Australia's Minister of Defense, Joel Fitzgibbon MP, has announced the appointment of Rear Admiral Rowan Moffitt to head its Defense Materiel Organization (DMO), Future Submarine Program (aka SEA 1000, follow-on to the Collins-class).
Rowan will immediately assume responsibility for the submarine program and report to DMO, Capability Development Group Future Submarine Project Office headed by Dr. Stephen Gumley.
The concept design phase1 is expected to take place between 2010-11 time period—IOC and Collins-class replacement around 2025.
9.3 For the reasons spelled out in Chapter 8, the Government has decided to acquire 12 new Future Submarines, to be assembled in South Australia. This will be a major design and construction program spanning three decades, and will be Australia''s largest ever single defence project. The Future Submarine will have greater range, longer endurance on patrol, and expanded capabilities compared to the current Collins class submarine. It will also be equipped with very secure real-time communications and be able to carry different mission payloads such as uninhabited underwater vehicles.
9.4 The Future Submarine will be capable of a range of tasks such as anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare; strategic strike; mine detection and mine-laying operations; intelligence collection; supporting special forces (including infiltration and exfiltration missions); and gathering battlespace data in support of operations.
9.5 Long transits and potentially short-notice contingencies in our primary operational environment demand high levels of mobility and endurance in the Future Submarine. The boats need to be able to undertake prolonged covert patrols over the full distance of our strategic approaches and in operational areas. They require low signatures across all spectrums, including at higher speeds. The Government has ruled out nuclear propulsion for these submarines.
9.6 The complex task of capability definition, design and construction must be undertaken without delay, given the long lead times and technical challenges involved. The Government has already directed that a dedicated project office be established for the Future Submarine within Defence, and will closely oversee this project.
9.7 The strategic importance of this capability is such that Australian industry involvement will need to be factored into the design, development and construction phases, and the sustainment and maintenance life cycle of these boats, which will extend well into the 2050s and possibly beyond. The Government will give early consideration to the complex capability definition and acquisition issues involved in this substantial undertaking. The Government will also consider matters such as basing and crewing, and will seek early advice from Defence on those and other issues.
9.8 For this project to succeed, we need to engage with a number of overseas partners during the design and development phase. In particular, the Government intends to continue the very close level of Australia-US collaboration in undersea warfare capability. This will be crucial in the development and through life management of the Future Submarine.
9.9 The Government has also agreed to further incremental upgrades to the Collins class submarines throughout the next decade, including new sonars, to ensure they remain highly effective through to their retirement. The construction program for the Future Submarines will be designed to provide the Government with the option to continue building additional submarines in the 2030s and beyond, should strategic circumstances require it.
9.10 The Government is determined to respond decisively to deficiencies in the current availability of operationally ready submarines. The Navy will embark on a major reform program to improve the availability of the Collins class fleet, and will also ensure that a solid foundation is laid for the expanded future submarine force. These reforms will change how we attract, remunerate, train and manage the submarine workforce, and improve the deployment and maintenance of the submarines.
You do not use nuclear-powered submarines to counter China's "influence"; you use them to defeat China if (some might say when) its experiment with party-state capitalism fails and the "dragons" morph China into a malignant state like Russia under Putin's leadership.
Defense minister welcomes submarine conference participants, who seem to be attempting the delivery of a follow-on submarine platform to the Collins-class, without first establishing a conception date.
Generally, nuclear propulsion requires a greater submarine displacement; and a greater submarine displacement requires greater propulsion and nuclear plant size; and submarine displacement is the primary driver of a submarine platform's total life-cycle costs (crew costs, training costs; maintenance costs, weapons costs, operation costs, logistic costs etc)
The report contains nothing new, seems just trying to dampen speculative excitement a bit. In submarines, absent a break-through in state of the art, a few key parameters cascade to define a particular class—many trade-offs occur within that class-definition. Sea 1000 is exciting precisely because of its potential for advancing submarine state-of-art—all submarine designers enthusiasts are already watching closely.
1. SEA 1000 is expected to have a larger diameter than the Collins-class (9.6 m, 31.49 ft verses 7.8, 25.59 ft).
2. UPDATED 03/05/2009 "Huludao" is currently thought to be the only China shipyard building nuclear submarines (see Misblog, China Submarine Force Structure 2010 Projection). Aerial map of submarine base and shipyard (aka Bohai shipyard).
3. The vital conceptual and applied submarine research is done in smaller discrete projects.
When a "promising advance" is "mature" submarine policy makers and program managers begin looking at the feasibility of incorporating the advance into existing and future platforms.
Modular designs, in general, will make forward fit and retrofit "more feasible", but sometimes you're just stuck with the pumpkin you produced.
The massive cost and schedule overruns often result from misguided (a generous term) and mostly well intentioned efforts to turn the pumpkin into a coach, notwithstanding infeasibility.', '
Originally Published February 23, 2009; Last Updated September 16, 2021; Last Republished March 13, 2023: [post may be altered by blogger software updates between latest update and last update...more than the software has changed between updates!]
Originally Published April 21, 2012; Last Updated April 23, 2021; Last Republished April 23, 2021:
Our Naval Academy is struggling to eradicate sexual harassment, assault and rape from its definition of 21st century professional midshipmen esprit de corps.
A lawsuit should not be necessary to compel our mostly cerebral Naval Academy to teach1 tomorrow's naval officers how to balance testosterone with estrogen and brains with brawn, especially our future submarine officers.
Reporting of unwanted sexual events continues to increase, but estimated non-reporting remains extraordinarily high at 68%...the military's responsiveness to the 32% reported unwanted sexual events needs more improvement.
Ah..., the senator needs to stop talking about holding our military leaders accountable for ensuring all military personnel is completely free from sexual assaults and harassment (hint: begin removing stars, leaders, and assailants...).
A most unfortunate display of ignorance of the issues confronting college women (and some men) on today's campuses. Administrators must ignore Secretary of Education DeVos's display of ignorance and make sure the college experience and environment is free of all sexual assault.
