PLA strike strategies in westpac HIC (first wave, sustained, other)


Patchwork_Chimera

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^ Phillipines infrastructure is already in motion and allows stockpiling.

Okinawa has major US infrastructure, so "realistically" depends on US intentions and commitment. And Taiwan does have CMs and BMs. They cant be ignored.

Your original point about no real estate existing is simply false.
As much as I wish you were right, you're not.

The Philippines have explicitly banned US Bases as part of their new constitution, and we're only allowed to set foot on their soil due to the Visiting Forces Agreement. In the 2010s they began allowing the US to use Subic Bay to make port calls as long as we seek and obtain prior approval from the PH government, but that's all. The only notable time we've used it in support of operations has been to host transitory supplies and servicemen for a joint exercise in 2015 In total we have less than 200 servicemen in the Philippines (practically all of whom are there as advisors/trainers to support the PH's fight against ISIS), of which only 10 are from the Navy.

We do not have any major military presence in the PH, and this article (notably by Stripes lol) is just referencing a comment about the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. During a thinktank's discussion on that agreement, the ambassador to the US simply said they "plan" to move fairly quickly. However, that statement doesn't mean very much. The agreement was signed in 2014, and simply allows the US to build facilities for servicemen and supplies in 5 Philippine bases. That never ended up being done, and has been subject to pretty much constant political friction from/in the Philippines - especially lately due to the election.
 

Mohsin77

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In the software Tempest and I built with genuinely awesome folks from 6th Intelligence Squadron (and which we're - as part of that super secret big project - are going to be tidying up and releasing as a public tool/"game" :p),

I'd actually buy that "game", unlike that Command "sim."

So... moral of the story: "in milshit, the answer is almost always 'it's complicated,' and single, public, consistent, and meaningful performance metrics are vanishingly rare."

Thanks for the detailed breakdown. I was surprised that notching is still a thing for the SAM vs CMs scenario (but then again, of course it is, I just never considered it in this context.)

Net conclusion being: Under good conditions, subsonic CMs can run circles around any SAM system and remain a potent threat. But there are conditions in which the ratio flips, and SAMs can achieve a high interception rate, but it all depends on the many parameters and variables of the specific engagement.

This of course, is agnostic of the saturation problem. But for that, case in point:


Not as much as you may think. The need for supporting infrastructure, decent throughput + paved (if overland) + resilient sustainment vectors, radio, satcom, and datalink emissions, topographic challenges (can't launch an IRBM in trees, can't drive a ROGUE fires JLTV over swamplands, and can't improvise an airstrip in hills), and more all make DMO/EABO/ACE+ACO very anemic CONOPs.

I had a good talk with some folks from PACAF a few days ago while I was in DC where we discussed the sustainment requirements for even a single fighter squadron being all but unsupportable even in as ideal of a spot as Luzon. Getting the requisite materiel not only to whatever improvised port is offloading cargo, but doing so in the face of the PLA's anti-shipping complex, but then to transport it inland to dispersed, ostensibly """""concealed""""" forces is a huge logistical obstacle to sortie and fires generation.

The need to support personnel and operations is also a significant challenge. There's a reason PLARF Brigades require such extensive facilities after all. Munition inspection, transport, and mating; vehicle fueling, maintenance, and crewing; and all the other aspects of effectively employing standoff munitions via mobile TELs are the kinds of things that don't come cheap. Not in money, manning, or infrastructure. NMESIS is certainly making strides, but the reality of it is, a 100nm buffer around most landmasses isn't especially big; and the actual, in practice volume of fires that can be generated is not sufficient to seriously impede PLAN operations.

All of the aforementioned emissions are also a problem. ELINT/COMINT is sort of an area in which the PLA excels, and they have an amply large inventory of platforms capable of facilitating it. Command and control of these forces would necessitate them speaking over SATCOM or other very-much-NOT-LPI solution. The cueing process would require either manual programming of the munition with information provided over the C3 network, or the presence of a datalink, which - sadly - would most likely be LINK16; and LINK16 is about as far from LPI as you can get these days, as an omnidirectional not-at-all-inconspicuous xmission. The reason F-22s are only capable of receiving LINK16 data as of Update 6, but explicitly unable to Xmit, is because it would give away their location. Theoretically some more modern LPD waveforms can be integrated into the LINK16 architecture, and that sorta stuff is planned for the future, but we're a ways off.

