China's SCS Strategy Thread


jacksprat

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

Code:
Please, Log in or Register to view codes content!
I can't figure out why the carrier and it's J-15s are needed in the Spratly Islands whatsoever. There isn't an occupied island down there that couldn't be adequately handled with naval gunfire and only a couple of rounds at that. That's one of the reasons for those naval guns are still around. Carrier and airwing is overkill.
 

Cheng

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

Just a couple of points.

The map you used looks like it starts from Haikou which is 200km further than the airbases on southern Hainan.

So the distances of 1200-1500km become 1000-1300km.

I'm thinking that the carrier MTOW for a J-15 is really low, so even having a buddy tanker isn't going to fill up its entire fuel capacity.
Whereas a land-based J-11 has a higher fuel capacity and can top off from dedicated tankers to make up for the longer distances.

I'm coming up with costs for the SCS mission as follows:

Carrier Based

$1.6 Billion for 30x J-15 fighters
$7.4 Billion for an aircraft carrier plus escorts

Total: $9 Billion

Land Based

$3.2 Billion for 60x J-11 fighters (2x more fighters to make up for the longer distances)
$1.6 Billion for 30x IL-78 tankers

Total: $4.8 Billion

Of course there are more variables like operating costs etc, but we can already see there is a huge difference in upfront procurement costs.

Developing a conformal fuel tank for the J-11 might also be an option, instead of relying on as many dedicated tankers.

I also take your point about flexibility and surprise for carrier-based aircraft, but there would be a lot more land-based aircraft to make up for this.

===

Plus Vietnam can barely afford to run the 36 Flankers that they have, so how many can they to divert to the SCS, given that the primary mission is along the Vietnamese-Chinese border?

I also discount whether Vietnam would dare to torpedo and sink a Chinese aircraft carrier.
If that sort of escalation were to happen, I don't see how Vietnam can avoid the Chinese Air Force flying over the skies of Hanoi.

Those 60 J-11s based in Hainan might be able to obtain air superiority over Hanoi all by themselves, given that there are only 36 flankers plus numerous Mig-21s and Su-22s.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Bltizo

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

Just a couple of points.

The map you used looks like it starts from Haikou which is 200km further than the airbases on southern Hainan.

So the distances of 1200-1500km become 1000-1300km.

I'm thinking that the carrier MTOW for a J-15 is really low, so even having a buddy tanker isn't going to fill up its entire fuel capacity.
Whereas a land-based J-11 has a higher fuel capacity and can top off from dedicated tankers to make up for the longer distances.
J-15 should be able to comfortably take off from the liaoning at MTOW. I posted a thorough translation of the conditions and payloads available here.
http://www.sinodefenceforum.com/nav...r-programme-news-views-44-6479.html#post24773

Some are naturally skeptical to the claims, so we will have to wait until J-15 takes off from the carrier with a heavy load to settle the deal. But for the purposes of argument I think taking into account both MTOW J-15 and non MTOW J-15 should be prudent.

I'm coming up with costs for the SCS mission as follows:

Carrier Based

$1.6 Billion for 30x J-15 fighters
$7.4 Billion for an aircraft carrier plus escorts

Total: $9 Billion

Land Based

$3.2 Billion for 60x J-11 fighters (2x more fighters to make up for the longer distances)
$1.6 Billion for 30x IL-78 tankers

Total: $4.8 Billion

Of course there are more variables like operating costs etc, but we can already see there is a huge difference in upfront procurement costs.

Developing a conformal fuel tank for the J-11 might also be an option, instead of relying on as many dedicated tankers.

I also take your point about flexibility and surprise for carrier-based aircraft, but there would be a lot more land-based aircraft to make up for this.

===

Plus Vietnam can barely afford to run the 36 Flankers that they have, so how many can they to divert to the SCS, given that the primary mission is along the Vietnamese-Chinese border?

I also discount whether Vietnam would dare to torpedo and sink a Chinese aircraft carrier.
If that sort of escalation were to happen, I don't see how Vietnam can avoid the Chinese Air Force flying over the skies of Hanoi.

Those 60 J-11s based in Hainan might be able to obtain air superiority over Hanoi all by themselves, given that there are only 36 flankers plus numerous Mig-21s and Su-22s.

... I think we are overthinking a china-Vietnam conflict. The whole idea is that a liaoning CVBG would be a relevant asset in such a scenario, the question is less about what other assets china will seek to bring in.
 
Last edited:

Jeff Head

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

Personally I'm less worried about the Vietnamese air threat than their submarine threat...
Which has been my point all along.

Bltizo said:
...not 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.
The new Kilo subs that are currently building are quite a bit newer than the Chinese Kilos. Yes, the PLAN knows a lot about those subs, how they operate, their characteristics, etc., but they may also have different sensors, and newer characteristics.