CNO John Richardson on the Navy's spreading nude photo and video sharing SNAFU (need link to entire original memo) :
"...I’ve heard hundreds of times that 'these actions are being taken by only a small minority...Prove that. If that’s true, then the vast majority of men and women need to stand up and smother this behavior. To become intolerant. To act to put a stop to this. And if you’re one of that minority that just won’t get it, then it’s time for you to leave the Navy..." --NavyTimes quoting CNO, John Richardson--
Just a reminder of one of those hundreds of times...we've been told that the sexual harassment will not be tolerated and those (misogynist and miscreants?) that don't get the message will be driven from the ranks...
General Neller et al. continues to refer to the Marine Corps ethos chiseled into memorials, spoken in speeches, and printed in presentations, which dramatically deviates from a misogynistic Marine Corps ethos on the ground.
General Neller et al. must change our Marine Corps' deviant on the ground ethos. Pleading for marines to accept our marines regardless of their sexual desirability, genitalia, or gender identity is laughably meaningless3! The commandant is asking marines confronted with a misogynistic closed culture to report someone with whom they may go to war tomorrow!
General Neller must appoint a platoon or company of, preferably multi-gendered marines to publicly investigate and prosecute, in partnership with civilian authorities the entire SNAFU from first photo to last.
"When we fight [i.e. maim, kill, and die], we will depend on each other with our lives. The binding energy that allows that to happen is trust. Trust in a teammate’s competency to do things right. Trust in their character to do the right things...Go beyond just treating each other with dignity and respect – that’s the bare minimum. We must [commit and] work hard to make each other better. To build a team of winners."
One step forward and several dozen backwards. Lots of work and research required from both men and women on the long road to extend a professional Marine Corps into the 21st century.
An Associated Press analysis reveals cherry-picked or omitted data was submitted to Congress to give the impression that the military was more willing to prosecute sexual assaults than civil authorities.
It is thought the deception is part of the military's efforts to ensure sexual assault prosecutions remained in the military's "chain of command".
It may be necessary to temporarily transfer reporting and responses for all sexual harassment, assault and rape events outside the chain of command until our services develop a fundamental understanding of the problem (i.e. conducts the research).
Expressions of outrage, condemnation, commands or implementation of punitive measures and prohibitions however necessary or well intentioned only demonstrate a profound lack of understanding of the problem.
Expressions of outrage, condemnation, commands or implementation of punitive measures and prohibitions are not substitutes for effective solutions.
SecNav, CNO, and Superintendent must stop expressing outrage preaching (cheap but ineffective) and sponsor the novel research required to guide our future naval officers toward a perceptive parity in sexuality—no mean feat.
SecNav, CNO, and Superintendent express shock and condemnation over the latest annual report (pdf) that finds no statistically significant changes in prevalence rates of sexual harassment of women at the Naval Academy.
A stand against sexual assault is necessary but not sufficient to move our professional sailors to a personal perceptive parity in sexuality—it's much different and more complex than the typical, traditional and relatively simple (but still difficult) transition from a civilian to military ethos.
Our navy must sponsor the novel research required to teach and train our professional sailors (especially our submariners) how to develop a personal perceptive parity in sexuality—novel research that may well discover that current military and sexual conquest ethos are mutually enabling codependents!
The prophylactic measures described by COMPAC (i.e. avoid circumstances and events related to poor judgment) will be helpful pending our navy's implementation of a personal perceptive parity in sexuality program.
1. An unimaginative course title of: "Beers, Boobs and Boners".
Boobs are midship(wo)men that have not yet mastered the relationship between naval missions and esprit de corps—Boobs that progress to our submarine force, for whatever reason are potentially harmful and dangerous.
A Boner is a Boob triggered event, which by definition is unrelated to either a naval mission or espirt de corps (e.g. sexual harassment, assault and rape).
Beers catalyze Boobs' Boners.
2. There were no restricted or unrestricted reports in the category cadet/midshipmen for the FY2013 reporting period. One aggravated assault case (Art. 120) from the October 2007 to June 2012 reporting period in the category cadet/midshipmen was dispositioned during the FY2013 reporting period.
3. The existing Marine Corps ethos conflicts with changing societal notions of gender identity and roles. The commandant and Marine Corps will need help and time to evolve an improved ethos consistent with changing societal notions of gender and roles. The commandant is likely to learn that an existing ethos is not helpful in changing to another ethos.
The commandant can just say the crazy civilians have ordered a professional gender neutral Marine Corps and we will have a professional gender neutral Marine Corps.
Originally Published December 31, 2009; Last Updated September 18, 2020; Last Republished September 18, 2020:
During our period of shrinking budgets; finite resources; prioritized threats; and difficult choices∳ we can expect and should welcome passionate persuasive augments by our military components and their advocates. But, passionate persuasion must not yield to disjointed hyperbolic speculation or propaganda such as that expressed in How the United States Lost the Naval War of 2015.
Kraska spins his speculative China hegemon fairytale out of Erickson and Yang's recent article on China's investigation of using a conventional terminally controllable tactical reentry vehicle as a "carrier killer". The fairytale operationalizes Yang and Erickson's carrier killer2, liberally sprinkles in a "handful" of Chinese carriers (one couldn't be built by 201518), shakes in some "quieter than Los Angeles-class" diesel Song submarines, adds a decade late pinch of "stealthy" AIP Yuan submarine, and casts a paralyzing spell over all counter measures, defenses, and ASW operations3.
The Chinese Communist Party's desire for unification under communist party rule, expansive Law of the Sea Convention interpretation, and Southeast Asia hegemonic aspirations seem pretty clear. What's unclear is whether the Chinese Communist Party leadership seeks any war with the United States to address these issues, much less the War of 2015.
Unfortunately, Kraska's fairytale4 does little to help clarify these issues. Wonder how the Kraska fairytale changes if we assume China's increased military budgets have more to do with domestic control than preparation for the War of 2015 with its biggest trading partner and debtor.
∳ UPDATED 09/10/2018...added to this ordinary list is an extraordinarily unstable, unfit, unwell, and unbalanced "new" alt-white-house et al., which is devoid of guidance or leadership capabilities...fortunately the new list item does not appeared to have negatively affected SecDef or SecNav et al...