All of this comes together to create a low-effectiveness, logistically unsustainable, vulnerable, semi-concealed force that can only really operate as a pest/deterrent rather than as a meaningful contributor to local combat power.
As much as I wish you were right, you're not.

The Philippines have explicitly banned US Bases as part of their new constitution, and we're only allowed to set foot on their soil due to the Visiting Forces Agreement. In the 2010s they began allowing the US to use Subic Bay to make port calls as long as we seek and obtain prior approval from the PH government, but that's all. The only notable time we've used it in support of operations has been to host transitory supplies and servicemen for a joint exercise in 2015 In total we have less than 200 servicemen in the Philippines (practically all of whom are there as advisors/trainers to support the PH's fight against ISIS), of which only 10 are from the Navy.

We do not have any major military presence in the PH, and this article (notably by Stripes lol) is just referencing a comment about the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. During a thinktank's discussion on that agreement, the ambassador to the US simply said they "plan" to move fairly quickly. However, that statement doesn't mean very much. The agreement was signed in 2014, and simply allows the US to build facilities for servicemen and supplies in 5 Philippine bases. That never ended up being done, and has been subject to pretty much constant political friction from/in the Philippines - especially lately due to the election.

Perfect. I love being wrong when it helps me lolz

So for the US to amass CMs on these sites is currently very problematic. That's good news. Now, it's going to be up to the US to decide how they wanna deal with this. If this real-estate is turning into a liability, i.e. it is unable to "meaningfully contribute", then it seems like withdrawal from the theater is the rational option. There's not much functional use in keeping token forces in a logistically unsustainable environment where they will just soak up valuable resources and will likely be unsurvivable if the missiles start flying.

The other option would be to double-down and massively re-invest (economically and geopolitically) in this theater, expand operations at all these sites, including Philippines, Okinawa etc. and turn them into a potent forward arsenal which can actually contribute to offensive fires. But that may have an associated cost that is simply unfeasible at this point.

It seems like the US is strategically confused. It doesn't want to withdraw from the theater, but isn't willing to commit to it either (so basically, business as usual for the US.)
 

Patchwork_Chimera

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This is the second or third time I've seen you trash C:NAO. I have my own problems with how it models Chinese hardware (and doesn't allow me to edit the stat db) but I don't think I hold it in as low regard as you do. Can you recommend another sim that's publicly available?
There really isn't any good publicly available software for that kind of thing. C:MO is the best you'll get, as bad as it is. The people who don't dislike it are generally the people who just won't realize there's anything wrong with it is all. It's a fun game I guess, and I used to play the crap out of CMANO (and played a couple hundred hours of CMO) so it's not like I haven't had a decent time with it. The problem is that it's just... completely wrong about so so much.

The way sorties are generated and the manner in which they're employed is completely incongruent with real life. The Missions AI is.. well, godawful to put it nicely, which means the entire thing has to be micromanaged if you want units to behave reasonably. The TAC AI is also abysmal, with individual aircraft making laughably stupid choices over and over and over again ("hm, yes, today I think I will evade the MANPAD by decreasing my altitude and flying directly towards the nearest S-400"), the AAMs and SAMs are modeled horrifically (there is no energy management involved, they simply get up to a certain velocity and keep going at essentially that speed until they either impact or whiff) which leads to completely ridiculous air combat and SAM evasion, Electronic Warfare is a complete garbage fire, with literally zero effort put in to make it even remotely realistic ("bro aren't jammers just push button > every platform with LOS is now degraded or spoofed??" "bro what do you mean you have to index destructive waveforms and generate them before you xmit?" "what do you mean my legacy ALQ-99 can't conduct EA on 3,218 individual threat emitters bro?" i mean it's just stupid), C3 is literally nonexistent, there's next to no regard for the fact that if you're 11 hours in to a 12 hour rearmament, it won't take another 12 hours to replace 2 JDAMs from that profile with 2 JSOWs, and oh so very much more - and that's not even getting into the sheer laziness of the devs. Tempest has been friends with JD and Iain and Dimitris, and the crap I've heard is kind of ridiculous. It's been years, and the title screen still doesn't have Florida. Real world in testing assets are simply not modeled for some nations, while other nations *cough* USA *cough* get hyper-experimental tech that won't see service until the 2040s. Obvious, easy fixes that have been reported and requested amply are ignored even when they are posted on the forum to every specification Dimitris demands. Not to mention, Dimitris goes around on social media to argue with people who have posted criticism of his game elsewhere, and JD and Iain are serial western exceptionalists (apparently they called that godawful Hyp*ps carrier video "chinese propaganda" and took away their access to the professional version of command lmao).

