China's Defense/Military Breaking News Thread


gelgoog

Captain
Registered Member
Well, the focus of the article is on military revolutions -

"Any one of the three could come up with new weapons or concepts that “will change the character of warfare.”

"China is highly advanced in quantum key distribution and is among the leaders” in artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, quantum information sciences, biotechnology, and advanced robotics."

Without getting into the logic of comparing prototype tanks and fighters to established models, I think we can agree that better tanks and fighters are incremental and not revolutionary improvements.

China is more advanced in things like flying drones than Russia. Sure. But Russia has army drones like the Uran 9 drone.
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Then just like I said the Russians have systems like the Zircon hypersonic missile, or the Voronezh radars, or the Lotos satellites. What are those if not transformative? You have a kill chain which can detect surface vessels or long range missile attacks. They have weapon systems like cruise missiles and ballistic missile defenses which can counter those threats. Huge investments into systems like S-300/350/400/500 or Nudol or Buk-M3 or Tor M2 or Pantsir. Then you have huge upgrades like going from liquid (Sineva) to solid (Bulava) rockets on their SLBMs. Or the amount of changes they made on land based ICBMs like Topol -> Topol-M -> Yars. They went from Delta IV (dated and noisy) and Typhoon (hugely expensive) to the Borei/Borei-A. While US is still stuck with Minuteman III and the Ohio. Their airforce has been mostly replaced with multi-role aircraft with glass cockpits and INS/Stellar navigation. They have aircraft like the Su-35 with 3D TVC which have a datalink which can share target data among multiple aircraft. Which other country has produced and fielded a combat aircraft with 3D TVC? They (finally) put the R-77-1 in production with a large order and finally field a counter to the AIM-120C AMRAAM. Sure it ain't like China which in 30 years went from the J-8 to the J-20. But still huge leaps forward in capabilities.
 
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silentlurker

Junior Member
Registered Member
Again, I don't see how any of these improvements are "revolutionary". Aside from maybe Zircon all of these are just better versions of existing weapons systems.

Russia is modernizing its equipment, but its hard to see how a more manuverable fighter or an AAM that flies 50% further would "change the character of warfare". The primary concern of the article writer is unexplored/completely new fields of warfare which would blindside the US and lead to a major shift in military power.
 

Bellum_Romanum

Junior Member
Registered Member
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Anyone here read this article from SCMP yet? The PLA daily apparently being critical to some of it's commanders for not being able to recognize and adapt it's training methodologies with the modernization the PLA Army is being tasked to complete.

As this quote from the article would suggest: "Like their American counterparts, young soldiers are demonstrating precision in both computer games and live-fire drills, even though they fire live shells once or twice a year,” he said, adding that commanders would have to change their mindset to keep up. Otherwise, they can’t lead the young generation.”
 

gelgoog

Captain
Registered Member
Again, I don't see how any of these improvements are "revolutionary". Aside from maybe Zircon all of these are just better versions of existing weapons systems.

Russia is modernizing its equipment, but its hard to see how a more manuverable fighter or an AAM that flies 50% further would "change the character of warfare". The primary concern of the article writer is unexplored/completely new fields of warfare which would blindside the US and lead to a major shift in military power.

Even when it is just "better versions" of available systems it can cause a material difference. One example is the Voronezh OTH radar network. It replaces the previous Soviet Daryal and Dnepr radars. Voronezh uses like 1/50th the energy of the Daryal and costs like 1/5th to build. It requires a lot less operators because it is a lot more automated. It uses prefabricated sections so they can quickly erect one. The Soviet Union couldn't build more than two Daryals out of a planned eight. This meant the Soviet Union could not completely cover the airspace over its borders. Russia has already eight Voronezh radars operational and is in the process of building more. When you have a leap in specifications like that how can you call it anything but revolutionary?

The Russian military has a different military posture than the US and is mostly defensive. So of course they will focus on different weapon systems than the US does. This includes the nuclear deterrent and the air defense systems like I said.

It is not just Zircon. If you look at the nuclear deterrent most of the weapon systems have been replaced since Soviet times and this decade pretty much everything will be replaced. The US is still using the same systems they had in the 1980s. The Russians are developing weapons the US does not have a counter for like the Poseidon or Avangard. These already have limited availability and should enter large scale service over the next decade.

When you have a comprehensive IADS bubble like Russia does, do you need as many advanced aircraft? The answer is no. The Russian IADS is an asymmetric response to NATO air power.