Well, at least Kraska has some company, a RAND white paper imaginatively describing four (severe, mild, short and long) scenarios of war (skirmishes?) with China, including some sensible recommendations.
Includes an interesting discussion on the so called "carrier killer", DF-21D CEP. (see footnote 20 on confusion between DF-21C and DF-21D variants)16. Includes mention of the multiple explicit variables (e.g. kinematics, in-flight search, identification, tracking, and data-link) related to CEP.
When reading statements like:
"As of early 2013, the system had been repeatedly tested over land, though it has not yet been tested against targets at sea." (pg 165).
It's useful to remember that while our navy is capable of performing fantastic feats, even our most capable and intrepid admirals are unlikely to sail a carrier strike group over land.
Survey data are necessary (kudos to Carnegie/Pew) but insufficient to understand the first principles that lead to conflict avoidance.
It does not seem particularly novel for a survey to discover that a collection of individuals (nation) apply the cultural identity they learn. Unusual would be the survey that discovered a collection of individuals that assert they prefer applying a continually changing cosmopolitan cultural identity to an "exceptional cultural identity"!
Chinese military officers, at all levels (in addition to Chinese military scholars) must participate in future Carnegie/Pew US-China Security Perceptions Project surveys. Saluting expressions of "exceptionalism" will not produce the cosmopolitan changes required for close cooperation between China and America.
Our global problems are too ginormous to waste much time saluting reciprocal and meaningless expressions of "cultural exceptionalism" by either American or Chinese leaders!
Time-series overheads of the various Chinese shipyards are minimum de rigueur for today's meaningful open source analysis. Time-series overheads of keel block formation are potentially interesting—a keel on the blocks is better—a ship under construction is best.
What's NOT happening in the various shipyards is also interesting (e.g. a rusting keel), even when efforts to conceal activity are undertaken, as they routinely are.
Discussion of the DF-21D begins at page 57-67 (document page, not reader page). When, if ever, China wants to deploy the DF-21D maybe we can conduct a joint exercise on an American autonomously operated and defended terminal target vessel?
We save the cost and guesswork of developing a terminally controllable reentry vehicle—China saves the cost and guesswork of developing a defended terminal target vessel)?
UPDATED 08/03/2012 Defense of Japan Annual 2012 White Paper The overview is pithy and informative.
"...As such, the international security environment remains complex and uncertain.
Under such a security environment, it is also increasingly important for countries with common interests in the resolution of issues to work together, as it has become extremely difficult for one country to deal with issues confronting the international community and countries gain shared benefits by ensuring regional and global peace, stability and prosperity through the establishment of a more stable international security environment...."
Not only has it become extremely difficult for one country to deal with issues...it has become undesirable and counterproductive.
Notwithstanding the rocky relations among some nations all nations must align their interests on a common core or face alienation by the community of nations.
Many nations' leaders assert the illusion that their nation possesses an immutable or hyphenated core (e.g. Chinese-core; American-core; Russian-core; Korean-core etc.). The sooner nations abandon this absurdity the sooner they will converge on a sustainable core common to all nations.
Admiral Dennis Blair articulates the generally accepted view that the reefs, shoals, rocks, and islands in the South China Sea are of little military importance (i.e. military duty on these geological protrusions during a war is career ending).
Joint military exercises with Australia in the South Sea are unnecessary to communicate United States or Australias et al's. understanding and resolve that our global oceans, adjacent seas and international waters are and will remain freely navigable by nations, big and small, in accordance with international laws and customs.
The CNO confidently articulates South China Sea normalized policy and makes a persuasive case for substituting the acronym "A2AD" with a detailed discussion of dynamic integrated threat analysis and response.
Stated differently, it's meaningless to discuss South China Sea maritime and related issues in the context of an imagined, impenetrable, and ubiquitous "force field" called "A2AD".
The presentation (CSIS) ends with an important comment by the CNO, saying that he and his Chinese counterpart, Wu Shengli, have rules to prevent the many stakeholders' miscalculations (hand holders in chief, first) and unintended armed conflict (warriors in chief, second). Kudos to the CNO and Command of the PLA Navy!
The video asserts that China's hawks would like to turn the South China Sea into a lake. China's hawks would like to turn the South China Sea in to a convenient bastion and be the only economic beneficiary of any natural resources it contains has.
China and the United States will need mature and experienced leadership to confidently and consistently moderate nationalist military hawks, whatever their nationality.
By definition nationalist military hawks prefer confrontation and clubbing in lieu of cooperation. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your raison d'etre and budget source, cooperation by clubbing is a fools mission. Unfortunately, fools are usually the last to recognize a foolish mission!
Watching China actively engage with the world, a relatively recent late 19th century phenomenon is both clumsy and comical19. Not unlike a youngster first experiencing and eventually mastering the polycentric grade school playground.
The PLA, Navy's current constructive participation in our global commons, however limited, selective, and unicentric must be applauded, welcomed, and encouraged.
UPDATED 05/31/2012 It is interesting and instructive to periodically revisit past projections on China—these from Niall Ferguson. He seems to argue, with some irony that the more China "downloads" (clarified and narrowed during question period) from the West the more problematic it becomes at least over a 20-year horizon?
It's likely that China's leadership is on the same uncertain but fascinating ride as everybody else—in China time, a 20-year ride is a short ride, even if perceived longer when measured by Western time.
UPDATED 09/13/2011 Andrew S. Erickson, at the Naval War College Museum pitching his latest book, Chinese Aerospace Power: Evolving Maritime Roles—a seemingly more serious, nuanced, and regionally focused Erickson—still showing the Chinese Antiship Ballistic Missile (ASBM)/Carrier cartoon animation.
The primary ASBM segments are at approximate elapsed time ranges of 27:00-31:00 (lecture) and 57:00-102:00 (Q&A).
UPDATED 09/05/2011 A nation can mistakenly perceive its military domination for a cosmopolitanism that detrimentally masks its parochialism. The inevitable decline differs little for a nation that believes it can eschew cosmopolitanism by directly enforcing its parochialism via military domination.
