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charles18

New Member
Registered Member
A lot of analysts seem to claim that China is trying to out build the US Navy or something.
The Chinese are not "trying to" they are literally out building the US Navy, by a factor of 2 to 1. The US Navy may be bigger, measured in total tonnage, but is in decline. US ships are being retired at a faster rate than they are being built. If current trends continue then China will have the largest navy in the world by 2032.

China is currently building an average of 160,000 tons of warships per year. I think this number will easily go up to 200,000 tons within the next 4 years. I have no "sources" to support this claim, it's just my gut feeling.
 

Jingle Bells

Junior Member
Registered Member
The Japanese have 4 LHDs and the South Koreans have 2. I doubt China will have less than 6 LHDs.

A lot of analysts seem to claim that China is trying to out build the US Navy or something. But to me, when I look at the numbers, it seems more like just an attempt to keep parity with US aligned forces in the Pacific like the Japanese, South Korean, and US fleets forward deployed there.
The only "boasting point" the Japanese and Koreans have with their light carriers is that they are capable of carrying F-35, which they think will be a game changer advantage against China. This is a ridiculous thought. All China has to do is to just introduce a STOBAR version of J-35, which doesn't even need to be an entirely different model from the CATOBAR J-35. With this, the PLAN will have 2 large STOBAR carrier, each carrying some 16 to 20 J-35, and half a dozen J-15D. This combination would be more than enough to deal with The Japanese and Korean ships.

There has been prior example of CATOBAR aircraft converted to do STOBAR operations. The F-18E/F is an example, it was marketed to India as a STOBAR aircraft to operate on Indian carriers. This means that the CATOBAR J-35 only needs some small modification, or even just software upgrade to become STOBAR capable.

Imagine Liaoning with 16 J-35, 4 J-15/S (provide air refueling), 4 J-15D. That's a 24 Jet combination that the Liaoning have pretty much no problem handling, since we already saw picture evidence of 24 J-15 operating on the deck of Liaoning. The same goes for Shandong, which could even carrier 2 more J-35.

PLAN could even have:
- Liaoning with 18 J-35, 6 J-15/S (for refueling and secondary SEAD mission with ECM pods). This is a 24 jet fleet the Liaoning already in directly proven to be capable to operate on deck.
- Shandong with 16 j-35, 6 J-15D, 4 J-15S (for refueling and support roles). This is a 26 Jet fleet which the Shandong should have no problem operating.

Both of these will have no problem taking on Japanese or Korean light carriers, which only operate F-35B.

Of course, both Liaoning and Shandong can go full J-35 fleet. Which gives at least 24 J-35 for Liaoning and 26 J-35 for Shandong. This is already very conservative, with presumption that J-35 takes the same floor space as J-15. And remember these numbers are ON DECK numbers. The full number of J-35 the STOBAR carriers can carrier (on deck and in hanger) would be higher than these by at least 40%.
 

Temstar

Colonel
Registered Member
The only "boasting point" the Japanese and Koreans have with their light carriers is that they are capable of carrying F-35, which they think will be a game changer advantage against China. This is a ridiculous thought. All China has to do is to just introduce a STOBAR version of J-35, which doesn't even need to be an entirely different model from the CATOBAR J-35. With this, the PLAN will have 2 large STOBAR carrier, each carrying some 16 to 20 J-35, and half a dozen J-15D. This combination would be more than enough to deal with The Japanese and Korean ships.

There has been prior example of CATOBAR aircraft converted to do STOBAR operations. The F-18E/F is an example, it was marketed to India as a STOBAR aircraft to operate on Indian carriers. This means that the CATOBAR J-35 only needs some small modification, or even just software upgrade to become STOBAR capable.

Imagine Liaoning with 16 J-35, 4 J-15/S (provide air refueling), 4 J-15D. That's a 24 Jet combination that the Liaoning have pretty much no problem handling, since we already saw picture evidence of 24 J-15 operating on the deck of Liaoning. The same goes for Shandong, which could even carrier 2 more J-35.

