Simulation of combat in South China sea

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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.
There was talk about airborne combat lasers as far back as the F-117 days, but these were just rumors.
There was talk about airborne combat lasers as far back as the F-117 days, but these were just rumors.

well one of the things mentioned about this engine was more power generation for 'directed energy' weapons. I believe they have done some successful (public) tests from big four engine aircraft, and have been testing for fighters.

The problem is the need to generate so much power. Even on ships it's a problem. But it's definitely working, at least to some extent with ships.

The issue there though is that they are limited in effective range to the horizon. Maybe something like a lighter than air drone with a tether to the ship...? I know there have been some experiments with those too.

So laser from a ship is basically an improved CIWS, which certainly is helpful, but it takes some time on target to burn up a missile and by the time a HVM is at the horizon, time is very, very limited.
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.

Agreed. I do think that is something they are working on with the F-35 program though. That is probably one if it's advantages.

They will need good, and very fast long range tracking, very fast interception (which could be both via missiles and particle weapons) and very fast destruction.

One thing I suspect they are doing, if the lasers work, the next step seems to be to surround manned warships with drones at a good distance around them that can shoot down fast moving targets with CIWS or 'directed energy weapons' or missiles or whatever. Obviously loitering flying drones, and fighters, can also be used to do this.

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.

True, but I think we've been needing something faster in this category already since the 80s. Presumably they are working on it now.

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