UPDATED 04/15/2011 Some interesting comments on the changes of (re)rising Asian power and cooperation for the benefit of the commons (public good).
UPDATED 11/19/2010 WSJ, China’s Military Ambitions: A Walking Tour. More China carrier killer hype based on a montage—wonder what inferences the author or China form from our network centric warfare montages? A more interesting caption for this article would be, "China sells missiles like America sells cars".
Assuming China has flown an integrated ASBM it should publish the missile's telemetry; alternatively DoD should publish the missile's telemetry. This interesting post is periodically updated with relevant information.
A more circumspect, if still provocative Karaska continuing on the potential for China regional sea hegemony, including a few examples of China's admittedly clumsy-gangly-teenage-bully maritime behavior. Refreshingly, this time Kraska suggests cooperation and partnership as one possible outcome to a testosterone ladened teenage bully with the potential for provoking a punched in the nose (an outcome likely not lost on China's leadership). Fortunately, cooperating and partnering, is already underway and happily the United States is fast redirecting its focus and resources to catch-up, including cooperating with China! (OpenCRS, US-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress, July 2010 for a list of China-US contacts 1993-2009; WP, As U.S. officials begin visit to Beijing, relations are 'sound,' China says for latest non-military visit, September 06, 2010.) However, managing periodic playground bullying and fights is far from war and does not justify our current obscene and exorbitant defense budgets or ever more costly and exotic weapons systems. Moreover, Karaska's implicit inferences from North Korea's recent maritime behavior seem wildly speculative, wide of any mark or current evidence, and inconsistent with China's current behavior and military chain of command.
UPDATED 03/18/2010 USNI, China’s Navy: Hey, let’s not panic…. Nice ship and sub tally with some cautionary words (plus a map). Nations with advanced and well functioning civil society institutions may not fully appreciate how awkward a nation lacking those institutions can respond, particularly during times of shocks and transitions. It's delightful to observe China (at all levels) trying to play with its peers, notwithstanding the periodic bullying, awkward moments, and playground fights. The intense inclination of those residing behind the walls of Zhongnanhai to move China behind walls must at times be overwhelming?
...assuming "challenge" means more than producing another military multi-media presentation or demanding America's warships leave the South China Sea or the dredging up of another airstrip onto an atoll, it is unclear how China benefits...Xi's turn toward authoritarianism and repression is unfortunate, unwise, and likely to complicate China's ability to overcome its significant economic, environmental, and governance challenges...
...it is neither novel nor unexpected that authoritarians tend to make common cause with their ilk...
...confidently sailing across a nine-dash line in pursuit of open seas is not "challenging" for our navy in spite of other nation's order of battle...
Our Navy does complex and challenging change well, including sea swarms of "little blue men" and stand-off weaponry. Encouragingly, Admiral Richardson has established for himself a summer project of adding perspective to these complex and challenging changes.
The current East and South China Sea tension while unpleasant and annoying for our military is more of a nuisance than menace.
It's gratifying to know other nations' (big and small) leaders are publicly and privately expressing support for our President as he resolutely stands against the historically retrogressive principle that "might is right", "small are subjugate" and bullying prevails.
Hint, the technical details are significantly greater than "arm waving", asserting that the missile variant depends on a "network of systems" for its terminal guidance, or driving a TEL on a national parade grounds!
The article's author can't really be serious in wondering why our navy is practicing war scenarios related to countering China's aggressive posturing in the South China Sea?
Amazingly, the author is concerned that he may have penned an article offensive to our navy—our navy's pr personnel couldn't have penned a more accommodating article, complete with reference to China's infamous short range ballistic missile cum "carrier killer".
Maybe the author's next article will wonder why nations must include aggressive military posturing as part of their delicate diplomatic dancing?
Who gives a shit if China decorates every rock in the South China Sea with a giant paper dragon—how does that confer ownership any more than if America were to decorate each rock with a giant eagle?
Recently, "hypersonic" warhead tests has initiated another recycling of the "carrier killer" hype. Fortunately, much of the hype can be quickly dismissed based on conflating cruise and ballistic missile airframe or telemetry terminology. Any residual hype is devoid of meaningful specifics and uses a "magic wand" to slow and maneuver a ballistic reentry vehicle. Finally and fatally, the hype typically supposes an adversary passively ignores any hostile ballistic trajectory.
Worse, an adversary tracks the ballistic boost phase but then fails to distinguish it as a "conventional ballistic carrier killer" and responds with a nuclear ballistic trajectory! Such are the disastrous hazards of conflating conventional cruise and ballistic missile airframe or telemetry.
Those who've ridden a bicycle will appreciate the challenges associated with deploying an air breathing "hypersonic" cruise missile—leg power fails to overcomes air resistance, notwithstanding design time in the wind tunnel or pedaling effort, altitude and practice.
Nice intra-linked multimedia overview of China based on currently published information. Nothing will surprise informed China watchers (e.g. China's developing submarine fleet or its propensity to extol what it considers "good" and hide that which it considers "bad").
Additionally, antisubmarine warfare and countermeasures do not focus exclusively or even primarily on the acoustic properties of current diesel technology (German or others) used in some newer Chinese submarines.
Firstly, China Is Not a superpower it's a developing power and knows it. Secondly, all bullies think they own, rule and run an entire playground until they're ignored or provoke a punch in their nose. Thirdly, bullies learn to play nice when they're ignored (i.e. refuse to sign natural resource leases or recognize EEZ, or trade, or recognize midnight landings and radar stations build on rocks etc.) or provoke a punch in their nose.
A high probability of periodic playground fighting or provoking a punch in their nose is not “war” or justification for our bloated military budget nor is an arms race with China necessary to achieve beneficial and desirable South and East China Sea outcomes.
Our nation must immediately ratify the Law of the Sea Convention and continue to constructively coordinate adherence with the same by all nations, including China.
It will also be helpful if nations quit trying to have their cake and eat it too when it comes to dealing with China.
