Monday, August 09, 2010

My answer to Allah on ASBM


Over at HotAir, Dyer and Allah are asking about the development of the DF-21D Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM).

Hey, I'll steal from myself - here is my comment to them.

It is a potential weapon that will need to be tested, evaluated and refined. As that takes place, other weapons will be developed to counter it either at its launching point or in the terminal phase.

Then it will have to be used in combat in order to know if it is effective.

130 years ago it was the torpedo boat. It did not mean the end of large surface ships.

105 years ago it was the Dreadnought. It did not mean the end of anything but large surface ships with and all gun battery.

90 years ago it was the aircraft. It did not mean the end of large surface ships.

70-80 years ago it was the dive bomber. It did not mean the end of surface ships or aircraft carriers.

60 years ago it was the nuclear weapon. If did not mean the end of surface ships or aircraft carriers.

40 years ago it was the anti-ship cruise missile. It did not mean the end of surface ships or aircraft carriers.

... and so today we are talking about Anti-ship cruise missiles.

There is an evolution and survival of the fittest in warfare. It is only a problem if ignored. It is only a reason to panic if you lack a historical perspective and a lack of confidence in your military to effectively meet a new threat ... at threat that is yet to be fully formed.
The only thing needed here is to ask the CNO - what is your plan to address this possible threat? Are your priorities aligned with preserving your nation's ability to project power into the future?

112 comments:

LT B said...

The biggest threat to the US Navy IS the US navy w/ the diversity drivel and purchasing and contracts happy talk.  Good thing we have the LCS, that should work against any and all weapon systems.  It IS that good, right?  It must be because the admirals in DC tell me it is so. 

sid said...

Three decades of way too much Hornet lLove, and believing a 500nm combat radius for the airwing would suffice is coming back to roost.

Carl said...

Has a weapons platform ever been rendered obsolete based on a weapon designed to eliminate it? Battleships didn't disappear because of a weapon targeted at large surface vessels. Tanks did not disappear with the advent of anti-tank rifles, anti-tank guns, or anti-tank missiles.

I would postulate that weapons platforms are rendered obsolete not because of weapons targeted at it but because of more effective weapons platforms designed to perform a similar function.

FOD said...

Are your priorities aligned with preserving your nation's ability to project power into the future?

Heh. Priorities. Good one.  

Byron said...

It's FAST, LT, it can outrun the warheads! And if it gets a piece of one, it has automated damage control! Here, your turn at the pipe...

ewok40k said...

<span>It is a potential weapon that will need to be tested, evaluated and refined. As that takes place, other weapons will be developed to counter it either at its launching point or in the terminal phase.

Then it will have to be used in combat in order to know if it is effective.
</span>

Oh my, looks like exactly same words that could be said to Billy Mitchell after his captured German battleship test.
fast forward 2 decades and we have Pearl Harbor, Kuantan, Yamato...

AW1 Tim said...

I was outlining an article about this too, and here you are wrting it.

  My points are this:
1.) We currently have demonstrated ability to knock down ICBM's in flight. This simply means, economically, we need to build more Aegis ABM-capable vessels. The Chibnese are rolling this thing out (well, WE knew about it for awhile now) as an ecinimuc weapon, hoping to make it too expensive for us to develop and install a full-on defense).

2.) The game changer is this: If it is ever used, it's launch, even a single missile, will result in a nuclear exchange. there is no way to tell if this has a nuclear or conventional warhead. Thus, it MUST be treated as a nuke, with an appropriate response. Our nuclear policy must reflect that ANY such ICBM, IRBM, or other form of Ballistic Missile, aimed at our forces, wherever they may be, will be treated as a nuclear attack upon these United States, demanding a full and complete response by our own nuclear forces.

   This weapon is both a potential nuclear threat, as well as an economic threat, inthat it requires us to invest in counter measures. The Chinese are holding a great deal of our debt, and have taken lessons from how se took down the USSR economically.  This is a part of their long game.

MR T's Haircut said...

Concur.  These will destroy the UNREP assets then we are really fooked...

承王蓁 said...

一句話,那就是,"船到橋頭自然直."..................................................................

Salty Gator said...

"The only thing needed here is to ask the CNO - what is your plan to address this possible threat? Are your priorities aligned with preserving your nation's ability to project power into the future?"

