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Blackshoe

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
Putting all the relevant questions from OPSSG in one

6. Agreed. It seems that the issue is really to create uncertainty for the PLA second artillery via the conduct of Expeditionary Advance Base Operations (EABO) within the island chains. EABOs take targeting pressure off the US bases in Japan and in Guam. Is that correct?

7. EABOs will also take pressure off Taiwanese air bases that are presumed attacked (and kept suppressed by part renewal of rocket attacks) —irregardless of the aspirational aspects of the plan (meeting budget reality), the US naval services gain a systems level benefit of giving the enemy too many targets to seek in the island chains.
As far as EABO (and its naval-y cousin, Distributed Lethality), that's a good overview of what they are supposed to operationally (although like most of our proposals, they always seem more geared towards an SCS scenario than Taiwan per se, ignoring that Taiwan is an SCS claimant as well). I'm not sure that's how it will work out, but that's the plan. However, in a broader point, I'm not sure that they provide anything strategically. It always seems to re-orient back to "Return to Phase 0", which I don't think is a viable plan. In fairness, and to riff off a comment I made in another thread, no one seems to have any idea of exactly how you defeat Red 1.

8. With respect to the cross strait missile arms race, Taiwan’s National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) is said to have fired some medium-range missiles in Apr 2020 at Jiupeng. The tests are believed to have included the Yun Feng missile, a supersonic land-attack cruise missile that has a range of 1,500 kilometers. The missile, fitted with a ramjet engine, can carry a semi-armor piercing high explosive and fragmentation warhead. The surface-to-surface missile could be deployed to weaken China’s combat capability. The weapon is believed to be able to attack strategic targets including airports, harbors, and command bases located in central China. Land-based missile systems including Yun Feng and other cruise missiles are a vital asset of Taiwan’s arsenal when engaging in asymmetric warfare against China. As the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) poses the greatest threat to Taiwan in the event of a military conflict, the island country would be able to better defend itself if it could launch attacks on China’s air bases.

9. Agreed. The conduct of an Indian Ocean or such other potential future blockade elsewhere, is a form of American CATOBAR carrier battlegroup’s escalation dominance, viz-a-viz, the STOBAR equipped carriers (namely, CV16 Liaoning and CV17 Shandong) of the PLA(N). But given the technological advances the PLA(N) has made, China can no longer be regarded as a green-water navy.

10. The launch and subsequent operational deployment of CV16 Liaoning signalled Beijing’s aspirations to become a naval power and to match the USN in the Indian-Pacific region. The 26 April 2017 launch of CV17 Shandong and the 12 Jan 2020 commissioning of the first of 8 Type 055Ds to form the nucleus of future PLA(N) SAGs are further evidence of this intention. The CATOBAR Type 003 carrier to follow after Shandong will mark a change in naval aviation capability.

Q: Would you agree to the above or is there more flavour to add in this geopolitical chess game?
I agree with all of the above, but I often wonder how much things like DL and EABO are less geopolitical chess games than Pentagon chess games, where services propose the best plan that takes advantage of their capabilities, and lock down the associated budget stream. Whether it amounts to anything that can win a war is another question. We've been really good at the operational level over the last 20 years; hasn't won too many wars, lately.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
@Blackshoe I would suggest that Taiwan and the PRC are singing off the same song sheet with regard to the SCS claims, because the nine dash line is a 1947 Kuomintang invention What’s China’s ‘nine-dash line’ and why has it created so much tension in the South China Sea? that the PRC carried on with.

I would suggest that the reason that the US hasn't won any wars of late is because of politicians believing that they are generals, generals acting like politicians, and the political elite not bothering to think about what happens after the shooting stops. I would suggest arrogance on the part of the political elite, who started them, sent service people to bleed and die in them, and after the veterans came home and demoralised, didn't want to know them except at election time.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
@Blackshoe I would suggest that Taiwan and the PRC are singing off the same song sheet with regard to the SCS claims, because the nine dash line is a 1947 Kuomintang invention What’s China’s ‘nine-dash line’ and why has it created so much tension in the South China Sea? that the PRC carried on with.
@ngatimozart, there is a history behind it but Taipei’s position and approach on SCS matters is a little different from Beijing’s approach. Taiwan’s focus seems to be on fisheries only and they are willing to talk and come to a compromise.