An interesting multilateral collaborative strategy—a better caption might be, "A Peaceful Playground Patrolling Strategy".
The authors acknowledge some aspects of their proposed strategy require war gaming—hopefully those conducting the war games will recruit the participation of many first grade teachers with significant experience patrolling playgrounds.
These military and think-tank "initiatives" are de rigueur, costly, amusing and mostly ignored by the initiated. The uninitiated (e.g. many in Congress) can be jarred or overly impressed and awed as briefers preface their tailored pitches with warnings of secrecy worthy of G. Gordon Liddy, before closing with an implicit or explicit defense of the oversized and obscene budgets.
Of course it doesn't hurt that the oversized and obscene budgets translate into high wage jobs in many congressional districts where representatives freely and frequently deploy the secrecy to avoid defending these spending decisions.
When you're aim is to "put enough uncertainty in the minds of Chinese military planners that they would not want to take us on" both your "initiatives" and spending are unbounded! Stated differently, how will our military planners know when they've put enough uncertainty in the minds of the Chinese planners—they won't until after a conflict begins!
The only thing jarring about Andrew Marshall's undisclosed and no doubt "secret" or "top secret" 200 "initiatives" is that there are only 200, but then even an overly impressed and awed Congress must have budgetary limits!
This report is reformatted and republished data that has been well known—open source military and intelligence data often circulate and republish for years as each constituency processes the same data. The nature of these data are parsimonious where insignificant changes are often accompanied by an entire regurgitation of known data. This can make it difficult to understand these changes within a national security and threat context, particularly for a typical citizen trying to stay responsibly informed.
For example our intelligence may discover that a recent cyber-attack (China originated) downloaded research documents related to advanced accelerometers (related to missile location and accuracy). These new data may then appear, often in oblique terms in another regurgitation of a report on China's well known "carrier killer" ballistic missile development.
It can leave all but the tenacious expert or detailed reader wondering why these data are being regurgitated and republished for the umpteenth time!? Of course reading these regurgitated and recirculated reports over a period of several years can quickly overwhelm any responsible citizen.
A standard report format with built-in change revision tracking mechanism would be helpful for all official or quasi-official reporting on national security or threat data issues.
Fortunately, the prior "carrier killer" hype has significantly subsided—or paraphrasing a former CNO, what can go through the bottom of a ship is of more interest than what can go through its top.
Nice to read an express acknowledgement that in modern naval warfare qualitative predominates quantitative factors--an observation often lost on the uninformed or manipulated by the informed seeking to misinform the uniformed:
"...In recent years, the warfighting capabilities of navies have derived increasingly from the sophistication of their internal electronics and software. This factor can vary greatly from one navy to the next, and often cannot be easily assessed by outside observation. As the importance of internal electronics and software has grown, the idea of comparing the warfighting capabilities of navies principally on the basis of easily observed factors such as ship numbers and tonnages has become increasingly less valid, and today is highly problematic...."--China Naval Modernization--
Moreover, there are simply no short-cuts or substitutes for the many years of practice and experience required to optimally operate a platform's hardware and software given an expected warfare scenario. Now consider that in modern naval warfare your platform is optimally operating as part of a complex dynamic multinodal mesh!
Cooperation from Strength is an aphorism for the expenditures on an expansive naval fleet to perpetuate our unilateral global police power. An aphorism that is more nonsensical and discouraging of cooperation than "mistress marriage maintenance".
Cooperation from Strength simply complains that China uses economic coercion on the South China Sea disputants and others; opportunistically substitutes its domestic law for international law; increased its expenditures on military development; and free rides on our heretofore unilateral provision of global police power (the first three complaints are tactics not unfamiliar to our nation and the last is exactly what
Cooperation from Strength seeks to perpetuate!).
Not sure how the above complaints justify the expenditures on an expansive naval fleet to perpetuate our unilateral global police power? The complaints seem more supportive of the need to develop a multilateral cooperative framework.
Article by Michael McDevitt published in National Defense University's, The Chinese Navy (chapter 8) that moves the China AntiAccess (A2/AD)13 challenge away from "arm-waving and shocked amazement" to "more difficult to surmount than the antiaccess capabilities it faced during the Cold War14 from the [former] Soviet Union".
Refreshingly, in addition to placing the AntiAccess strategy in a historical context the article lightly anchors it to a basic, if evolving military doctrine.
"If the PLA can master and field this weapons system, it will be able to present as serious a challenge to the U.S. Navy as the one presented by Soviet Backfire-launched cruise missiles before the introduction of the Aegis radar system. Aside from the technical challenge associated with missile warhead design, the command and control problem of determining an accurate location of an aircraft carrier, getting that information to a missile firing unit in a timely fashion, and translating positional information into a guidance solution for the missile which has to include missile time of flight before the target ship moves beyond the terminal seeker’s window—are also issues.[reference to footnote 48 omitted.] The central point is, however, that these all appear to be solvable problems. In this author’s judgment, this capability, assuming that it is eventually successfully fielded, when combined with the PLAN’s robust submarine force, presents the U.S. Navy with an operational challenge that is actually more difficult to surmount than the antiaccess capabilities it faced during the Cold War from the Soviet Union."--China Navy--
China is not the first nation to investigate conventional ballistic missile maneuverability or have every junk scored as a potential threat by its putative adversaries.
Stated differently, military doctrine still prefers professionalism, experience, quality and deployability over hyperbole and simulations.
The global submarine market is expected to increase by a CAGR of 1.22% during the ten year period.
A total of 154 submarines are to be procured over the next decade, for an estimated cost of US $186.3 billion. The United States and Asian States accounting for 70.3% percent of the estimated market or 46.7% and 23.6%, respectively.
Fortunately, as budget realities associated with building and maintaining credible submarine fleets take hold the eventual size and dollar value of the forecasted market will likely decrease.
A well written and sourced introduction to the current state of the ongoing fascinating and intellectually challenging China-U.S debate—a debate with a gradient extending from “engage-appease” through “constrain-contain”.