Jokes aside, people find that difficult to palate for good reason. You said you're not a politics guy, but the political angle is very important here. Japan is not going to transform its armed forces along the lines of North Korea's for several reasons:
  • The secret sauce to North Korea's deterrent strategy is that North Korea is worthless. There's nothing to be gained by attacking North Korea. If there actually were a good reason, the US would bite the bullet and do so. It would take a black eye and send the DPRK to the morgue. Japan, unlike the DPRK, is very much worth attacking and China would take a black eye if necessary.
  • Doing significant damage to China is the difference between facing an overwhelmingly powerful PLA and an overwhelmingly powerful, very pissed off PLA. The PLA can shift its attacks on Japan from purely military targets to the infrastructure necessary to support human life.
  • Japan signed a mutual defense pact with the US, not a mutual suicide pact. If the Japanese bureaucracy's thinking on Chinese power shifts far enough, they'll not respond by putting on a bomb vest. They'll respond by turning to the US and saying, "Well, it's been fun but now's the time we hop off your bandwagon and hop on theirs."
  • Last but not least, hubris and institutional inertia. No country with some cash in its wallet ever willingly embraced guerrilla tactics, certainly not suicide bomber tactics like you're proposing. Everybody likes their shiny capital ships and big-ticket items.
Well to be fair, what I said was half in jest lol. With that said, I would disagree with some of this.

Japan, in the event of a US+JP vs CN conflict, are totally boned. Pretty much plain and simple. There is no likely scenario, unless we're all completely wrong about and are overestimating the PRC, in which the Japanese military doesn't get torn a new one. It won't be a 24 hour easy peasy operation by any stretch of the imagination, but the disparity in forces - and more importantly - the disparity of fires is overwhelming. Should the JSDF be called upon to fight, its duty will consist essentially of delaying the inevitable for as long as possible, not conducting meaningful offensive operations. Thus, why bother entering the war in that case? At best, the US would be able to generate a small volume of sorties from Japanese soil, but it overall it would serve little purpose other than as a fires sponge for the PLA to expend munitions upon.

With this in mind, supposing the loss is inevitable, the best option is not to play. However, due to the limited ability of the JSDF to inflict damage upon the PRC, this isn't a choice the Japanese may have the luxury of making. As I said, the JSDF would be functionally a defensive force, and would thus create no major, inherent cost - other than the opportunity costs of degrading and destroying the Japanese operational system - to initiate hostilities against. On the other hand, should the JSDF invest widely in standoff cruise and conventional ballistic missile forces, the ability for Japan to inflict meaningful damage upon the PRC is much more present. This poses far more of a dilemma for CMC leadership, and may produce far more effect on PRC and PLA decision making than any amount of defensive procurement.

That's also another reason why your ultra-FIRES strategy isn't going to find purchase. Ultimately, the US allies who would implement it are real people with families and dreams who would be killed in that kind of war.
Indeed, I agree with you. The reality is, no military would ever divest most of its conventional warfighting apparatus in favor of sheer fires volume - regardless of whether or not it makes them more capable. When I say I'm not much into politics, I mean that in both a descriptive sense, and a proscriptive sense. I invest a good deal of effort to ensure I keep my analysis purely data-driven, as when politics gets involved, thats when you get compromises. I hate compromises. If I were to factor politics into the equation, I would have posited that for a nation like Taiwan or SK, divesting ~30% of older aircraft inventory, ~25% of lowest-significance land force systems, and most of the naval assets not expected to be operating outside of the PLAN's anti-shipping complex at the start of hostilities. This would be funneled into procurement for standoff naval mines (Korea is, kinda humorously, super well positioned to launch large numbers of such systems into the Bohai Sea/East China Sea border with the aim of complicating naval operations), ground launch VLO cruise missile with sufficient range to target Northeastern Chinese critical infrastructure and C2 facilities, and for a production apparatus capable of generating a large inventory of these systems, which will be stored in dispersed locations throughout the country.

