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Thresholds Of Prc Military Power


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One point of inconsistancy is that you say the PLAN is still no where near the size to dominate those water regions. But then you say that the US has no interest and suggest that the US will continue to withdraw like with TPP. If the US is out, then the PLAN stands a much better chance in achieving its goals.

 

I'm leaving it at that.

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Not incosistency, I think the US needs to define where its strategic interests lie and plan accordingly rather than be fixated on the Middle East.

 

This doesn't exclude building strong partnerships with Japan, Korea and Taiwan, but also with ASEAN countries, but not only from the military point of view, but as part of an overall package in which the total is more than the parts.

 

By leaving TPP but still looking at this area from an strictly military point of view, the risk of confrontration increases as the PRC still "insulted" by the freedom of navigation exercises, but potential partners only feel they will become sepoys to the US and the history of being US allied in the region is rather poor.

 

If, however, the US doesn't find a compelling interest in the region because these are not allies but rivals, then the smart move would be to move out and let them duke it out with the PRC individually or as a group, with the US benefitting from the competition.

 

 

Amerika-san 助けって!お願い!

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:)

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The ultimate nightmare scenario for Washington in the Pacific appears to be raw Chinese power in Pan-Asian alliance with advanced Japanese naval traditions and know-how.

 

If keeping Japan and China at each other's throats is not a policy goal, it certainly should be. Something so beneficial should not be left up to chance alone.

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The ultimate nightmare scenario for Washington in the Pacific appears to be raw Chinese power in Pan-Asian alliance with advanced Japanese naval traditions and know-how.

 

If keeping Japan and China at each other's throats is not a policy goal, it certainly should be. Something so beneficial should not be left up to chance alone.

 

It's really up to China though. Japan isn't the only country that China is pissing off. They dare to piss off most of their neighbors but then try to force them under their wing with sheer pressure and phony carrots. Its the same formula within their borders really, with Tibet and Xinjiang being examples. Following the Taiwan or Hong Kong model would do a lot. The big military itself is not the issue, nor is it general Chinese identifiable culture elements as Japanese can use them, Chinese visitors, certainly not the food.. its their foreign policy, lack of transparency, support to DPRK regime survival and using them as a bargaining chip, etc. Even regards to Russia with the Ukraine and the UK poisoning, it is still pointed out by the talking heads about how even if the elections are rigged, they still had one. Even if Putin is like a czar, people can still demo against Putin. Even those things are not possible in China in regards to voting and Xi. I still think it is a bit much on downplaying that, but still fair points I would say. Japan could adjust to a much more friendly posture with China, or with at least, the PRC government, but it is on China, and I think were quite past that point of possibility by now. But if the US goes stupid, it just might make China the better of two evils. But that isn't going to happen anytime soon. According to this Japanese survey made available in English, which is probably detailed enough to satisfy all those except maybe the Germans and the select few exceptionally grumpy senior members, as of Oct 2017, feelings of affinity with the US stand at 78.4%, with China it's 18.7%. For those Europeans and Brexitians that might be curious to know about with Russia after having said those points, it's 18%, less than even with China, even if just by a little.

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The ultimate nightmare scenario for Washington in the Pacific appears to be raw Chinese power in Pan-Asian alliance with advanced Japanese naval traditions and know-how.

 

If keeping Japan and China at each other's throats is not a policy goal, it certainly should be. Something so beneficial should not be left up to chance alone.

I don't think anyone even contemplates the Chinese and Japanese getting along at a strategic level, to be honest. That would be like NATO planning for Poland and Russia to join forces.

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If, however, the US doesn't find a compelling interest in the region because these are not allies but rivals, then the smart move would be to move out and let them duke it out with the PRC individually or as a group, with the US benefitting from the competition.

 

The US benefitting from the competition? Not if PRC gets the upper hand, then the US will have to deal with a lot stronger enemy later.

 

 

Just competing between themselves will preclude a stronger enemy later. See WW1.

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A point that's rarely touched on is unlike Sam who's well known imperialistic goal was to colonise the world with hamburgers and hollywood.

 

What does Chow actually want? Is it acceptance at the big boys table as a peer, economic hegemony in Asia or does he want to take the primary role in world leadership?

