Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by Fnord666 on Friday December 15 2017, @11:45AM   Printer-friendly
from the at-least-it's-in-the-air dept.

Has the People's Republic caught up?

The Chengdu J-20 marks the first entry of a multirole stealth fighter into China's armed forces. According to the Department of Defense (DOD), China views stealth technology as a core component in the transformation of its air force from "a predominantly territorial air force to one capable of conducting both offensive and defensive operations." Designed for enhanced stealth and maneuverability, the J-20 has the potential to provide China with a variety of previously unavailable air combat options and enhance its capability to project power.

As an advanced multirole stealth fighter, it is speculated that the J-20 can fulfill both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat roles for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the aviation branch of the People's Liberation Army Navy (referred to as either Naval Aviation or the PLAN-AF). According to PLAAF Senior Colonel Shen Jinke, the J-20 will enhance the overall combat capability of China's air force. A 2016 report by the DOD states that the J-20 represents a critical step in China's efforts to develop "advanced aircraft to improve its regional power projection capabilities and to strengthen its ability to strike regional airbases and facilities." In 2014, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission described the J-20 as "more advanced than any other fighter currently deployed by Asia Pacific countries."


Original Submission

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @01:47PM (14 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 15 2017, @01:47PM (#610273)

    At this particular juncture, any other military in the world would be idiotic to attempt to develop a force capable of opposition to the US carrier fleet.

    Developing existing technology, yes... proofs of concept, yes... looking for disruptive technological advantage, yes... but to field a force with sufficient technology and size/numbers to challenge three aircraft carrier groups? Economically idiotic.

    Almost as economically idiotic as the US maintaining a military capable of challenging two or three major opposing forces simultaneously.

    Standing down the world's military forces and joining together in some common goals could produce amazing positive results. I know that political viewpoint fell out of fashion ~45 years ago - maybe it's time to try it again?

    --
    John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +1  
       Insightful=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Insightful' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   3  
  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday December 15 2017, @02:04PM (5 children)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday December 15 2017, @02:04PM (#610277) Journal

    According to the U.S. Navy, the carrier fleet (or other ships) are extremely vulnerable to relatively cheap missiles and drones. Which is why they are trying to deploy lasers on ships.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by zocalo on Friday December 15 2017, @03:48PM (3 children)

      by zocalo (302) on Friday December 15 2017, @03:48PM (#610319)
      And Zerg rushes; there was an exercise [cuttingedge.org] where the Red Team leader's strategy was to swarm a US Carrier group with small fast attack boats on a suicide charge and managed to "sink" a good chunk of the fleet before someone hit the pause button. And French submarines [theaviationist.com] - there also an incident near Okinawa [warhistoryonline.com] when a Chinese sub surfaced in the middle of carrier group performing air ops. And even random civilian shipping minding its own business (or incompetent officers/poor operational practice depending on which version you want to believe).

      The US Navy is good - very good - at what it does, but it's far from invincible or infallible.
      --
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @04:21PM (2 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 15 2017, @04:21PM (#610334)

        Purely strategic wargames that place two opponents with equal economic resources to start with and build differing types of forces to engage the enemy with consistently come out with Zerg rush as the win. Lots of fast, cheap little units, a mix of ground, sea and air win, with or without nukes in the conflict. Throw in nukes as an option and the vehicles that are just robust enough to reliably deliver a nuke are the game winners.

        Politically, historically it has been the capital ships, the awe inspiring carriers and submarines with enough firepower to devastate all the cities on a continent, that seem to carry the weight in negotiations and posturing. Nobody is impressed by a big standing army - the US thoroughly humiliated Saddam Hussein with a smaller but more technologically capable invading force. However, two guys on a skiff almost sunk the Cole, and since then the big battleships have been mothballed.

        Reality and politics have the tiniest intersections and overlaps.

        --
        John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
        • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Friday December 15 2017, @05:19PM (1 child)

          by Nerdfest (80) on Friday December 15 2017, @05:19PM (#610365)

          Ordering soldiers into a Zerg Rush in a real battle will turn out a bit differently than in exercises, for most, if not all military forces I'm betting.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @06:42PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @06:42PM (#610395)

            Tell that to survivors of D-day. Cannon fodder rushes are a common thing.

            It might be harder these days as people are realizing that wars are about money and not right/wrong, but history shows that the tactic works out alright.

    • (Score: 2) by driverless on Sunday December 17 2017, @12:05PM

      by driverless (4770) on Sunday December 17 2017, @12:05PM (#610963)

      According to the U.S. Navy, the carrier fleet (or other ships) are extremely vulnerable to relatively cheap missiles and drones. Which is why they are trying to deploy lasers on ships.

      Wouldn't it be cheaper to deploy lasers on sharks?

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Arik on Friday December 15 2017, @02:31PM (7 children)

    by Arik (4543) on Friday December 15 2017, @02:31PM (#610293) Journal
    "At this particular juncture, any other military in the world would be idiotic to attempt to develop a force capable of opposition to the US carrier fleet."

    How do you figure that?

    "Developing existing technology, yes... proofs of concept, yes... looking for disruptive technological advantage, yes... but to field a force with sufficient technology and size/numbers to challenge three aircraft carrier groups? Economically idiotic."

    Err ok, that would make sense for most countries.

    But China has the trifecta to make the exception. They're big enough (economically) to absorb the cost. Domestic politics requires it. And it's vital to national security, precisely because someone keeps sending those carrier groups on provocative tours off the Chinese east coast.