That's why I indicate that before any larger task force (particularly with the carrier) ever were to conduct operations that might include conflict down that far into the SCS, they would necessariluy have to deal with that threat. Longer range ASW maritime aircraft, ASW helicopters...and principally their own Kilo or Yuan SSKs would conduct operations to sanitize the area.

jacksprat said:
I can't figure out why the carrier and it's J-15s are needed in the Spratly Islands whatsoever. There isn't an occupied island down there that couldn't be adequately handled with naval gunfire and only a couple of rounds at that. That's one of the reasons for those naval guns are still around. Carrier and airwing is overkill.
Jack, naval gunfire can certainly reduce each of the islands, the largest of which is something like 385 acres. But they can do that if they are uncontested. That is the point.

The islands surround come areas considered rich in natural resources and therefore of importance to the nations that claim them. Depending on how important, any of the five nations making claims there could seek to protect them from other nations. It's happened in the past. Depending on the size of task force involved in attakcing or defending, a carrier (if it can be applied) is like a trump card, and would be very beneficial in winning any confrontation. But, the carrier group also has to contend with subs, and potential land air.

When you consider the Spratlys, you are looking at a large area with many reefs, shoals, and small Islands. The shoals, and most of the reefs are completely covered by water at high tide, but quite a few are not. Some of the islands are relatively large, from 20 or so acres up to over 350 acres of dry land.

The various nations making claims on various islands and reefs are as follows, with the number of acres of dry land shown:

People's Republic of China: (6 Reefs)
Gaven Reef : North - 192 acres with supply platform, and fortress
: South - 148 acres
Cuarteron Reef - no dry land, but has a supply platform and fortress
Fiery Cross Reef - no dry land, but has a Marine Observation station
Johnson Reef - no dry land, but has a MArine Station and Supply Depot (site of 1988 skirmish with Vietnam
Mischief Reef - no dry land, but has a Reef Fortress
Subi Reef - no dry land, but has a four story control building, weather station, helipad, and controled lagoon anchorage.

Vietnam: (5 islands)
Truong Sa Island - 36 acres
Southwest Cay - 25 acres

Republic of China (Taiwan): (1 island, 1 reef)
Taiping - 384 acres (largest Island)
Zhongzhou Reef - 1.5 acres

Philippines: (7 islands)
Thitu - 84 acres
West York Island - 40 acres

Malaysia: (1 island, 5 reefs, 1 shoal)
Layang Island - 25 acres

The PRC has been the most busy fortifying and improving each of their reefs in the Spratlys. Typically they enter an area and lay down marker buoys for where they wish to establish a position, then they will occupy an area by building "fisherman shelters" on stilts to establish their new claim, then, overtime, they steadliy improve those positions into all sorts of supply stations, communications stations, weather stations, anchorages etc., most of them fortified.

The other nations each occupy one or more actual islands and have some structures and installations on those islands...but they are not really fortified.
 
Last edited:

joshuatree

Captain
Re: PLAN Aircraft Carrier programme..News & Views

......
That's why I indicate that before any larger task force (particularly with the carrier) ever were to conduct operations that might include conflict down that far into the SCS, they would necessariluy have to deal with that threat. Longer range ASW maritime aircraft, ASW helicopters...and principally their own Kilo or Yuan SSKs would conduct operations to sanitize the area.

.....

The PRC has been the most busy fortifying and improving each of their reefs in the Spratlys. Typically they enter an area and lay down marker buoys for where they wish to establish a position, then they will occupy an area by building "fisherman shelters" on stilts to establish their new claim, then, overtime, they steadliy improve those positions into all sorts of supply stations, communications stations, weather stations, anchorages etc., most of them fortified.

The other nations each occupy one or more actual islands and have some structures and installations on those islands...but they are not really fortified.

Regardless of Vietnam's Kilos, I really don't see any decent Admiral sending out a carrier without proper ASW measures. Even if Vietnam did not have Kilos, it doesn't mean Japan can't have subs lurking in SCS or the US, etc etc. With respect to Vietnam's Kilos, on paper, this has given them a means to counter. However, it will take some time for them to learn to effectively use them and maintain them. I don't know why the Russians aren't doing the training but rather the Indians? Some political hesitation with regards to China? But during this period, the Chinese already are intimate with the Kilos albeit maybe some different sensors on the Vietnamese model. And they will speed up their ASW developments. We're seeing that already with new 056 variant, etc. So it will just be moves, counter moves, etc. Let's not forget China has their subs at their disposal as well.

I'm not so sure China is the most busy fortifying their locations. I believe Vietnam actually has the most number of troop occupied islands/reefs, more than all others combined. If we look at the pics of Vietnamese controlled areas, they are pretty decently fortified too. I wish when reading Western media describing these places, they would actually put as much detail and analysis on all the claimants' controlled possessions. I don't think that makes the Chinese ones look all that ominous when that bigger picture is portrayed.

If some of the larger possessions such as Woody Island start basing ASW weapons/platforms, that would also be a consideration Vietnam's Kilos will have to contend and counters their operations against a carrier.
 

Preux

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

I remember reading similar postings on Chinese fora about a decade or so ago (well, my Chinese was barely adequate back then but I believe I got the gist) when the place was buzzing with indignation over Taiwan, and later on Yugoslavia and then the Hainan incident... back then there was a lot of discussion (most of which hot air) about how China can deal with a US CVBG, and it always came down to one point...

