Simulation of combat in South China sea

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Wild_Bill_Kelso

Senior Master Sergeant
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Mar 18, 2022
Watched this the other day, thought it was a bit depressing. Wonder what people here think.



This is unrelated to the first video but also provided food for thought and at least outlined some of the specific technical challenges

 
Give it a watch, then let me know what you think. The pics are obviously not the point, definitely generic.
Although these wargames and simulations can be somewhat of an eye-opener, there is always some real worlds scenarios that cannot be accounted for, the biggest is failure of equipment. From what I seen (I skipped through some of this) we are looking at the assumption that all the Chinese equipment worked as advertised. Nothing is mentioned about intelligence gathered before the conflict or having assets covertly staged before the shooting begins. In the second video, where is the USAF? Tankers?

BTW, I participated in a RIMPAC exercise in 1998. During a "wargame" an aircraft from my squadron eluded a picket and went in and sank the Kittyhawk with a Harpoon missile. The aircraft was a P-3!
 
I was in a few big ones myself, REFORGER, ABLE ARCHER, and several smaller ones.

I'd say the computer simulations have come a long way since then, but obviously, they are only as good as the data that is put into them.

In the second video you'll notice that a lot of the Chinese kit actually did not work as advertised, and the American kit actually works a lot better. The results were sobering regardless.
 
BTW, I participated in a RIMPAC exercise in 1998. During a "wargame" an aircraft from my squadron eluded a picket and went in and sank the Kittyhawk with a Harpoon missile. The aircraft was a P-3!
In 1981/2 just pre-Falklands, Admiral Sandy Woodward led a force of a 6,200 ton County class destroyer, Glamorgan, and 3 frigates tasked with penetrating to within 200 miles of the Coral Sea Carrier Task Group steaming in the Arabian Sea. The USN "sank" the 3 frigates but Woodward got close enough to simulate launch of Glamorgan's 4 Exocets so "killing" the carrier. So within 25 miles. How they did it is rather amusing.

And don't say it couldn't happen again. Ever heard of the "fog of war"?

And there are tales of British subs successfully penetrating US carrier group screens during exercises. Now the question is whether Chinese subs are sufficiently stealthy to be able to do likewise.
 
In 1981/2 just pre-Falklands, Admiral Sandy Woodward led a force of a 6,200 ton County class destroyer, Glamorgan, and 3 frigates tasked with penetrating to within 200 miles of the Coral Sea Carrier Task Group steaming in the Arabian Sea. The USN "sank" the 3 frigates but Woodward got close enough to simulate launch of Glamorgan's 4 Exocets so "killing" the carrier. So within 25 miles. How they did it is rather amusing.

And don't say it couldn't happen again. Ever heard of the "fog of war"?

And there are tales of British subs successfully penetrating US carrier group screens during exercises. Now the question is whether Chinese subs are sufficiently stealthy to be able to do likewise.
And that's my point with war games and these analysis - while they may be revealing, you have to look at them at worse case or (best case) scenarios. IMO the Chinese still have quality issues through out their industries, although they've made great strides during the past 20/30 years.

Case in point - A Chinese made consumer product I bought for my daughter several years ago. IMO this is still typical in many corners of their industries to include military products.

Chinese gloves.jpg
 
I remember back in late 70s Rimpac that I couldn't run up aircraft engines for maintenance except during launching of aircraft off the cats because of noise ,alerting subs hearing them in the area…I couldn't hear anything from my aircraft when starting it due to everyone else being in burner. Easy to get a wet or hot start..What a time…
 
And that's my point with war games and these analysis - while they may be revealing, you have to look at them at worse case or (best case) scenarios. IMO the Chinese still have quality issues through out their industries, although they've made great strides during the past 20/30 years.

Case in point - A Chinese made consumer product I bought for my daughter several years ago. IMO this is still typical in many corners of their industries to include military products.

View attachment 674223

I don't think we can count on that.
 
I don't think we can count on that.
Well so far, if we use the J-20 as a talking point, I wouldn't hold my breath...

Don't get me wrong, I won't underestimate the Chinese, but I still think their military machine has many quality issues that have cultural roots.

 
Probably, but not necessarily with the J-20 or their various missiles such as their various super / hypersonic cruise and ballistic weapons. I think it's foolish to just dismiss them. Clearly they have reached parity on many high tech systems, like wifi for example. It doesn't hurt them that they have been making all of our iPhones and everything else for the last 20 years.
 