Friedberg seems to prefer a gradient point nearer assertive engagement—maintain a qualitative distrustful engagement of China while maintaining an undefined (i.e. no quantitative measures specified) military superiority.11
Using a series of desultory statements (primarily chapters 10 and 11) Friedberg12 seems to conclude that an undemocratic China cannot be trusted; the Chinese people are powerless, and cannot be trusted to alter the authoritarian CCP; and a preponderance of our uninformed citizens; policymakers; China scholars; China-hands; and China-watchers; are too busy engaging China to understand or realize its stealthy and coercive designs.
Assuming Friedberg's qualitative generalized conclusions are accurate--after a costly decade-plus of hubris and failure to forcefully impose democratic civil society structures on authoritarian nations who will fault those willing to explore alternative approaches?
Today, authoritarian regimes seem to fall like dominoes in months with little or no application of external force, or usage of major weapons systems, and sometimes notwithstanding belated rhetorical support and encouragement!
Wonder how many Chinese citizens are aware that authoritarian regimes are falling like dominoes , notwithstanding the censorship efforts of the CCP?
"To see ourselves as others see us is a rare and valuable gift, without a doubt. But in international relations what is still rarer and far more useful is to see others as they see themselves."--Hu Angang, China 2020 quoting Jacques Barzun--
Instead of condescendingly focusing on China's alleged ungrateful contention for the commons and lobbying to increase our $3 billion dollar Virginia-class submarine inventory it might be more useful and productive to focus on Building the 21st Century U.S.-China Cooperation.
With some luck, a lot of consensus building, and leadership China will begin to carry some of the substantial burden for preserving and protecting the commons9. No mean feat for a nation that hasn't even experienced its first "capitalist's" economic down-turn.
"Our engagement in Asia has been guided by a set of enduring principles that have fostered the economic growth and stability of the region. I spoke about these principles last year, but I think it is worth reiterating our commitment to them once more today:
(1) Free and open commerce;
(2) A just international order that emphasizes rights and responsibilities of nations and fidelity to the rule of law;
(3) Open access by all to the global commons of sea, air, space, and now, cyberspace; and
(4) The principle of resolving conflict without the use of force."--SecDef, June 04, 2011 (local)
...and continually challenge China to do the same, notwithstanding periodic stalls and setbacks.
...the Navy does not see the much-feared weapon [DF-21D aka "carrier killer"] as creating any insurmountable vulnerability for the U.S. carriers—the Navy's crown jewels."--AP quoting Vice Admiral Scott van Buskirk, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet--
Not sure who understands China's DF-21D with "much fear" or our navy's aircraft carrier as a crown jewel? The caption for the TEL and missile photo included in the article should be viewed with some skepticism as to missile variant, DF-21C versus DF-21D?
"Dorsett [Naval Operations for Information Dominance, N2/N6] confirmed that the DF-21D had reached initial combat capability and confirmed it has been tested over land, but that the US had not observed an over-water test. He called the missile ‘competent’ and ‘capable’." --DefPro--
It will be helpful if the major powers begin focusing on development and application of cooperative models to eventually replace conflict models. Nations fool only themselves with recurring threats of sustained cycles of competitive armed conflict—it's the language of fear and misunderstanding. Instead of our leaders challenging or encouraging China to accumulate or amass weaponry let them challenge and encourage the reduction of our own stockpile of weaponry. Instead of our leaders talking about countering "carrier killers" let them talk about deploying a cooperative carrier—an aircraft carrier cooperatively developed, operated, and maintained by China, Britain, Russia, and United States. The crews can rotate through three months of deployment; six months of joint education and training; and three months of rest and relaxation.
"...In contrast, ASBMs have the potential to destroy US carriers before they even enter the theater of operations around Taiwan – a potential “game-changer” in a military conflict. Based on a survey of Chinese technical and doctrinal publications, a number of US non-profit and government institutions claim that China has had significant success in its pursuit of an ASBM capacity. Although there has been no official acknowledgment by Chinese authorities, nor any known test of ASBM assets, an initial capacity is estimated to be available in 2010...."--Challenging US Command of the Commons, footnotes omitted--
"May:2010: CASIC 4th Dept. Deputy Director says DF-21D can hit "slow-moving targets" with a CEP of dozens of meters"
This likely refers to a statement attributed to Deputy Commander Wang Genbin, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) Fourth Academy’s Fourth Design Department (English Translation)?:
"...China's solid missile from scratch, from small to large development team is also, by the team, "bombs and one satellite" spirit of the traditional spirit of space, developed missiles of China's first generation of solid, then 20 years from 1988 to the present time, the state invested only 3.0 billion development costs, has developed east on the 21st A, B, C, D four models, complete from the nuclear to both nuclear and conventional attack fixed targets to attack slow moving target changes, the precision CEP realized tens of meters from a few hundred meters and then to progress to truly create a model series, to meet the Second Artillery Corps in the new era, "responsible for deterrence against China's use of nuclear weapons, conducting nuclear counterattacks and precision strikes with conventional missiles." made important contributions to the country. The team win without pride, by defeat, hard work, walking is a better and more economical for development.--English translation--
The admiral goes on to say that no over-water test of the entire system has been observed and that additional years of testing will be required. At a minimum IOC implies getting a missile to an aircraft carrier within some circular error of probability (CEP)8.
It can be an equivalent test—for example drive a simulated aircraft carrier around in the desert and measure how close your "carrier killer" missile comes to hitting the "aircraft carrier" (i.e CEP).
We would detect the test whether over water or sand; probably intercept the telemetry; and with some luck measure the CEP. It's unnecessary and unhelpful for our military leaders (or others) to talk about potential threats cryptically, tangentially, or as if they are UFOs.
UPDATED 12/26/2010 WP, Military strength is eluding Chinaby John Pomfret. It is will be helpful to continually challenge any tendency to designate nations as "threats" then use such designation as justification for perpetuating confrontation, conflict, and containment over cooperation.
Unsurprisingly the "Cold War" admiral thinks we're not doing enough to deter or counter (how about balance?) the Chinese aggression.