Let's compare the T-90M with the M1's specs. The T-90M has an autoloader, APS, and it has the latest ERA which can degrade APFSDS ammo. People often piss that Russia had to import French thermal sights, but the US had to import the gun technology for the M1 from Germany and the Trophy APS from Israel. So who's technology is less advanced?
 

PUFF_DRAGON

New Member
Registered Member
Again, I don't see how any of these improvements are "revolutionary". Aside from maybe Zircon all of these are just better versions of existing weapons systems.

Russia is modernizing its equipment, but its hard to see how a more manuverable fighter or an AAM that flies 50% further would "change the character of warfare". The primary concern of the article writer is unexplored/completely new fields of warfare which would blindside the US and lead to a major shift in military power.
Game changers in modern industrial warfare are almost always defined by ubiquitousness.

Take for instance the Mescherschmitt Me-262, the world's first operational Jet Fighter. It actually wasn't a game change because it had massive reliability and range issues and its aerodynamics weren't that superior to high end propeller planes, along with the inability of German industry to produce them in sufficient quantities to actually ruin the USAF and VVS's day. It took until the MiG-15 and F-82 in the Korean war for jet aircraft to become "game changers" by obsoleting propeller fighter planes entirely so to speak.

So the advancements in Russian weaponry such as solid fuel SLBMs and cheap OTH radars do technically constitute game changers.
 

silentlurker

Junior Member
Registered Member
Even when it is just "better versions" of available systems it can cause a material difference. One example is the Voronezh OTH radar network. It replaces the previous Soviet Daryal and Dnepr radars. Voronezh uses like 1/50th the energy of the Daryal and costs like 1/5th to build. It requires a lot less operators because it is a lot more automated. It uses prefabricated sections so they can quickly erect one. The Soviet Union couldn't build more than two Daryals out of a planned eight. This meant the Soviet Union could not completely cover the airspace over its borders. Russia has already eight Voronezh radars operational and is in the process of building more. When you have a leap in specifications like that how can you call it anything but revolutionary?

The Russian military has a different military posture than the US and is mostly defensive. So of course they will focus on different weapon systems than the US does. This includes the nuclear deterrent and the air defense systems like I said.

It is not just Zircon. If you look at the nuclear deterrent most of the weapon systems have been replaced since Soviet times and this decade pretty much everything will be replaced. The US is still using the same systems they had in the 1980s. The Russians are developing weapons the US does not have a counter for like the Poseidon or Avangard. These already have limited availability and should enter large scale service over the next decade.

When you have a comprehensive IADS bubble like Russia does, do you need as many advanced aircraft? The answer is no. The Russian IADS is an asymmetric response to NATO air power.

Let's compare the T-90M with the M1's specs. The T-90M has an autoloader, APS, and it has the latest ERA which can degrade APFSDS ammo. People often piss that Russia had to import French thermal sights, but the US had to import the gun technology for the M1 from Germany and the Trophy APS from Israel. So who's technology is less advanced?
Well yes, at a big enough of an improvement an evolutionary change can be revolutionary. I didn't know Voronezh was so much cheaper to construct/operate than the previous generation.

Regarding Posiedon and Avangard the article does specifically mention Russia's nuclear deterrence is unmatched:

"To offset its weakness in broad conventional weapons and computing capabilities, Russia is ever-more-reliant on a profusion of new nuclear weapons for which there is no analogy in the West, such as an undersea weapon capable of creating tsunamis that could destroy broad swaths of coastline."
 

siegecrossbow

Brigadier
Staff member
Super Moderator
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Anyone here read this article from SCMP yet? The PLA daily apparently being critical to some of it's commanders for not being able to recognize and adapt it's training methodologies with the modernization the PLA Army is being tasked to complete.

As this quote from the article would suggest: "Like their American counterparts, young soldiers are demonstrating precision in both computer games and live-fire drills, even though they fire live shells once or twice a year,” he said, adding that commanders would have to change their mindset to keep up. Otherwise, they can’t lead the young generation.”

It's a fair critique. Old habits die hard. When PCL-181 first entered service some of the units switching to the new gear could not achieve good accuracy rate with their weapons. It turns out that commander/soldiers operating the new artillery didn't trust in the automatic targeting system and kept on switching to manually calculated coordinates before firing the gun. After they trusted the automatic targeting system and let the computer do the work, accuracy rate went up to 89%.
 

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