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A point that's rarely touched on is unlike Sam who's well known imperialistic goal was to colonise the world with hamburgers and hollywood.

 

What does Chow actually want? Is it acceptance at the big boys table as a peer, economic hegemony in Asia or does he want to take the primary role in world leadership?

China is primarily focused on internal development, its role in world affairs is a means to secure this objective. It is wary that the U.S has the means (and potentially the desire to defeat it even at some large cost to the US) and stall its developmental progress or worse. The main threats considered to be addressable via diplomacy and military expansion is a conventional air/naval war and blockade of Chinese trade. One Belt/Road is partially a mechanism to establish a multiplicity of trade routes that cannot all be blocked.

 

China does not need or have any grand imperial ambition, it has the resources to simply buy anything it needs, and moreover the returns to heavy handed imperialism are now very slight at best and probably negative, especially if the spheres of influence have to be fought for, rather than inherited from a previous era, as the US has. This would seem to not be a threat, but US commitment to being a hyper-power/ hegemony is extremely strong, for example, despite getting a net negative return on its positions in the ME, the US will not relinquish them easily; support for Israel is almost unquestionable etc. - on the other hand this commitment is very hard to sustain long term due to the extremely unfavorable long term economic trends.

 

This latter point create some rational fear on the part of the Chinese- that the US will panic over their declining relative economic power and seek to 'rectify' the situation via war - this was more or less openly stated as a desirable strategy in the Project For a New American Century documents.

Edited by KV7
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Found this article to be suitable here.

THE, DIPLOMAT – The 2012 commissioning of the Chinese Navy’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and the subsequent expansion of the country’s carrier fleet, with three new warships currently in various stages of testing or construction, has been cause for great apprehension among its potential adversaries in Asia and the West. Borrowing heavily from the highly ambitious Soviet Kuznetsov and Ulyanovsk carrier programs initiated in the late 1980s, both of which were cut short by the country’s collapse, China is on schedule to have four carriers by 2025.

 

Not only is Chinese Navy’s fleet numerous, but its vessels are growing in both sophistication and size. While the carrier Liaoning, a better armed and modernized sister to the Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, leaves much to be desired in its sophistication, state of the art technologies developed for future carriers will make them considerably more capable. These include electromagnetic launch systems (EMALS), facilitating the deployment of heavier and better armed fighters; carrier-based early warning aircraft, the development of which was completed in 2017; and dedicated carrier-based electronic attack jets, currently in the prototype stage. These assets, all fielded by the latest U.S. supercarrier USS Gerald Ford, are set to allow the Chinese Navy’s future carriers to better contend with advanced rival warships fielded by Japan, the United States and other potential adversaries in the Pacific. Combined with the rapid growth in the country’s destroyer fleet and the commissioning of a lethal new destroyer class, the Type 055, China’s ability to project power at sea and contest dominance of the contested and strategically vital South and East China Seas appears to be growing apace.

 

While the four-ship-strong Chinese Navy carrier fleet planned for 2025 is already a daunting prospect for the U.S. and its Asian allies, there is a considerable chance that a lower profile defense program currently underway could see this number rise to seven. Alongside the development of three carrier warships, the Type 001, Type 002 and Type 003, Chinese shipbuilders have also begun the construction of three amphibious assault ships — 40,000 ton warships approximately the same size as the French carrier Charles De Gaulle. The warships are highly similar to the U.S. Navy’s America and Wasp class amphibious assault ships, almost identical in size and appearance. The example set by the American warships could well give some indications as to the People Liberation Army’s intentions for the Type 075 class’ future.

 

The U.S. Navy currently fields 20 aircraft carriers, 11 of which are 100,000 ton supercarriers and nine of which are amphibious assault ships — which the U.S. does not consider carriers, but which deploy fixed wing combat aircraft. While lacking the runways and arresting gear necessary to launch conventional carrier-based aircraft such as the F-18E or F-35C, specialized short take-off vertical-landing (STOVL) capable aircraft, the Harrier Jump Jet and more recently the F-35B, have been developed to deploy from the decks of these assault ships, allowing them to effectively function as aircraft carriers — and highly capable ones at that. China’s Type 075 assault ships, all of which are expected to be in service by 2025, could well also deploy specialized aircraft by that time to allow them to function as carriers, thus bringing the size of Chinese Navy’s carrier fleet up to seven. Indeed, given the limited uses of a dedicated helicopter carrier with such a large deck, it is highly likely that the Type 075 class was designed with an aircraft carrier role in mind.