PLAN could even have:
- Liaoning with 18 J-35, 6 J-15/S (for refueling and secondary SEAD mission with ECM pods). This is a 24 jet fleet the Liaoning already in directly proven to be capable to operate on deck.
- Shandong with 16 j-35, 6 J-15D, 4 J-15S (for refueling and support roles). This is a 26 Jet fleet which the Shandong should have no problem operating.

Both of these will have no problem taking on Japanese or Korean light carriers, which only operate F-35B.

Of course, both Liaoning and Shandong can go full J-35 fleet. Which gives at least 24 J-35 for Liaoning and 26 J-35 for Shandong. This is already very conservative, with presumption that J-35 takes the same floor space as J-15. And remember these numbers are ON DECK numbers. The full number of J-35 the STOBAR carriers can carrier (on deck and in hanger) would be higher than these by at least 40%.
No no, that's not necessary. PLAN don't need their own STOBAR fighter to deal with the mini flattops, what's wrong with PLARF's anti-ship ballistic missile? If they can take out USN CVN then they're also perfectly suitable for taking these wannabe carriers.
 

Jingle Bells

Junior Member
Registered Member
No no, that's not necessary. PLAN don't need their own STOBAR fighter to deal with the mini flattops, what's wrong with PLARF's anti-ship ballistic missile? If they can take out USN CVN then they're also perfectly suitable for taking these wannabe carriers.
If weapons are only for winning physical wars, than a lot of these carriers around the world won't even need to be commissioned.

Weapons are are also for psychological warfare, propaganda and cultural competition. Korean and Japan are low-cost/low-tier "enemies" to China. They to China are like Ukraine and the Baltic states to Russia: they weren't meant to and will never be decisively stronger than China, but their existence forces China to waste some military expenditure and resources on weapon systems and capabilities that are not strategically effective/meaningful on the US. This is because real wars are NOT likely to happen between them and China, but a lot of peace time arm wrestling and conflict-less skirmishes are bound to happen. Basically, they are strategic diversion that weakens China's ability to concentrate resources on countering the USA. If China's strategic goal is peaceful rise, it must develop an effective peacetime capability to use show-of-force to stare her opponents down.

Therefore, if a tiny little investment can win you significant gripping point (or even superficial advantage) against them, it would be very much beneficial and worth the cost. Without the STOBAR F-35, the Japanese and Koreans will be a lot more encouraged to sail their ships in a "show-of-force" manner to provoke China. This will NOT be meant to start a real skirmish or hot conflict with China (because these ships don't really have the fighting capability against China's full military might), but politically and propaganda-wise, this will give the Western propaganda machine a chance to propel a false rhetoric that the Chinese military is weak against even second tier opponents like Japan and Korea. This would rouse those dissident-minded groups and people like the HK rioter to create problem in China. And because it is only a show of force, China can NOT really counter effectively without actually going to war and prove her strength by destroying those ships. Therefore this become a propaganda war in which China will be at the losing side, because both the patriotic Chinese audience at home to curse the government for being weak and ineffective, and it will encourage and boost the confidence of China's opponents (separatists, anti-China foreign audience).

In case of Taiwan, if both Japan and Korea has F-35 on their heli-carriers and China don't have J-35 on CV16/17, this will also give the propaganda machine in Taiwan a chance to propel false rhetoric that their supposed "allies" (Japan and Korea) can somehow be capable of giving them meaningful help with MINIMAL COST (meaning: without even having to get the US military directive involved). This might not change the real strategic balance, but it would significantly increase The cost China will need to "win against the enemy without a fight" (不战而屈人之兵).

Real strategy and geopolitics are all about costs and benefit.
 