The reason why this weapon is so important is that it threatens our most valuable capital ships, of which there are only 11.  We operate with ZERO bench in the navy, so this would require the CNO, SECNAV, SECDEF and yes the President and Congress to plan and budget to take significant losses and keep pressing forward.  The chinese estimate that we will fold if we lose an aircraft carrier...or two.  A dangerous gamble, considering that the Japanese lost that same gamble back in 1941.

But times have changed.  We may no longer have either the national will or at least the leadership to rally from a significant bloody nose like that.  If we are going to cry uncle to the Dong Feng 21, we better have a plan to build a lot more submarines (and those aren't getting any cheaper).

Final note:  a lot of press clippings are telling maybe 1/5 of the story of the DF-21.

Salty Gator said...

Better.  Destroy the carriers that give air cover, occupy the destroyers with emergency warning air, torpedo the unrep ships!

Salty Gator said...

yup.  It is a little crappy ship with 2 days of legs.  So keep your UNREP ship handy.  Wait, we lost it (or it got scared away when DF's started falling?).  Crap.  Maybe we can pull into Shanghai for a refuel?

Anonymous said...

T,

It was interesting to see how the fleet dealt with UNREP sourcing post 9-11 in the NAS.

LT B said...

Heck yeah!  The Chinese already own our military.  Why wouldn't they let us refuel there?

Byron said...

Ah, Tim, who has the final go codes for nuclear release? Scary, ain't it.

Anonymous said...

"<span>there is no way to tell if this has a nuclear or conventional warhead. Thus, it MUST be treated as a nuke"</span>

Just like a TLAM?  So when we launched TLAM into Iraq or Afghanistan, a nuclear response would have been justified by them or one of their allies?  I mean they couldn't know if they were nukes or conventional.

Salty Gator said...

AW1, from my experience in BMD, disagree on a few points.  AEGIS was designed back in the 1970s to hit fairly simple ASCMs.  It has since evolved....significantly.  But it is still the same basic system.  Do not oversell the capability.  There is no requirement to punch an ICBM out of the sky.  That would create a huge arms race with Russia as it could be used to alter the strategic balance, and would be a violation of the START treaties.

Your second point talks about not distinguishing between launches.  While state department and DoD both have detection capabilities to detect the launch "plume", the trajectory (short range, medium range, intermediate range, intercontinental range) can be determined fairly quickly.  They are distinguishable. 

Agree with you entirely on the third point.  The economies of scale are totally against us.  The cost of a chinese ballistic missile compared to the interceptor are totally tilted.  Then add the cost of a destroyer/cruiser, training the crew, satellites, training pipelines, etc. It is insane.

Salty Gator said...

Guest, a TLAM looks nothing like a ballistic trajectory.  in addition, we no longer have nuclear tipped TLAMs.

YNSN said...

Sir, again. You're absolutely right.

It is just the evolution of the way we're challenged.  BMD, already being fielded is a match for this capability.  Though, we need to now place more emphasis on our BMD capabilities.

One thing I do not hear every mentioned, is how Russia objected to our Prompt Global Strike capability--putting conventional or kinetic warheads on SLBMs.  They said they were conserned with knowing how to differentiate between a nuke and a non-nuke.  Yet, we do not raise a political objection to their launching of a conventional ICBM... Nor does Russia.   There is a diplomatic dimension to countering this weapon that we are ignoring.

Anonymous said...

Salty, you missed the point.  I'll try again just for you.

The point is that this logic <span>"<span>there is no way to tell if this has a nuclear or conventional warhead. Thus, it MUST be treated as a nuke"  would justify a nuclear response when we use a weapon against a country that couldn't tell if it was nuclear or convention.  The point isn't whether or not we have it, the point is that they couldn't tell and it's a possibility.</span></span>

LT B said...

I think we fold if we lose a few destroyers to be honest.  With the LCS costing so much, the lack of a martial ethos in the country and a poor industrial base, it is not such a horrible gamble, I think.  Do it under a regime (not mentioning any per se) that is always looking to jump out to pay for domestic policies and it is a workable strategy.  just my .02

Salty Gator said...

Here's a little history, just for you, Guest.  Then we would have nuked Baghdad every time they launched a SCUD missile.  That is a ballistic missile too, Guest.

Salty Gator said...

What are you basing your assessment of our current BMD capabilities on???