 

While the U.S. is currently the only producer of an STOVL aircraft, the F-35B, it is not the only country to have developed such technologies. The Soviet Union was in fact a pioneer of these technologies during the Cold War, and the country’s Cold War-era carrier fleet relied exclusively on vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft incorporating similar design concepts to STOVL. As part of the Soviet Union’s ambitious carrier expansion plans of the late 1980s, the country had developed a highly sophisticated VTOL aircraft, the Yak-141, which would have been able to deploy from assault ships similar to the Wasp Class and Type 075. The program was ultimately canceled following the Soviet Union’s disintegration, but had reached a late development stage with four working prototypes.

 

Much as China did with a number of canceled Soviet weapons programs in the 1990s, the country could well purchase the Yak-141’s technologies from Russia to very quickly develop its own VTOL or STOVL fighter. Combined with the state of the art military aviation technologies the PLA has recently developed, from stealth systems and AESA radars to some of the world’s foremost jet engines and air-to-air missiles, a Chinese derivative of the Yak-141 deployed from its three assault ships, which can carry up to 30 aircraft each, will be a formidable asset to the Chinese Navy in the South and East China Seas.

 

With reports indicating that Russia is considering restarting the Yak-141 program, in light of its plans to construct four amphibious assault ships of its own, the Chinese Navy could embark on a joint program to develop these aircraft or else purchase the fighters from Russia. The input of advanced Chinese technologies however would likely make for a more capable aircraft, and would be preferable for the Chinese Navy.

 

With the U.S. Navy today increasingly stretched between several major fronts, and set to potentially escalate its involvement in the Middle East in light of growing tensions with Iran, matching a Chinese fleet of seven carrier warships, which could materialize in just seven years, will be a highly strenuous task. The Chinese Navy will continue to retain a critical advantage in that it can focus its assets to the Asia-Pacific region, whereas the U.S.’ own carrier fleet, though many times larger, faces global commitments that restrict its ability to meet fast growing challenges to its primacy at sea in Asia.

 

With China’s defense budget growing by over 7 percent per year, almost in line with the country’s economic growth, the Chinese Navy has room to induct more carriers, both assault ships and conventional larger vessels, after 2025.

 

The U.S. Navy’s own carrier fleet, meanwhile, is unlikely to grow to much more than 20 warships, and matching the rapid growth in China’s capabilities in the Asia-Pacific will mean sacrificing commitments elsewhere. The year 2025 could well thus mark a considerable turning point in the Pacific balance of power, providing the U.S. Navy with the first real challenge to the dominance of its carrier strike groups in Asia since the sinking of the Imperial Japanese supercarrier Shinano in 1944.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2018/07/10/commentary/world-commentary/will-china-seven-aircraft-carriers-2025/#.W16X5ZFcVdY
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I was unaware that development of an embarked AWACs aircraft had been completed. That seems rather optimistic. I was aware of a single prototype aircraft and their land carrier building has a mock up on it, but I've not heard of a type classified aircraft of this kind. Minimally, clearly it has nothing to carrier qualify on.

 

It also seems highly unlikely the Chinese could produce a STOVL aircraft in the next half dozen years given that we've not seen any development activity in that direction. I'm sure it is a goal of theirs but the primary purpose of their landing platform will be landing initially.

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I was unaware that development of an embarked AWACs aircraft had been completed. That seems rather optimistic. I was aware of a single prototype aircraft and their land carrier building has a mock up on it, but I've not heard of a type classified aircraft of this kind. Minimally, clearly it has nothing to carrier qualify on.

 

It also seems highly unlikely the Chinese could produce a STOVL aircraft in the next half dozen years given that we've not seen any development activity in that direction. I'm sure it is a goal of theirs but the primary purpose of their landing platform will be landing initially.

