First, I want to clarify something.I get your arguments but consider:
In your reply, you seem to be under the impression that my suggestion for SSN-Gs with VLS capacity for missiles is only LACMs, which you interpret as subsonic LACMs only.
However, what I wrote in reply #923 was "each VLS able to carry either a LACM, AShM or YJ-21 pattern AShBM/HGV."
That is to say, I expect each VLS to be able to carry any sort of anti-surface/land attack/anti-ship weapon that the PLAN's UVLS is capable of accommodating, but launched from a submarine.
This should be entirely expected, given that submarines like Yasen class are able to carry the subsonic Kalibr LACM, but also Onyx supersonic AShM, and intended to carry the Tsirkon hypersonic airbreathing AShM.
Even the Virginia class with VPM will be capable of swapping out 7 Tomahawks for 3 larger LRHW hypersonic HGVs.
So, for my proposal for the SSN-G VLS, each tube is able to carry: the most basic subsonic LACM yes, but it also includes:
- AShMs: including standard YJ-18, but also future supersonic and/or hypersonic AShMs, and/or stealthy subsonic AShMs
- LACMs: including future supersonic and/or hypersonic LACMs, and/or stealthy subsonic LACMs
- AShBMs/IRBM/HGVs: this includes the new "YJ-21" and future weapons sized for it.
I'll refer back to this multiple times in my reply, as the "payload variety clarification"
- The benefits of multi-axis attack are diminished in the age of AESA radars and ARH interceptor missiles as radar refresh rate cannot be exploited.
The benefits of multi-axis attack compared to single axis attack remain, despite modern AESA and ARH missiles, see second to last part of this post about defending Guam from multi-axis attacks.
- Closeness to target does not translate to shortness of warning time. A 0.7 Mach cruise missile takes around 750 seconds to travel 100 nm/180 km. An IRBM (DF-26) takes about 770s to travel 3000km (Shanghai to Guam) (From
See above about payload variety clarification.
Comparing a land launched DF-26 with a SSN launched subsonic LACM is a ridiculous one -- a fairer comparison would be land launched DF-26 with a SSN launched YJ-21 AShBM/HGV.
Or alternatively, comparing a land launched long range subsonic LACM versus a SSN launched subsonic LACM.
- The value of a first strike diminishes in a sustained conflict, whereas the value of sustained affordable firepower increases.
The ability to deliver sustained fire is of course important, however sustained fire has to be economical, sustainable and requires the initial first wave strikes to have degraded the enemy's defenses.
That requires your initial first wave strikes to be able to kick down the door as much as you can, to enable follow on strikes to in turn enable sustained strikes.
- Since we should expect substantial US repair capacity for basic infrastructures like runways, a strike should seek to target high value non-repairable assets, such as radars and fighters. However, a submarine’s poor ISR capability relative to bombers make sub launched missiles worse in this task. For example, bombers could use its EW suite to identify radar sites, or fire cruise missiles with man-in-the-loop terminal guidance.
For first wave strikes, the goal is to try to do as much damage for as long as possible against the most efficient targets to enable follow on strikes.
That includes fixed targets such as parts of the runway, fuel and ammo depot, air control tower, whose fixed coordinates are already known. Satellite guidance is fine for that.
However, missiles will also have terminal sensors for discriminating certain targets, which doesn't require ISR mid course or terminal guidance.
Fire and forget EO terminal guidance with onboard target selection (a mature capability already even today) will enable certain high value aircraft, or radars, or other platforms to be targeted by the missile itself.
Fire and forget active radar or passive radar or anti-radiation seekers can enable radars to be targeted as well.
The above will all be part of a first wave strike, which the SSN-Gs will partly contribute to, alongside land based long range strike systems (bombers, IRBMs, HGVs) and surface naval strike systems (carrier strike, surface combatant UVLS launched weapons).
Follow on strikes would seek to deliver more sustained fire by taking advantage of the initial degradation (ideally crippling) of a base's air sortie generation capability and degradation of their air defense capability. Bombers will take up much of this role.
But someone has to kick in the door first, which requires a much wider array of fires to disorient and saturate the enemy.