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Skywatcher

Captain
They might have been useful around a decade ago, but the PLAN has been expanding its blue water capabilities. If the PRC didn't invade Taiwan but established an economic blockade a fair distance away from Taiwan, small submarines would not have the range/endurance to help break the blockade. If for some reason the PLAN was limited to a close blockade around Taiwan I think you'd have a point, but we're no longer at that stage.
The ROCN will never be able to afford enough submarines to credibly threaten a PLAN far blockade (not to mention that a SSK/SSP doesn't have the speed endurance to realistically catch up to mobile far blockade forces).
 

supersnoop

Junior Member
Registered Member
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I don't think that height is as big of a deal as most people make it out to be especially in modern information age warfare. However, relaxing BMI requirements is a bad idea unless they got a routine for whipping them into shape once they join the force.

BMI is kind of pointless measurement. Fitness test is more important than BMI number.
 

Mr T

Senior Member
The ROCN will never be able to afford enough submarines to credibly threaten a PLAN far blockade

I'm not sure why that would be the case. There would be only so many ships the PLAN could reasonably deploy compared to the number of ships that are sailing towards or within Asia at any given time - if it did establish a blockade ships going to Taiwan would not disclose their destination beforehand. They might only get one chance at an intercept, and having Taiwanese submarines running around would complicate things.

Also, because the submarines will get the same weapon fit as US submarines, the USN could also start sinking Chinese ships and plausibly deny it was them.

Besides, if Taiwan doesn't build the submarines it will definitely have one less tool in its kit to deal with a Chinese blockade.

(not to mention that a SSK/SSP doesn't have the speed endurance to realistically catch up to mobile far blockade forces)

How exactly would the PLAN run away from submarines it may not know the location of that are armed with UGM-84s?
 

silentlurker

Junior Member
Registered Member
How exactly would the PLAN run away from submarines it may not know the location of that are armed with UGM-84s?
I seriously doubt that a slow subsonic cruise missile will sink anything except coast guard and transport vessels, unless Taiwan builds them big enough or numerous enough for a saturation attack.
 

Skywatcher

Captain
I'm not sure why that would be the case. There would be only so many ships the PLAN could reasonably deploy compared to the number of ships that are sailing towards or within Asia at any given time - if it did establish a blockade ships going to Taiwan would not disclose their destination beforehand. They might only get one chance at an intercept, and having Taiwanese submarines running around would complicate things.

Also, because the submarines will get the same weapon fit as US submarines, the USN could also start sinking Chinese ships and plausibly deny it was them.

Besides, if Taiwan doesn't build the submarines it will definitely have one less tool in its kit to deal with a Chinese blockade.
The PLAN will be able to mass a lot more Type 056s than the ROCN can field SSPs. They could even just load freighters up with boarding parties and let the ROCN puzzle which ostensibly civilian ships are carrying PLANMC personnel.

Additionally, if those SSPs are off dodging ASW while trying to find the PLAN's far blockade, then they can't do anything about amphibious landings, not to mention the close blockade.

Another thing: you can enforce a blockade with MPAs and UCAS now. SSPs are completely useless in that regards.

How exactly would the PLAN run away from submarines it may not know the location of that are armed with UGM-84s?
Unless the ROCN suddenly becomes clairvoyant, they won't be able to predict where the PLAN task force will be going while the SSP is in transit.
 

Mr T

Senior Member
The PLAN will be able to mass a lot more Type 056s than the ROCN can field SSPs.

Skywatcher, I already made the point that if the PLAN was establishing a naval blockade, ships heading to Taiwan would not disclose that they were going there. There are so many ports in the area, it would be pretty easy to hide the final destination (or even just an interim stop in Taiwan).

Second, can you please tell me, what makes you think that Taiwan-bound ships will file in an orderly queue towards PLAN vessels? The PLAN can't board every single vessel heading for East/SE Asia on the off-chance one is heading for Taiwan.

Additionally, if those SSPs are off dodging ASW while trying to find the PLAN's far blockade, then they can't do anything about amphibious landings, not to mention the close blockade.

If China starts an invasion of Taiwan there will be little point in establishing a far blockade because few merchant ships will be sailing into a warzone unless they're heavily escorted. The conflict would probably be over in less than a month, one way or another.

Also, if China starts a far blockade it's going to tip its hand that it's quite possible an invasion will start. In any event I doubt Taiwan would send all its submarines out to try to break a blockade, not least because it would only need to break it in one place.

You could also, perhaps, address my point about the USN being able to attack Chinese shipping with plausible deniability due to using the same weapons that Taiwan has.

Another thing: you can enforce a blockade with MPAs and UCAS now.

First, where are these aircraft going to be operating from? China doesn't have the wide range of airbases that the US or even UK does.

Second, how on earth are they going to assess where a ship is going? They could identify that a vessel was in a particular location and its heading, but that's it. China can't just blow ships up because it suspects they might eventually go to Taiwan.