For example, Japan and Taiwan concluded a civil fishery agreement in April 2013. The agreement was a strategic success for both Japan and Taiwan. Then President Ma Ying-jeou advocated for an “East China Sea Peace Initiative,” calling for all sides to shelve sovereignty issues, seek peaceful resolution, and jointly develop resources in disputed waters. Ma did not insist upon recognition of Taiwan’s territorial claim during the negotiations, and thus differentiated Taipei’s approach from that of Beijing, which physically challenged Japanese sovereignty by sending coast guard ships within the territorial waters around the islands. As a result, Ma demonstrated Taiwan’s presence and influence in regional issues.

Taipei’s five actions in relation to its SCS claims are as follows:

1. Protection of fishing rights: The ROC government shall strengthen its capabilities to ensure the safety of fishermen and fishing operations.

2. Multilateral consultations: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall enhance dialogue and communication with the States concerned, so as to reach consensus on cooperation.

3. Scientific collaboration: The Ministry of Science and Technology shall increase quotas for international experts invited by related government agencies to travel to Taiping Island to conduct scientific research on ecological, geological, seismological, meteorological, and climate change matters.

4. Humanitarian assistance and rescue: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall work with relevant international and nongovernmental organizations to make Taiping Island a center of humanitarian assistance and rescue operations, as well as a supply base.

5. Cultivation of experts on the law of the sea: The ROC government shall strengthen its ability to deal with issues pertaining to international law.
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Short article on the USN‘S latest laser test. Will a 150 KW laser be sufficient to stop a hypersonic missile and if so, what is the beam time on target requirements? Good to see some progress as this is likely going to be an important and necessary tool for defence as missiles become more plentiful and deadly.
 

KiwiRob

Active Member
That's the PRC's Achilles heel; it's dependency upon SLOC for energy, resources, and food. And they know it. That's why they want to build the canal in Thailand that cuts out the Straits of Malakka choke point, and they're building up their presence in the Indian Ocean. It's what the Silk Road policy is about, by trying to move as much stuff overland as possible, reducing its reliance on its SLOC.
It's also why they are spending a massive amounts of money on hydrogen research, they don't want to be dependent on foreign oil, the Japanese and Koreans are in the same boat, all three countries want to cut out importing oil.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
It's also why they are spending a massive amounts of money on hydrogen research, they don't want to be dependent on foreign oil, the Japanese and Koreans are in the same boat, all three countries want to cut out importing oil.
Yep but hydrogen is only good for motive power. They still need the oil for other things such as lubricants, plastics and other industrial materials and processes. What would they make their aviation fuel out of? Or ship fuels? I particularly wouldn't be too keen on flying onboard a hydrogen powered aircraft or crew a hydrogen powered warship. Doesn't matter if it's liquid hydrogen or not, the stuff's still highly volatile.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
China has oil of its own. If it wasn't using oil for cars it might have enough. It also has a lot of coal. That could provide, with processing, oil.
 

KiwiRob

Active Member
Yep but hydrogen is only good for motive power. They still need the oil for other things such as lubricants, plastics and other industrial materials and processes. What would they make their aviation fuel out of? Or ship fuels? I particularly wouldn't be too keen on flying onboard a hydrogen powered aircraft or crew a hydrogen powered warship. Doesn't matter if it's liquid hydrogen or not, the stuff's still highly volatile.
Going off track a wee bit, the German/Italian type 212 submarines use a hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen fuel cells will be the next leap forward in marine propulsion. What will eventually happen in large vessels is they will produce their own hydrogen, to power their own fuel cells, they will never need to refuel. With new storage methods like membranes hydrogen won't need to be stored under pressure or as a liquid.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Going off track a wee bit, the German/Italian type 212 submarines use a hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen fuel cells will be the next leap forward in marine propulsion. What will eventually happen in large vessels is they will produce their own hydrogen, to power their own fuel cells, they will never need to refuel. With new storage methods like membranes hydrogen won't need to be stored under pressure or as a liquid.
Cool, that's great then. Thanks for that.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Going off track a wee bit, the German/Italian type 212 submarines use a hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen fuel cells will be the next leap forward in marine propulsion. What will eventually happen in large vessels is they will produce their own hydrogen, to power their own fuel cells, they will never need to refuel. With new storage methods like membranes hydrogen won't need to be stored under pressure or as a liquid.
How will these large vessels produce their own hydrogen?
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Going off track a wee bit, the German/Italian type 212 submarines use a hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen fuel cells will be the next leap forward in marine propulsion. What will eventually happen in large vessels is they will produce their own hydrogen, to power their own fuel cells, they will never need to refuel. With new storage methods like membranes hydrogen won't need to be stored under pressure or as a liquid.
Umm... How would that work? As described so far, it sounds like a perpetual motion machine which cannot exist because one cannot get more energy out of a system than is put into the system. The production of hydrogen aboard a vessel would certainly require power, presumably from the fuel cell system. Any power used for motive purposes or even just meeting hotel load could not be used to generate hydrogen, and at some point either outside resources would be needed to provide energy or the fuel cell will have consumed hydrogen + whatever else is part of the fuel cell faster than an onboard generation system will be able to replenish it.
 