"Our message should be that the world's leading democracy will not be intimidated or bullied by another communist threat. In addition to remaining militarily superior, the United States also can begin to organize multinational political and economic pressures that could help accelerate China's evolution from communism. We led a similar campaign in the not-too-distant past."
Wonder what the admiral calls RIMPAC 2010? Of course it would be a gross mistake to treat China as Russia or the former Soviet Union or even communist. The admiral does raise the interesting question of how any future Chinese president, say 57 year-oldXi Jinpingwould go about evolving China's authoritarian leadership? If only it were as easy and simple as driving the United States Third Fleet into the Yellow Sea or South China Sea—China's leadership would likely call the Third Fleet itself! Unfortunately, as the below post (The "China Threat" Isn't Military) generally notes such efforts are only likely to recall memories of the firstAnglo-Chinese Opium War7. Shortly after that conflict China'sLin Zexu (林则徐)andWei Yuan (魏源)decided to enhance China's navy and coastal defenses, including denial of access defensive measures (for more details refer toChina's Self-Strengthening Movement)
"China is developing an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) based on a variant of the CSS-5 medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM). The missile has a range in excess of 1,500 km, is armed with a maneuverable warhead, and when integrated with appropriate command and control systems, is intended to provide the PLA the capability to attack ships, including aircraft carriers, in the western Pacific Ocean....The PLA is acquiring conventional MRBMs to increase the range at which it can conduct precision strikes against land targets and naval ships, including aircraft carriers, operating far from China’s shores out to the first island chain."--DoD 2010--
There is nothing new or shocking on the “carrier killer”; no mention of terminal guidance; elsewhere, the report states that OTH radar is being developed and can be coupled with satellite imagery. Total 2009 PLA military spending is estimated at ≅$140+ billion dollars on a budget of ≅$70+ billion dollars. (do all nation''s defense components overrun their proposed budget by 100%?) The report includes a nice "org-chart" of China''s military structure. Unfortunately, DoD persists in its opaque ways (submitting an opaque annex with the 2010 report) while expressing concern over China''s lack of transparency.
"Frankly, the U.S. Navy has so many options for negating Chinese antiship capabilities that I can only conclude the alarmists aren''t conversant with U.S. military preparations to be so worried about the nascent Dong Feng."
Two good articles on the deteriorating military cooperation between China and United States—both articles could be titled “Dangerous Games Adult Children Play”.
It seems useful to note that the much hyped China DF-21 or DF-21A, the so called ballistic missile cum conventional "carrier killer", was not deployed or demonstrated. Left alone, the male military leadership5 of both nations will tend toward what they''ve learned best; taunt, threaten, and intimidate—male children in America learn this behavior early.
The childhood game is called "King of the Hill". The game doesn''t change when the kids become adults or admirals, just the location (i.e. from the schoolyard playground becomes to the South China and Yellow Seas) and costs.
Learning the childhood game "King of the Hill" is harmful by itself, but the adult logic our male military leaders (and some non-military leaders) assign to playing the childhood game as an adult is even more harmful.
Our adult male military leaders asserts it’s necessary to play the childhood game "King of the Hill" so we don’t have to really fight, really (this curious and bizarre logic will always lead to fighting, exactly the opposite of their stated assertion)!
Let’s try replacing both nations’ military leadership with female military leadership. American girls show no inclination or interest in playing the childhood game "King of the Hill" and I''ll bet China''s girls don''t either.
As always resolving one problem creates another—what will our female admirals do with all those lonely male admirals? Maybe they can fund the annual "King of the Hill" games for all our male admirals, minus the weapon systems.
UPDATED 03/30/2010 USNI, ''Get Off the Fainting Couch''. Craig Hooper and Christopher Albon argue that the "carrier killer" hype has been harmful and counterproductive. The hype legitimizes a non-operational missile and distracts from constructive dialogue with China and other regional nations. Dialogue aimed at highlighting how destabilizing such a missile would be for the region should it ever become operational.
UPDATED 03/28/2010 SASC, Hearing on U.S. Pacific Command.... Includes a useful summary of the U.S. Navy Pacific Command Open Posture by Admiral Robert F. Willard. Of particular interest is China's Southeast Asia playground etiquette...:
Atlantic, Cyber Warriors. Nice article by James Fallows—it''s easy to overlook that much can be learned from those you do not fear.
UPDATED 03/17/2010 Atlantic, Cyber Warriors. Nice article by James Fallows—it''s easy to overlook that much can be learned from those you do not fear.
UPDATED 03/01/2010 CSBA, Why AirSea Battle? (pdf). Another shot (weak pun) at the China AntiShip Ballistic Missile (ASBM) story—this one is a slightly more circumspect version of Kraska''s Story within the context of some interesting China-Iran Anti-Access/Area-Denial conjecture. The author, Andrew F. Krepinevich, appears to cite the now familiar Yang and Erickson article for the proposition that the ASBM exists:
"...Perhaps the most notable Chinese addition is the anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM).39" @ page 18 [footnote 39 is to Yang and Erickson]
But then later more accurately states:
"...To be sure, even if the PRC has a capable ASBM, a targeting system is still required to enable the [≈ mach 10+] reentry vehicle to hone in on its [highly mobile and heavily defended] target. Fielding the ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] component for its ASBM force represents a challenging task for the PLA...." @ page 19 [added to original text]
This type of general conjecture is routine and near ubiquitous within our defense industry, military components, and intelligence sectors seeking to understand and forecast the next "threat and enemy" (eventually we''ll figure out that needing a "threat and enemy" is the threat and enemy). But, care must be taken when reading these general conjecture articles to ensure that repetitive general conjecture is not mistaken for specific and complete evidence. Otherwise the repetitive general conjecture becomes the a "threat and enemy".
UPDATED 02/10/2010UPI, China says no hegemonic intention. Statements of national intentions are of course important and necessary, but insufficient without the accompanying transparent and confirming participation and cooperation for international growth and stability. It''s no longer desirable or feasible for an authoritarian nation, particularly the size of China, to shout non-hegemonic intentions from behind walls. China’s authoritarian communist party must eliminate walls, move with all diligent speed toward a civil society, and begin shouldering a portion of the heavy burden of ensuring global stability and growth.