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Andy1974

Senior Member
Registered Member
I highly doubt that the 4 Japanese flat-decks can be called LHDs. 2 of them are proper aircraft carriers (Izumo), and the other 2 are helicopter carriers (Hyuga) with potential to undergo similar conversion as the Izumos.

However, the PLA should just consider all 6 of them as proper light aircraft carriers.


Indeed. Although, compared to the United States, China does have a home-front advantage where the PLAN can reliably depend upon the PLAAF, PLARF and some elements of the PLAGF to share portions of the burden.

In that regard, for the closest timeline, the PLAN should build and expand her fleets that would achieve parity with the expected deployable naval forces of the US and her allies (Japan, South Korea, Australia, UK, France, Canada) in the Western Pacific in order to guarantee both numerical and qualitative edge for the PLAN. No need to outbuild the USN just for the sake of outbuilding the USN.


That's true.

However, what really does matter is how the PLAN views their 075s and 076s.

This is because -
The 075s are functioning as:
Type: LHD
Role: Launching, commanding and supporting amphibious assault operations; ASW

Meanwhile, the 076s would function as:
Type: Mixture of LHD and small CATOBAR CV
Role: Launching, commanding and supporting amphibious assault operations; ASW; and most importantly, UCAV carriers

Therefore, it is still an open question on how the PLAN would eventually distribute and assign roles to their non-CV flat-deck warships. In my opinion, the 075s are more geared towards amphibious warfare, and the 076s are more geared towards providing UCAV squadrons to the main fleet CVs (i.e. 001, 002, 003 etc) on the high seas.

Speaking of which, according to pop3 (Haven't heard from him for quite a long time, anyone knows how he's doing right now?), the 2nd phase of amphibious assault ship construction in China has already begun, with orders for 5 ships of the 2nd batch 075s being placed. This would bring the number of 075s to 8 ships in total.

Simultaneously, pop3 also claimed that the 076s are expected to begin construction work within the 2nd phase of amphibious assault ship construction too. However, it is unclear whether the 076s would begin construction simultaneously as the first 075 of the 2nd batch, or sometime afterwards. The possibility of features meant for the 076s are included in the 2nd batch 075s should not be discounted as well.
I am hoping the 076 is essentially an unmanned 075, that has unmanned amphibious vehicles as well as unmanned aircraft. They might even be assigned to the first assault wave, supported and followed up by the 075’s.
 

Andy1974

Senior Member
Registered Member
If weapons are only for winning physical wars, than a lot of these carriers around the world won't even need to be commissioned.

Weapons are are also for psychological warfare, propaganda and cultural competition. Korean and Japan are low-cost/low-tier "enemies" to China. They to China are like Ukraine and the Baltic states to Russia: they weren't meant to and will never be decisively stronger than China, but their existence forces China to waste some military expenditure and resources on weapon systems and capabilities that are not strategically effective/meaningful on the US. This is because real wars are NOT likely to happen between them and China, but a lot of peace time arm wrestling and conflict-less skirmishes are bound to happen. Basically, they are strategic diversion that weakens China's ability to concentrate resources on countering the USA. If China's strategic goal is peaceful rise, it must develop an effective peacetime capability to use show-of-force to stare her opponents down.

Therefore, if a tiny little investment can win you significant gripping point (or even superficial advantage) against them, it would be very much beneficial and worth the cost. Without the STOBAR F-35, the Japanese and Koreans will be a lot more encouraged to sail their ships in a "show-of-force" manner to provoke China. This will NOT be meant to start a real skirmish or hot conflict with China (because these ships don't really have the fighting capability against China's full military might), but politically and propaganda-wise, this will give the Western propaganda machine a chance to propel a false rhetoric that the Chinese military is weak against even second tier opponents like Japan and Korea. This would rouse those dissident-minded groups and people like the HK rioter to create problem in China. And because it is only a show of force, China can NOT really counter effectively without actually going to war and prove her strength by destroying those ships. Therefore this become a propaganda war in which China will be at the losing side, because both the patriotic Chinese audience at home to curse the government for being weak and ineffective, and it will encourage and boost the confidence of China's opponents (separatists, anti-China foreign audience).

