posted on May, 12 2003 @ 01:02 PM
Ah, not the U.S. carrier invincible crap again, here is two articles on the Moskit. Read it before you talk:
Moskit is the aircraft variant of the naval missile 3M80 (SS-N-22 Sunburn, the designation 3M80 apparently referring to the Mach 3 speed of 1980
weapons) used on "Sovremennyy" destroyers (eight missiles on each) and on "Tarantul [Tarantula] III patrol ships (four missiles on each). The 3M82
"Mosquito" missiles have the fastest flying speed among all antiship missiles in today's world. It reaches Mach 3 at a high altitude and its
maximum low-altitude speed is M2.2, triple the speed of the American Harpoon. When slower missiles, like the French Exocet are used, the maximum
theoretical response time for the defending ship is 150-120 seconds. This provides time to launch countermeasures and employ jamming before deploying
"hard" defense tactics such as launching missiles and using quick-firing artillery. But the 3M82 "Mosquito" missiles are extremely fast and give
the defending side a maximum theoretical response time of merely 25-30 seconds, rendering it extremely difficult employ jamming and countermeasures,
let alone fire missiles and quick-firing artillery.
The aircraft version, officially called ASM-MMS and apparently also Kh-4, is intended specially for Su-27K (Su-33) carrier-based fighter aircraft. It
was for the first time shown to the CIS leaders in February 1992 in Machulishche and then to the public in August 1992 at the Moscow Air Show in
The missile is propelled by a dual (rocket-jet) engine operating by the same principle as the Kh-31 engine. The missile, suspended under the aircraft,
has a folding wing. The missile is guided by an autopilot during the initial fight stage, with possible correction by the aircraft pilot, and by
active radar during the final flight stage.
CHINA BUYS NEW RUSSIAN DESTROYERS
By Richard D. Fisher, Jr.
China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) signed the new year in with a January 3 contract for two Russian Project 956EM Sovremenny class
destroyers to be delivered by 2006. The purchase highlights the continued growth in the PLA's combat potential, a gathering capability to put
military pressure on Taiwan and the continued troubles the PLA faces in producing its own advanced warships.
Monitoring the growth of the PLAN for the political and military options it gives Beijing is important. Increasingly apparent: The "center" of the
PLA's counter-Taiwan strategy will be its space-missile-air power combine. This might include support from Airborne troops, which can decide a
conflict in a short period. The PLA Navy, and especially its growing submarine forces, would be critical in a combined forces effort to stop the U.S.
Navy from helping Taiwan. But if Beijing were to try subduing Taiwan by a naval blockade, then ships like the Sovremenny would assume greater
LATTER DAY BISMARCKS
The PLAN's 1996 purchase of its first two Russian Type 956E Sovremenny class destroyers generated a media sensation reminiscent of the final voyage
of the German battleship Bismarck. While not as important as the new attack submarines, the two Sovremenny's carry the PLAN's most effective
antiship and anti-aircraft missiles as well as its most effective antisubmarine helicopter. Concern about these ships in both Taipei and Washington is
justified by the fact that Taiwan and perhaps even the U.S. Navy lacks an effective defense against the ship's SS-N-22 Sunburn (3M-80E Moskit)
supersonic antiship missile. Both PLAN Sovremennys are now assigned to the PLAN's East Sea Fleet which faces Taiwan and Japan.
HANGZHOU AND FUZHOU
The PLA's first two Project 956E destroyers--the Hangzhou and the Fuzhou--were ordered in 1996 and delivered quickly (because the Russians had two
incomplete hulls to build on). As such, the PLAN received two "stock" Sovremennys. Displacing about 8,000 tons, the Project 956E is designed for
distant antiship missions. Its main armament are eight of the 160km range SS-N-22 Sunburn antiship missiles. This missile travels at about three times
the speed of sound and can perform violent maneuvers that can defeat most defenses designed to ward off subsonic antiship missiles. It also carries
the 25km range SA-N-7 anti-aircraft missile and one Ka-28 antisubmarine helicopter. The Ka-28 carries rocket-propelled antisubmarine torpedoes and can
provide over-the-horizon targeting for the SS-N-22 missile. Anti-aircraft and antisubmarine warfare, however, are secondary missions for the
These warships were conceived in the late 1970s to support a strategy designed to secure areas contiguous to the Soviet Union, or "bastions," for
the deployment of nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN). For the Soviet Navy, attack submarines and land-based attack aircraft were more
important than surface warships. The Sovremennys were intended to operate with dedicated long-range antisubmarine ships, nuclear attack submarines,
and land-based bombers like the Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire, to repel U.S. carrier battle groups that might try to invade Soviet SSBN bastions to
intercept these submarines.
For this mission the Sovremenny needed to survive long enough only to launch its missiles at the enemy. These ships were thus not designed withstand
great battle damage and would likely be hard-pressed to undertake long missions. They also pre-date current ships design trends dominated by
radar-avoiding stealth shaping. Furthermore, they were designed with a First-Strike strategy in mind: use missiles or lose them. And, to ensure their
success, the early Russian SS-N-22 missiles were fitted with nuclear warheads.
