China's SCS Strategy Thread


joshuatree

Captain
Re: What military options available now in Spratly Islands.

That top pic looks like Woody Island. Can't say if it's enhanced, maybe a different angle?

Those two links are great, more updated pics of "daily life". Some of those bases look lacking in firepower though. Old school manned anti-aircraft guns? Figure maybe at least a missile launcher somewhere. :D
 

akinkhoo

Junior Member
Re: What military options available now in Spratly Islands.

china isn't really tie down on taiwan, it most powerful fleet is station south, not east. also BP doesn't want to drill in disrupted waters. IMO, china is in control of the situation with military superiority; you must know china is building a new image in ASEAN doesn't want to be seen as an aggressor or expansionist at this point. i think China would be happy to have a share of the pie then to bully everyone away.
 

antisino

Just Hatched
Registered Member
Re: What military options available now in Spratly Islands.

Spratly and paracel belong to Viet Nam,
No country can drill oil from that area.

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SteelBird

Major
Re: What military options available now in Spratly Islands.

Wow, looks like this thread has been sleeping for a rather long time. I've just found this on YouTube:

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The clip is about the Chinese naval vessel firing their 37mm cannon and killing the 64 Vietnamese soldiers on an islet of the Spratly Islands.

The Chinese version of the story told a different thing. However, they all admit the killing of the Vietnamese soldiers and sinking two Vietnamese vessels.

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MODERATOR NOTICE: This thread was originally about the Spratly Islands and Vietnam's activites with respect to development and defense. It was started in 2007 and had little traffic. More recently we have had a lot of discussion about the South China Sea and the Islands there, as they relate to the use of China's carrier group, the new submarines that Vietnam has purchased and the general growth in naval power in the entire South China Sea area.

The new posts are being moved here so that discussion can occur on this thread and take other threads off topic. Thank you.


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Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Re: PLAN Aircraft Carrier programme..News & Views

Jeff, there is no need to remind you that mods should give the exemple and not engage in OT discussion.
I have attempted to keep my discussion directed at the use of the Kilos by Vietnam as a hedge/defense against any PLAN Aircraft carrier group in the SCS when it comes to disputes with Vietnam.

A technical discussion of that nature is something that is well within the purvue or scope of this thread. I keep trying to get back to that point, which I believe is an important thing for PLAN strategist to take into account.

IMHO, clealry, any PLAN Aircraft carrier group in the SCS, if it is at all involved in any dispute with Vietnamese islands in the future, will have to have very good littoral ASW capabilities.

I expect any PLAN CSG involved in any type of operation like that would have the strongest ASW vessels the PLAN has available, as well as at least one of their very best SSNs. It would also stand fairly well off until such a time as the threat has been found, or shown to not be in the area. In addition, if they expected any potential for confrontation, I expect they would use their own Kilos or Yuan class vessels to sanitize any area of operations to accomplish that.

Discussing those realities has been my intent with the discussion...sorry it got dragged OT into other, unrelated matters.
 

Cheng

New Member
Re: PLAN Aircraft Carrier programme..News & Views

I have attempted to keep my discussion directed at the use of the Kilos by Vietnam as a hedge/defense against any PLAN Aircraft carrier group in the SCS when it comes to disputes with Vietnam.

A technical discussion of that nature is something that is well within the purvue or scope of this thread. I keep trying to get back to that point, which I believe is an important thing for PLAN strategist to take into account.

IMHO, clealry, any PLAN Aircraft carrier group in the SCS, if it is at all involved in any dispute with Vietnamese islands in the future, will have to have very good littoral ASW capabilities.

I expect any PLAN CSG involved in any type of operation like that would have the strongest ASW vessels the PLAN has available, as well as at least one of their very best SSNs. It would also stand fairly well off until such a time as the threat has been found, or shown to not be in the area. In addition, if they expected any potential for confrontation, I expect they would use their own Kilos or Yuan class vessels to sanitize any area of operations to accomplish that.

Discussing those realities has been my intent with the discussion...sorry it got dragged OT into other, unrelated matters.
The SCS is about 1200 Km from Hainan.

So land-based J-15s or J-11s already have the range to conduct strike missions and provide air cover.

If they get fueled up by a tanker after take off, they should have the time to loiter over the area as well.

My guess is that this would provide more combat capability than carrier-based fighters with a lower payload.

At the same time, aircraft tankers are a lot more cost-effective than operating a carrier group.

So in terms of combat capability and cost-effectiveness, it would be better to operate land-based fighters from Hainan.

But an aircraft carrier has great value as a symbol, which is what we see in the SCS now.
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Re: PLAN Aircraft Carrier programme..News & Views

The SCS is about 1200 Km from Hainan.
Well, that depends on where in the SCS you are talking about. Let's examine a map:




The two island groups that have been fought over in the past are the Paracels and the Spratlys.

The Paracels are approximately 600 km to the South East of Hainan Island. Thye are well within range of Hainan Island.

The Spratlys however, are between 1200 and 1500 km from Hainan Island and this is a significant distance. Very risky to try and maintian any air coverage with any persistance there from Hainan Island. Those islands are far, far closer to Vietnam by air and by sea

My guess is that this would provide more combat capability than carrier-based fighters with a lower payload.