Black Jack Shellac

Active Member
Going off track a wee bit, the German/Italian type 212 submarines use a hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen fuel cells will be the next leap forward in marine propulsion. What will eventually happen in large vessels is they will produce their own hydrogen, to power their own fuel cells, they will never need to refuel. With new storage methods like membranes hydrogen won't need to be stored under pressure or as a liquid.
Caveat: everything below is my opinion.

I don't believe they are using Hydrogen fuel cells in the sub to be part of the Hydrogen future. I think is has more to do with hydrogen fuel cells being far more efficient and run at much lower temperatures than ones running on Methane or other hydrocarbons. Also, fuel cells in general are far quieter than the Stirling engines used by other AIP submarines, which should improve stealth. The draw back is that liquid hydrogen has to be stored at very cold temperatures which is a pain compared to diesel fuel or any other hydrocarbon that is liquid at room temperature. However, as the sub is already storing liquid oxygen, this is not that big of a stretch such that the benefits gained potentially outweigh the risks.

To think that this is a solution for ships is naive. Almost all hydrogen in the world is produced by cracking natural gas (about 95%). Obtaining it through electrolysis is currently far too energy intensive. And the cracked natural gas releases CO2, so it is not carbon neutral. Also, storing the hydrogen on board would be a bit risky considering the cryogenic nature of it (one of the biggest issues with the whole hydrogen economy plan).

The only way a ship could generate enough power to pull hydrogen from the water to run fuel cells is if it had diesel generators or a nuclear reactor on board. In that case, why not just go direct to the motor? I suppose they could get some power from solar, but this is not nearly energy dense enough (practically about 200 Watts per square meter - if you covered an entire aircraft carrier with solar cells, you could generate ~ 4.5 MW on a sunny day - a ship that size would need ~10x that just for propulsion). The other option is windmills, but there is a better solution for using wind to propel a ship that I am sure a few on this forum have experience with it.

In conclusion, you would be better off bringing back the age of sail. That is something I wouldn't mind seeing.
 

Blackshoe

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
@Blackshoe I would suggest that Taiwan and the PRC are singing off the same song sheet with regard to the SCS claims, because the nine dash line is a 1947 Kuomintang invention What’s China’s ‘nine-dash line’ and why has it created so much tension in the South China Sea? that the PRC carried on with.
They can sing the same song, but Taiwan doesn't have the vocal range to do the tune justice.

Or, to state the analogy in plain language, Taiwan may say the same things but (barring total collapse of the PRC, which I simply can't come up with as a possibility), their ability to actually dominate their neighbors is much more limited. IMHO, Taiwan could never get powerful enough to dominate, say, Vietnam in the SCS (the PI is another matter). They have to deal with the much more existential threat They could certainly threaten them, of course, but it would be on a much more peer-peer level.

Additionally, in the theoretical world where Taiwan is even as much of of a concern than the PRC when it comes to SCS disputes, I suspect that is a world where Taiwan has declared independence, ergo one where the ROC's political legitimacy is judged by different standards than merely "able to assert control over all the things that historically have been China's, or perceived as inherently 'China' ". I think they'll have to start thinking of themselves as something different than just "China". Admittedly, that's a lot of hypotheticals.

I would suggest that the reason that the US hasn't won any wars of late is because of politicians believing that they are generals, generals acting like politicians, and the political elite not bothering to think about what happens after the shooting stops. I would suggest arrogance on the part of the political elite, who started them, sent service people to bleed and die in them, and after the veterans came home and demoralised, didn't want to know them except at election time.
Hot Take: "The politicians and generals (but I repeat myself) let us down" is a really comforting thing for us in the defen(s/c)e field to say, but it also does not help us win wars, and frankly, allows us off the hook way too much. Our Flag/General Officers don't just become politicians in a vacuum; we are bureaucracies that end up prioritizing exactly the kind of people who are prone/liable to becoming politicians to advance in our bureaucracies, so we shouldn't be surprised when our leadership ends up being politicians. Also, I'm not sure the arrogance of the political elite is significantly different than that of the common people.