Salty Gator said...

Didn't know that about the conventional warhead SLBMs.  Are the russians not using conventional SLBMs and only ICBMs?  Maybe it is a matter of proximity / early warning / ability to determine final target.

GBS said...

This looks REALLY scary as a newspaper / magazine article.  It is also readily apparent that the article attached to the DF-21D link wasn't written by someone who is very knowledgable about naval warfare or whose first language is english.

We've seen "carrier killer" missiles in the Soviet / Russian Navy arsenal for decades.  Most of their naval doctrine focused on destroying, or at least disabling US Navy carriers.  Those high-speed cruise missiles were / are more believable because we know the fundamental technology works.  Fire a bunch, one or two may well get through.

Although we've made an adversary's OTH targeting problem far simpler over the years, it remains a critical hurdle to overcome.  I've not yet seen any overview of how this weapon actually works.  What guides it in the terminal flight phase?  An EM sensor, radar, video...the FORCE?  It's supposedly going very fast, so a tight, fast thinking guidance system is a must...carriers are big, but look REALLY small from even 10K feet.

The biggest danger to a carrier?  A submarine with large, reliable torpedo, a well trained crew, and a smart / patient CO willing to sacrifice his boat (if needed) to get the job done.

GBS said...

<span><span>Not really...Mitchell did<span>n't</span> just CLAIM he could sink a vessel with an aircraft, he went out and did it.  His demonstration proved an aircraft could sink an undefended DIW vessel.  However, two decades later, there were plenty of air attacks that failed because of effective air defense directed by another new technology...Radar.  Further, many well-designed ships hit by bombs and torpedos were quickly returned to action by effective damage control.  If we've learned anything from history, it is that for each new technology, there is always a way to counter it.</span></span>

YNSN said...

I am basing it off of that we already have DDGs and CGs that have a BMD capability.  The fact that the LAKE ERIE was able to demonstrate an ASAT capability.  Granted that is different than hitting a IC/RBM.  Still these are capabilitites we have afloat today.

AW1 Tim said...

Guest,

  I al talking about ballistic missiles, NOT cruise missiles. That should be evident from my comments. The DF-21 series are all launched from either a silo or a mobile launcher. I would posit that a simple way to offset this system until we can bring a better or additional ABM systems online is to inform Chinese leadership that ANY ballistic missile launched against any of our assets will be considered a nuclear attack requiring an appropriate response.

 Putting HiCap warhead on what used to be exclusively nuclear platforms is foolish and destabilizing. Such a practice ought to be argued against in the strongest possible way.

YNSN said...

I think it is a matter of a 'good enough' argument.  Scare people with talk of an 'accidental' launch against an apparent first strike and the efficacy of a conventional ICBM heads right out the window.

Salty Gator said...

BMD capability is not black or white.  We hit a satellite with an SM-3 with every single BMD asset illuminating it while it was on a ALREADY KNOWN trajectory / altitude / course / speed / attitude.  And that required significant reprogramming of both the AEGIS software as well as the missile itself.  I am concerned that you guys are completely overselling the capability of the BMD program.  We spend a fortune on BMD, and I don't think we are getting much in return.  Personally, I'd pour that money into submarines and put us back on the right side of the economies of scale.

Salty Gator said...

From USNI Blog: "The Chinese rarely mention weapons projects unless they are well beyond the test stages."

you don't need to conduct an over sea test to give us pause.  When was the last time the Russians tested their nuclear weapons, but we have a pretty good idea that they work.

Salty Gator said...

Nobody can get too far into the intel on this blog, dude.  UNCLASSIFIED and all....

YNSN said...

Overselling BMD.  Overselling ASBM. 

One has reached IOC, the other... We have video of a UFO over China that looks a lot like a 'effed-up missle launch. 

While I am concerned with this capability and cognizant of the fact that no system we have today is 100% proven, or battle tested.  It is still as the CDR says.  It is an evolutionary process, where the winner ends up being who can most readily adapt to the changing conditions they find themselves in.

YNSN said...

Tim,

That is exactly what the Russians said in regards to a conventional ICBM capability we wanted to field not too long ago.

You're absolutely right, the DoS needs to push that issue and not quit until the only things large rockets launch are nuke back to earth or things into orbit.

Byron said...

