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48 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

Xian H-20 - Wikipedia

Says that the development of the H-20 bomber (due to enter service sometime this decade) is intended to overcome this problem.  In the meantime, the H-6's are suitable for operations in the South and East China Seas.

We'll see what they actually come up with. Its fine to say you want 12,000 km range and 20 tonnes. In any case, H-20 isn't like to be an operational platform in any significant numbers until the end of the decade.

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1 hour ago, Josh said:

We'll see what they actually come up with. Its fine to say you want 12,000 km range and 20 tonnes. In any case, H-20 isn't like to be an operational platform in any significant numbers until the end of the decade.

I wasn't suggesting that H-20 will hit those parameters, only that the Chinese themselves verify what you say about the H-6.

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I googled H-20 because I hadn't heard anything about it in a year or so and I must have missed an annoucement in July that it is to be unveiled yet this year. That will be interesting. I'm betting on a B-21 clone, only larger. The B-2 was supposed to have the same basic geometry until the USAF changed the spec to include low level flight, which forced the saw tooth tail arrangement. The single tail of the B-21 is the more simple, aerodynamically efficient shape and I suspect the H-20 and PAK-DA will adopt it as well. Its just the easiest way to reduce your RCS down to four discrete lobes.

The more interesting thing will be who flies first, and my bet is on the B-21 to win that race.

Edited by Josh
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22 hours ago, Josh said:



China currently lacks a significant refueling fleet to extend the range of the H-6K/J/N bombers much past its 3000km combat radius, and even when it does deploy a capable tanking force (Y-20?) those tankers are going to run into the same airspace problems. China currently lacks oversea bases to refuel from. That might change, but the geographical limitations of not really being able to move aircraft around without them being painted by radars based in a hostile country probably won't. So China is already close to the realistic range limit of where it could expect its air force to operate (and we are talking about largely unescorted bombers at the moment until a significant tanker force is extent).
 

China has been busy providing 'aid' at a cost, with interest across the Pacific leading to Australia and the US (and NZ) to be concerned about the leverage that such aid could provide to enable the building of facilities such as ports and ostensibly civil airports on those islands, that could easily be used for military purposes.  

The CCP has been careful to flood the www with propaganda about how great this aid is to the Pacific island states. 

Actually taking over one or two of these islands in a coup de main would not be so difficult.  There are mostly defenceless, and a couple of visiting 'cruise liners', or even one, carrying PLA forces accompanied by PLA 'Coast Guard' vessels, and a number of Chinese 'fishing vessels' arriving simultaneously could very quickly overwhelm some of the smaller states.  The CCP would probably try claiming that they have been invited to intervene on some made up excuse to do with a coup or because an island state has not been able to service its debt to China.

Would the USA, Australia and NZ be prepared to go to war over, for instance, Palau? 

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8 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

The are 2 B21s nearly ready to fly at Palmdale.

There are five aircraft being constructed total, but one I believe is a static ground test article to be stress tested. The first appears to be the farthest along and the one that will fly first, with the last three suspected to be EMD aircraft that will ultimately be converted/used as full service aircraft (as apparently was done with B-2s). The bread crumbs being dropped are that the program is much closer to a production aircraft from the get go than previous projects due to digital prototyping and a virtual environment for the techs and engineers to work with. But the program seems to be quite on time and budget for an intercontinental stealth bomber. Apparently RCO really helps, as does the fact that it was decided from the get go only mature technologies would be used. I suspect a lot of avionics from F-35, along with its engines, saw their way into the program.

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3 minutes ago, DougRichards said:

I can feel that a novel will be written on this entire subject.  "The Second Great Pacific War of 2024"

I assume there are a half dozen already. I can think of one I didn't bother to read called 'Ghost Fleet'; I assume there are numerous others.

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Another point of view, from the Chinese opposition, with its own agenda, one that may not be aligned with the best interests of other parties

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/which-war-beijing-preparing

Quote

(...)

China would prefer to avoid war—at least until it can match U.S. military might in the region. But one area that it does lead the United States is in hypersonic anti-ship missile technology. Rather than clashing with its neighbors, could the CCP be planning a strike on American naval forces to drive the United States from the region?

If so, how would the United States react? How would the region react?

Anything less than a full response by the United States to a Chinese attack would mean that the U.S.-led Asia-Pacific security alliance would immediately cease to exist. It would then likely be up to each nation to make their separate peace with Beijing—if that were even an option.

That would suit the CCP just fine.

 

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2 hours ago, sunday said:

Another point of view, from the Chinese opposition, with its own agenda, one that may not be aligned with the best interests of other parties

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/which-war-beijing-preparing

 

They forgot something:

"Remember Pearl Harbor"

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19 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

I keep having the 'rockets like sausages' comment by Khrushchev flip through my mind.

 

Nikita was right, when he said that the USSR was struggling with food production, their situation with intecontinental rockets was as just as bad.

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7 minutes ago, urbanoid said:

 

Nikita was right, when he said that the USSR was struggling with food production, their situation with intecontinental rockets was as just as bad.

Yeah, I really cant argue with that one.:D

But you see my point. In the 1950's we had the 'Bomber gap'. In the 1960's it was the 'Missile gap'. In the 1970's they worried about Soviet Ballistic missile submarines. In the 1980's they worried about SS20. In most of those cases, either the 'gap' did not exist, or it was based on a misunderstanding of technical capabilities of weapons systems, a mistake the Soviets also made with Pershing 2.