This would provide those types of nations with a significant retaliatory capability, ample longevity for it, and would not significantly impede conventional military operation. However, it's a half measure. The 70% of remaining aerial inventory, and the 75% of remaining land force systems are still going to be sitting around, doing next to nothing for the majority of - if not the entire - conflict. I'm sure you see what I'm getting at.

There's a difference between a temporary tactical withdrawal and a full and permanent retreat from the western Pacific
Not as much as you may think. CVNs operating at standoff distance from the PRC are able to generate pretty poor sortie volumes (I wouldn't put it much above 85-100 sorties per day per carrier at surge tempo), and with the majority of closer-in infrastructure destroyed or disabled, there is a very limited amount of basing available for air operations. At this rate, the US is essentially unable to operate in the WESTPAC anywhere near the first island chain. Regardless of initial circumstance, anything other than a ludicrously heavy forward presence, PLA bad luck and poor decision making, and god's blessing will result in the PLA thrashing 7FLT AOR forces, and essentially leaves Guam as the westernmost major military facility (i guess excluding Australia). Whether the US can muster forces and wear the PLA down is somewhat doubtful, but it's essentially the only chance we've got, since the "fast war" concept is a near total losing game.
 

AndrewS

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All of this comes together to create a low-effectiveness, logistically unsustainable, vulnerable, semi-concealed force that can only really operate as a pest/deterrent rather than as a meaningful contributor to local combat power.

That is interesting.

I've long thought that a DF-26 IRBM could dispense a very large number of tungsten/DU ball bearing submunitions at a target like an airfield.
Enough that you could expect a single DF-26 to theoretically blanket somewhere like Andersen Airbase and ensure every large aircraft (eg. Bomber/Tanker/AEW) left on the ground would be hit at least once.
 
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Patchwork_Chimera

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You're talking to me, you know you're liable to get handed a lengthy effortpost response, you know the deal by now. Post 1 of 2.

I'd actually buy that "game", unlike that Command "sim."
Lol hopefully you'll be able to by the end of the year, putting meat on the bones is a lot harder than I imagined - we're not so interested in UX when using it as an analytical tool, but it's just not interesting or enjoyable to interact with if you don't invest effort into it.

Thanks for the detailed breakdown. I was surprised that notching is still a thing for the SAM vs CMs scenario (but then again, of course it is, I just never considered it in this context.)

Net conclusion being: Under good conditions, subsonic CMs can run circles around any SAM system and remain a potent threat. But there are conditions in which the ratio flips, and SAMs can achieve a high interception rate, but it all depends on the many parameters and variables of the specific engagement.

This of course, is agnostic of the saturation problem. But for that, case in point:
Yeah, pretty much. If there is sufficient EA support, the airspace is relatively sanitized, and there isn't literally a whole navy and the world's most capable counter air complex between the launch platform and the target set - even non LO subsonic cruise missiles have a field day penetrating air defenses and affecting targets. The fact of the matter is, you can't cover every inch of your borders or of a target's surroundings with SAMs, and there are going to be some gaps resulting from the low altitude, terrain, and any aforementioned electronic warfare (not even factoring in a SEAD/DEAD campaign in earnest). Those gaps can be, and are, exploited to get CMs through SAM coverage, and in the terminal phase - the lack of early warning or transit-phase interception, the relatively low signature of the munition, and the volume of fires are able to muscle through many point defenses and arrive at their aimpoint.