Not to mention extremely accurate mid-course guidance. Once it gets into the terminal phase, the CEP is going to be pretty damn small with regards to how much it can manuever. If they loaded a seeker package along with the steering, then they're exchanging explosives for electronics. Yes, I know that the speed upon impact is a bunch a bunch, but, it's still a tradeoff. Only three things can supply mid-course guidance: a spy sat, an aircraft or a sub. The later two are going to have a tough road, the first, eh, not so much.

Redeye80 said...

I really don't see this as a big game changer.  This is just another potential weapon system we need to adjust our TTPs. 

We and our allies absorbed SCUDs that had the potential for WMD warheads.  As mentioned, we usually have a good idea on the target once launched.

Unfortunately, I think someone will have to take a WMD shot first before they can response in kind.  ICBMs from known players heading to CONUS is a different issue.

Redeye80 said...

You are assuming it will be 11.  There is already talk about only 8.  Lose one or two, then what happens?

We are just starting to see the gutting of the military.  It is all about budget, no one cares about capability except those who will carry the burden of bad decisions.

AW1 Tim said...

Yes, but it could also be ICBM's headed to forward staging areas and depots like Guam, in order to take out our forward-based logistics. Kill those, and the fleet has no option BUT to retire.

ewok40k said...

But we must remeber that Chinese dont rely on the ASBM alone... they develop modern sub force, ASCMs, and I am sure they feel sure that something will go thru. One of 500 TacAir launched ASCMs, one of 40 subs patrolling area, or one of ASBMs. ASBMs are hardest to create, but also hardest to counter. Cue the "Chinese cant make decent tech" argument and I have deja vu of Zero's first appearance...

Wharf Rat said...

Question:  I've read all the comments and while I appreciate the concern this missle brings all of you, what do we have that the Chinese are concerned about? 

If one of these are shot at a carrier, or sink/damage it, what exactly will happen to the Chinese if they do it?  There was a couple of comments about how we might fold if we lose 1-2 carriers, or multiple destroyers.  Even with the current man-child in office, even the Chinese have got to know any number of submarines, both with conventional and nuclear weapons are always in the area, and it would not go well for them, among other military assests, including the F-22.  Anyone who wants to challenge that is a dumbass.

I specifically asked the Admiral (don't remember his name) in charge of all submarines about the four SSGN's surfacing in the Pacific Rim in July (he was in the Twin Cities for Fleet Week), and he stated very clearly that it was unintentional that they all surfaced at the same time, but he had no problem with the fact that if the Chinese didn't like it, it was okay with him (parapharasing his comments a bit - but that was the spirit) - and the crowd laughed.  Just sayin'................  Clearly it was intentional that they were in the area at the same time.

My concern is not now, but future funding levels in 2020's when the Arleigh's start wearing out, when a number of carriers reach their mid-life refueling, when the SSBN's need replacement.

And yes, we will still have really cool looking speed boats 8-) .

Salty Gator said...

Can we establish a SIPR version of CDR Salamander?  Because I'm losing my mind right now

Salty Gator said...

I can't argue with you in an UNCLAS setting.  So either I surrender or stick my tongue out and walk away.    I opt to go out in style.

:-P

Salty Gator said...

I think you answered it right:  we have submarines.

ewok40k said...

I am certainly hoping PRC leadership has the wisdom to avoid conflict. They have a long-term view of history and know well that world is full of graves of those who underestimated US resolve and capabilities. The problem is they have awakened strong nationalism and in the future might be forced by forces outside of their control into a collision course with US interests. Plus there is the problem of Chinese forces getting stronger each year, and US starting to dwindle as the "terrible 20s" onset. Can we predict the correlation of forces in say 2041? Chinese can have own carriers by then. Even 3-4 would be a lot against US maybe 8 split into many oceans. Add to this home field advantage and the sea denial systems they are working on. In 1941 US had the industrial power to replace losses quick. Now recreating a lost pair of carriers and their attendant escorts would be quite difficult and slow.  Recreating loss of 4 would take decades.

Byron said...

The really interesting part was where Gates said there's too many GOFOs. Duh.

XBradTC said...

But the cost of the ship and crew are sunk costs. We're going to operate Aegis destroyers anyway. So the only real cost is the interceptor, software, and training time/assets. 

