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PLA Flanker Analysis

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posted on May, 14 2006 @ 06:57 PM
Thought the forum may be interested in this report:

The Flanker Fleet - The PLA's 'Big Stick'

The article provides an overview of current and future Flanker capability in China, an assessment of the strategic impact of the Flanker, a run down of the competition around the world, and a discussion on the implications of Flanker operation by the PLA, especially for PACRIM countries. Interested to hear any thoughts the forum has!

posted on May, 14 2006 @ 09:04 PM
I say we beef up air defenses. The Chinese flanker threat is serious which is why we should sell advanced air to air muntions and our latest sams(THAAD,MEADS, Patriot, and claws) to anyone in their regional footprint especially Taiwan,Japan, and Austrailia. It's a good deterrant not to mention some JSF's and F15K to balance flanker numbers. As well some EA 18G growlers . B1A's/B1B's couldn't hurt either to compare with their Bears,Blackjacks, and Backfires.

[edit on 14-5-2006 by urmomma158]

posted on May, 15 2006 @ 01:57 AM
China has a HUGE coastal commitment.

300 or even 500 Flankers will not cover this and splits towards multirole/sea control missioning will not help this.

Legacy is legacy and the notion that you will gain much from LO'ing up the Flanker (especially at the same time you downplay the F-35) doesn't change the fact that the threat WILL BE SEEN from a /long/ ways out.

Even at Mach 5-7, a 200nm trip is a 5 minute affair. A Ks-172 is limited in it's carriage numbers by the size of the missile, especially with a booster. Check how far the Ks weapon can see the U.S./Allied BMC2 asset and then measure against how long it takes for the AIM-120D to fly half as far from a supercruise launch. If NCW is real, then you must also calculate for remote shooter-illuminator options with threat equivalents but the advantages should remain with the side that can fling furthest _without_ being shot at. And that is going to be the U.S. for awhile.

Myself, if I wanted to kill an uberjet with X-many AAM, I would do it with a VLS full of SM-6 ERAM taking ADSAM cueage from a 500km MP-RTIP equipped RQ-4. Not another jet. NEVER kill the enemy the way he kills best. Force HIM to 'split the difference' on mission:munition capabilities.

Things which I believe are being entirely glossed over are the change to 186,000mps Air Dominance by laser and HPM plus the increasing use of ROTHR (JORN) and SATWACS type systems operating from a 'tangential slant' beyond the reach of landbased airpower while retaining a notable 'look in' to a given sea basin. We already know that DSP-2 picked up AB'ing jets during Desert Storm 'at altitude' I personally believe that this capability has now been greatly exceeded by black constellations and is available on a routine basis in realtime.

In the same vein however; threats to overhead (again via DEWS) and the availability of heavy weight booster systems may be a critical shortcoming on a longer term basis of access to HEO or GEO orbits. 'Aurora' as a TSTO aside, we need to do more to leverage our capabilities in the high frontier while denying the threat the same options.

WVR is a fools game in manned aviation dominated by 50-100 million dollar platforms and HOBS imaging missiles with 60G+ maneuver capability. Either the threat is not going to accept combat with your 'udefeatable' weapon. Or you are apt to suffer ATL type direct engagement as or before the laser turret smacks your missiles down. Indeed, AAM pylons which are not directly BVR (busses and weight) supporting to AT LEAST 60km are themselves worthless and this plus the unique longitudinal stacking and inlet clearance issues on the centerlines solve for a lot of the Flankers supposed 'flying SAM battery' advantages. Adding in external tanks and ECM further reduces this margin, before you go multirole.

R-27 is a dated configuration. R-77 has dumb GDV tail controls left over from when it was going to be a folding fin weapon. R-73/74 is an artifact of another age. Dedicated AShM/PGM variations of existing A2G ordnance, whether 'precision cued' or not, are a waste when facing an AEGIS+BARCAP level threat whose sum total of shots are in the hundreds. If I wanted to kill an air umbrella, I wouldn't waste my time on one-shot (hit or miss-ile) attack. I would use dedicated drones whose numbers AND observables could be tailored to lead-sweep the bombers.

