Future PLA strategic procurement priorities


EtherealSmoke

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Yet nations still pursue high end and increasingly complex conventional systems.

If one side loses conventionally, whether they would resort to the use of nuclear weapons is not guaranteed. It depends on what the conflict is about and the specific interests in question.
High end systems are very effective against non-peer nuclear nations and soon may supplant nuclear weapons in an age of new weapons technologies in space and increasingly effective defenses against nuclear attack.

Yes, agreed it does depend on scenario. The context you were writing under was the US destroying Chinese industrial sites. If we're at the point where the Americans are freely wiping out Chinese industry, then it's pretty straightforward to assume that: PLAAF is done, PLAN is done, Chinese air defense networks are gone, PLARF and Chinese nuclear deterrent is completely exposed/gone, Xi Jinping and the PSC about to be arrested/eliminated, CPC about to be regime-changed, SCS, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong gone gone gone, etc. etc.

That's the read? Or is it as Totoro describes:
I don't see that as the only or even the most likely course of events. If one side sees it's going to lose conventionally, it has two options:
A) escalating to nuclear - which has a high likelihood of escalating so much that everyone loses hard. Which involves the active side losing 50% of its population and 90% of its economy/industry/tech base.
or B) saying "ok, you win" and backing down. If it does that, it will lose a few percent of its population and some more percent of its economy/industry/tech base.

Under option A - the active country may require centuries to get to the level where it was before the war. Also centuries to get to the same level relative to the other belligerent country.
Under option B - the active country may require just decades to get to the level where it was before the war. With also a chance to once again match the other belligerent country; perhaps not within those same decades but certainly within a much, much shorter timespan than the aforementioned "centuries".
The Americans wipe PLAAF, PLAN, PLARF, wipe Chinese air defense, severely weakening Chinese nuclear deterrent and leaving China defenseless, smash Chinese industry, setting China back "a much, much shorter timespan" in an era of technological acceleration and centralization... then pull back from China at the brink, threatening nuclear annihilation if China retaliates.

Fair. But why would the Chinese agree to that, when they can skip all that nasty negative stuff by escalating quick, and to use a poker term, raise you all in with WMDs and annihilation for all? That seems to be quite a bit more level a playing field for the Chinese to want to play on.

I don't mean to frivolously discuss these scenarios. Many American think-tankers will calmly describe attacking mainland targets in various contingencies, and I remember reading a Congressional testimony earlier this year about the need to take out southern Chinese air defense in any Taiwan conflict. Hopefully there's no miscalculation here...
 

FairAndUnbiased

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I don't see that as the only or even the most likely course of events. If one side sees it's going to lose conventionally, it has two options:
A) escalating to nuclear - which has a high likelihood of escalating so much that everyone loses hard. Which involves the active side losing 50% of its population and 90% of its economy/industry/tech base.
or B) saying "ok, you win" and backing down. If it does that, it will lose a few percent of its population and some more percent of its economy/industry/tech base.

Under option A - the active country may require centuries to get to the level where it was before the war. Also centuries to get to the same level relative to the other belligerent country.
Under option B - the active country may require just decades to get to the level where it was before the war. With also a chance to once again match the other belligerent country; perhaps not within those same decades but certainly within a much, much shorter timespan than the aforementioned "centuries".
Disagree completely.

What if a fascist country invaded China and conquered a single province and are actively fighting the PLA ground forces. PLAAF and PLAN are down. Only PLARF strategic forces and a weakening PLAGF left. They are opening up concentration camps and gassing millions. China may well become a historical term.

You say that this is OK, this is just a small setback, launching is worse???
 

Bltizo

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High end systems are very effective against non-peer nuclear nations and soon may supplant nuclear weapons in an age of new weapons technologies in space and increasingly effective defenses against nuclear attack.

Yes, agreed it does depend on scenario. The context you were writing under was the US destroying Chinese industrial sites. If we're at the point where the Americans are freely wiping out Chinese industry, then it's pretty straightforward to assume that: PLAAF is done, PLAN is done, Chinese air defense networks are gone, PLARF and Chinese nuclear deterrent is completely exposed/gone, Xi Jinping and the PSC about to be arrested/eliminated, CPC about to be regime-changed, SCS, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong gone gone gone, etc. etc.

In my original post that Zeak quoted, I was describing the US striking Chinese military industrial sites.

I never described the scale with which they are doing this, but for the sake of clarification now, I was envisioning relatively surgical, long range strikes in the form of LACMs and/or future regional ballistic missile/HGV type weapons that can be defended against, but will likely still result in significant leakers.

I was not describing a situation where the US was freely wiping out Chinese industry in a situation where all of China's air defenses, air forces, and naval forces have been degraded or destroyed.
 

BoraTas

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My reply was to a comment that was (to the best of my interpretation), describing a situation that the OP believed to be the case in the present. That's why the production I described for China was also of that of the present.


Into the future, I obviously expect the gap to close. To what specific extent, none of us can predict.




I do not see a situation where China has sufficient number of global air bases that are sufficiently survivable to allow them to conduct the kind of basing or air refuelling to do so.

And if you are suggesting H-20s should conduct such raids from China mainland proper without air refuelling, well H-20 most definitely will not not have the range for it. Not to mention there's the little issue of various US bases both in the Pacific and around the world that would be on alert to try to forewarn and intercept any H-20s that China sends out.