And when you look at the profiles of any inbound DF-21s, it should be fairly easy to "discard" any that are going to be outside a valid engagement basket. 

It may well turn out to be that the DF-21 is a valid workable weapon system. But we already have the countermeasure underway. It's not the end of the world.

XBradTC said...

Tim, any SRBM/IRBM launch will impact before the decision cycle in CONUS is complete. We'd know if it was a conventional weapon or not before we were truly set to return fire. 

What's another 15 minutes to be sure you don't pull a nuclear trigger when you don't need to? The Chinese don't have the massive ICBM counterforce capability the Russians did. There's no "use 'em or lose 'em" scenario at play. 

Grandpa Bluewater said...

"Recreating the loss of 4 (bird farms) would take decades."

Jerry Pournelle's place has discussed the point that a Dark Age is not when you forget how to do stuff, but forget it can be done. Here's what you are forgetting..two guys named Henry.  Henry Ford Senior and Henry J. Kaiser.

Here's how you do it.  Hire anybody willing to work. Then train them, the skills they need, nothing else, all practical application. Pay well.  Prune layabouts ruthlessly.  Standardize the plans for the thing to be assembled. Proven designs or proven fixes only.  Put the best on "shop liaison" shooting trouble on the shop floor. Pay them really well.  Put three shifts round the clock, contact relief, heel and toe. Pay the 1/4 hour OT at either end for the turnover period and a half hour before the shift for training in safety and production good practice lessons learned  Have a safety program with teeth and a good emergency room and ambulance service in the plant.  15 minutes at the job for lunch out of your lunch bucket and two 10 minute breaks when and as for coffee.  Tell the workers their asses and their kids futures are on the line and mean it.

Reward beneficial suggestions big time.  Fire screw ups, screamers and drama thespians ruthlessly. Promote from within, praise in public, correct in private.  Insist everyone be implacably polite. And keep hiring.  Pay suppliers cash, 50% on delivery and satisfactory test, 50 upon installation and test on board. Bonus for early delivery. Penalty for late.

Advertise how great the workers are.  Advertise how the lives of sailors depend on their being great.

6 months to set up. 6 months to get folks to feel the power of their own hard work and become teams. Then open up the throttle and tell them there is a bonus for early delivery of each major step and first yard to deliver. Tell them the other yards are 3 weeks ahead and gaining.  Then they'll grab the throttle and push it to the firewall.  The first one will go to the fleet in 25 % of the time it takes now. Maybe better.

Submarines are somewhat easier.  Tell EB and NN you need as many as you can get as fast as you can get them and don't be standing on a building way when you do it. They wouldn't run you down, but they would pick you up and move you.

Details...see Byron.

XBradTC said...

If you tell me how you get that past the OSHA, union bosses, and about a billion other govt. agencies, I'll believe you. 

Seriously, even that wouldn't work. You'd have to start way, way, way further up the supply chain. You'd have to start teaching entire new cadres how to build the reactors, and probably have to start a new mill or two from scratch just to get the HY steel.

ewok40k said...

Time inflight from mainland china to target for IRBM is 10 minutes max, and with single launch or even 10 we can see there is no big counterforce strike (plus there is mainland US BMD to defend with)
What concerns me more is that even sunk with conventional stuff carrier means losses in thousands, not unlike entire Pearl Harbor attack or 9/11... a  major shock value. it can theoretically stun leadership into withdrawal but equally possible it can enrage public opinion into war frenzy.
Chinese would probably try to maneuver themselves into position where US would be deterred from intervening anywhere near PRC mainland. Think Sun Tzu victory without war.
Last but not least one sensible strategy in case of carrier loss is: use subs. Subs once already helped in major way to bring down imperial Japan. Now they are much more potent, and by comparison to the surface forces  invulnerable to the two legs of the PRC sea denial force triad (ASBM, ASCM), and perfectly suited for combatting the third leg, the subs.
Now can somebody make Larry Bond to rewrite Red Storm Rising for the Pacific? :)

GBS said...

IF they had carried out a no-shite operational test, I bet we'd know about it.

GBS said...

Yes...yes...you'd have to kill me / us.

Redeye80 said...

All people see is where to cut money.  The military is an easy target.

We will have to absorb another Pearl Harbor / 9-11 event for people to recognize the importance of a strong defence.