The other thing is doctrine and planning, and their ability to survive enemy force.

The Chinese have good kit, and probably have solid doctrine for using it (aside from their CVs, which are currently developing that doctrine), but whether it can survive contact with the enemy remains to be seen.

That's especially true when we consider that invading Taiwan involves amphibious and/or airborne ops, which are the two most-difficult infantry deployment evolutions.

Be it noted, I haven't watched the videos, as my wifi here at home is quite limited.
 
Probably, but not necessarily with the J-20 or their various missiles such as their various super / hypersonic cruise and ballistic weapons. I think it's foolish to just dismiss them. Clearly they have reached parity on many high tech systems, like wifi for example. It doesn't hurt them that they have been making all of our iPhones and everything else for the last 20 years.
I won't dismiss them at all but at the same time I'm still cautiously suspicious of their true capabilities.

 
The other thing is doctrine and planning, and their ability to survive enemy force.

The Chinese have good kit, and probably have solid doctrine for using it (aside from their CVs, which are currently developing that doctrine), but whether it can survive contact with the enemy remains to be seen.

That's especially true when we consider that invading Taiwan involves amphibious and/or airborne ops, which are the two most-difficult infantry deployment evolutions.

Be it noted, I haven't watched the videos, as my wifi here at home is quite limited.

Good points, and I think that is basically what is staying their hand. They can see that the Russians have had a lot of trouble in Ukraine, which I think is largely due to their failure to anticipate the importance of drones in land warfare.

Sea and air warfare has also changed a lot and to some extent in ways we can't entirely be certain of.

With the Chinese, I'd expect some kind of skirmish, perhaps with one of their smaller neighbors, where they can assess the capabilities of their kit and their doctrine, before they try anything as ambitious as Taiwan. But I believe developments in Hong Kong and our deteriorating overall relationship with them have accelerated the timetable on Taiwan.

What I got from the video is that our carriers and escorts probably need some accelerated deployment of some of the more advanced anti-ballistic missile systems like the SM-3, and I'm not sure what exactly can be done about the hypervelocity missiles.
 
What I got from the video is that our carriers and escorts probably need some accelerated deployment of some of the more advanced anti-ballistic missile systems like the SM-3, and I'm not sure what exactly can be done about the hypervelocity missiles.

I believe this is the crux of the matter -- whether or not the USN can effectively counter China's A2/AD doctrine with effective self-defense assets.

I wonder if it bears consideration as well that, if the Chinese are indeed puffing up their abilities beyond realistic expectations, that that might be counter-productive.

HVMs are going to be the future in ASM design. Perhaps it will spur laser weaponry development as the only reasonable counter?
 
Laser and particle beam weaponry certainly seems to be on the table (including for the F35, or so they say) but that is somewhat limited in range from what I understand. I suspect they do have some kind of operational systems on some ships and possibly some (multi engine) aircraft.

Another issue I think is that our own missiles like harpoons and tomahawks have always been comparatively slow. If we got into a conflict with China it would be very helpful to destroy some of their land based and sea based launchers very quickly. Maybe we have other ways of doing that which I don't know of.
 
Laser and particle beam weaponry certainly seems to be on the table (including for the F35, or so they say) but that is somewhat limited in range from what I understand. I suspect they do have some kind of operational systems on some ships and possibly some (multi engine) aircraft.

Another issue I think is that our own missiles like harpoons and tomahawks have always been comparatively slow. If we got into a conflict with China it would be very helpful to destroy some of their land based and sea based launchers very quickly. Maybe we have other ways of doing that which I don't know of.

Right, a part of the problem with HVMs is detection range and tech because of their fast ingress. That in turn demands a faster weapon to counter it, which to my mind implies lasers as it's virtually instantaneous. But those lasers will still need good, and long-range, tracking prior to firing. The data-linking of USAF theater-recon planes to carrier-group defense systems will be required, I believe, and that's another can of worms: interservice coordination.

Regarding Harpoons and Tomahawks, I can see the latter providing some possibility as SLCMs -- cruise submerged up to the coast, launch SLCMs. and depart, and you minimize reaction times even for a subsonic platform depending on how close the Chinese launchers are to the shoreline.
 

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