    Chinese national defense policy is rooted in defending the center. China's center of mass stays close to the east coast. The vast, sparsely inhabited regions of Xinjian, Tibet, and inner mongolia, form a line of defense around that middle, from the southwest to the west to the north. At northeast, north Korea, not the best neighbor but still a fanatically militarized buffer state that wouldn't let anyone else just march through to attack. Due south, the mountains are an effective barrier for the most part, and relations with Vietnam, while not ideal, at least reassure them that, again, no outside army can just march in to strike that eastern seaboard where maybe 90% of the population lives.

    And to the southeast, the south china sea. This is considered no less vital to chinese security than the caribbean is to the US. Remember the cuba missile crisis?

    Make no mistake, the chinese are dead set on making their seaboard too dangerous for carriers to be risked there in the future, and they're going to keep these projects well funded until they feel they have that result. Even if there was a sudden revolution and they became a liberal democracy overnight, the new government would do the same damn thing. The Chinese will not accept foreigners flying/sailing 12 miles from their eastern seaboard with nukes on a regular basis without demanding their government act to stop it.

    Long range extremely accurate hypersonic missiles are likely a more important technology in that vein than the stealth I think, and those are already reality as well.

    "Standing down the world's military forces and joining together in some common goals could produce amazing positive results."

    Yeah good luck finding Ds and Rs to go along with that idea.

    --
    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @04:35PM (6 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 15 2017, @04:35PM (#610345)

      On the one hand, you can sort of say "China will be China" and let them play in their little corner of the globe.

      On the other hand, if they think what they did to Tibet is O.K.? that's playing out Nazi Germany's game, but on a long-slow boil instead of blitzkreig. Keeping a credible force just off the coast seems like a good thing to prevent them from getting more expansionist ideas.

      --
      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
      • (Score: 2) by Arik on Friday December 15 2017, @09:16PM (5 children)

        by Arik (4543) on Friday December 15 2017, @09:16PM (#610472) Journal
        On the other hand, are the American people as a whole willing to spend the enormous amounts of blood and treasure that would go with stripping China of Tibet militarily?

        You know that's far from true. And half-measures do more harm than good I'm afraid.

        "Keeping a credible force just off the coast seems like a good thing to prevent them from getting more expansionist ideas."

        Actually it seems like exactly the opposite to that.

        There's no evidence they harbor any expansionist ideas, outside of those buffer zones on each side. Again, the Chinese mindset is (and has been for many centuries) based around defend the center. They civilize and fortify the near outside into buffer zones in order to create a separation from the rest of the world, not to bring it closer. Historically and in todays national psychology, they're homebodies, highly motivated to keep control of what is very close to them precisely because they don't want to have to control what's further away.

        So, no, I'm afraid if that's the idea behind the carrier exercises then they're quite counterproductive. The effect they're having is to make chinese paranoid about attack, and pushing them to become more aggressive as a response.

        --
        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @11:05PM (4 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 15 2017, @11:05PM (#610532)

          35 years of one-child policy and their population still grew by ~40% during that time... sooner or later the center won't be able to hold all the Chinese people.

          Personally, I'm in favor of unilateral disarmament, but there's the unfortunate side effect that military disarmament would lead to accelerated space travel, and anyone capable of getting a modest amount of delta-V capability to an asteroid has something bigger than Tsar Bomba at their disposal...

          --
          John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Sunday December 17 2017, @11:55PM (3 children)

            by Arik (4543) on Sunday December 17 2017, @11:55PM (#611161) Journal
            "35 years of one-child policy and their population still grew by ~40% during that time... sooner or later the center won't be able to hold all the Chinese people. "

            That's later, that's very very later.

            In the meantime, the large majority of China is sparsely inhabited. Even as the total population has grown over that 35 year period, the rural areas have nonetheless been partly depopulated. The population is crowding into the center. Two of the most important tier1 cities, Guangzhou and Shanghai, are east coast cities, as is Hong Kong of course. The population growth is heavily concentrated right there on the south-eastern seaboard.

            Take a look at http://multimedia.scmp.com/2016/cities/ scroll down to the map.
            --
            If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday December 18 2017, @02:01AM (2 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday December 18 2017, @02:01AM (#611214)

              Even when people live in cities, they still consume resources that require land to produce. As lifestyles "westernize" they'll demand more foods that take more land to produce. That depopulated rural countryside may go into mechanized farming, but the land and sea can only produce so much. When they are net-importing food, they may get nervous about that.

              --
              John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
              • (Score: 2) by Arik on Monday December 18 2017, @02:42AM (1 child)

                by Arik (4543) on Monday December 18 2017, @02:42AM (#611240) Journal
                Oh, that's definitely a looming issue. They already import food, btw.

                But that's only set to expand. There is virtually no mechanized agriculture. Worse yet, the farms are predominantly worked by the elderly. The typical site in agricultural areas is grandparents working the field while babysitting their grandkids. The parents are gone to the city and the kids will join them when they are old enough to start school.

                http://www.worldstopexports.com/rice-imports-by-country/

                Chinese rice imports rose almost 41% just between 2012 and 2016.

                And most of that rice is imported by ship, into one of those southeast seaboard port cities.

                Just one more reason they are absolutely going to spend whatever they have to spend to make that body of water too dangerous for intruders.
                --
                If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday December 18 2017, @12:53PM

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday December 18 2017, @12:53PM (#611362)

                  I wouldn't be surprised at a move to annex those food sources at some point in the future - especially after domestic production gets straightened out and still can't meet demand. Meanwhile, the ability to prevent naval blockade would seem to be a solid requirement for their military.

                  --
                  John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].