So, if JFCOM goes away what happens to all the tasks/responsibilities if that command?  With limited funding, each service will circle the wagons around thier respective rice bowls.  It's going to get ugly real fast!

Sigh, writing my congressmen again.

GBS said...

ewok,

Another flimsy analogy.  The Zero's seemingly superior characteristics came at the cost of survivability. 

The Pacific is littered with them.

Redeye80 said...

So, at which Chinese owned US based yard would that be at?

MR T's Haircut said...

I am good with it.. We have too many staffs anyways.. Cut the unholy Navy Regional Commands next...

but put the money into ships.. not social programs for the Obamacrats...

MR T's Haircut said...

You need a Leslie McNair to run interference with the AFL-CIO punks....

MR T's Haircut said...

concur.. we lack the will and the leaderhsip..

MR T's Haircut said...

China doesnt need to kill a carrier to make the game changer... just kill the AE/TAE and her escorts and watch the CTF pull the units back...

I mentioned this to an Admiral (forget which one, I am not a sta rstruck guy) during one of those forced "Waterfront Seminar" on Carrier ops.  I asked him pointedly what is being done to increase the protection for Oilers and UNREP assets in the Persian Gulf?  My question came out of my observation that they rarely had escort and often were treated by big navy as some kind of commercial asset..

He just said 'yes that would be a problem wouldnt it?"  "Next?"

and here we are down the road and what is being done?

Therapist1 said...

I am sorry to say it buddy but I can see a lot of "Pain" in your future with the thought it goes to anything but the Obamacrats.

Salty Gator said...

somehow we managed to do all of this in the 1940s.  Someone earlier said it took a war to do this, but we did it.  Not just in yards but in all assembly lines.  Ford, Chrysler, GM...all were pumping out tanks and 5 ton trucks

Warrant Diver said...

GBS-that's only part of the story-the Zero's seemingly superior characteristics came because it HAD superior characteristics over the F4F Wildcat, Douglas Devastator, and Vultee Vindicator.... until superior American planes came along. Then it began to litter the Pacific, and the cream of Japan's fighter pilots with it. Our pilots came back to train replacements, theirs flied until they died. 
 Ewok's argument doesn't seem "flimsy" to me...don't discount Chinese tech because underestimating your adversary is a dangerous thing to do.

Salty Gator said...

That's not true.  When you are doing the BMD mission you are 5 knots to nowhere doing BMD Corpen.  You are out of the game, dude.  You are not doing boarding ops, ASW, anything else.  You are there to hang in your basket and wait for the missiles to start flying.  Everyone seems to think that any BMD ship in any ocean can hit any missile.  Guys, if that were the case, it wouldn't be a big deal when Obama cut land based BMD.  The truth is that there is a lot of physics, not just simple vector physics but crazy ass multi-variable pound your head against the wall physics that goes into this and position is half the problem.  The other half is radar sensitivity and missile capability.

Salty Gator said...

I bet you'd know one way or the other if you had a SIPR.

Salty Gator said...

the zero also had superior pilots until about halfway through the end of the war.  Read "SAMURAI!" a great description of Japanese ww2 pilots by Japan's best ace.

Anonymous said...

SIPR is not going to do it.  This goes higher than SIPR very quickly...  Suffice it to say that the DF-21D is a threat. 

cdrsalamander said...

Kids ... post will be up on it tomorrow.  Comment there ... no thread hijacking.

cdrsalamander said...

Stop.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

XBradTC: 

You are right, those are problems. That doesn't mean it can't be done. Indeed it has been done, which is the point.

War with China, full war powers, the agencies will fall in line.  OSHA...coopt. Union Bosses..sing a song of Air Controllers, then cut a fair deal with the US Marshal swinging a set of bracelets around a big strong finger by the closed door of the room, none of them are all that clean, they'll bend with the wind.  Lost skills can be taught, I'm not buying that it takes longer to teach them then it took to invent them.

Primo pay and a long term contract is a p o w e r f u l l motivator.  So is a declaration of war and good dose of fear.

How long did it take to get Polaris at sea from a standing start?  Not decades, not half of one.

Of course, the submarines in commission are going to be run hard.  But they all know if they're not outnumbered and surrounded, far from any friendlies, well, the Skipper opened the wrong envelope in the safe.  It'll be submarines and targets for some time, which is just the way they like it.  Some folks never change, thank God.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

T:  Re escorts for the fleet train.