 

Same pair of development points I was thinking. But at the same time, DPRK's ICBM development was a sharp raise, exceeding an predicted average timeline of development, likely to true to complete development quicker than international response could hammer them down, such as the sanctions that occurred. Point being that the pace of weapons development is also part of the geopolitical positioning. Furthermore, half the pictures taken about their developments are like leaked photos and then the other half is like showing off or domestic consumption. Some of their shown off stuff does appear as toys or incomplete, etc., but that at the same time could be deceptive and can be a mistake to emphasize too much in the funny looking stuff. It's difficult to gauge their actual progress. I'm getting a sense that they are going quiet again. No major coverage of the duel Type 055 destroyer launch, for example.

 

Taking national security and combining it with a sense of responsibility that leaves no room for complacency must consider these things. Planning and developing the weapons and the system of systems is a decades long project.

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The four carriers by 2025 also seems rather optimistic, unless they just mean hulls launched and not fitted out and commissioned. The 3rd and 4th unit are supposed to receive catapult systems; I have a hard time believing that technology jump will go off without a hitch. And it will require a different skillset to operate which presumably will have a bit of a training learning curve.

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The four carriers by 2025 also seems rather optimistic, unless they just mean hulls launched and not fitted out and commissioned. The 3rd and 4th unit are supposed to receive catapult systems; I have a hard time believing that technology jump will go off without a hitch. And it will require a different skillset to operate which presumably will have a bit of a training learning curve.

 

China has two major naval ship producing ship yards, those being Jiangnan and Dalian. After the was-to-be-a-casino ski-jump carrier (Carrier 001), their first domestically produced carrier (Carrier 001A) was made at Dalian. The second domestically made carrier (Carrier 002) that is supposed to feature either steam catapults or EMALs is being made at Jiangnan. Seeing how Dalian has made carrier 001A, it is possible that they can start construction of the 4th carrier (Carrier 003) at Dalian while the 3rd is still under construction at Jiangnan. Carrier 001A took about 3 and half years from being laid until launch, another year for fitting out. It is currently undergoing sea trials. So from start of construction of Carrier 001A until just entering service is about 5 years. So perhaps roughly 5 years for the others. Carrier 002 has already started, so maybe about 4-5 more years until its commissioning time. If Carrier 003 starts construction by 2020, reaching four carriers by 2025 is possible, even if the 4th isn't fully operational yet.

 

As for the supposedly three Type 075 Amphibious Assault ships that weigh about 40,000 tons, are they really only intended to be limited to just helicopters at that displacement?

Edited by JasonJ
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There are still a lot of 'ifs' in that carrier production schedule, and it assumes that the PRC flawless adopts catapult technology or else forgoes it. I don't see either of those happening.

 

I suspect the landing platforms will be made with some provisions to launch a STOVL aircraft once one becomes available; I just doubt that one will become available any time soon. It is a challenging type of aircraft to manufacture; I'm aware of only three types that were ever operational with a fourth that made it to the prototype stage. I don't see the PRC producing such a fighter in the 2025 time frame unless there is already a project that has made considerable progress that they are keeping completely black. Their track record with new aircraft types is not great; their new MPA is a flavor of An-12 and their new bomber is a flavor of Tu-16. In fact a bigger problem for them is that the J-15 platform is hardly optimal for their current generation of carriers; they really need a smaller more deck friendly aircraft IMO.

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They already have been developing catapult/EMALs.

http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=39564&page=82&do=findComment&comment=1280207

http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=39564&page=75&do=findComment&comment=1266520

 

I won't argue so much regarding STOVL.

 

As for making new aircraft designs, well, not a full rebuttal, but partial, several US aircraft are also still originally very old designs like the B-52, C-130, etc.

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I'm aware they've been developing catapults - in fact they have been developing BOTH types of catapults side by side. That co-development doesn't inspire confidence. Given the issues the USN has had with EMALs installation I'd be rather surprised if the Chinese model just drops in and launches their fighters without issues, given that they've little practical experience actually launching fighters from any kind of cat.

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I'm aware they've been developing catapults - in fact they have been developing BOTH types of catapults side by side. That co-development doesn't inspire confidence. Given the issues the USN has had with EMALs installation I'd be rather surprised if the Chinese model just drops in and launches their fighters without issues, given that they've little practical experience actually launching fighters from any kind of cat.