At the same time, aircraft tankers are a lot more cost-effective than operating a carrier group.

So in terms of combat capability and cost-effectiveness, it would be better to operate land-based fighters from Hainan.
This is not necessarily so.

The J-15 is an effective strike fighter with good range and good carrying capacity. With buddy fule stores, one or two other J-15s can operate as tankers for the carrier aircraft and allow them to launch with full weapons, and with the necessary range.

Such aircraft could carry out operations against islands, and protect the carrier and other vessels which are part of a PLAN taks force. They would be able to provide much more persistant coverage, and would be much more flexible because of the ability for the carrier to move...so the ingress and egress routes would not be so easy to determine for an adversary.

But an aircraft carrier has great value as a symbol, which is what we see in the SCS now.
This is true...and for show the flag and to send a strong message they are good.

But, as I have just demonstrated, particularly at the range to the further islands, the carrier and its airwing provide the PRC and the PLAN with a much more flexible option, with better coverage and persistance, and with just as effective armaments than what strike fighters launching from Hainan could hope to acocmplish.

So, both for addressing any island group that far off, and, of critical importance, for protecting the Task ofrce the PLAN might send down there, the carrier and its air wing is a far superior option. Which is one of the reasons the the PLAN is acquiring them.

Which brings us back to the intiial issue I raised.

In order for the PRC/PLAN to be able to enjoy that flexibility and advantages that a strong airwing aboard their carrier can bring, and to do so at significantly reduced risk, the PLAN simply must address the greatest threat to the carrier a nation like Vietnam can employ, their new, advanced SSKs (which are to be based near Cam Ranh...and the map shows you why as they relate to the Spratleys).

This will be true for any nation in such a dispute that can field advanced SSks in the shallower and more restricted waters like the SCS. It is precisely why those nations are procuring them.
 
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chuck731

Banned Idiot
Re: PLAN Aircraft Carrier programme..News & Views

In the scenario where both sides are expected to go all out in SCS contest, then I think the Chinese would probably first deploy considerable parts of its own much larger SSK force to SCS to neutralize Vietnamese SSK fleet, then use PLAAF to attack bases and installations along Vietnamese coast to force the 60 or so Su-27 in Vietnamese inventory to be tied down to home defence and be worn down, before attempting any major surface incurrsion with capital surface units into contested area well outside the range of remaining Vietnamese air assets like Su-22 and Mig-21.

I think a single medium size carrier like Liaoning simply won't be able to assure sustained local air superiority in southern parts of SCS unless there is coordinated effort by PLAAF to tied down and attrite Vietnam's own Su-27 fleet.

In any case, operating one single carrier in any warzone is always a high risk endeavor, since a single landing mishap can deprive the fleet of all of its long range striking power and combat air cover.
 
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Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Re: PLAN Aircraft Carrier programme..News & Views

...Vietnam can deploy up to 60 Su-27 and derivatives to dispute air control over southern parts of SCS, and a mere 36 fighters on a single medium sized carrier would probably not be able to assure control of air space over Chinese fleet.
They would not be able to send all of their modern aircraft to a SCS confrontation precisely because they would be needed to defend against attacks/threats from other quarters. I would expect 12-18 max, while allowing for said defenses, maintenance, etc.

In addition, a sizable CAP of J-15s near the CV would be able to defend against significant probes and attacks from the air, particularly when the opponent aircraft will have to 1st find the task force. That task force will lay off the islands by 60-100 miles in some direction and not revael themselves at the island until sea control and air dominance is obtained.

The bottom line, without getting overly specific about war gaming direct Vietnamese and Chinese scenarios, is that an aircraft carrier with a decent air wing (like the 18-24 J-15s the Liaoning will ultimate deploy with) gives you greater flexibility, better on-scene persistance and loiter, and with refueling can provide just as strong of packages (either AAW or sttrike or close support) as a land based aircraft could...and do so from much closer at hand, and yet from a location unknown to the opponent.

It is a very powerful tool that the PLAN is developing, and ultimately I expect that they will have 3-5 of them.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Re: PLAN Aircraft Carrier programme..News & Views

Not to turn this into a hypothetical PLA vs VPA scenario.... but those same Flanker airbases in range would probably be hit by cruise and ballistic missiles. PLA has developed their conventional missile forces for the exact reason of supplementing or even replacing long range precision airstrikes.

Also, we have to consider that Vietnam isn't a small place and its airbases are quite dispersed as well, and not all flanker bases are facing China.



Personally I'm less worried about the Vietnamese air threat than their submarine threat -- which is actually not particularly mighty, but still probably not quite worth risking a carrier in. At least not for the forseeable future -- maybe once the PLAN's ASW capability is more mature, e.g.: more and heavier ASW helicopters than the Z-9, more crews familiar and experienced in their FFGs and DDGs for conducting ASW, that kind of thing.
(I'm not dissing the kilo class, but rather the statement is made in reference to how PLAN's operated kilos for about a decade now and should know a lot of it in and out)
 

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