Future PLAN carrier operations

Discussion in 'Navy' started by AndrewS, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. Jura
    Offline

    Jura General

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Messages:
    22,606
    Likes Received:
    27,283
    I have a hypothetical question if China could achieve higher readiness by "saving" their carriers simply by not using them in prolonged missions (like the USN constantly bombing Iraq and 'stan for more than a decade) and resulting deferred maintenance?

    OK numbers: out of hypothetical six modern carriers (of course not the Soviet Navy Riga LOL and her follow up) two always ready to deploy
     
  2. Bltizo
    Online

    Bltizo Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    12,377
    Likes Received:
    15,614
    1: considering my conops timespan is for 2035-2040 coming into fruition, yes, the underlying "assumption" is that Chinese carrier development and production will continue successfully going forwards. I believe that to be a reasonable "assumption". I project China to build a number of carriers (6-8) and have a deployment pattern that prioritizes keeping them at home at readiness with the capability to surge as many of them as possible in event in a high intensity conflict in the western pacific. The US would of course still have a force of more carriers than China, however I expect the US to continue their global peacetime deployments. That is to say, in event of a high intensity conflict in the western pacific, the overall cumulative carriers that each side would be capable of bringing to the theater would be about even.

    2: again, considering this is by 2035-2040 I do not think the belief of qualitative carrier aviation near parity is an unreasonable one

    3: see 2 above, but for carrier aviation competency.

    4: my conops before spoke primarily of using it to seek air and sea control vs opfor carriers and it would be done so in a joint manner. Against guam, the operation would be similarly joint but likely rely much more heavily on long range strike systems because Guam is a fixed location that doesn't require the mobile fire-maneuver-recon complexes of a CSG to achieve a kill chain against an opfor CSG.


    Reading these objections you have and which you describe as being "questionable" basically confirms the notion that I described in my previous post #61:
    "we have fundamentally different views of what the balance of overall military power is like such that there would be a major divergence in opinion over something like a future PLAN of the medium to long term future being able to wage a conflict in the 2nd island chain or beyond to seek and contest air and sea control."
     
  3. AndrewS
    Offline

    AndrewS Senior Member
    Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Messages:
    1,825
    Likes Received:
    2,766
    @Brumby

    The 2017 Australian Government Foreign Policy White Paper
    https://www.fpwhitepaper.gov.au/

    The 2016 Australia Government Defence White Paper
    http://www.defence.gov.au/WhitePaper/Links.asp

    Some of the key points are:

    2030 GDP using PPP exchange rates
    China: $42 Trillion
    US: $24 Trillion

    That is China approaching twice the size.

    ---

    2035 Military Spending using PPP
    China's spending grows significant from today's level.
    By 2035, China is spending slightly more than the US

    ---

    These 2 projections argue for a sustained aircraft carrier programme over the next decades, as part of a larger naval buildup.

    And given the track record of Chinese programmes such as the J-10 fighter and J-20 Stealth Fighter - it appears likely that issues with carrier aircraft will be resolved
    And if we look at the broader track record of China's naval shipbuilding over the past decade - it appears likely that carrier development issues will also be resolved.

    Then it's a question of just how big a naval buildup China decides on.

    ---

    And if you read the CSBA report, you can see that they are not fans of the F-35C, and their 2040 vision is to replace most piloted aircraft with unmanned aircraft instead.
     
  4. Brumby
    Offline

    Brumby Major

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    3,529
    Likes Received:
    3,647
    Choice of words is important because it conveys meaning. What is being postulated is not strategy but concept of operations.

    A concept of operations to achieve air and sea control in the second island chain (2IC) and beyond is primarily about combat at an operational level rather than just a generalized concept. As such any conversation must first address the operational problems associated with operating at such distance from land base. Secondly since the concept is carrier group centric, the discussion should include what robust PLAN carrier operational approach would and could be instituted to exclude US military forces from the region.

    Any concept of operations in the 2IC region should outline its principal components such as mission objectives and required tasks, how these would be accomplished, and by what level and composition of forces. Important elements requiring consideration include operational timelines and the timing, prioritization and sequencing, and tempo of operations.

    So fat the explanation is grounded on an assumption of a chosen end state. Any idea cannot be built upon assumptions only - at least in my worldview.
     
