PLAN Strategy in the Taiwan Strait


Red___Sword

Junior Member
Good Article. People talk a lot about ASBM ans seem to forget that mine is an even greater threat to ships.
In any war scenario in taiwan strait i will bet more on PLAN mine than Second arty ASBM.
And it is strange that USN MCM funding is very puny relative to ABM.


Talking about mine, is it better to "mine it", and then use other means to deny the opponent's MCM assets from entering the operation area even more badass?
 

delft

Brigadier
Talking about mine, is it better to "mine it", and then use other means to deny the opponent's MCM assets from entering the operation area even more badass?
I have read that a non-defended mine field is useless in land warfare and I wouldn't be surprised if the same is true at sea.
 

Kurt

Junior Member
The US has European allies who are quite savy in coastal mine warfare and who provide most green water capability of NATO (NATO is not dead). Unlike the Europeans, the US Navy thinks only very big ships are a very save place to be (that won't go down with loss of life and investments). So minesweeping can be done only by aerial assets, helicopters are their first choice and USV are the next thing to come because these are cool new tech. Other than that, the US Navy wants to have minesweeping capability internal to all their ships rather than small "indefensible" platforms specialized for that task.
This US view does have merits, but doesn't come cheap and the monetary expenditure is at a level of much reduced returns of system performance because of the big size bias in all US military aspects.
A competitor could choose less complex platforms at a higher level of returns per expenditure and thus achieve capabilities close to the US naval integrated systems capability at a lower price (Japan tried that in WWII and failed, so take them as an example how this can go wrong).

---------- Post added at 09:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:57 PM ----------

Where is Kurt He loves mine/Here is a good article on Chinese mine
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

I read it. Mines are "nice", but the future will likely be increasingly less systemic approaches of automated data-processing machines for unmanned access denial, equals the old concept of mines and improvised explosive devices that will go more and more towards improvised unsystemic approaches because of our increased capability to recognize systems (enhanced by AI support).
Supercavitating torpedoes are not yet the best weapon to use from a ship or sub, but just imagine a container of these connected to a complex sensor array with a sophisticated program for interpretation and decisions to act, or even the "deep sea forces" Chinese naval futurists envision. These would be some guys in a bathyscape with fibreoptic wires (fast underwater communication and hard to detect) to run data processing and weapon activation in a modern "minefield". The great advantange of this approach is that you can use anti-helicopter subsurface-to-air missiles against helicopters (that do most US minesweeping and submarine hunting) and supercavitating torpedoes (that are hard to defend against, but have a very loud path and limited range). The bathyscape, old submarine or cheap conventional submarine with fibreoptic connections to external weapon pods and sensor arrays, including active sensors, far enough away from the manned platform, will provide the main minefield threat to military equipment and thus defence for a simple old minefield against sweeps. The old mines will have some upgrades for multi-array sensors and some mobility that both are meant to block run-of-mill civilian shipping with unmanned cheap assets and decrease deployment payload and production costs for the same blocking effect.
The old torpedo going at slow speed for miles into an enemy harbour is one nightmare that reappears in military "fiction", but would in reality have little value, because the closer a naval mishap is to shore and harbour, the easier it can be resolved (Pearl Harbour repair), although it will be quite annoying until it's solved.

The problem with a modern minefield, as described above, is that it needs only a fraction of the payload of minefields of old and very little specialized equipment that is not already in storage for other naval assets, such as submarines, ships and coastal defense, including all the outdated weaponry still in store. The blurred line between mines and munitions means that it will be increasingly difficult to reliably discern mining capabilities from other combat capabilities, expect for the lack of detectable platforms of much value to destroy.

I fully agree that the DF-21 noise for example clouds the vision of many that for a fraction of the cost in "mines" and connected sensors, the same could already be carried out with state of the art technology and that China is likely very capable of doing that (they have the longest tradition in this field and it's one of the few of an unbroken tradition).

But I'd like to ask the question about Chinese mine countermeasure capabilities. In a way emphasizing DF-21 and mine warfare, China's military is depicted as intent on aggressive acts of invasion against a tiny island and not on building some kind of capability to defend multiple interests.
 

delft

Brigadier
The depiction is wrong. China is now strong enough not to have to worry about Taiwan. But for the next many years the two most important tasks of PLAN are defense against attack from the sea and protection of the sea lanes of communication.
 

Equation

Lieutenant General
The depiction is wrong. China is now strong enough not to have to worry about Taiwan. But for the next many years the two most important tasks of PLAN are defense against attack from the sea and protection of the sea lanes of communication.

China probably needs about 4 carrier task forces to be able to protect the seas and SLOC effectively in the Pacific and Indian Ocean.
 

