How will a theoretical Chinese carrier killer work?

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jessmo112

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Unread post29 Aug 2020, 14:18

michaelemouse wrote:Wikipedia gives the DF-21 as having terminal active radar. Through ISR means, you get a general idea of where the target carrier is then launch and let the missile aim for the return it recognizes as a carrier. Spotting doesn't need to be continuous; You can use ISR units to catch peeks of the target to give the missiles updates through the 10 minutes it takes to reach full range. That's subject to a lot of possible errors and most missiles will miss but it seems feasible. Missile attacks sometimes rely on saturation and an attack on a carrier would likely involve many missiles. Any idea how much a DF-12 (or HGVs generally) costs?


Thats my point:

1. ISR assests wont last long enough for updates

2. A carrier can move really far in 10-15 minutes. The course corrections might be measured in tens on miles.
30knots = how much distance in 10 minutes? If My napkin math is correct thats > 5miles
Whats the circular radius of 5 miles?

3. The incoming radars can very easily be jammed especially by F-35s Growlers.

4. Lastly the Missile bases and TELS die.
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michaelemouse

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Unread post29 Aug 2020, 22:03

jessmo112 wrote:
Thats my point:

1. ISR assests wont last long enough for updates

2. A carrier can move really far in 10-15 minutes. The course corrections might be measured in tens on miles.
30knots = how much distance in 10 minutes? If My napkin math is correct thats > 5miles
Whats the circular radius of 5 miles?

3. The incoming radars can very easily be jammed especially by F-35s Growlers.

4. Lastly the Missile bases and TELS die.



1: You seem quite certain that between satellites, submarines, aircraft, and underwater sonar sensors, the Chinese won't be able to catch a peek (radar, visual, sonar, ELINT) every few minutes. Recon drones (or even manned aircraft) wouldn't have to live long after after spotting the carrier. Still, it's possible none of them could spot the carrier because the carrier group's defenses would be airtight but I don't know enough about that to say.

2: The missiles will have the advantage of altitude to cover a wide area in their initial search. Several missiles abreast going at hypersonic speed could cover a wide area for the terminal search phase.

3: Do some Chinese carrier killers use AESA radar? I thought those were rather resistant to jamming.

4: Missile bases, sure. TELs, I'm curious to know how the US would take them (nearly) all out before they launch.
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Unread post30 Aug 2020, 00:12

1. Your probably right, I will concede the point that youll eventually be spotted. Even if its just the destroyer pickets that are targeted ships are not replaced easy.

2. True like I said the real issue will be target identification. And resistance to spoofing.

3. Aesa can be hard to Jam, but F-35 has reportedly scanned and jammed the F-22s radar.
China can barely build its own chip foundries so I doubt they can beat us in the ecm game.
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element1loop

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Unread post30 Aug 2020, 01:52

michaelemouse wrote:1: You seem quite certain that between satellites, submarines, aircraft, and underwater sonar sensors, the Chinese won't be able to catch a peek (radar, visual, sonar, ELINT) every few minutes.


I think it's an unmerited premise that USN of near future are going to rush to expose carriers early (except for those already close to China, or Japan, which may be hit or lost early, but they do have a comprehensive regional layered air defense network, so certainly not easy to kill) before most threat platforms and sensors in the PLA's kill-chain, including subs, have been substantially attrited, degraded and disrupted.

I also think it's unrealistic to expect China to hold back from trying to kill as many US and allied satellites as possible (including NATO's). They will not permit these to operate. This does not mean kinetic kill, and may not be kinetic, but I expect the PLA will shoot with what they have to get it done. At which point the US certainly reciprocates if not preempts that, and begins to incrementally replace its own satellites with reserve tactical satellite launches. Similar Chinese tactical satellite launches are likely to be detected and classified easily as their sats launch, by forward USMC F-35B working from islands. So those sats would be quickly disposed of too.

ELINT? EMCON would certainly apply, which does not mean no emissions, just no emissions an enemy is going to be in a position to detect (wattage and LOS limited). So that is not a likely source of tracking a carrier. Larger ships (not necessarily combat ships) or islands are capable of acting as passive HF and VHF radar receiver arrays to detect if stealthy aircraft or missiles are present in the area or region (and go kill them and their operating support bases). Which enables EMCON to operate with confidence, as long as PLA satellites are on the blink (preferably non-kinetic) plus Growler can limit the range of signals in the axis towards OPFOR. Which leaves subs being within LOS, with comms antennas up. Not a survivable location or condition for a sub to be in for very long, given this is exactly what the pickets and ASW aircraft and SSNs will be looking for near the carrier.