Because only by offloading the limited bomber pylons and frontloading (saturating) the combined missile/laser defenses can one hope to beat back an integrated defense supported by ADSAM (no horizon) capabilities.

The only safety of a secret lies in the inverse-square of the number of people who know it, intimately. Thus the whole 'Quick! Sell them everything!' argument comes off as profiteering from rather than preserving of the national security.

If I wanted to kill a CVSF, I would be looking to narrow the lag between ASST and ASUW. Indeed, the best way to do this is likely with ballistic or aeroballistic weapons that have 'theater wide' capabilities from so deep inland as to render any but strategic (unescorted) strikes worthless. Such 'tactical IRBM' have already been experimented with by China and multiple 500lb MARV's, along with conventional sea denial (subs and mines) cheapo means are VASTLY more frightening than anything related to air launch.

It's just too slow, too costly for the role vestiture and too limited for the kinds of ranges they are thinking of.


Originally posted by Willard856
Thought the forum may be interested in this report:

The Flanker Fleet - The PLA's 'Big Stick'

The article provides an overview of current and future Flanker capability in China, an assessment of the strategic impact of the Flanker, a run down of the competition around the world, and a discussion on the implications of Flanker operation by the PLA, especially for PACRIM countries. Interested to hear any thoughts the forum has!

posted on May, 15 2006 @ 08:56 AM

i believe PLA's fleet of SU-27SK/UBKs(J11s) and SU-30MKK/MKK2s

are good enough weapons platforms for the roles in which the PLAAF and PLAAN plan to under take for the time being and in the near distance future, once until the J-XX enters service which the PLA do plan to develop and build

i think the TU-22M3 would be a great complement now to the PLA's fleet of FLANKERs

the TU-22M3 would greatly help offset and take on many of the vital roles

the PLA has also develop a new indigenous fighter-bomber the JH-7A which is now in service
to help offset roles of the FLANKER as well

once the JK2000(based on the A-50) finishes its trials and its ESA and C3I system comes online

the PLA's fleet of FLANKER's roles and capabilities will only increase

remember the PLA's #1 objective is TAIWAN, and for the FLANKER its well in reach

[edited to correct image code -nygdan]

[edit on 15-5-2006 by Nygdan]

posted on May, 15 2006 @ 01:10 PM

Originally posted by ch1466
R-77 has dumb GDV tail controls left over from when it was going to be a folding fin weapon.

Not my specialist area of aerodynamics, but as far as I was aware, the 'trellis' tail surfaces bleed less energy than conventional fins (as found on AMRAAMs).

They also require smaller servo motors.

You out acronymed yourself this time - I've no idea what GDV means - grid... something I presume?

posted on May, 15 2006 @ 06:26 PM
Lawnmowerman they still need amphibious assault an air assault isn't all that's needed. (amphibious assault)

posted on May, 16 2006 @ 09:20 AM

Originally posted by urmomma158
Lawnmowerman they still need amphibious assault an air assault isn't all that's needed. (amphibious assault)

agree totally by all means

and all out coastal, amphibious and air assault is needed,

but not for quiet some time at least

certainly not before the 2008 OLYMPICs

[edit on 16-5-2006 by LAWNMOWERMAN]

posted on May, 16 2006 @ 03:31 PM
^^^^^That gives taiwan time to prepare and Japan as well. I wonder if Taiwan can be sold SLBM's because land based one's won't last because you can cover all of taiwan witha long range sam like the S400 and intercept them in the vulnerable boost phase of their flight. The only way to counter that is SLBM"s and nuclear armed cruise missiles.I doubt China will do it because it will piss off NATO and that is not good. It could probably warrant a nuclear attack hopefully.Did you know that if you detonate a powerful nuke 300km above the earths surface you can fry an area larger than the US.
Great idea when the PLA's off guard we can launch one and fry their electronics although you would still get quite a nasty airburst effect. It's like killing all those people without the explosion and just fragments and air pressure because that's what an airburst does. Shooting missileslike the SRAM which travel at mach3 and carry a light nuclear warhead should cripple the PLAN as well as sub attacks.

posted on May, 16 2006 @ 06:11 PM
Well, in lieu of this thread and China’s rapid build up in the Pacific region I would just like to point out several developments. These developments are not coincidences but instead calculated plans to show China that the US is still very much interested in the Pacific region. Needless to say things are in motion, and the future looks interesting.

