Why do some cities have air defences and other not?

Discussion in 'Army' started by planeman, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. planeman
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    planeman Senior Member
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    Bejing, Shanghai etc have extensive air defences (SAM sites etc).

    How come Harbin and Hong Kong don't?
     
  2. AssassinsMace
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    AssassinsMace Brigadier

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    For Hong Kong at least it would probably be a geo-political headache for any attacking country. Since the only real potential adversaries of China are Western countries and their allies, it would be like attacking one of their own. It can be accurately said that the people of Hong Kong are Westernized. It sort of goes against any kind of the usual anti-China propaganda and strategy if the enemy attacks the only part of China that resembles their own values. Hong Kong would remain essentially safe from intentional collateral damage.
     
  3. crobato
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    Harbin is way up in the north near the Amur river. That's close enough to Russian territory. It just seems like a major hassle, while lacking a major reason to attack it.
     
  4. escobar
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    escobar Brigadier

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    Beijing: political center
    Shanghai: important economic center
     
  5. rhino123
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    rhino123 Pencil Pusher
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    To sum it all up, to see which cities is needed to have an extensive air-defence coverage would be as follow,

    1) Strategic importance - which mean whether the city is located in a tactical location whereby it could be use as a base to launch further offensive deeper into the nation or whether it could become a depot for troops to land.

    2) Economic and financial center - this mean that if that city is being attack, it will devastate the entire nation's economic structure.

    3) Political - to be simple. This is where their leaders are. And once attack it will not only destroy their political center, their leaders and also it will damage a country's national pride.

    4) Power - In this I mean that the location of the air defence systems might be near the power station, water station and other strategic resource stations in all cities (not just the one mentioned).

    Actually as a summary, where to place defence in a nation would highly be dependent on where if attack and destroy, would threaten the continuous dependence and livelihood of a nation.
     
  6. planeman
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    planeman Senior Member
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    Thanks everyone, keep these comments and opinions flowing, they are truly extremely helpful to me (cos I'm trying to contextualise the air defence sites that have been found on Google Earth)
    See that's what confuses me. Most Chinese AD sites were designed to defend against USSR(?), then Taiwan/US direction. But Harbin is a prime target for Russia, or would have been when most of the old HQ-2 sites where built.

    Relations with Russia, as the West, come and go. I'd say that China probably ranks it's threats (in terms of likeliness) thus:
    1. Islamic former Soviet Republics near border
    2. Russia
    3. Taiwan/US
    4. Vietnam
    5. India (why so low??? - but that's what the distribution of air defences tells us)
    6. Other, including Japan and South Korea who despite their might are still not ambitious towards China in any real way

    Maybe the likely hierarchy of real threats to China is a completely separate debate or poll. But I'd expect to see an approximate correlation between air defences and perceived threats.
     
  7. rhino123
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    rhino123 Pencil Pusher
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    Hi,

    This is just a thought. Although Harbin is near Russia. We must not only looked at own defences (which is China). We will also looked at the air-forces in our opposing country and that is North Korea and Russia in Harbin case.

    I don't think there is a lot of aircraft positioned that far north and so there is no need for a vast air defence network in those area. The main battles will be ground battles in those area thus I believe that China is positioning her ground troops mainly in those area.

    As for air-defence network, if you actually look at the distribution in China, they are mainly in the political center which is Beijing, and also in cities and regions near the sea. This is because their main enemy that could attack them would come in from those area. And these enemies are the Taiwanese adn the US or western countries.

    As for the Indians, I do not think they are a major thread to China yet. And the Indians are not known for their air-force. Thus the main thread is ground base. Thus China had vast army and ground forces near those area.

    In short, when we look at where and why those air defences network are being set up, we do not rank the threats of individual nations to China, but instead we rank the type of threats to China. And studies into the theory behind individual nations' defence and attack policies, their standpoints and their military distributions would give us some idea into where we would want our air defence, air force, ground forces and even our missiles troops.

    The threats to China by any country is the same in the view of the military, however the 'enemy's' distribution of arm forces and their capabilities (for the US, and western countries - we will be looking at air force and navies, thus the concentration of air defences at coastal areas to defend China from these forces, and ground forces in North Korea and Russia, thus ground based forces in Harbin, Inner Mongolia. Terrorists in Xinjiang and Tibet, thus ground forces and armed police in these areas, etc).

    The above is just what I have analysis. Feel free to topple them in whatever way.
     
  8. SampanViking
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    SampanViking The Capitalist
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    Maintaining fixed Airdefences can be very expensive and often as not a waste of resources and money. Some big key cities may warrant this attention but most will not.

    Best practive is keep your main Air Defences mobile and deploy them in force, where they are likely to be needed as when a crisis arises. These things seldom just come out of the blue and so there will be time to get set up if things start looking nasty.
     
  9. planeman
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    planeman Senior Member
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    Rhino, I'm not sure if I agree with your assessment.

    There is a vast Russian Air force in the theatre and if there was a war Russia could easily bring aircraft into theatre within hours.

    India has one of the larger and more competent air forces in the world including hundreds of strike aircraft capable of tactical strike on Chinese forces in Tibet. India used its air force extensively in recent clashes with Pakistani/Muslim forces. Getting aircraft into Tibet is far far easier than getting troops in for India.
     
    #9 planeman, Feb 7, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  10. crobato
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    Much of the Indian Air Force is pretty short ranged (MiG-21, M2000, Jaguar).

    Don't know much of the HQ-2 sites but I gather a lot of the area facing Russia has been demilitarized then. As a matter of fact, the border is now a free trade zone. Furthermore, the Russian cities north of the border along the Amur are themselves, having played a part in the PLA's modernization, having built and supplied Su-27s and Su-30s as well as Kilo submarines. I don't expect to see S-300 or HQ-9 sites in Harbin, especially since the S-300 is sourced from the Russians.

    Vast Russian air force is about reportedly 1/3rd non operational. For me that's optimistic, since in my view that should be around 2/3rds. I would assume they would put the bulk of their operational airforce now in the European and Southern Russian theatres, with a small force on standby to protect Vladivostok in the Far East.

    Chinese air defenses are mobile anyway, they can easily move to where they choose.
     
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