You are oh so sadly right.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

At the end of WWII, it was policy that Major Fleet Assets were to have 4 escorts.  Oilers were considered Major Assets.  When the oilers would come over the horizon, the 4 escorts could then fill holes in the TF screen, while the escorting DDs fueled and took on stores.  ( Two oilers could share 4 escorts, of course.)

  It's time for a 21rst Century JOHN C BUTLER class DE. 

AW1 Tim said...

I've been a fan of his for awhile now. Man hits it square in the black. Found his link through your site, too.... :)

  Anyone not reading XbradTC's blog is missing some good stuff.

Andrewdb said...

SG - in WWII we had an industrial base that made THINGS that we could convert to make war materiel.  Today we don't have much of an industrial base, instead we have a nation trained to move mortgage paperwork around.

Southern Air Pirate said...

A couple of extra questions folks.

1. No one has described anywhere in the open source articles how the ChiComs are going to do the OTH targeting. I mean the Soviets/Russians spent the better part of fifty years in refining thier targeting processing for including everything from RORSATs down to "fishing" trawlers that followed behind our CVBG's. Plus some other tattletales that the Russians would risk to know in the opening moments where the carriers were. We did equally well in trying to hide from the tatteltales. Also does anyone of the cold war warriors here remember the Pacific, Med, North Atlantic Bear Boxes?

2. Even with the best of data coming in (even if some open source material says about the Walker Spy rings), there was still at least ten hours between a RORSAT/ELINT/SIGNIT/PHOTO satellite (on a good day) and the ability of a SNA bomber regiement to come in range for AS-4, AS-5, AS-6 range. So again, in open source side we don't have any idea on how thier engagement cycle for this weapon would work?

3. Final question about this whole weapon is this. We know from some defectors and even from observations of the Soviet training exercises is that they would attack a CVBG with SNA regiements, submarine launched cruise missiles, fast attack submarines, and anti-shipping cruise missiles. They would try to achieve a TOT(time on target) so that all of these independent units would be striking at once or at least with in a short cycle of each other. So have the PLAN, PLAAF, PLA Missile units achieved this amount of Joint Forces Command? Or are the rumors true that the PLA is like the Imperial Japanese forces, in that the Army hated the Navy and for every chance to show who was better in the eyes of the elite leaders of the country.

GBS said...

Warrant,

The Zero did have some superior characteristics over the F4F, but that did not stop three CVWs outfitted with F4Fs and TBDs from destroying four IJN carriers six months after Pearl Harbor.  Every single Zero from those four IJN airwings was lost due to air combat , AAA, or the airport being sunk.

Using a ballistic missile to hit a moving target at sea is, ahem, a bit of a challenge.  To date, the only thing I've seen is a newspaper article and a picture of a launcher being hauled down the street.  No one, and I mean NO ONE has, to my knowledge, ever demonstrated the ability to do what this weapon system purportedly does.  My skepticism has nothing to do with "discounting Chinese tech" in general.  However, I will be skeptical that a country several years / decades behind us in most every other demonstrated technology has somehow mastered something that the Soviets gave up on as "too hard". 

sid said...

If the IJN had gone after the fuel train in early '42...It would be a VERY different world today.

Remember, the only reason they engaged and sank the Neosho was because they mistook her for a cruiser.

By the Battle of Santa Cruz weeks later, there were only three oilers available .

Good thing the Japs ignored them.

Fast forward to today, and you have a logisitcs train that is entirely civilianized on their cushy rides, and no one is thinking how they represent a Critical Vulnerability.

“This is basically a merchant ship — we don’t shoot at anything,” he said. “You put in your hours and you get paid for it, and that’s that.”

Yeah,but there are those who would have no compunction whatsoever shooting at you pal....

Not exactly "Battleminded"...

Steeljaw said...

Pg. 21 of BMDR:
A follow-on missile, the SM-3 BLK IIB is in the initial phase of technology assessment and development.  It is expected to be even more capable than the IIA.  With a higher burnout velocity and greater divert capabiltiy, the SM-3 Block IIB will have some early intercept capability against a long-range missile."
Pg. 30 (European PAA):
"Over time, as the four phases progress, defense of the US homeland will be augmented by European-based SM-3 Block IIB interceptors, whcih are planned to be able to provide an early intercept capability against potential Iranian ICBMs."