On the other hand, ample AEW, EWR, naval radar, and SAM system-level radars are capable of detecting even VLO munitions at a respectable distance, and can maul even large salvos of CMs. We've had sim iterations where luck and competent pathing has been the difference between complete destruction of a target and the salvo being torn to tatters by GBAA.
Perfect. I love being wrong when it helps me lolz

So for the US to amass CMs on these sites is currently very problematic. That's good news. Now, it's going to be up to the US to decide how they wanna deal with this. If this real-estate is turning into a liability, i.e. it is unable to "meaningfully contribute", then it seems like withdrawal from the theater is the rational option. There's not much functional use in keeping token forces in a logistically unsustainable environment where they will just soak up valuable resources and will likely be unsurvivable if the missiles start flying.
Yea it's pretty difficult to field a useful CM force in those regions. Strictly speaking, there's nothing stopping the US from fielding 3,000 black Tomahawks of Joe Biden in existing Japanese bases; the problem is with what we call fires bandwidth. In fires, there are 3 major traits: Bandwidth, Depth, and Volume. Let's say you have 100 cruise missiles - if you fire them all over however much time it takes, that's a fires volume of 100 munitions. If you can so in 10 salvos of 10 munitions, that's a bandwidth of 10 munitions per salvo and a depth of 10 salvos (per magazine/in inventory). Bandwidth is most important to penetrating and/or saturating defensive-fires-dense targets (think CSGs, Anderson AFB, etc.), whereas volume and depth are typically most important for longevity (a Burke might be able to salvo up to 24 TLAMs in quick succession, but a 4 ship flight of aircraft with 2 JASSM-ERs per aircraft can salvo their 8, then return to their CVN or Airbase to do it again much faster than a Burke can return to port, reload those VLS cells, get back into theater, and salvo TLAMs. Thus, we say that VLS cells are optimized for bandwidth rather than depth, whereas naval aviation is a bit more optimized for depth rather than transient bandwidth.

[end post 1]
 

AndrewS

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This would be funneled into procurement for standoff naval mines (Korea is, kinda humorously, super well positioned to launch large numbers of such systems into the Bohai Sea/East China Sea border with the aim of complicating naval operations), ground launch VLO cruise missile with sufficient range to target Northeastern Chinese critical infrastructure and C2 facilities, and for a production apparatus capable of generating a large inventory of these systems, which will be stored in dispersed locations throughout the country.

This would provide those types of nations with a significant retaliatory capability, ample longevity for it, and would not significantly impede conventional military operation. However, it's a half measure. The 70% of remaining aerial inventory, and the 75% of remaining land force systems are still going to be sitting around, doing next to nothing for the majority of - if not the entire - conflict. I'm sure you see what I'm getting at.

The other point is that if Korea, Japan or Taiwan can launch standoff naval mines and ground-launched VLO cruise missiles at those distances, what is to stop China from doing something similar? Korea, Japan and Taiwan are geographically small island(s) which are critically reliant on seaborne trade, whereas China is a continental-sized nation that can be largely self-sufficient and also has a lot of land borders for trade to flow.

Not as much as you may think. CVNs operating at standoff distance from the PRC are able to generate pretty poor sortie volumes (I wouldn't put it much above 85-100 sorties per day per carrier at surge tempo), and with the majority of closer-in infrastructure destroyed or disabled, there is a very limited amount of basing available for air operations. At this rate, the US is essentially unable to operate in the WESTPAC anywhere near the first island chain. Regardless of initial circumstance, anything other than a ludicrously heavy forward presence, PLA bad luck and poor decision making, and god's blessing will result in the PLA thrashing 7FLT AOR forces, and essentially leaves Guam as the westernmost major military facility (i guess excluding Australia). Whether the US can muster forces and wear the PLA down is somewhat doubtful, but it's essentially the only chance we've got, since the "fast war" concept is a near total losing game.

Currently I don't see China having enough missiles and other long-range systems to keep Guam (and other distant bases) non-operational for a extended war, say lasting over 3 months. Afterwards, that would allow US forces the time and opportunity to concentrate long-range fires on specific targets. So conceivably the US could "win" in a years-long campaign.

But then what? Afterwards you could end up with a situation similar to how Imperial Germany sought vengeance after WW1 and transformed Nazi Germany. In this case, the US had an economy many times larger than Nazi Germany. In comparison, China is already 30% larger than the US overall and conceivably could grow to 3x larger.
 