No matter what, though, it remains that in the US (and I can only speak to that country; you Commonwealthers may be different, though I suspect probably not significantly), we struggle as both a nation and a defense establishment and understanding that war can be both limited and unlimited (eg "Not every war is going to be WW2 again, and in fact, WW2 is profoundly unique in terms of US war experience and will never be repeated again), and given that, how should we orient ourselves towards fighting a limited war (and to what end) with China? Because frankly, I don't see a way to defeat* China in a limited war. I do see a way to defeat them in an unlimited war, but I don't think anyone wants to think too hard about that.

Caveat, as always, that I suspect I am more cynical and bitter than I should be.

ETA: and while I will probably talk more about this in the China Geo thread, I will note that some COVID-related developments have made me change some of my assumptions about PRC-US relations and tensions, so there's that.
*Defeat=achieving our national objectives-what are those, by the way?-while not taking unacceptable losses
 

ASSAIL

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
The long held truth about military leadership has been on display for most of the last two centuries at least.
Those who win promotion in times of less than total war are those whose political instincts and behaviour outshine their military instincts.
Those who are disdainful of political ar$e licking and devote their entire resources to their profession rarely rise to the ultimate jobs.
Where would Bull Halsey, Ike, Patten or Monash and others of the same ilk be without a major war?
 
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KiwiRob

Active Member
Umm... How would that work? As described so far, it sounds like a perpetual motion machine which cannot exist because one cannot get more energy out of a system than is put into the system. The production of hydrogen aboard a vessel would certainly require power, presumably from the fuel cell system. Any power used for motive purposes or even just meeting hotel load could not be used to generate hydrogen, and at some point either outside resources would be needed to provide energy or the fuel cell will have consumed hydrogen + whatever else is part of the fuel cell faster than an onboard generation system will be able to replenish it.
I don't know the practicalities of how they would do it, it was part of a seminar I participated in a few years back.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
I don't know the practicalities of how they would do it, it was part of a seminar I participated in a few years back.
That is a pity, as parts of it as covered above do not make much sense.

In some respects the same situation applies for "new storage methods" using membranes to store hydrogen without it being pressurized or liquefied. Of course hydrogen and other gases have been able to be transported without pressurization or requiring the gas be liquefied, but such techniques have been adopted when a larger mass of a gas has to be transported without utilizing a gas pipeline. If the hydrogen were to be neither liquefied or compressed, it would either require a large volume to carry any significant mass of hydrogen, or only a tiny quantity could be stored.
 

Ananda

Well-Known Member

This video on SPY6 family from Naval News is quite good and informative for brief capabilities of SPY6. However, the one that interest me is the capabilities for anti balistics missiles, from 1:27 minute.

Now from what I gather SM-3 asside being targeted for Anti Balistics missile, and can be used for targeting low orbit satellites, works on targeting balistics missiles from launch and separating stages. Thus in my understanding SM3 will destroy the missiles before entering terminal vellocity.
However the video shown the missiles aimed at the warhead that already separate (seems in this video shown MIRV), and begin their terminal vellocity stage.

Can any one verified if this is the capabilities of SM3 ? Is SM3 being used to destroy warheads that already entering terminal vellocity or as my understanding aimed on missile on climbing/separation stages ?


My understanding based on the result of SM3 trial, where seems the SM3 intercept the missile before the warheads seperation (like video above). Thus quite interesting for me the Video from Naval News (which must be based on Raytheon video) shown it's targeting warheads after they're separate and begin terminal vellocity stages.
 
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Boagrius

Active Member
I do wonder if the combination of SPY6 and SM3 Blk II could also be used to counter an ASBM like DF21D or DF26. Early detection/acquisition would be key to ensuring that the SM3 could catch it before the weapon re-entered the atmosphere but it would provide another pivotal layer of protection if possible. An atmospheric HGV based weapon (ala Zircon?) would be prohibitive due to the lower approach altitude, but AFAIK the existing PRC ASBMs use a traditional ballistic flight profile.

Looking back at the discussion about the continued viability of USN CVNs, I spotted this from The Heritage Foundation:


The proposed ~2040 airwing struck me as interesting, along with the emphasis on the gator fleet for providing supplementary carrier capability via F35B. My take away was that large CVNs were still seen as necessary to provide the needed amount of munition salvos on a sustained basis. The ability of CVNs to deliver this kind of persistent firepower seems to be the key differentiator between them and other platforms like SSN/SSGN and surface vessels.
 
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spoz

The Bunker Group
It has always been my understanding that SM-3 targets missiles in the boost and coast phase and that SM-6, and maybe SM-2ER Block IV and MR Block IIIC active, have capabilities in the terminal phase.
 
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