Kurt

Junior Member
4 active carrier task forces require 6 carriers. Read aircraft carriers. If you want ability for power projection on shore to deny enemy safe heavens from where to attack (see current Somalia problem) you need 2-3 times the number of amphibious warfare ships alias commando carriers. That's a force of 6 aircraft carriers and 12-18 commando carriers, 2/3 the numbers of US navy capital ships, an armament that would make them only second to the US, but still far below US and allied capabilities.
 

Equation

Lieutenant General
4 active carrier task forces require 6 carriers. Read aircraft carriers. If you want ability for power projection on shore to deny enemy safe heavens from where to attack (see current Somalia problem) you need 2-3 times the number of amphibious warfare ships alias commando carriers. That's a force of 6 aircraft carriers and 12-18 commando carriers, 2/3 the numbers of US navy capital ships, an armament that would make them only second to the US, but still far below US and allied capabilities.

Aarrrrr...that's expensive! Meanwhile the Somalian Pirate naval vessels consist of a mother boat (tug boat or fishing boat type), a few skiffs, and some gullible young men armed with AKs and RPGs to threaten the sea lane on the coast of the horn of Africa.
 

Kurt

Junior Member
Aarrrrr...that's expensive! Meanwhile the Somalian Pirate naval vessels consist of a mother boat (tug boat or fishing boat type), a few skiffs, and some gullible young men armed with AKs and RPGs to threaten the sea lane on the coast of the horn of Africa.

One commando carrier could wipe out their positions on land, but they would regrow like mushrooms. The profits from this business are transported to the Gulf state's Islamic finance system that has a very good protection of secrecy. That's also the place from where money is invested into this promising business. Yes, piracy is a business and you'll find pirates as long as there's someone in business. Commando attacks on land have the ability to reduce profits (that would still be drug-trafficking high) and even more important gather intelligence by force. Intelligence is the real goal because it allows Mossad-like operations to make it clear that buying Pirate Inc.-stocks can cause premature fatal loss of your life. This would scale down pirate operational capability to fishermen who would ask themselves if this uncertain business would be worth risking to have their boats blown up after even a failed attack. The fishermen problem is that they would still try if they can't catch enough to eat. You don't need a powerful navy to solve that, but a trustworthy coastguard and you must offer them a suitable employment, like going fishing somewhere else on your trawlers. Norway could do that, or Sweden or China (perhaps helping them with aquacultures to repopulate their homewaters quickly).

The large numbers of phibs are meant to counter the same capable enemies(navies) the aircraft carriers hold in check, not Somali pirates. ATALANTA is an example of one of the most inefficent naval operations I can imagine if they are really meant to be in the anti-piracy business.
 
Last edited:

i.e.

Senior Member
China probably needs about 4 carrier task forces to be able to protect the seas and SLOC effectively in the Pacific and Indian Ocean.

One good battle group in Indian Ocean and One in SCS.

Its not about quantity it is quality.

If you can sustain a prescence then at 30 knots you can go anywhere to anywhere in Indian Ocean in about 3 days.

PLAN also need bases to base its long range patrol aircraft and resupply nodes.

PLAN is definitely sizing itself for 6 carriers though. at least 3 that I can see in next 15 years.

That's eventually half of carrier battle groups of USN by mid century may be. disregarding quality. and by mid century chinese economy is projected to be 2x that of US. even given slow down of chinese economy. that means $$$ for the military.
right now military expenditure per GDP and as percentage of Government spending is also much lower that of US.
looking at pie chart of US federal expenditures it is very clearly that this long term level of military spending in US is not sustainable.

another thing is that Chinese government revenues are skyrocketing, this may be a short term effect but fundamentally the revenue struture (SOE profits, Corporate and VAT tax instead of Income tax as a main source of revenue.) also has a long term stabilizing effect on revenue generation.


in another word.
simply cruise along for next 20-30 years, just to keep the military expenditure at current percentage level of spending, china could be come the preeminent military power of this world simply because of revenues available, with out breaking a sweat or change any of its domestic priorities. while its competitors or near peers (US, India) would straining to keep up its level of spending on military while sustaining a level of domestic priorities...
and after mid-century they have at least 20 years to go to become as wealthy Per Capita as that western countries...




scary.
 
Last edited:

asif iqbal

Brigadier
having carrier battle groups is fair enough but they also need "friendly" ports to visit, resupply and re-fresh

I think Gwader is a perfectly located naval port from where China can project power into the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea and will give it easy reach to the West

a few years ago a Chinese naval escort force of Type 54A frigate, Type 05B Destoyer and a replenishment ship visited Karachi and rasied many eyebrows

I hope in the future Chinese naval vessals make more frequent visits to eventually station some of its fleet overseas, a SSBN stationed at Gwader would send shock waves around the region
 

Top