Patchwork_Chimera

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[Post 2 of 2]

The bandwidth problem we find in something like the 3,000 cruise missiles scenario is that there are only so many launch platforms. A 3000 munition inventory doesn't mean a thing if there's nothing able to employ it, and we currently (and for the foreseeable future) will not posses land based cruise missile platforms in significant quantities. Furthermore, we would need a fairly sizable support apparatus to make use to major land based fires (again, there's a reason the PLARF has big facilities) Even if we hosted 250 launchers (very high) with 2 munitions each, that would require 6 full-bandwidth salvos to exhaust the inventory. Land-based missiles require time to (if they are not already laden) mate munitions - though I would expect forward-based launchers to maintain a good portion of prompt shooters with munitions on board, at launch sites, and with munitions energized (depending on the munition, some can go for days in a "ready to go" status). We'll call it 50 of the 250 launchers, so 100 munitions. Given that the PLA has a near complete first strike advantage, critical facilities for not only C4ISTAR, power generation and distribution, transportation, trade, etc. but even tactical targets such as barracks clusters, maintenance buildings, integration facilities, vehicle garages, etc. will likely be degraded or disabled during "Hour-0". Those 50 prompt fires TELs may receive launch orders before C3 is degraded too significantly, and may be able to employ their munitions; but even so, those munitions will be transiting the most heavily surveilled and most sensor-dense region on the planet at the time of their launch, and will have to penetrate the densest portions of the PLA's on-high-alert counter-air complex. The remaining launchers - let's say 100 TELs and crews survived in operable condition, and let's say those TELs already had munitions mated - would then have to either manually perform munition targeting with no C4ISR network, or would be executing pre-planned missions in a piecemeal, uncoordinated, and potentially insufficient (to penetrate defenses and effect the target) volume. This portion would last maybe 20 to 30 minutes prior to launch, which is enough time for the PLARF to reload DF-16/17/26s and for TACAIR to have begun striking follow on targets. Following this, it is fairly questionable whether or not the capability to integrate, target, and employ the rest of the munitions at anything close to a meaningful scale remains. Support facilities and personnel (responsible for integration, propellant injection, inspection, etc) and launch operations facilities/personnel (responsible for deployment, setup, targeting verification and modification, coordinating launches, and executing launches to fulfill strike missions) would have been mauled, TEL and support vehicle garages would continue to be struck, depots and depot access would be struck, and deploying TELs would be subject to UAS and fixed wing BAI threats. Thus, perhaps 250 munitions could be employed in the first hour or so, with the first salvo probably being the largest (depending on how everything goes), and the rest being scattered, piecemeal, uncoordinated launches. Assuming they were employed against targets which had an average of 8 aimpoints (pretty low honestly - as I've said before, ports can have dozens, bases can have 20+, and even large buildings can have 10+), that's 31 targets with 100% Pe. With a probability of arrival looking far closer to ~.1 to .3 (high estimate), that drops to 2-8 targets with good mission planning and coordination (airborne follow-up munitions, good BDA allowing retasking, etc.). It takes a LOT of munitions to kill stuff, which is something that I haven't seen a single person in the open source space talk about tbh. I'd encourage everyone here to read
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. Here's a graphic from it:

View attachment 91462

The other option would be to double-down and massively re-invest (economically and geopolitically) in this theater, expand operations at all these sites, including Philippines, Okinawa etc. and turn them into a potent forward arsenal which can actually contribute to offensive fires. But that may have an associated cost that is simply unfeasible at this point.