So assuming you DID sink a CV. What then? War starts when you want them to but they don't necessarily end when you want them to. So I concur with Jeff, the VPA will exercise caution and restraint and so will the PLA.
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
We can continue any discussions regarding strategies in the South China Sea here.
 

Air Force Brat

Brigadier
Super Moderator
Re: PLAN Aircraft Carrier programme..News & Views

Which has been my point all along.

The new Kilo subs that are currently building are quite a bit newer than the Chinese Kilos. Yes, the PLAN knows a lot about those subs, how they operate, their characteristics, etc., but they may also have different sensors, and newer characteristics.

That's why I indicate that before any larger task force (particularly with the carrier) ever were to conduct operations that might include conflict down that far into the SCS, they would necessariluy have to deal with that threat. Longer range ASW maritime aircraft, ASW helicopters...and principally their own Kilo or Yuan SSKs would conduct operations to sanitize the area.

Jack, naval gunfire can certainly reduce each of the islands, the largest of which is something like 385 acres. But they can do that if they are uncontested. That is the point.

The islands surround come areas considered rich in natural resources and therefore of importance to the nations that claim them. Depending on how important, any of the five nations making claims there could seek to protect them from other nations. It's happened in the past. Depending on the size of task force involved in attakcing or defending, a carrier (if it can be applied) is like a trump card, and would be very beneficial in winning any confrontation. But, the carrier group also has to contend with subs, and potential land air.

When you consider the Spratlys, you are looking at a large area with many reefs, shoals, and small Islands. The shoals, and most of the reefs are completely covered by water at high tide, but quite a few are not. Some of the islands are relatively large, from 20 or so acres up to over 350 acres of dry land.

The various nations making claims on various islands and reefs are as follows, with the number of acres of dry land shown:

People's Republic of China: (6 Reefs)
Gaven Reef : North - 192 acres with supply platform, and fortress
: South - 148 acres
Cuarteron Reef - no dry land, but has a supply platform and fortress
Fiery Cross Reef - no dry land, but has a Marine Observation station
Johnson Reef - no dry land, but has a MArine Station and Supply Depot (site of 1988 skirmish with Vietnam
Mischief Reef - no dry land, but has a Reef Fortress
Subi Reef - no dry land, but has a four story control building, weather station, helipad, and controled lagoon anchorage.

Vietnam: (5 islands)
Truong Sa Island - 36 acres
Southwest Cay - 25 acres

Republic of China (Taiwan): (1 island, 1 reef)
Taiping - 384 acres (largest Island)
Zhongzhou Reef - 1.5 acres

Philippines: (7 islands)
Thitu - 84 acres
West York Island - 40 acres

Malaysia: (1 island, 5 reefs, 1 shoal)
Layang Island - 25 acres

The PRC has been the most busy fortifying and improving each of their reefs in the Spratlys. Typically they enter an area and lay down marker buoys for where they wish to establish a position, then they will occupy an area by building "fisherman shelters" on stilts to establish their new claim, then, overtime, they steadliy improve those positions into all sorts of supply stations, communications stations, weather stations, anchorages etc., most of them fortified.

The other nations each occupy one or more actual islands and have some structures and installations on those islands...but they are not really fortified.
Will those Kilo's have AIP or are the conventional with a diesel/batteries and snorkel??? brat
they will be dangerous in any respect???
 
Last edited:

Jeff Head

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

Will those Kilo's have AIP or are the conventional with a diesel/batteries and snorkel??? brat
they will be dangerous in any respect???
Well, according to USNI News article, Vietnam ordered the most advanced variant of the new Kilo, the improved 636MV.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
:

USNI said:
6 Kilo-class submarine has been dubbed the “black hole” by the U.S. Navy for its level of quietness. The Project 636MV-class sub has improved stealth features through the removal of flooding ports and treating the hull with multilayer anechoic rubber tiles. The tiles are fitted on casings and fins to absorb active sonar waves that reduce and distort the return signal. The anechoic tiles also shield sounds from within the submarine thus reducing the range of detection by passive sonar.”



This 636MV-class Kilo has six 533-mm forward torpedo tubes. It can carry 18 torpedoes (six loaded in the tubes and 12 in racks) or 24 mines (two in each tube and 12 in racks). Two of the torpedo tubes are designed to fire remote-controlled torpedoes with very high accuracy. It can also fire anti-ship cruise missiles from its torpedo tubes. They also carry and can launch from periscope depth the MANPADS Strela-3 antiaircraft missiles.

The 636MV-class Kilo is 73.8 meters (242 ft.) in length, 9.9 meters (32.4 ft.) in width with a draft of 6.2 meters (20.34 ft.). It has a surface displacement of 2,350 tons and can dive up to quarter of a mile. They are powered by diesel-electric engines but have an option for AIP power to increase their underwater range and stealth. They have a range of 9,650 km (5,996 miles) and can travel 700 km (434 miles) underwater at 2.7 knots (5 km/hour) at quiet speed. The Kilo can reach a top speed of 20 knots (37 km/hour).

Vietnam apparently did not buy the Air Independent Propulsion system
 
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.
Where did you get the info that Vietnam has 60 SU-27 ?
 

Top