THE NEW SOVREMENNYS
According to early January reports out of Russia, the latest Chinese Sovremenny contract is for a new ship, the Project 956EM, which are expected to
incorporate recent Russian advances in warship design and weapons. These may use stealth shaping similar to the Project 17 frigates that Russia is
building for India. The 956EM are also expected to be armed with a new smaller cruise missile, such as the Mach 3 speed and 300km range NPO
Machinostroyenia Yakhont, or the subsonic speed 220km range Novator Club-N. At least one report indicates that the 956EM could carry up to twelve
Yakhonts, marketed as having a land-attack capability as well.
Russian reports also indicate that the 956EM could carry a new longer-range anti-aircraft missile. It has been Russian practice to equip its ships
with naval versions of land-based anti-aircraft missiles like the 120km range S-300PMU or the 25km range BUK-M1. But the PLAN could opt for the latest
versions of these missiles--the 250 mile range S-400, for example. These missiles would also be guided by more advanced phased array radar that are
more difficult to detect and jam.
In contrast to the older design, the new 956EM would offer the prospect for longer survivability in combat, by virtue of its greater ability to avoid
detection, launch attacks from greater ranges and defeat attacking aircraft at farther distances. Russia could also address other deficiencies of the
original Sovremenny design, such as its low ability to survive combat damage. And while this projection is suspect, Russian reports indicate that the
new ships may be ready in 2006 or soon after, perhaps in time to be used against Taiwan.
The 1996 PLAN purchase of the Sovremennys was driven by the need to respond to the humiliation of not being able to counter the two U.S. Navy aircraft
carrier battle groups sent to counter to the PLA's intimidating exercises near Taiwan in March that year. This incident focused PLA attention on the
need to defeat the U.S. Navy. If it could be prevented long enough from "rescuing" Taiwan, then other elements of the PLA's forces would have
sufficient time to force a military solution to Beijing's quest for "unification."
To counter U.S. carrier battle groups, the Sovremennys will be coordinated with land-based ballistic missiles, Su-30MKK and JH-7 fighter bombers, new
diesel-electric submarines like the Russian Kilo and the Chinese Song classes, and future new nuclear powered attack submarines. Aircraft and
submarines will be armed with new long-range antiship cruise missiles. And very soon, both platforms and missile strikes will be coordinated by new
reconnaissance satellites and both unmanned reconnaissance and AWACS aircraft, and guided by planned navigation satellites.
In such a battle it is likely that the Sovremennys would be used following strikes by land-based missiles, aircraft and submarines. The new 956EMs,
however, might be better able to join this battle sooner, provided they survive expected U.S. defensive measures. While a multiple of U.S. carrier
battle groups would be able to defend themselves against such PLA attacks, it is less likely that Taiwan's Navy could do so.
For general operations against Taiwan, the PLA's goal would be to first strike Taiwan's Navy in its ports with missiles, aircraft and Special Forces
units. Surviving warships would then face a superior number of PLAN submarines, strike aircraft, combat ships and numerous naval mines. The
Sovremennys, with their 130mm naval guns, could either provide fire support for amphibious invasion forces or the leading edge of a blockade
The PLA's decision to return to Russia for its advanced warships also highlights the slow pace of the PLA's ability to build modern warships. Its
latest Luhai class destroyer is a barely modern design and it relies on Ukrainian turbine engines. The PLAN is reportedly working on a new class of
destroyer that will be built in two versions that emphasize anti-aircraft and antisubmarine capabilities. Together with the Sovremennys, these can be
expected to form the combat support for the PLAN's first large aircraft carrier, which may be built in the next decade. But until the first carrier
that allows for distant operations is built, the PLAN will continue to build its surface, submarine and air forces for naval operations near Taiwan or
in the South China Sea. But armed with land-attack capable missiles like the Yakhont, the PLA will be able to use its Sovremennys for distant
political intimidation missions. Another mission of growing importance will be to defend new PLAN ballistic missile submarines, which could require a
secure "bastion" in the Yellow Sea.
For Taipei and Washington, the PLA's acquisition of even more capable models of the Russian Sovremenny serves to validate recent decisions, and to
prompt additional measures to sustain Taiwan's ability to deter PLA attack. The new PLA purchases validate the Bush administration's decision last
year to sell Taiwan the U.S. Kidd class destroyers and eight new conventional submarines. There is an even greater requirement for the submarines to
counter the PLAN's new Sovremennys. Taiwan also requires the greater air defense and antisubmarine capabilities of the Kidd class destroyers, and as
well the U.S. Aegis class destroyers, which have an even greater anti-aircraft and a potential antimissile capability.
The PLAN's new purchase also validates the September 2001 Quadrennial Review decision to increase the number of U.S. aircraft carriers in the
"Western Pacific." The current single U.S. carrier battle group stationed in Japan will soon not be enough to deter the PLA. Washington also needs
to develop longer-range tactical missiles to defeat the PLA's longer-range naval and land-based Russian anti-aircraft missiles. Finally, to sustain
deterrence on the Taiwan Strait, Washington. should seriously consider selling Taiwan these long-range attack missiles so it can better deter the
PLA's gathering missile, air and naval forces.
Richard D. Fisher, Jr. is a senior fellow with the Jamestown Foundation and the managing editor of China Brief.
There is also, the Yakhont. It is more advanced than the Moskit so u can imagine how it will smoke a U.S. carrier fleet.