Unless the ROCN suddenly becomes clairvoyant, they won't be able to predict where the PLAN task force will be going while the SSP is in transit.

As I've pointed out, the PLAN would have to spread its net fairly wide to stop ships getting to Taiwan. The PLAN can't choose where to intercept ships, because it won't easily know if they're headed for Taiwan. It will have to split up into small groups, probably just a couple of frigates or destroyers, to patrol certain sectors.

Also, there's the very simple fact that if Taiwan is expecting important deliveries then there's nothing to stop its submarines going to meet the ship(s) in transit and then escort them on the way in. Even if somehow China can find out if a ship is going to Taiwan, the Taiwanese government is going to know beforehand.

Back to the smaller submarines, even if we ignore the far blockade, what would stop the PLAN from sinking them with its ASW platforms? Smaller submarines will have a shorter range, which would make it easier for the PLAN to concentrate its ASW efforts.

Anyway, the discussion is academic. The submarines' size has been fixed, and Taiwan isn't going to build smaller ones.
 
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weig2000

Senior Member
The purported naval blockade against Taiwan by PLAN is highly unlikely and does not make any sense at all strategically. If we ever got to the point of executing a blockade, we would be in a war. It might as well to invade and land the troop on Taiwan, and make it quick.

The military conflict over Taiwan would be highly consequential. The longer it drags, the more complicated it gets. If and when PRC decided to take military actions against Taiwan, it would be strategic. Consider that mainland China has tolerated for so long the occupation of Kinmen (Quemoy) Island and Matsu Islands by ROC, it was not because PLA lacked the military capacity to take over them, but rather because they were tiny pieces in a much larger strategic chessboard.

The decision to take over Taiwan would be a very deliberated one. It would not be because a few insults or provocations except when they clearly cross the red lines. As we see in the decision to enter the Korean War in 1950 or the decision to intervene in Hong Kong's violent anti-China movement over the last year, it would be a slow and cumulative process. But when the decision is finally made, the execution would be swift and overwhelming. In the case of Taiwan, it would not be some slow and drawn-out naval blockade or taking over a few offshore islands. It would be the one devastating blow to solve the problem once for all.
 

supersnoop

Junior Member
Registered Member
The PLAN will be able to mass a lot more Type 056s than the ROCN can field SSPs. They could even just load freighters up with boarding parties and let the ROCN puzzle which ostensibly civilian ships are carrying PLANMC personnel.

Additionally, if those SSPs are off dodging ASW while trying to find the PLAN's far blockade, then they can't do anything about amphibious landings, not to mention the close blockade.

Another thing: you can enforce a blockade with MPAs and UCAS now. SSPs are completely useless in that regards.


Unless the ROCN suddenly becomes clairvoyant, they won't be able to predict where the PLAN task force will be going while the SSP is in transit.

I think submarines are a necessary part of the navy, as they are the best counter for PLAN’s superior surface fleet (and ASW weakness).

Problem with ROCN is they are two steps behind and PLAN has been rapidly addressing this. They are pumping out Y-8 ASW. Also the overflights could be training/data collection.

Also, a distinct possibility is by the time ROCN puts SS into service, you have Z-20 ASW and even KJ-600 ASW.

ROCN almost needs to make a leapfrog type move to make this project worthwhile.
 

Gloire_bb

Junior Member
Registered Member
The ROCN will never be able to afford enough submarines to credibly threaten a PLAN far blockade (not to mention that a SSK/SSP doesn't have the speed endurance to realistically catch up to mobile far blockade forces).
A small number of relevant subs already constitutes an incredible complication in naval operations. Even against a very capable ASW force.

Even more: even "ancient", but postwar submarine with a competent crew can in some circumstances punish a much more advanced, but arrogant and overconfident foe. Arcane art of underwater warfare can bring surprises, and easily punishes complacency.

Ah, and also: as all other ocean-going ships, sub isn't bolted to one small region: even if it won't be deployed elsewhere, attacker has no choice but to take this possibility into account elsewhere.

This is why subs are so popular in unequal matchups. Even if they can't tip the balance, they're really good at being pain in the ass.

Low speed doesn't prevent conventional subs from fulfilling their role: they're positioned in a way to let the opponent come to them.
And there was no massive revolutions in non-nuclear submarine speeds since late ww2 until right about now(li-ion changes things somewhat).

The purported naval blockade against Taiwan by PLAN is highly unlikely and does not make any sense at all strategically. If we ever got to the point of executing a blockade, we would be in a war. It might as well to invade and land the troop on Taiwan, and make it quick.
Reliably making quick work of a huge Island fortress is an optimistic bet.
Blockade is meant to prevent things from coming from both directions, including the outside. In the worst scenario for an attacker, it at least buys time for possible intervention to come.

A blockade strong enough can prevent intervention altogether; a flicky blockade with sinkings here and there won't be as much of a deterrent.

Summing up, submarines matter.
 

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