SOSUS LF type arrays could hear a carrier across an ocean basin, but getting a target fix is not going to happen. Which is a very good reason to deny PLAN deep-water island atoll base access (keep them on the littoral) to make such arrays ineffective (i.e. another reason why a Sea Base X-band radar platform is expensive but very attractive for a range of reasons).

I would say visual and radar LOS are out, plus the comms needed for their kill-chain links. Chinese OTHR will be a priority target that's revisited, as necessary.

Another factor which escapes such considerations is the duration of the conflict, and the resulting effects on tactics and weapons use, and availability as strike options over time. IMO, such a major conventional conflict would start with a strong initial flurry of missiles, and regional air and naval attacks, then enter an unresolved 'phoney war' phase, of real preparation to fight it out, and a build up (maybe of many months) while lower level combat continues (PLAN surface fleet is destroyed and intense ASW gets rolling, plus FARP strikes) and talks about a ceasefire progress. If a ceasefire does not occur, then a much longer slog of securing regional firing position and executing systematic attacks takes place, while the main USN/USMC carrier fleets finally move in with USAF covering, to finish off the usual war-fighting capabilities on the mainland.

That sort of timing and strategic consideration in a longer fight will have a huge impact on carrier tactics, standoff radius, and supporting weapons use and timing their expenditure. This determines when carriers will have to move 500nm closer to get effects. If delaying moving carriers in close, for as long as possible, by having long-range tactical aircraft on deck, bomber support, long-range VLO missiles (which hide where the launch originated from), and a fleet MQ-25, USN have strongly improved the chances of the carriers surviving BMs and ASuW.

There is no need at all to rush carriers into high threat areas against a major power, they can prep their moves with months of preparations to reduce damage or even eliminate losses. The point is to win, not to rush needlessly and screw up.

RE the DDGs or future FFGs getting hit instead, this presumes BMs can get past a multilayered missile defense. They would need a LOT of well targeted BMs to take out those DDGs. Plus forwards F-35B will see boosts, and high-altitude F-35C CAP 700nm toward China from their carrier, would provide mid-course cues and the projected aim/impact point for a fleet to respond to very early, and prep their systems and location for optimal readiness conditions.

IMO the BM menace is a dangerous complication but US and allied fleets would mostly survive them. Which is all that is required. That means China's PLAAF and PLAN platforms sensors and enabling comms won't survive.

Anti-carrier TELs without external target quality data are as useful in a naval battle, as a jammed and degraded SAM network is during an air campaign.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post30 Aug 2020, 08:14

jessmo112 wrote:
michaelemouse wrote:Wikipedia gives the DF-21 as having terminal active radar. Through ISR means, you get a general idea of where the target carrier is then launch and let the missile aim for the return it recognizes as a carrier. Spotting doesn't need to be continuous; You can use ISR units to catch peeks of the target to give the missiles updates through the 10 minutes it takes to reach full range. That's subject to a lot of possible errors and most missiles will miss but it seems feasible. Missile attacks sometimes rely on saturation and an attack on a carrier would likely involve many missiles. Any idea how much a DF-12 (or HGVs generally) costs?


Thats my point:

1. ISR assests wont last long enough for updates

2. A carrier can move really far in 10-15 minutes. The course corrections might be measured in tens on miles.
30knots = how much distance in 10 minutes? If My napkin math is correct thats > 5miles
Whats the circular radius of 5 miles?

3. The incoming radars can very easily be jammed especially by F-35s Growlers.

4. Lastly the Missile bases and TELS die.


1. Now things are more less like that. But China doesn't plan short term. For example their navy is growing extremely fast.

They have lot of AEW project right now.

Most hyped are rocket or jet power supersonic drones but also lot of subsonic stealthy drones in development. So they will have lot of UAV which can be used to track CAG. Also they probable have hydrophones which can track CAG without problem.

4.IRBM is expensive weapon so if it is easy to be killed on ground, it would be fired from TEL which is design as stealthy vehicle. No one is doing that because it is very hard to locate TEL even after it fired missile as happen in Iraq 1991. That is much easier scenario to kill TELs and still it was very hard, I think only eight TELs where hit during whole war AFTER they fired rockets, beause coaltion conculed they simple can't hunt TELs before that becuase of masking, decoys and hide locations. In Iraq it is also lot harder to hide something becuase it is flat desert land but still they were quite able to hide TELs.
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Unread post30 Aug 2020, 14:55

Your last point was one of the reasons for the F-35.
Modern fighters and ISR can track and triagulate a missile launch.