In case of Taiwan, if both Japan and Korea has F-35 on their heli-carriers and China don't have J-35 on CV16/17, this will also give the propaganda machine in Taiwan a chance to propel false rhetoric that their supposed "allies" (Japan and Korea) can somehow be capable of giving them meaningful help with MINIMAL COST (meaning: without even having to get the US military directive involved). This might not change the real strategic balance, but it would significantly increase The cost China will need to "win against the enemy without a fight" (不战而屈人之兵).

Real strategy and geopolitics are all about costs and benefit.
Rather than matching their F35s with similar, wouldn’t it be better to negate their advantages?

For example, what is the point of an F35 if it can be tracked and electronically suppressed?

The same psychological effect on your in Taiwan, as you described, can be achieved if someone like the Saudis, Egyptians, Algerians, Serbs, Belarusians, with their potential new systems, demonstrate some of these abilities on F35’s in their regions.

If an F35 is shot down using radar and IR guidance in a conflict zone in Europe or the Middle East, or even the Korean Peninsula, then the psychological effect in Taiwan will be enormous.

Edit: The same affect can be had by making a drone with slightly better speed, range, and maneuverability than the F35, and just tailing them, on their 6, for very long periods of time.
 
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Jingle Bells

Junior Member
Registered Member
Rather than matching their F35s with similar, wouldn’t it be better to negate their advantages?
No, because Japan is NOT a real opponent. The chances of PLA going to war with ONLY the Japanese is slim to none, any real war with Japan involved will be mainly fought with the US. Wasting resources on developing new equipment just to counter the Japanese is counter-productive and a waste of resources. Because like what @Temstar has previously mentioned, Strategic Rocket Force already has the gadgets to deal decisively with (ONLY) Japan.

For example, what is the point of an F35 if it can be tracked and electronically suppressed?

The same psychological effect on your in Taiwan, as you described, can be achieved if someone like the Saudis, Egyptians, Algerians, Serbs, Belarusians, with their potential new systems, demonstrate some of these abilities on F35’s in their regions.

If an F35 is shot down using radar and IR guidance in a conflict zone in Europe or the Middle East, or even the Korean Peninsula, then the psychological effect in Taiwan will be enormous.

Edit: The same affect can be had by making a drone with slightly better speed, range, and maneuverability than the F35, and just tailing them, on their 6, for very long periods of time.
No, that's not my point. F35 itself is NOT the trump card in this card game here. If F35 really is a trump card against China, all the US need to do is to sell Taiwan F35. And that's NOT happening in any foreseeable future unless the next general US fighter are ready to be commissioned en masse.

The foundation of the psych/propaganda war is this:
- The battle field is the public perception of different populations in the region, NOT the academic consensus of professional military analyst, government advisors and the intel community with high security clarence.
- Real technicality of military hardware is NOT entirely relevant, NOR is it entirely irrelevant. Truth doesn't matter, public perceptions matters more than truth.

The premise of this psych war is this:

1. The US will make sure that F35 keeps its prestige and mysteriousness by preventing Taiwan from getting it. This creates a hierarchy like: US (owns F22 and F35) >> Japan/Korea (owns only F35) >> Taiwan (owns nothing). In this sense, the US will be able to maximize the propaganda effect of the F-35, so much so as to make it a tool of strategic deterrence FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