  5. Iron Man
    Offline

    Iron Man Captain
    Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2015
    Messages:
    2,920
    Likes Received:
    2,542
    Yes, China could achieve higher readiness via this method, since less maintenance would be required. Leaving carriers at base seems to be a waste, however. It would also atrophy the carriers' NCO corps (E4-E8), who are the real beating heart of a carrier, as both commissioned officers and lower ranked enlisted sailors will eventually rotate out of their positions, while NCOs typically stay at the same rating (even the same ship) for the majority if not the entirety of their careers. These petty officers (I don't know what they are called in the PLAN) gain experience through deployments, hold this experience inside their brains as a store of knowledge throughout the carrier's life cycle, and can pass this knowledge on to greenhorn enlisted as well as to new officers fresh out of the academy.

    Actually, 6 carriers are almost certainly inadequate to enable 2 to be constantly deployed; most of the time you will only be able to have 1 actively deployed. You would need 7, or more likely 8 carriers to achieve a 2-carrier presence. Actually my own personal hunch is that the PLAN will go for 7 or 8 carriers in the long run, not 6. This IMO is actually the current sustainable level of the USN, 7 to 8 carriers and not 11, as currently the US military (and the rest of the US) is spending its way straight into oblivion, and can only 'afford' 11 carriers right now by printing money it doesn't have. In any case, as a comparison, the USN at 10 carriers right now (minus the Ford) is currently having significant problems maintaining a 3-carrier presence worldwide, and much of the time has had to make due to only 2 deployed at the same time. They will need all 11 carriers to make a 3-carrier deployment a consistent reality.
     
    Jura likes this.
  6. Brumby
    Offline

    Brumby Major

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    3,529
    Likes Received:
    3,647
    Projecting a carrier force ultimately of 6-8 is very different from a carrier force composition of 6-8 in the 2035-40 period. So what is it 6 or 8 because that would determine what is potentially available? I would like to see your underlying projection on how you get there because deploying a carrier for conflict is much more than just commissioning it. In my view it can take anywhere from 3 - 5 years after commissioning to deployment for actual combat. Take the Ford example. It was commissioned in 2017 but unlikely to deploy until 2021.

    Whether it is reasonable or unreasonable is a function of facts and what projections you can apply to it to make a reasonable determination of outcome. What is unreasonable is to assume a specific outcome based on fiat .


    Let me give you some statistics. There were approximately 200000 plus aim points in the Iragi war. In order to achieve a certain desire effect against a well defended target like Guam it is estimated a ratio of 6:1 missile to aim point is needed. I don't know what would be the aim points for a smaller target like Guam but even if it is 5 % it means China would need 60000 long range missiles to do the job. AFAIK, China doesn't even remotely have anywhere near this number. It would run out of its entire inventory on day one. Facts do matter. Not assumptions.

    The difference is I primarily deal with facts not assumptions.
     
  7. Jura
    Offline

    Jura General

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Messages:
    22,606
    Likes Received:
    27,283
    in short I think it's the other way around:

    first a navy needs the doctrine how to win war at sea

    (I gave Soviet example Monday at 7:25 AM and pre-WW2 USN example Yesterday at 7:36 PM)

    and ORBAT will follow
     
  8. Jura
    Offline

    Jura General

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Messages:
    22,606
    Likes Received:
    27,283
    thanks just
    Yesterday at 9:21 PM
    I assumed, but didn't say, short deployments which still could be realistic-training intensive;
    I didn't mean to save carriers by keeping them at port LOL

    Yesterday at 9:21 PM
    thought it was obvious I meant eight (8) carriers in total ("out of hypothetical six modern carriers (of course not the Soviet Navy Riga LOL and her follow up"),

    and by "two always ready to deploy" I didn't mean both necessarily sailing all the time, but able to depart ASAP (for example once the USN 7th departs Yokosuka)
     
  9. Brumby
    Offline

    Brumby Major

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    3,529
    Likes Received:
    3,647
    Except the conversation if you haven't noticed is directed at concept of operations and not doctrine. I did set the scope. I am simply responding to the nature of the thread.
     
  10. AndrewS
    Offline

    AndrewS Senior Member
    Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Messages:
    1,825
    Likes Received:
    2,766
    Your aimpoint estimates are way off by orders of magnitude.

    Looking at the aerial topography of Naval Base Guam and Anderson Air Force Base, I reckon 100 aimpoints per day would be more than enough.
    Plus offensive missiles are generally much cheaper than defending missiles
    eg. DF-26 versus THAAD, or Tomahawk versus AMRAAM/MEADs equivalent.

    Remember that the 2016 Australian Defence White Paper expects China to be spending more on the military by 2035.

    So in all likelihood, an isolated island like Guam would run out of expensive defensive missiles before mainland China runs out of cheap offensive missiles.
     
Loading...

Share This Page