Hickam may get F-22A Raptor fighters

The Air Force wants to base 18 of its most advanced weapons — the stealthy F-22A Raptor fighter — at Hickam Air Force Base.

Air Force chief of staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley said in a release yesterday that the "preferred alternatives" for the third and fourth F-22 bases are Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico and Hickam.

"Air Force officials have made it clear to me that they definitely favor Hickam as an operational base for this new generation of high-tech jet fighters," Inouye said in a statement.


F-22As currently are based at Langley Air Force Base, Va., while Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, is to get the Air Force’s second batch of Raptors.

The Air Force prefers Holloman for the third operational wing, consisting of two squadrons of 18 Raptors each. Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, would be the fourth site for the F-22As.


While this may be the first appearance of the F-22A in the Alaskan sky, it is also a precursor of things to come. The Air Force has selected Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, as the home for the next operational F-22A wing. The base is preparing for the arrival of 36 Raptors, with the first jet expected to arrive in fall 2007.


The United States has deployed B-2 Spirit bombers at the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam for the first time, to support the Pacific Command's security efforts in the Western Pacific, the Air Force said in a press release on Saturday.

The 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron was the first B-2 squadron to deploy in Guam to support the Pacific Command's continuous bomber presence in the Asia-Pacific region. Previously, the Air Force has deployed three B-52 Stratofortress squadrons at the Andersen Air Force in Guam.


In January 2001 the Navy proposed homeporting up to three fast-attack submarines on the Pacific island of Guam to get the ships closer to their operating area. The first of the Pacific Fleet subs would reach their new base sometime in 2002, though the Navy had not decided which subs will move to Guam.

Stationing submarines in Guam allows them to follow a different operating concept, further increasing the number of mission days they can perform. Attack submarines in the United States typically deploy for a 180-day stretch every two years or so. Submarines based in Guam will deploy for periods of up to 56 days, but much more often, so they will spend about 182 days a year at sea and 183 days a year in their home port.


HONOLULU -- The Navy will move six more submarines to the Pacific by 2010 while shrinking its Atlantic-based undersea fleet, officials said Monday.

The move reflects the importance to the U.S. of maintaining a robust military presence in an a region that is home to a growing share of the world's trade and to potential security flashpoints on the Korean peninsula and Taiwan.

The shift will put 60 percent of the Navy's submarine fleet in the Pacific and 40 percent in the Atlantic. Currently, the submarines are evenly divided between the two oceans.


Amid China Threat US To Hold Mammoth Naval Operations In Pacific

Amid persistent warnings about China's growing military clout, the US military said Tuesday it would hold one of its biggest naval exercises in the Asia Pacific this summer. The large-scale operations will involve several carrier strike groups, each of which includes at least three warships, an attack submarine and a support ship.

Four carriers would be involved in three military maritime exercises -- one of them touted as the world's largest -- between June and August in the region, Commander of the US Pacific Fleet Admiral Gary Roughead said in Washington.

Two of the exercises are expected to be largely confined to US forces and held in the Western Pacific while the third involving navies from at least eight countries, including Australia, Chile, Japan, South Korea and Peru, would occur near the Hawaiian Islands.


Exercise Operation Northern Edge 2006

Northern Edge is the largest military training exercise scheduled in Alaska this year, with approximately 5,000 U.S. active-duty and reserve-component military members participating.

"Northern Edge is designed to prepare joint forces to respond to crises in the Asia-Pacific region," said Col. John Marselus, chief of Alaskan Command's joint exercise division. "The exercise is intended to sharpen skills; to practice operations, techniques and procedures; to improve command, control and communication relationships; and to develop interoperable plans and programs."


The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific said May 15 he has invited his Chinese counterparts to observe U.S.-led military exercises in the Pacific Ocean next month in a move to improve relations.

Adm. William Fallon, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told journalists he had invited his counterparts from the navy of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to observe the Valiant Shield exercises near the U.S. territory of Guam.


[edit on 16-5-2006 by WestPoint23]

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