Monday, March 20, 2023

China's Naval Problem.

I already mentioned it many times, including today in my latest video. 

Here is the illustration to China's naval (maritime) problem, and to how military professionals think. 

I deliberately chose the range of roughly 1,500 kilometers measured form Shanghai. As you can see yourself CBG-1, 2 and 3 stand for the US Navy's Carrier Battle Groups. Three of them deployed in shaded rectangles. Now comes the problem, it is purely operational and mathematical one. If one believes in accuracy of China's DF-21 ballistic anti-shipping missiles with their range declared as... 1,500 kilometers, it is their opinion and they are welcome to have it. But, if one considers this:

Which is, of course, good ol' carrier-borne F-18 Super-hornet and a missile known as AGM-158 JASSM, one should immediately get the pen and a piece of paper (or calculator) and should start counting. Each US Navy's Nimitz-class nuclear powered carrier (CVN) carries around, here is the data:

In other words, an average TACAIR has around 48 carriers of this said JASSM, whose range varies from 950 to 1,900 km (for XR version), which also is "extended" by the range of the carrier, which is a said F-18 in its different versions. Add here those roughly 600-700 kilometers and you get the picture: the air wing can launch a salvo of JASSMs BEYOND the range of the anti-CBG DF-21 missiles. Simple arithmetic: 950+700=1,650 km, or, in case of JASSM XR, 1,900 + 700 =2,600 km. But that is in case of the attack of the ground targets in the mainland China. JASSM, however, is also and even primarily so--anti-shipping missile. Yes, it is a typical American anti-shipping missile--subsonic and not particularly maneuverable. But... as you can count, JUST three US Navy CBGs you can immediately recognize that in their alpha-strikes, those three can have 48 x 3 = 144 strike aircraft simultaneously and each of those F-18s can carry... 4 JASSMs. Let's not be primitive and imagine that some of those F-18s will have pure air-defense configuration. So, let's say that we will have on average not 4 but 3 JASSM per F-18. Multiply: 144 x 3 = 432 JASSMs in the first salvo. 

Do you know what those are for in the first run? No, not Shanghai--those are for PLAN's surface fleet which will have to face this salvo. What do you think, will they successfully repeal it? Wanna try Salvo Model with coefficients which DO NOT favor Chinese surface fleet? Or, have you heard about USAF being trained with carrying same JASSMs (look up numbers of B-1Bs and B-2s). You may counter--but what about PLAN's carriers. Well... with 11-14 Virginia-class SSNs in the theater it is a very risky proposition for Chinese carriers to venture beyond First Island Chain.  So, that IS the naval (maritime) problem for China in case of even conventional attacks. Sure, the US will sustain losses here, but those shaded rectangles are still away from the A2/AD bubble. 

Now, Xi is in Moscow. Four and a half hour they talk with Putin God only knows what about. Tomorrow the "narrow format" meeting heavily dominated by Russian Military-Industrial Complex people and something tells me that this will be on the table:

This is sheer 1,000 kilometers dash at M=2.5 and then the launch of M=9 Kinzhal with the range of 2,000 kilometers. The targeting for the strike on CBGs is not such a big of a deal anymore. Chinese have their own thing, Russians have Liana operational. So, 1,000+2,000 = 3,000 kilometers and you cannot shoot down Kinzhal, unless it breaks down by itself, but the salvo of 6-8 Kinzhals. Boy, I do not envy those people on the carriers. You see how simple it is? China desperately needs to sort this issue out and I am anticipating first official statements tomorrow anxiously. It doesn't mean that hey will come up with the list--no, absolutely not, but we need to look for those subtle signs and words which will allow us to conclude that some huge steps have been undertaken by Putin and Xi. 
                             Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum 

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