Danger Room: China’s Plan to Defeat U.S.: Missiles, Missiles and More Missiles


Categorie: Air, Ballistic Missiles, China, David Axe, Wired |
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DF-21C. Via Air Power Australia.

DF-21C. Via Air Power Australia.


China is militarily weaker than many people think, especially compared to America. This, despite lots of showy jet prototypes and plenty of other factory-fresh equipment.

But Beijing has a brutally simple — if risky — plan to compensate for this relative weakness: buy missiles. And then, buy more of them. All kinds of missiles: short-range and long-range; land-based, air-launched and sea-launched; ballistic and cruise; guided and “dumb.”

Those are the two striking themes that emerge from Chinese Aerospace Power, a new collection of essays edited by Andrew Erickson, an influential China analyst with the U.S. Naval War College.

Read the rest at Danger Room.


6 Responses to “Danger Room: China’s Plan to Defeat U.S.: Missiles, Missiles and More Missiles”

  1. Dave Narby says:

    Should we call this “Semi-Asymmetric Warfare”?

    It certainly plays to China’s main strength: Make a lot of stuff quickly and cheaply.

  2. DesertWolf says:

    Actually, the PRC is believed to maintain at least 26 airfields (around ten of which are hardened) within 500 nautical miles of Taiwan. That is well within the combat radius of J-11/Su-27/Su-30 type fighters. Furthermore, many of those airfields are even closer (~ 300 nautical miles) and so J-7/J-8/J-10 fighters are also well within range. In other words, the lack of tankers is can be a real disadvantage in many potential theaters (i.e. South China Sea), but not really an obstacle to a protracted air campaign when it comes to the Taiwan crisis. Within the distances we are talking about PRC aircraft will even have adequate loiter time.

  3. David Axe says:

    Yes, but an Su-30′s combat radius with a full weapons load is around 500 miles. Persistence would require aerial refueling.

  4. Paralus says:

    Plus, Chinese aircraft would need to bypass Taiwanese fighters and then face Taiwan air-defenses, then fly back through the same fighters again.

    If the other nations in the region keep buying diesel subs at the rates they are projected, the PLAN might not want to risk those carriers.

  5. doc says:

    if Chinese really wants to defeat the US, they’ll use the same way US beat the soviet union. By forcing the other side to spend a lot more than necessary in defense in a weakened economy…. Just look at all those chopped up tank and rotting ships in Russia with US having even fired a single shot.

  6. Debajit says:

    China had realized this way back in the mid 90s that it does not have the military wherewithal to take on the US .

    Therefore, it embarked upon a massive military modernization plan. The cornerstone of this modernization program has been the rapid development of the JF 17 Fighters , the HQ 19 SAM and the DH 10 cruise missile.

    Also, the Chinese leadership has realized that if the Chinese Air Force is equipped with a massive UCAV force, it will be impossible for the United States to undertake a full-scale aggression in which it will be opposed by an overpowering phalanx of expendable fighters.

    Therefore, the Chinese Air force is developing the ability to control squad flight in automatic mode from an advanced fighter like the JF 17, grouping the UCAVs and controlling the group.

    This strategy marks a sharp departure from conventional Chinese war doctrine which has generally been a fusion of US and Russian strategies.


    Debajit Sarkar

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