Wargaming, including an extensive simulation by Rand, has shown that the U.S. would generate a 6-1 kill ratio over Chinese aircraft, but the Americans would lose. Even if every U.S. missile destroyed an opponent, there would still be enough surviving attackers to shred U.S. tankers, command and control and intelligence-gathering aircraft, says Andrew Davies, program director for operations and capabilities, Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) in an interview with Aviation Week.
â€śThe reason [the U.S.] lost was because the Chinese sortie rates and persistence carried the day,â€ť Davies says. â€śAny American aircraft was operating out of Guam or Okinawa because the airfields in Taiwan were taken out in the first half hour [of the conflict]. So [U.S.] time on station over the Strait is quite limited.â€ť
Another issue is where U.S. Navy aircraft would be based. â€śThe issue that the U.S. has is, can the aircraft carrier get close enough to the fight?â€ť Davies says. â€śThe Chinese have been working since the [Taiwan] Strait crises of 1995-6 to deny the approaches to China to a carrier battle group.
One other very interesting comment jumped off the page.
Boosters of modern airpower hold up operations in Kosovo and Iraq as examples of how successful advanced technology is. But Davies questions whether pitting a handful of modern aircraft against minor military powers is a fair test.
â€śThatâ€™s an awful lot of money being spent to be able to kick around third-rate countries,â€ť he says. â€śThe silver-bullet platforms are fantastic . . . where a small number of them can completely overwhelm a relatively small power. â€ť
But when up against China, a small, high-tech force suddenly does not look as great.
Uh huh. Quantity having a quality all its own, apparently. Who knew? Read the rest here. The we can discuss how lack of land bases affects our ability to protect our allies and interests in the Western Pacific, how we could perhaps project power ashore to establish those bases, and whether or not we will be willing to risk our smallish number of CVNs to penetrate the Chinese ASBM envelope to get at the enemy. Sound familiar? Well, it should.
What was it Mark Twain said? “History doesn’t really repeat itself. But it sure does rhyme. ”
Oh, and hat tip to Masta G.