2. The US will push Japan/Korea to be the front runners provocateurs in which they will NOT have the real decisive military capability to defeat China in a real war. Instead they will invest in eye-catching hardware that can garner enough media publicity for the purpose of deterrence, again, FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. (Examples include the proposed Korean 45,000 class STOVL carrier, Japan's 20,000ton class heavy destroyer/cruiser, the Izumo, etc. These hardware are waste of money for Korea and Japan, because they bring no real advantage to the table in the perceived conflict they are supposed to be used, namely, against China). But these will be important, because:

i. They've calculated and concluded that the chances of them (Korea/Japan) going to real war with China (without the US) is slim to none, because they pose no real threat to China, and thus the diplomatic and geostrategic cost for China to attack them far out-weights any benefit China can gain from starting such war. Thus, these equipment will be perfectly safe to conduct superficial media/propaganda oriented micro-aggression missions of provoking China, to solicit from China either an over-reacted response, which they can paint as evidence for "aggressive China", or an under-reacted response, in which they can paint as evidence for a "weakling China". This is a lose-lose situation for China, because both of these will increase the geopolitical cost for China to further develop its own international trade system, which is what China need to sustain and safeguard its "Peaceful Rise".

ii. They have calculated and concluded that strategically speaking, the threat the Chinese military and MIC poses towards the US hegemony can only be mitigated in two ways: one is to prevent China from further developing and strengthening itself (covered in point i), the other is to divert China's resources from focusing on aiming at offsetting the core strategic advantage of the US. Militarily, this means that the more resources the PLA and Chinese MIC has to allocate for threats types other than the core US capabilities, the more comparative advantage the US can retain over China. In this aspect, the more similar the Korea/Japanese capabilities are to the US, the more cost-effective the PLA and Chinese MIC can develop counter-capability for.
Therefore in this chess game, if the PLA focuses more on mitigating threat of point i, it will fall victim to US desires in point ii. if PLA focuses more on mitigating threat of point ii, it will fall victim to the risk in point i.

3. The US has calculated that when no real strategic threat is presented to China, China will be reluctant to act aggressively and desperately towards militarily hapless micro-aggressions, especially by not-first-tier-powerful nations like Japan and Korea. This is because when no real strategic threat is perceived by China, China will focus more on development, and the current stage and near future stage of China's development is one that needs peaceful environment in which China needs to present a "Capable but Peaceful" hard power, in order to gain co-operation globally (especially from the Global South). Therefore the best US grand strategy is a) not giving China a reason to go full-out survivor mode, b) tarnish China's image by making it either "Capable but not Peaceful", or "Peaceful only because not Capable enough yet"; all the while making US the solution to any so-called "China Problem" to the world.

THEREFORE, I think the best and more cost effective counter against current Japanese and Korean procurement of capital hardware, is to develop the CATOBAR J-35 into having STOBAR capabilities, and put them on Liaoning and Shandong. This will give the PLAN plenty of counter-propaganda materials, at the lowest cost. It will also allow the PLAN to do pay-back moves (by sailing close to their shore with a battle group), if Korean and Japanese ships with their F-35 dares to do provocation sails near places deemed strategically sensitive to China (like disputed areas in SEA, Taiwan Straight, or others).
 
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Jingle Bells

Junior Member
Registered Member
Not sure that's the analogy you're looking for given Russia's terrible performance lol
Russia's terrible performance is due to Russia's own bad choices. Not because the situations Russia faces itself is one which there are no good enough alternatives for.

In fact, in my opinion, had the Russians decision makers been less snobbish, less racist, and less full-of-shit, they would have long welcomed China with open heart, which would have given them a lot more business opportunities to grow faster, as well as having a much stronger military and be in a much stronger negotiation position against the West.

Imagine if Russia was exporting oil and gas to China as much as they were to China for a long time, the leverage they would have would have been great.

Imagine if they Russians has been proactively sort out co-operations with China on military hardware and technology, they leverage they have against the US would have been much greater. It would also make it harder for China to go its own way on MIC standards. It would also have made China a much bigger threat to the US much earlier, and thus alleviate NATO's focus on Russia.

I can list out a lot more problems with Russian strategic decisions. But this is the wrong thread for it, and I have already gone quite off-topic. So it will stop here.
 

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