"There's much more reason to be positive...I do think China wants to fit into the ''global commons.'' We just have to be careful [sic: too?] make sure they see we are trying to treat them as equals."--Diplomat quoting Eric Wertheim, US naval analyst and author ofCombat Fleets of the World--
"...Some event [sic] talk about carrying out land-based missile attacks against an aircraft carrier. We must weigh this against the difficulties of targeting a mobile target out at sea,... ...Should an adversary manage to evade a plethora of air, surface and sub-surface escorts and be capable of hitting a carrier, sinking it or putting a carrier out of action is by no means easy"--Express India quoting Admiral Verma--
1. Kraska is careful to state that the views expressed in his article do not represent or reflect official U.S. Navy or Department of Defense policy. But, then goes on to indulge speculation, unproven facts, undocumented data, and liberal assumptions uncharacteristic of a navy, Law of the Sea specialist.
3. It’s likely the waters within the first string of pearls are more “acoustically wired” and monitored than a Cold War Soviet embassy.
4. It should be noted that our military officers below the level of flag (admiral) generally are not expected to think in the diplomatic terms of balancing cooperation with confrontation. However, Kraska seems to mock cooperation and partnership and assume confrontation—fortunately Kraska is not a navy flag officer.
5. Of course, some of our military and non-military leadership is moving away from past models and non-cooperative behavior. They must be open, transparent, and vocal on the need to swiftly replace obsolete models and behavior with updated learning and models. The transition will be daunting since there are currently fewer vested interests in cooperation than non-cooperation. We must begin holding our military and non-military leaderships accountable for the missed "opportunity costs" that results when they substitute taunting, threatening, and intimidation for cooperation.
6. Lost in recovery of post—related to a update between September and October 2010.
7. Britain was then the world's narcotrafficker of the world and was seeking to preserve existing markets and open new ones. A large number of Chinese were suffering from opium addiction and China sought to prevent the opium from entering its country (refer to Opium Wars for additional information). It's instructive of historical interpretation to note that China Goes to Sea emphasizes the Qing leaders' balance of payment concerns (opium was paid for with China's silver) that was impeding their ability to wage war in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region(@pg 295). Not mentioning eliminating the scourge of opium addiction. Of course both concerns are interrelated and it's a matter of emphasis.
8. UPDATED 12/28/2010 Saying you have a missile without a CEP is like saying you have an aircraft carrier without planes, crew, or adequate steerage. Erickson et al. directly raises the concept of FOC (Full Operational Capability)—fundamentally the difference between missile IOC and FOC concepts is an improved CEP. It's of course not unknown for nations (including ours) to announce IOC of a missile with a totally useless or undefined CEP and then work (or waste resources) to improve or define the CEP before declaring FOC (particularly when budgets are tight and the weapon system is politically unpopular). Rarely, do such “political tactics” dupe our very capable naval intelligence officers or admirals—in fact they may even accommodate (or exploit) such tactics because it diverts (or justifies) scarce resources to a doomed and useless (desired) endeavor. Admiral Willard et al. must be applauded for raising these important issues for our open, transparent, reciprocal, dispassionate, and meaningful discussion.
9. The fascinating and durable Shanghai Communiqué is an early example of U.S.-China agreeing to cooperate for the benefit of the global commons.
10. UPDATED 09/09/2011 Speculating about the year 2049 enables reference to Deng's 1992 speech wherein he urged China to pursue the "basic line" (socialism with reform, and opening appended) without vacillation for 100 years. If the "basic line" is measured from the CCP's founding in 1949 plus 100 years the result is 2049.
Even if the 2049 speculation is amiss the speech is useful reading for those wanting to understand a changing China.
11. There is a set of bizarre logic routinely asserted by some persons in positions of leadership of predominantly aggressive, and assertive nations. The logic imagines all efforts aimed at ameliorating the persistent or ephemeral and real or imagined fears, phobias, or superstitions of another nation's leaders somehow demonstrates a weakness that invites an exploitative counter-aggression.
These persons do not need access to major weapon systems or positions of leadership; they need access to therapy and removal from all positions of leadership while they undergo therapy.
12. Friedberg's interest linkages include:
Defense Policy Board (DPB) Member 2007; Alexander Hamilton Society Director 2011; Long Term Strategy Group Member 2011; Naval War College, China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) Lecturer and former Graduate Professor of Core CMSI Professors 2011 (e.g. Andrew Erickson); and Henry Kissinger Scholar at the Library of Congress (Henry Kissinger is a 2011 DPB Member).
Interest linkages can produce tremendous insights and novel thinking on extraordinarily challenging issues (e.g. U.S-China relationship); or interest linkages can produce mutually reinforcing group-think orthodoxy, propaganda, and blow-back.
13. McDevitt differentiates between the America terminology of AntiAccess and Area Denial and Chinese terminology of defensive strategy (broadly and meaninglessly defined as threats to national interests), but continues the custom of referring to A2/AD generically as AntiAccess.
14. Those wanting a refresher of "Cold War" history may find John Gaddis's The Cold War helpful.
15. The newly commissioned USS John Warner (SSN-785) is currently under a restrictive operations directive because of unauthorized welding on high pressure water reactor elbow joints, a significantly greater threat to submarine operations than a "carrier killer" conventional ballistic missile.
16. Lobbing convention warheads on ballistic reentry vehicle trajectories invites confusion and a mistaken nuclear retaliatory response, which is a great reason to eschew commingling them.
17. A nonfictional "ghost fleet" exists in Mallows Bay on the Potomac River, south of Washington, D.C., a historical recreational reminder of war's remnants:
18. Current accounts of the U.S.-China military relationship must be closely scrutinized with transparently known facts. It's not at all unusual for accounts to "shout" phrases like "China is building a Second Aircraft Carrier" (e.g. Time, China Is Building a Second Aircraft Carrier).
Well, no China hasn't built a first aircraft carrier; it has refurbished a scrapped Russian carrier!