its essential systems certified, owing to major difficulties with its ship-service turbine generators, electromagnetic aircraft-launch systems, advanced arresting gear (the apparatus that slows down aircraft as they land on deck), and finally its weapons elevators. The upshot of all of these difficulties is that the Navy has been forced to use dollars from its crucial operations-and-maintenance accounts to “repair” a brand-new ship, for which it had already paid $13 billion, that has yet to deploy operationally, despite having officially been in the fleet for nearly three years.

The news on this ship is mixed. While it is true that the ship recently completed its 1,000th electromagnetic launch and 1,000th “trap” using the ship’s advanced arresting gear, and the newly confirmed secretary of the Navy has endorsed continuing to build the Ford-class design, it is also true that the ship recently experienced five days in which it could not launch aircraft due to problems with its electromagnetic launch system. The bad news is expected to continue as the ship is now scheduled to go through normal shock trials, which involve the detonation of a series of underwater charges near the hull and are known to cause havoc with a ship’s internal systems, in the summer of 2021. This may well set back the ship’s already-delayed initial deployment, scheduled for 2022, still further. The Department of Defense has determined that it is necessary to identify any additional significant faults in the design of the Ford, including ones that may be exposed by the shock trials, before proceeding with the construction of additional ships. Even shock trials, however, will not reveal the Ford’s most glaring problems: It has the wrong design and is built around the wrong type and size of air wing, and it is not optimized for implementing the current National Defense Strategy, which focuses on great-power competition with Communist China and, to a lesser extent, a Putin-led Russia.

The USS Ford was conceived during the late 1990s and emerged from an analysis that examined over 75 designs. The final choice was greatly influenced by then-recent operational experiences in the Arabian Gulf and the Adriatic Sea, as well as a 1998 GAO report that provided rigorous comparisons between nuclear and conventionally powered aircraft carriers during those campaigns. The Ford’s eventual design was predicated upon an assumption that the ship would operate in similar semi-permissive, low-threat environments, such as the Adriatic Sea or Arabian Gulf, staying close to enemy shores to optimize the efficacy of the carrier’s short-range (500 nautical miles) light-attack air wing, which was then dominated by the FA-18 Hornet [emphasis added]...

The combination of dramatically enhanced maritime-domain awareness (enabled in large part by remote-sensing satellites) and land-, sea-, and air-launched anti-ship missiles now makes it possible for the PLA to hold U.S. aircraft carriers (and other surface combatants) at risk well over 1,000 miles from China’s shores — which is well beyond the range of the carrier’s FA-18E/F and F-35C strike fighters unless they are refueled. Moreover, even if these planes were to reach designated target areas with aerial refueling, they would be vulnerable to modern, integrated air-defense systems [emphasis added]. Faced with this intensifying threat, the Navy has started shifting away from the land-attack mission in favor of less daunting sea-control and sea-denial missions.

...To remedy this situation, the Navy should invest in new air wings — much as it did in the years immediately following World War II, when it effectively replaced its entire naval-aviation inventory — that can operate effectively from outside the range of a prospective adversary’s “anti-access/area denial” networks to credibly put key targets at risk.

Such an air wing would necessarily retain some legacy components. It would make sense, for example, for each wing to have combat-search-and-rescue (CSAR) helicopters; a squadron of four E-2D Hawkeyes to provide airborne surveillance and command-and-control in carrier-controlled airspace; and a squadron of six EA-18G Growlers to provide jamming and spectrum control around the carrier and its strike group. The new air wing might also have one squadron of ten F-35Cs to perform combat air-patrol missions as well as airborne-coordination roles. Only one squadron should be necessary, since the carrier would be positioned far out to sea, beyond the immediate range of enemy short-range fighters and escorted by cruisers and destroyers capable of providing air and missile defense. Shifting the carrier’s area of operations farther from the enemy’s “anti-access/area denial” forces would make it possible to reverse the modern naval bias towards defensive “anti” missions within the carrier strike group (anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine) and move back towards offensive operations, including power-projection ashore.

As part of this shift, the core of the carrier’s new air wing would be 30 stealthy, heavily armed unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), organized into three squadrons. Individual UCAVs should be capable of carrying 4,000 pounds of ordnance internally to a combat radius of at least 1,500 nautical miles without refueling [emphasis added]. They should also feature broadband, all-aspect stealth design with a much-reduced radar cross-section (RCS). The design should also integrate an infrared-signature-reduction capability and an advanced passive sensor suite. These 30 aircraft — each armed with two 2,000-pound-class direct-attack weapons (GBU-31 JDAM) or stand-off weapons (e.g., JASSM or LRASM), four 1,000-pound-class direct-attack weapons (GBU-33 JDAMs), or up to 16 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs — could deliver sustained firepower against a wide array of enemy targets while their host carrier remained in relative sanctuary at sea.

Moreover, unlike aircraft flown by human beings, they would not have to cease operation because of pilot fatigue. With refueling, they could remain aloft potentially for days at a time. With no pilots at risk, there would also be no need to prepare for forward CSAR operations. Based on the Navy’s considerable experience in designing and operating two prototype aircraft under the Unmanned Carrier Air System-Demonstrator (UCAS-D) program, an operational UCAV could be fielded both quickly and affordably. For slightly more than the cost of an F-35C, the Navy could have an aircraft with nearly three times the combat radius, significantly more internal payload, and far better survivability. With a UCAV-heavy air wing, the aircraft carrier could get back into the power-projection business...

Accepting the average size of the air wing (the Nimitz and Ford classes were originally designed to support 85 to 90 aircraft but now carry around 65), taking into account new aircraft designs as well as new launch and recovery intervals, and then carefully examining previous carrier designs as well as design studies, suggests that the next carrier should be in the mid-sized range (65,000 to 75,000 tons), with a flight deck approximately 900 feet in length and 135 feet wide and an armor-box hangar deck some 700 feet in length by 95 feet in width by 18 feet in height [emphasis added]...

Jerry Hendrix — Mr. Hendrix is a vice president of the Telemus Group, a retired U.S. Navy captain, and a consultant to the Defense Science Board.
https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2020/07/06/the-aircraft-carrier-we-need/#slide-1

Mark
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: US military's vulnerabilities vs. China, Russia
« Reply #54 on: June 22, 2020, 15:59:46 »
Still think it is nuts to put a pilot in harms way to conduct strikes against known targets.

Pilots for recce?  Absolutely.

But pilots just to put ordnance on target when there are alternate delivery options for GPS (or even EO/IR defined methods of comparing targets with datasets)? 

A bunch of  semi-submersibles with a bunch of missiles and a couple of dozen crew each seems a much more cost effective means of overwhelming the enemy's defences.

https://pressfrom.info/au/news/tech-and-science/-24208-china-is-developing-a-warship-of-naval-theorists-dreams.html

It's amazing what can be accomplished when not hindered by institutions and forced to consider alternatives.

In fact - why do you need a pilot over the target in any event?

« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 16:04:47 by Chris Pook »
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US military's vulnerabilities vs. China, Russia
« Reply #55 on: June 26, 2020, 10:35:20 »
Start of a post:
Quote
US Navy’s Position vis-à-vis PRC in Western Pacific, South China Sea, not that Bad after all?

Further to this post and “Comments”,

Quote
Does US Lose non-Nuclear War with China?
   
retired Indian Navy Commodore V Venugopal (tweets here) takes a more positive view of the USN’s prospects than quite a few others:

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A game of chess? US strategy meets China’s in the South China Sea
...
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/06/26/us-navys-position-vis-a-vis-prc-in-western-pacific-south-china-sea-not-that-bad-after-all/

Mark
Ottawa
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.