Developing both enables the possibility to evaluate both types and make a decision based on demonstrated performance of each type and cost.

 

No one is saying they won't have issues in development. That doesn't stop progress and deployment.

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EMALS is clearly a better system if you can get it to work. That they're developing steam as well tells me they aren't 100% on EMALS. The PRC has done this with a lot of their weapons development, either following two paths of development or else developing items in parallel to foreign purchases. It won't stop progress and deployment, but it might delay deployment. I've no doubt the PLAN will have four carriers some day; the question is only in what time frame.

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One other thing to keep an eye on is their submarines. A couple of changes. First is the completion of the submarine production Bohai shipyard just last year that can apparently make up to four SSNs at the same time. The second point is the question as to how good is the Type 95 submarine. Highly speculative. Probably not an equal to Virginia but perhaps on par with upgraded Los Angeles. Whatever the case, have to doubt that the new Bohai shipyard is meant to make only a dozen SSNs.

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End of the day, they can't test their subs without the US listening in. That has to make polishing them off pretty tough. The US can run its boats across two different sonar ranges off Cali and FLA and get an intricate sound profile from every angle and listen for any imperfections; the PLAN can't do that with the USN also listening in. It must be extremely hard to test and measure new quieting features in that environment.

 

But yes, it does seem that their break neck ship production will only increase. One has to wonder if their economy takes a hit whether that will slow down, given some of the numbers being estimated right now and ignoring their cooked books.

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End of the day, they can't test their subs without the US listening in. That has to make polishing them off pretty tough. The US can run its boats across two different sonar ranges off Cali and FLA and get an intricate sound profile from every angle and listen for any imperfections; the PLAN can't do that with the USN also listening in. It must be extremely hard to test and measure new quieting features in that environment.

 

But yes, it does seem that their break neck ship production will only increase. One has to wonder if their economy takes a hit whether that will slow down, given some of the numbers being estimated right now and ignoring their cooked books.

 

They can make sure a patch of water can't be entered by US subs and chase "oceanographic" ships away, but quiet sub development is the one area in which they face more challenges and is more expensive to develop adequate capability. Remember they not only contend with US SSNs but also with Japanese and South Korean SSKs, which are top of the line.

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End of the day, they can't test their subs without the US listening in. That has to make polishing them off pretty tough. The US can run its boats across two different sonar ranges off Cali and FLA and get an intricate sound profile from every angle and listen for any imperfections; the PLAN can't do that with the USN also listening in. It must be extremely hard to test and measure new quieting features in that environment.But yes, it does seem that their break neck ship production will only increase. One has to wonder if their economy takes a hit whether that will slow down, given some of the numbers being estimated right now and ignoring their cooked books.

For listening, it is likely the case that whenever US subs enter the first island chain, China gets to practice listening to US subs. Also, how well could we expect the US to listen inside the Bohai Sea that has two peninsulas closing it off?

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End of the day, they can't test their subs without the US listening in. That has to make polishing them off pretty tough. The US can run its boats across two different sonar ranges off Cali and FLA and get an intricate sound profile from every angle and listen for any imperfections; the PLAN can't do that with the USN also listening in. It must be extremely hard to test and measure new quieting features in that environment.

But yes, it does seem that their break neck ship production will only increase. One has to wonder if their economy takes a hit whether that will slow down, given some of the numbers being estimated right now and ignoring their cooked books.

 

They can make sure a patch of water can't be entered by US subs and chase "oceanographic" ships away, but quiet sub development is the one area in which they face more challenges and is more expensive to develop adequate capability. Remember they not only contend with US SSNs but also with Japanese and South Korean SSKs, which are top of the line.

ROK sub fleet isn't really that impressive. The Chang Bogo are small and without AIP AFAIK. The Son Wonil are good but only up to 9. Unlikely to be a factor for scenerios beyond the Korean peninsula.

 

Australia has somehow managed to pretty much factor out their own sub card from the equition for 2-3 decades..

 

Diplomacy between the US and China has left Taiwan with no meaningful sub force, even in strict defense.

 

Vietnam is getting 6 improved Kilo subs but China has 10 of those.

