China’s America-Beating, Future Weapons

28.02.10

Categorie: Asia, David Axe |
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J-10. Via Pakistan Defence.

by DAVID AXE

The bizarro China Military Report blog highlights eight future weapons that it claims will allow Beijing to “maintain strategic balance against the United States.” Along with my comments, they are:

1. Lasers. Over-rated. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency spent billions developing a missile-killing chemical laser mounted to a 747, only to discover its range was too short for practical military use.

2. Photino radar. Um, I think they made this one up.

3. Gravitational-wave passive radar. Yeah, this one, too.

4.  Nuclear submarines. Here, CMR isn’t wrong. But to maximize its subs’ utility, China needs to improve their reliability and crew training and get them out to sea on longer, more frequent cruises.

5. “Electro-magnetic” submarines, propelled by “silent” pump-jets. Small subs are indeed potent weapons, but they need not feature fancy propulsion systems. Just build lots of them, to a modern design, and train the crews hard.

6. Ultra-high-speed missiles. By traveling inside gas bubbles — a technique called “super-cavitation” — projectiles such as torpedoes can reach very high speeds, but at the cost of truncated range. This tech ain’t exactly new. Russia mastered it in the 1990s. The U.S., Germany and Iran are also actively researching super-cavitation, and nobody’s going to lose any sleep if the Chinese decide to pursue it, too.

7. Stealth fighters, supposedly including the J-10, the J-13 and the F-14. Problem is, the J-13 and F-14 are “paper” airplanes that have never appeared in public. Only the J-10 is in service, and it’s clearly a non-stealthy contemporary of the defunct Israeli Lavi, and to a lesser extent the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale.

8. Aircraft carriers. Okay, but unless China builds 12 of them, builds them bigger than it currently plans and quickly designs several new aircraft to fill out the air wing, then any Chinese carrier is more for show than it is for actually controlling the seas. That’s a job best left to submarines.

Related:
The Diplomat: Why China’s Naval Rise Could Help the World
Why is China Rigging Artillery to Cargo Ships?
The Diplomat: China’s Alarming, Puzzling, Missile Test
Imagining China’s Aircraft Carrier
China’s Future Combat Systems
Contesting the American Military “Decline”
Chinese Soldiers Get Training from “Old Hunter”
Huge Chinese Heli-Carrier to Reinforce Giant, Submarine Aircraft Carrier
Chinese Blog Proposes Giant, Submarine Aircraft Carrier
China Fear-Mongering Raises Tensions
China’s “Game-Changing” Carrier-Killing Missile Incites Navy Panic
Navy Takes China Harassment in Stride
U.S.-Chinese Confrontation at Sea: Everybody Take a Deep Breath, Now
U.S. Struggles to Adapt to Chinese Economic Strategy
Ten Reasons Not to Worry about Six Chinese Carriers
(Pretend) Annual Report: Military Power of the United States of America
Military Balance with China Depends on Indian Carriers
Chinese Counselor to Americans: Don’t “Lose Any Sleep over China”
PLA’s 60th Anniversary Parade
China’s Horse Cavalry: Red Bags Forbidden

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9 Responses to “China’s America-Beating, Future Weapons”

  1. FooMan says:

    communist countries can never have a decent navy their system is not designed to foster independent action and initiative. By definition an adequate navy must deal with conditions that are well beyond the ability of any central authority to deal with them. If you use the true communist model then everyone is in charge and someone directly involved in the conditions must make fast local decisions.
    Foo

  2. BATTLE YEOMAN says:

    For fun, lets say that something got lost in translation. Now then, how about a photon radar?
    One of those, has apparently been developed:

    http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-41-36-7671
    We have developed a three-dimensional imaging laser radar featuring 3-cm range resolution and single-photon sensitivity. This prototype direct-detection laser radar employs compact, all-solid-state technology for the laser and detector array. The source is a Nd:YAG microchip laser that is diode pumped, passively Q-switched, and frequency doubled. The detector is a gated, passively quenched, two-dimensional array of silicon avalanche photodiodes operating in Geiger mode. After describing the system in detail, we present a three-dimensional image, derive performance characteristics, and discuss our plans for future imaging three-dimensional laser radars.

    © 2002 Optical Society of America

    Another interesting thing is this electromagnetic propulsion for subs. It would seem that is the basis for the “caterpillar” engine from The Hunt for Red October.

    http://www.rexresearch.com/emships/empship.htm

    It’s not that complex of a design either. I am rather shocked that this hasn’t been adopted.

  3. Dude says:

    Relying on air force and rocketry makes far more sense for the PLA than relying on naval force, IMHO. China has an unusually short coastline and only two deep seaports (Shanghai & Qingdao, compared to India’s more than a dozen), after all.

  4. daskro says:

    That China Military Report article is hilariously terrible. What a waste of space.

  5. Wuxinghongqi says:

    China’s development of weapons only for defensive, unlike the United States makes experiments on its own advanced weapons.

  6. Moose says:

    Yeoman, MHDs died because they are massive, they are maintenance hogs, they are power hogs, they are slow, and most importantly they are loud as hell. The whole “silent drive” thing was wishful thinking, in practice MHDs cause a ton of cavitation in the water, cavitation equals noise. China’s run of the mill SSNs and SSBNs are already far more noisy than present day Western counterparts, MHDs would only exacerbate that disadvantage.

  7. Four Star says:

    Truth be told we are nearly 20 to 30 years more advanced then anyththing I have been prelude to to see in accordance to Chinese Military equipment, ingenuity and mobalization skill. From personal knowlege we would control the Yellow Sea within days of a break out of war with the Chinese. We control the Yellow Sea, we would have free reign on Beijing as well as other major cities. Our mobalization skill puts us at the top of any conflict, but fighting a country like China would call for an excessive bombardment of North Korea as well. The world would be prelude to the true extent of American Military might and weaponary that conspiracy theorists and could only dream about. China-Taiwan Straights 2025 is taken very serious in the Pentagon and our intel services. Truth be told no country in the right mind wants to feel the unknown power the U.S. really has.

  8. DHH says:

    “Truth be told no country in the right mind wants to feel the unknown power the U.S. really has.”

    Four Star: How come the cave-dwelling Taliban, after a decade fighting, still not shivering in their bones then? Seems like they are doing alright to me.

  9. will says:

    “How come the cave-dwelling Taliban, after a decade fighting, still not shivering in their bones then? Seems like they are doing alright to me.”
    how come the cave-dwelling Taliban wont come out and fight instead of using gorilla war tactics? ill tell you why, because they know that they would get absolutely crushed if they went toe to toe with our forces.so in reality they ARE scared to fight our forces face to face because we are better in every way when it comes to fighting.All they do is create little weekend wars to show their childish delinquency and blind faith in their extremest Islamic beliefs and rape and kill innocent women,children,men,and the elderly in the name of “Allah” in their own country.they deserve to be lined up against a wall and shot.

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