It seems like the US is strategically confused. It doesn't want to withdraw from the theater, but isn't willing to commit to it either (so basically, business as usual for the US.)
I agree. I believe the US's best course is to, well, be serious. If we want to not just survive, but win a conflict in the WESTPAC - we'd have to basically rebuild our procurement, sustainment, and employment systems from the ground. That way we'd be a lot more efficiently spending what money we can spend on the military. We'd need to invest in large, modern shipyards unlike the ones we currently work with, we'd need to expand Pearl and Guam's naval basing, construct air and naval facilities along the Marianas and ensure they were capable of efficiently replenishing VLS, fuel, stores, etc. to allow us a larger force to work with (currently we can sustain at most ~4 CSGs and a few SAGs operating simultaneously in the WESTPAC when doing so at a sustainable tempo). We'd need to expand our land-based SAM procurement in a big way (PATRIOT is a really REALLY awesome system, and the Bn (1-1 ADA) we have at Kadena for instance is fantastic, but it's still just not enough), and integrate those air defenses widely across our Western Pacific force posture (including getting JADC2 and IBCS up and running pronto). We'd need to do all this, and so so so much more; which is doable - but extraordinarily difficult. So difficult, in fact, that I personally am quite pessimistic about it ever happening. If we aren't willing to put the time, effort, and money into taking back the lead in the WESTPAC - especially the effort to make sure our money isn't being wasted hand over fist - then we may as well save ourselves the bloodletting and cut our losses. At least that way, we wouldn't be wasting what time, money, and effort we do oblige.
 

tphuang

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@Patchwork_Chimera Thanks for joining this forum and providing your thought.

in wondering what you thought about my comments here #386 where I believe that if PLA significantly degrades Guam and then disable Tinian/Wake Island, it would be very hard for USN/USAF to sustain an operation in westpac?

Aside from that, in your opinion, how many missiles are needed to degrade a major base like Anderson or Okinawa to the point where they can't launch aircraft, supply/repair naval ships and adequately defend itself against intruding aircraft for 12 hours? I think the premise of our discussion in this thread has been trying to figure out how many missiles pla would try to launch in the initial barrage. Similarly, if you were usn and we're coming with submarine/b52 and carrier air wing, what would you try to target and disable first?

The way I look at is that china has too many targets in it's navy and mainland itself. It's unclear to me what would give us military the best bang for the buck.
 

ZeEa5KPul

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On the other hand, ample AEW, EWR, naval radar, and SAM system-level radars are capable of detecting even VLO munitions at a respectable distance, and can maul even large salvos of CMs. We've had sim iterations where luck and competent pathing has been the difference between complete destruction of a target and the salvo being torn to tatters by GBAA.
This is exactly the kind of problem I want to give to a deep learning + reinforcement learning system and just have it play it out over and over and over again. It should be able to devise optimal strategies to employ IADS assets and identify the most vulnerable approach routes. I hope and expect that the PLA is doing this.
 

AndrewS

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I agree. I believe the US's best course is to, well, be serious. If we want to not just survive, but win a conflict in the WESTPAC - we'd have to basically rebuild our procurement, sustainment, and employment systems from the ground. That way we'd be a lot more efficiently spending what money we can spend on the military. We'd need to invest in large, modern shipyards unlike the ones we currently work with, we'd need to expand Pearl and Guam's naval basing, construct air and naval facilities along the Marianas and ensure they were capable of efficiently replenishing VLS, fuel, stores, etc. to allow us a larger force to work with (currently we can sustain at most ~4 CSGs and a few SAGs operating simultaneously in the WESTPAC when doing so at a sustainable tempo). We'd need to expand our land-based SAM procurement in a big way (PATRIOT is a really REALLY awesome system, and the Bn (1-1 ADA) we have at Kadena for instance is fantastic, but it's still just not enough), and integrate those air defenses widely across our Western Pacific force posture (including getting JADC2 and IBCS up and running pronto). We'd need to do all this, and so so so much more; which is doable - but extraordinarily difficult. So difficult, in fact, that I personally am quite pessimistic about it ever happening. If we aren't willing to put the time, effort, and money into taking back the lead in the WESTPAC - especially the effort to make sure our money isn't being wasted hand over fist - then we may as well save ourselves the bloodletting and cut our losses. At least that way, we wouldn't be wasting what time, money, and effort we do oblige.

If I do a basic model which attempts to estimate the "stock" of advanced Chinese weapons systems, I see this doubling in the 2021-2030 timeframe.

Now, there are a whole bunch of assumptions here eg. weapons typically last 30 years, 1.7% of GDP is spent on the military, 4% GDP growth, etc etc

But it seems to me that the military balance will still continue to tilt towards China every year - unless the US becomes way more efficient at what it spends on and also sees a significant increase in military spending.

And even then, that could just spur China to modestly increase military spending from 1.7% to 2.5% of GDP, and get back to the same trend line anyway.
 

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