Not to mention that being the first to use tactical nukes and against CONTUS for that matter, is a sure fire way of rapidly bringing the conflict to a nuclear threshold.


So I cannot see what you described as being anywhere near plausible.
I have actually written about this earlier in the H-20 topic. An aircraft with 4 WS-10s should have enough range for striking even the East Coast of the USA with 6-8 long-range cruise missiles with just single refueling close to China. 4 non-afterburning WS-10s will enable an MTOW up to 200 tons if China desires it. A payload fraction of 10% (enough for 6 heavy ALCMs) and an empty weight of 90 tons (pessimistic) would enable 110 tons of fuel load. This kind of fuel fraction is enough for a 7000 km combat range. With large 3-ton cruise missiles, the striking distance increases to 10000 km. This is enough for striking most places of the USA from most airstrips in China. Just a single fuel top-up after climb may enable full US coverage.
 

Bltizo

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I have actually written about this earlier in the H-20 topic. An aircraft with 4 WS-10s should have enough range for striking even the East Coast of the USA with 6-8 long-range cruise missiles with just single refueling close to China. 4 non-afterburning WS-10s will enable an MTOW up to 200 tons if China desires it. A payload fraction of 10% (enough for 6 heavy ALCMs) and an empty weight of 90 tons (pessimistic) would enable 110 tons of fuel load. This kind of fuel fraction is enough for a 7000 km combat range. With large 3-ton cruise missiles, the striking distance increases to 10000 km. This is enough for striking most places of the USA from most airstrips in China. Just a single fuel top-up after climb may enable full US coverage.

I doubt four non-AB WS-10s would allow for a heavier MTOW than B-2, which is powered by four F118s (basically non AB F110s) and has a MTOW of about 170 tons, and an internal fuel load of 70 tons.

I would be surprised if H-20 had a combat radius greater than 5000-6000 km.

With a significantly reduced payload, H-20s launched from mainland China with one single air refuelling on the return leg, may be able to strike the US western side with LACMs, but to reach out to the east coast would require a larger aircraft or more extensive air refuelling.

This of course is ignoring the extensive US bases along the way which would have early warning and fighter aircraft that would love to try and shoot down an unescorted H-20 as well.
 

BoraTas

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I doubt four non-AB WS-10s would allow for a heavier MTOW than B-2, which is powered by four F118s (basically non AB F110s) and has a MTOW of about 170 tons, and an internal fuel load of 70 tons.

I would be surprised if H-20 had a combat radius greater than 5000-6000 km.

With a significantly reduced payload, H-20s launched from mainland China with one single air refuelling on the return leg, may be able to strike the US western side with LACMs, but to reach out to the east coast would require a larger aircraft or more extensive air refuelling.

This of course is ignoring the extensive US bases along the way which would have early warning and fighter aircraft that would love to try and shoot down an unescorted H-20 as well.
Makes a lot of sense but I don't agree. There would be no point in investing in such an expensive aircraft if it wasn't able to
- Strike all USA bases in the Pacific including the West Coast.
- Strike all of the USA with nuclear cruise missiles in case of a nuclear war. Forming the third leg of the nuclear triad.
I think an aircraft with 4 modified WS-10s can very well be able to accomplish these goals with long range weaponry.
 

Bltizo

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Makes a lot of sense but I don't agree. There would be no point in investing in such an expensive aircraft if it wasn't able to
- Strike all USA bases in the Pacific including the West Coast.
- Strike all of the USA with nuclear cruise missiles in case of a nuclear war. Forming the third leg of the nuclear triad.
I think an aircraft with 4 modified WS-10s can very well be able to accomplish these goals with long range weaponry.

There most certainly is a wide variety of important missions that the H-20 can fulfill even if it cannot strike the US west coast or to strike the entirety of CONTUS with nuclear cruise missiles.

For an aircraft to be able to achieve the missions you describe would require a much larger aircraft than what we expect for H-20, larger likely by another 50% at least.
 

Lime

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H-20 will not come soon, I think it is not the PLA's priority. Otherwise the 5thG carrier-borne aircraft is more important.
 

AndrewS

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H-20 will not come soon, I think it is not the PLA's priority. Otherwise the 5thG carrier-borne aircraft is more important.

For the next 15+ years, China won't be able to build enough aircraft carriers to contest blue water control beyond the 2nd Island Chain, which limits the usefulness of 5th gen stealth fighters on carriers.

But the H-20 should? be ready in a few year's time, and could be expected to operate beyond the 2nd Island Chain, potentially conducting cruise missile strikes up to 8000km away.

Then you're looking at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, the massive F-22 airbase at Elmendorf in Alaska, all of Australia, Diego Garcia, and even the Persian Gulf (via the Malacca Straits).

With enough H-20s, you could seal off the Western Pacific from the US.
 
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Lime

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I mean China's strategy is not looking for controlling beyond the second island chain, protecting the trade route is enough.

It's a kind of defense strategy, also their carriers are used for defense. Totally different from the U.S because of different conditions of nation.

So H-20 is not the most priority because it is a very clear symbol of aggression weapon aimed at U.S.
 

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