If you havent seen this video check ot out.
Forward positioned F-35s RQ-170s and B-21s
Will trasmit Tel positions long before
The fleet sees the launch.
F-35 also has an advanced radar that can Identify a Missile and TEL in clutter.

https://youtu.be/wIwAOupjMeM

https://youtu.be/e1NrFZddihQ

This isn't 1991. Missile launchers cant hide
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milosh

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Unread post30 Aug 2020, 17:49

jessmo112 wrote:This isn't 1991. Missile launchers cant hide


And China isn't Iraq either.

Geography. Iraq is flat with very little vegetation. On other hand this is East China:
Image
Hinding TELs in such environment is lot easier then in case of Iraq.

Also Chinese very likely have modified truck trailers and train wagons as TELs.
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jessmo112

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Unread post30 Aug 2020, 20:47

milosh wrote:
jessmo112 wrote:This isn't 1991. Missile launchers cant hide


And China isn't Iraq either.

Geography. Iraq is flat with very little vegetation. On other hand this is East China:
Image
Hinding TELs in such environment is lot easier then in case of Iraq.

Also Chinese very likely have modified truck trailers and train wagons as TELs.


But the trailers cant hide from Aesa radar sar maps.
I told you the plane recognizes targets. If you shoot your even more vulnerable, and are likely to lose the TRL and the missile farm.
We are building assets that are designed to wander the Chinese interior. Ill eat my hat if the B-21 ,doesnt have a DAS like design.
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Unread post31 Aug 2020, 02:03

AFAIK the PLARF has a pretty elaborate tunnel network within which to hide and move its TELs.

https://ndupress.ndu.edu/Portals/68/Doc ... 112005-803

I doubt TEL hunting would be very easy over mainland China.
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element1loop

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Unread post31 Aug 2020, 02:14

I don't think there's much chance of killing TELS off. Denying them communications and especially destroying sensors they need to operate will be what negates them. The BM equivalent of bypassing the occupied Islands you don't need, and cutting them off from logistical support as per during the advance from PNG to the Marianas during WWII. Once cutoff they're out of the fight, just got to make sure they stay cutoff from targeting data.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post31 Aug 2020, 02:34

Agree - leave them blind, deaf and dumb and the threat evaporates. Pretty much every ISR node they will be relying upon is vulnerable in some way shape or form.
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Unread post31 Aug 2020, 02:45

So If you commanded a RQ-170 squadren would you pass on the opportunity?
F-35s could likely triangulate
The offending missile, use intel and isr assets to find the nearest offending hole, and put a bomb in it.
I agree is easier to Knock out all of the isr enablers.
But a war with China wont end with the Carrier Killer missile assets in tact.
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element1loop

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Unread post31 Aug 2020, 03:51

jessmo112 wrote:So If you commanded a RQ-170 squadren would you pass on the opportunity?
F-35s could likely triangulate
The offending missile, use intel and isr assets to find the nearest offending hole, and put a bomb in it.
I agree is easier to Knock out all of the isr enablers.
But a war with China wont end with the Carrier Killer missile assets in tact.


Sure, kill them, if there are no other pressing priorities and the resources to do it are there. I wonder if they can be found and positively IDed though, some will be remote, but many TELs will be in sensor occluding high valleys (where everything else is in much of China). They're not going to be easy to find once deployed. I'd have the big SAMs on mountains and TELS hidden under camo or warehouse roofs in the narrow valleys, full of excess visual noise. PLA can make it extremely hard to find and kill those. The best bet is to require their supervised destruction as apart of a final ceasefire agreement and limitations of such weapons in future. Something they won't do now.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post31 Aug 2020, 15:54

I agree the USN/other armed services and probably the CIA have most if not all of these "carrier killers" targeted and on the short list for destruction in the opening days of a war. The B-21 will probably be the ultimate (manned) expression of one of these "wanderer" like platforms hunting and killing these things in the Chinese mainland. The problem with all that is twofold..

1.) The Chinese know it, and...
2.) It only takes ONE to get through

Now that more and more will be hypersonic, problems 1 and (especially) 2 become more and more magnified. The Navy will still deploy its carriers, but anyone with a shred of a brian cell knows they won't be anywhere near China/these sites, nor will they be "first day of war" or even first week of war weapons. Submarines however, will.

If the architects of Naval warfare can't see this coming, something is very, very wrong. It's as obvious as the battleship losing its place as "top dog" in WWII. Hell it even has the same reason (greater speed/range of aircraft launched from carriers, greater speed/range of hypersonic missiles launched from.... lots of places).

Every ounce of effort going into making the B-21 a hunter/killer of these things? That same amount of $ and effort needs to be put into submarines, and their corresponding capability insofar as locating and destroying these targets. It will not be an easy or inexpensive endeavor...

But it's the right thing to do IMO
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