So when people breathlessly say the Chinese have a 'hypersonic lead', im forced to question why these predictions are any more accurate this time. Particularly as most of the Chinese developments usually have to be based on Western technical innovation which they then buy up (as with the Carriers) or outright steal (as they have done with the development of J20). Its not as if they are even yet a leading space power, despite efforts to redress the balance. So where can this 'lead' precisely have come from?

Yes, its entirely possible they do have a lead. I have to question how we know that, seeing as we knew for certain Iraq was a chemical weapons threat which turned out not to be the case.

Employ your inner cynicism.  :)

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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4 hours ago, Josh said:

I assume there are a half dozen already. I can think of one I didn't bother to read called 'Ghost Fleet'; I assume there are numerous others.

There has been loads going back over the past past 20 years. One of the Patrick Robinson novels actually features Taiwan being invaded, which the US sits on its hands and watches happen. There was Dragon Strike by Humphrey Hawksley that features the PRC cluelessly taking on most of the pacific rim just to prove its a superpower (I didnt reckon much to it, but seeing how Xi is going, he may actually be onto something with that one). Fight Fight by Kevin Miller, where a US supercarrier spends most of its time tooling around the South China sea not doing much after a very clever drone attack (the best part of the entire novel). The Bear and the Dragon, where Tom Clancy has China declare war on Russia, which is then saved by a Lone US Army 21st Century tech civision and a national guard formation.

I suppose the real question is, has there been any good ones? Not that ive read. I started on the kindle preview of 2034 which has quite an interesting start, I dont know how it progresses though.

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7 hours ago, Josh said:

The US? Probably. If nothing else they'd blockade the place, possibly with air dropped mines.

For Palau, Japan would invoke "collective self-defense" and join the war.

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2 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

There has been loads going back over the past past 20 years. One of the Patrick Robinson novels actually features Taiwan being invaded, which the US sits on its hands and watches happen. There was Dragon Strike by Humphrey Hawksley that features the PRC cluelessly taking on most of the pacific rim just to prove its a superpower (I didnt reckon much to it, but seeing how Xi is going, he may actually be onto something with that one). Fight Fight by Kevin Miller, where a US supercarrier spends most of its time tooling around the South China sea not doing much after a very clever drone attack (the best part of the entire novel). The Bear and the Dragon, where Tom Clancy has China declare war on Russia, which is then saved by a Lone US Army 21st Century tech civision and a national guard formation.

I suppose the real question is, has there been any good ones? Not that ive read. I started on the kindle preview of 2034 which has quite an interesting start, I dont know how it progresses though.

Avoid 2034, I had to go back to check if Stavridis was actually the author because it pegged at 11 on the idiocy scale. Ghost Fleet is equally bad, but one keeps hoping it would improve. 

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4 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

In the 1960's it was the 'Missile gap'.

Except, Kennedy admitted afterwards that it was a made-up scare claim during the election campaign to discredit Eisenhower's VP, now presidential nominee Nixon, and that he knew that no such gap existed.

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4 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

So when people breathlessly say the Chinese have a 'hypersonic lead', im forced to question why these predictions are any more accurate this time.

Yeah, it's a valid question.

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4 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

 

So when people breathlessly say the Chinese have a 'hypersonic lead', im forced to question why these predictions are any more accurate this time. Particularly as most of the Chinese developments usually have to be based on Western technical innovation which they then buy up (as with the Carriers) or outright steal (as they have done with the development of J20). Its not as if they are even yet a leading space power, despite efforts to redress the balance. So where can this 'lead' precisely have come from?:)

I think with the Chinese military industrial complex you are living in 2002.  Which is progress I suppose because with the Russians you're still back in 1988.  :^)

On the hypersonic missile front, it's not a question of a 'gap'.  They are offensive weapons, pure and simple, and if both sides can shoot the lights of the other side out, it does not matter whose bullets are faster.

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8 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

I think with the Chinese military industrial complex you are living in 2002.  Which is progress I suppose because with the Russians you're still back in 1988.  :^)

On the hypersonic missile front, it's not a question of a 'gap'.  They are offensive weapons, pure and simple, and if both sides can shoot the lights of the other side out, it does not matter whose bullets are faster.

That's not an answer. Name one military weapon other than the DF21 that is a real innovation. All their kit has been bought abroad, or influenced with foreign technology. 

Yes, you repeat the narrative. Now explain the source that described it as an actual fact. I'll hazard the likelyhood is the source is what the Chinese are telling you.

I want to see an actual test showing DF21 can do what they claim. Just one. It's not a high bar.

 

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8 hours ago, sunday said:

Another point of view, from the Chinese opposition, with its own agenda, one that may not be aligned with the best interests of other parties

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/which-war-beijing-preparing

 

China could destroy most of the US fleet in the WestPAC without hypersonics, if it just wanted to mount a surprise attack on the regional bases and any formations that happened to be at sea. But that would hardly make the US go away; in fact specifically singling out the US for attack would almost certainly mean that there was a war that lasted as long is it took for the PLAN to cease to exist. See Pearl Harbor. Not that it would probably take that long: the US can bomb Chinese naval bases from Hawaii practically without refueling a B-52, and its nuke boats would pretty much torpedo and mine to their hearts content.

China also arguably doesn't have that much of a lead in hypersonics outside having one operational system. That lead is going to close in several years, so if leveraging hypersonics as a force multiplier is their plan, they have a limited window of five years before the US probably is producing relatively inexpensive air breathing scramjets launched from stealth bombers.

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