 

As for PRC conventional subs, maybe Type 39 is worse than the improved Kilo or maybe its about equal. But what about the Type 39A, 39AG, 39B? Can we still speak from an impression that these are like the old noisy Mings? The 39As are already in high production. At some point, they will replace all the old noisy Mings. And then replacing improvef Kilo and plain Type 39s, making about 40 of 39As. Are the Type 39As good? Would they enable the Type 95s SSNs to roam freely wherever?

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End of the day, they can't test their subs without the US listening in. That has to make polishing them off pretty tough. The US can run its boats across two different sonar ranges off Cali and FLA and get an intricate sound profile from every angle and listen for any imperfections; the PLAN can't do that with the USN also listening in. It must be extremely hard to test and measure new quieting features in that environment.

 

But yes, it does seem that their break neck ship production will only increase. One has to wonder if their economy takes a hit whether that will slow down, given some of the numbers being estimated right now and ignoring their cooked books.

Unless the leadership do something monumentally stupid, the Chinese growth rate will remain relatively high till they reach the productivity frontier - where 'relatively high' is at least twice the US rate.

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Meanwhile..

 

 

This post has been updated to correct the amphibious ships that suffered mechanical problems preventing their full participation in RIMPAC. USS Boxer was sidelined with mechanical difficulties and could not participate in RIMPAC SOCAL. USS Portland (LPD-27) served as the 3rd Fleet command ship for the duration of the exercise.
THE PENTAGON — The two U.S. amphibious warships that were planned to be central to the Rim of the Pacific 2018 exercises were unable to fully participate in the event due to mechanical failures that highlight continued readiness problems with the Navy’s amphibious fleet.
The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) was set to lead the amphibious portion of the Rim of the Pacific 2018 exercise, but it spent the second half of the exercise tied to a pier in Pearl Harbor. USS Boxer (LHD-4) was set to be a key platform in Southern California RIMPAC SOCAL but was sidelined before the exercise.
In December, half of the Navy’s 31 amphibious ships were in maintenance as a result of short-term spending bills and irregular funding, Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans and strategy (OPNAV N3/N5), said at a House Armed Services readiness subcommittee hearing.
Bonhomme Richard was set to be the command ship for the exercise’s maritime component commander, Chilean Navy Commodore Pablo Niemann Figari. However, partway through the exercise the ship suffered a propulsion casualty and came back to port, USNI News understands. Niemann, his staff and the ship’s company still participated in the exercise from the pier, USNI News understands.
“USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) is currently in port Pearl Harbor and is participating in RIMPAC 2018,” reads a U.S. 3rd Fleet statement to USNI News this week. Officials would not elaborate on why the ship was not underway.
Among the operations, the crew conducted was launching lightly loaded landing craft from Bonhomme Richard while it was pier-side.
Big deck amphib Boxer was set to host Mexican, Canadian, U.S. and Brazilian forces for an amphibious landing exercise. The lack of amphibious shipping in the Southern California portion of the exercise caused Brazil to drop out of the exercise, USNI News has learned.
“There was going be some more amphibious operations [in California]. One of the ships we had identified had some mechanical issues, so we were not able to get her out of maintenance in time to do that. … Most of the [southern California] amphibious operations turned into land training with our partner nations and our Marines there at [Camp] Pendleton,” 3rd Fleet commander Vice Adm. John Alexander told reporters at a July 20 press conference at Pearl Harbor. “When the amphibious ship couldn’t get underway, Brazil decided they didn’t want to participate.”
When USNI News originally asked on July 2 why Brazil had dropped out of RIMPAC, U.S. Navy spokeswoman Lt. j.g. Ada Anderson said it was due to a “change in operational schedules.”
The high demand for a limited number of amphibious warships prompted a congressionally mandated study from the Government Accountability Office that was released in September. The GAO found that the 31 amphibious ships in the U.S. fleet were insufficient for the Marines to conduct training outside of the pre-deployment training needed for Amphibious Ready Group and Marine Expeditionary Unit training.
“The services have taken steps to address amphibious training shortfalls, such as more comprehensively determining units that require training. However, these efforts are incomplete because the services do not have an approach to prioritize available training resources, evaluate training resource alternatives, and monitor progress towards achieving priorities,” read the report. “The services are not well positioned to mitigate any training shortfalls.”
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