Thursday, February 01, 2018

Keeping an Eye on the Long Game: Part LXXII

Most everyone here has probably heard about the Chinese test installation of a "railgun."

I don't know what it is, but it is big.

Three standard sized containers are mounted on the ship’s open deck immediately aft of the turret, which are believed to be the generators and other associated equipment needed to power a railgun. Other modifications on the ship seen in the published photos also include a new additional observation gallery and an unknown sensor atop the original superstructure, which is believed to be a control room and observation platform related to the railgun.

The bow doors used for conducting amphibious operations has also been welded shut. It is not known where the modified ship was photographed, although the Haiyangshan was previously known to serve with the PLAN’s East Sea Fleet. The ship has made at least one voyage post-modification, suggesting underway trials to test the seaworthiness of the modifications has begun.
When I saw that barrel, I immediately thought of this picture of our shore mounted test vehicle we bolted on a JHSV a bit ago - just like the author of the article did.

Yes, that sure looks familiar.

A couple of things. First, we don't know if it is a railgun, or if it is - how far along their testing is. That being said, I don't think the PLAN would do that install if they didn't think it was a go. We'll see.

Second, if it is, don't be shocked. Have you looked at all the advanced positions in technology and engineering at our finest engineering schools we openly give to Chinese nationals? Are you are up to speed on the huge amount of espionage they are engaged in while our FBI invests much of its intellectual capital playing political games in DC?

It would be zero shock to me if the Chinese did not have all the plans and testing results from our railgun program. As a matter of fact, given the record, I would be shocked if they did not.

If it makes you angry that the Chinese keep stealing our stuff so they can use it against us later, then by all means, get angry - but don't be mad at the Chinese. Our counter-intel operations have been a disgrace for years. Get mad at the FBI and those who have oversight of them. Get mad at our universities who gladly give up limited advanced spots to fully paid Chinese students over native-born students that only pay in-state or need scholarship money.

Let not your heart be troubled, some good things are happening on our end too. The Japanese - whose submarines are exceptionally good - are leaning in strong;
An effort that was initiated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) to modernise its undersea warfare capabilities in 2012 is on track to deliver the planned fleet of 22 diesel-electric submarines required for the country’s defence needs by the early 2020s called for under the Japanese government’s 2013 National Defense Program Guidelines, according to a JMSDF official.

Speaking at the Undersea Defence Technology Asia seminar at the Asia Defence Expo & Conference Series (ADECS) 2018 in Singapore, Captain Takahiro Nishiyama, deputy director of the Plans and Programmes Division at the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) Maritime Staff Office, revealed that seven of the service’s 82 m Oyashio-class submarines – which have a surface displacement of 2,800 tonnes – have already completed service-life extension work to date.

The seven boats have received extensive refits during their second and third maintenance cycles, which have been planned to bring the vessels to “almost the same level of that of the latest model [Souryu-class] submarine” while extending their service lives.
If the Japanese would double their build so that by 2030 there are more like 35-45 Japanese SS in commission - that would keep things sporty.

In other weapons development, we are moving hopefully in another area faster than the Chinese can steal it; lasers.
The US Navy (USN) has selected Lockheed Martin’s .. for the fast-track development of a high-energy laser weapon system for testing on a DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer.
HELIOS will leverage proven mature technology to field a 60-150 kW class high-energy laser weapon system
See the kW? Remember the low-end laser we installed on the PONCE a few years ago? It is 30kW.

Build a little; test a little; learn a lot.

China is playing the Long Game - I think as an institution we are too, at last.

We need to broaden our efforts. We need to up counter-intel, neck down training China's scientists, encourage our friends to carry a fair bit of the security load, and keep building bit by bit.

Oh, being that we are talking railguns ... I have to embed the video...

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