Friday, October 17, 2008


China: The new world superpower

by Larry Geller

This RAND study was posted by Prof. Jim Dator on several UH email lists. I can’t find the original on the RAND website, but here is a snippet from the above link:

According to the study, U.S. aircraft carriers and air bases would be threatened by Chinese development of anti-ship ballistic missiles, the fielding of diesel and nuclear submarines equipped with torpedoes and SS-N-22 and SS-N-27 anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs), fighters and bombers carrying ASCMs and HARMs, and new ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

The report states that 34 missiles with submunition warheads could cover all parking ramps at Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa.

An "attack like this could damage, destroy or strand 75 percent of aircraft based at Kadena," it says.
. . .
The authors also question the reliability of U.S. beyond-visual-range weapons, such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM. U.S. fighters have recorded only 10 AIM-120 kills, none against targets equipped with the kinds of countermeasures carried by Chinese Su-27s and Su-30s. Of the 10, six were beyond-visual-range kills, and it required 13 missiles to get them.
. . .
Overall, the authors say, "China could enjoy a 3:1 edge in fighters if we can fly from Kadena - about 10:1 if forced to operate from Andersen. Overcoming these odds requires qualitative superiority of 9:1 or 100:1" - a differential that is "extremely difficult to achieve" against a like power.

Basically, if I understand the RAND study as outlined in this article, it seems that we can no longer defend Taiwan.

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