FYI, "long-range" is used to capture both IRBM and ICBM-types.
w/r, SJS

Steeljaw said...

You need to look at the DF-21D as a system of systems and apply all aspects of missile defense -- not just the kinetic endgame.  There are a number of entry points to begin the process of inducing error/confusion/uncertainty into the system to begin lowering the Pk.  That said, we also need to work on the kinetic side -- and I'll leave it at that.
w/r, SJS

Steeljaw said...

Careful there -- Aegis BMD does not/not have an ASAT capability and we went to great pains to emphasize that fact in a very public manner without the usual wink/wink, nod/nod.  Anyone associated with the BURNT FROST planning fully understands the challenges posed and the methods and technology to address same...
w/r, SJS

MR T's Haircut said...

Sid, yep.  Funny Irony is the reason often cited by historians about Japan's motivation for war was due in large part to lack of access to Oil.. and that same liability was also a key to defeat of US Naval Forces in the Pacific... POL left intact on Pearl didnt help the Japanese either...

Warrant Diver said...

GBS-concur. I didn't say the Zero was a wunderplane that was never, ever defeated. It was good, and they had good pilots, and we underestimated BOTH because we felt technically and culturally superior to Japan, and we paid dearly for it until we recovered. We can't make that mistake with China.

I'm not skeptical that China can do it...they don't have to develop the capability, they can just buy it. Don't underestimate the enemy.

sid said...

I could load up some containers of shoes for eventual sale in WalMart and Target....

MR T's Haircut said...

A savy business model.. when the baloon goes up, the Walmart and Target shelves will be bare weeks in advance.. kinda like a Tsunami drawing the water away from the beach before the hit...

sid said...

Sorry the should have been "I<span>T</span>" (as in LCS)....

There may be some worth in those floating pigs after all.

Salty Gator said...

Correct.  Nobody has mentioned this <span>IN OPEN SOURCE WRITING.</span>

Salty Gator said...

Right.  And call me as soon as we field a SM-3 Blk IIA.  By the way, they cost about five times as much as the DF-21s.

Salty Gator said...

And would anyone like to guess firing doctrine?  Or are we all drunk on one shot one kill?

Baldy said...

Seriously?

Nobody else figured out how to do OTH targeting and its tip top secret classified and only Chinese are too stupid to figure out RF propogation and triangulate on it because of the...

EMCON is one thing.  It does render one mostly harmless. 

But everybody needs to shhsssh!  Nobody else knows that!  The chinese will never ever figure it out!

Warrant Diver said...

Yes Gator, you are known for your style... ;)

ewok40k said...

This had lot in common with IJN use of subs... seems IJN seemed obsessed with gaining honor by engaging big warships while auxiliaries, transports and merchants were thought as second category targets. USN has done other way with much success.

ewok40k said...

been there too sue to Polands involvement in the BMD program, nice site

Southern Air Pirate said...

Sure RF propgation can get you the spot at a certain moment. Question still is do the PLA have a good enough C4I system to transition the data from the ELINT system to the launch system in time that the missile's CEP isn't affected?
Is this system like the old Pershing II with a back up radar guidance system to help it manuver and is this radar good enough to get a kill against a carrier?
If we start to pratice Zip-Lip ops again and have a CVBG become a black hole, how does the PLA expect to find a carrier again?
One of the tactics that we use to pratice during the cold war was raid attrition via NATO bases in the GUIK and Mediterrian gap. Things like USAFE, RAF, and other NATO AF units would kill the snoopers as they entered the North Atlantic or Western Med. Right now the only friendly base we have near potential trouble spots with the PRC is Guam. Japan, Korea, Philippines, and other selected nations in the Western Pacific or South China Sea aren't very friendly with us. So could depend on getting basing rights or even operating rights to have our USAF brethern in the region to help kill any MPA's that the PLAAF puts up?
Have we praticed hiding, evading, and escaping from any PRC tattletales? Could our BatGru commanders and thier Intel staffs recognize what these tatteltails look like/act like?
Again like Salty Gator mentioned none of this is being talked about in open source writing. However, I am sure there are people talking about this over beers and burgers at the club or coffee at the shop. Some of these questions should be asked in open source places as a way to force a discussion about possible defenses.

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