Future War with (Red) China Hypotheticals/Theorycrafting

Sailor.X

Cold War Veteran
Founder
Eh, Tomahawks are not fast missiles. They move at about normal jet aircraft speed, and are thus vulnerable to most of those same weapons. Its not easy to stop all of them, you have issues of "the bomber will get through", but heavily attritionable: I remember watching someone play through one of those navy sims which stives for realism protecting a Chinese air base against, I think it was a 100 cruise missile swarm directed against an airport narratively being used against Taiwan.

I recall it requiring a AWAC aircraft to pick up the missiles on radar and successfully target, then mobilize 10 fighters to intercept, which killed something like 20-30 missiles (one on the first pass, then had to turn around and chase down the remaining, getting another or two (which then suffered heavy casualties as there were fighters launched to intercept the fighters after the first pass, forcing them to either stay and engage in a combat they weren't prepared for, or try to keep chasing the missiles with fighters on their tail). After the fighters the missiles overflew the fleet, which shot I think 2 counter missiles per missile, which got another 30 of them. Then he had some last couple of fighters he could scramble from somewhere else, maybe one was a helicopter, which killed another 10. Then another 5-10 were destroyed by the final line of AA guns at the airfield directly, with I think it was something like 10 hits, 5 of them doing serious damage.

So, that does help highlight how difficult stopping a missile volley really is, but does show it is degradable. And even getting all the missiles through, making sure the missiles actually do something is fairly difficult. Especially with the more warning a target has to take measures. A ship in harbor with damage control crews mobilized and firefighters at the ready if it gets hit by a half ton bomb and all hatches closed in combat readiness has a very different survival profile vs a ship with the crew all away on weekend leave. And a half ton of explosives in not a whole lot in terms of anti ship weapondry. It definitely hurts a whole lot, but ships can survive a surprising amount of hurt.

So, while a Virginia sub might have 30 Tomahawks that can theoretically destroy 30 ships, more likely that's probably closer to 3 hits, maybe one damaged ship and 1 destroyed ship. And well, if its a single Virginia attacking a naval base with more than 30 aircraft available to intercept, its quite possible nothing gets through. And once it expends all its missiles, well, its 10,000 km back to the US, which should take about 10 days at its listed speed.

Assumedly, it will have closer bases, but, well, that puts it at the mercy of the broader Air and Naval war, and puts itself at more risk of being destroyed itself. Depending how broad the war is.
They are adding Stealth coatings to the Tomahawks to reduce their radar signature. I am on my phone and can't post the link. But go to Defense Updates. The latest video is up.
 

PsihoKekec

Swashbuckling Accountant
10 Virginias, 2 Seawolfs and 2 Ohio SSGNs can literally sink the entire Chinese Navy
You do realise that Chinese Navy has ASW capabilities? It's kind of foolish to plan for war under auspice that your enemies won't shoot back at you.

We have more munitions then they have ships
And they have more munitions than you have ships. Your point?

Taiwan tank force is completely outdated, they don't even have ERA protection, so they would be easy pickings for ATGM crews.

Google Maritime Strike Tomahawk Cruise Missile. It has a range of over 1,000 miles and can target ships.
And it is easy pickings for modern CWS and AA systems, it can also be intercepted by fighters.

China can under favourable conditions capture Taiwan, but the cost to its armed forces and economy would terrible, so I believe they would continue the current strategy of diplomatic and economic pressure, one of the goals of military buildup is to force the Taiwan into raising their own budget to point un-sustainability. My reckoning is that barring unforeseeable crisis, the war will come decade or two from now, in the Xi twilight years, when he will seek to add a plum to his crown, before he shuffles his mortal coil.
 

Sailor.X

Cold War Veteran
Founder
You do realise that Chinese Navy has ASW capabilities? It's kind of foolish to plan for war under auspice that your enemies won't shoot back at you.


And they have more munitions than you have ships. Your point?


Taiwan tank force is completely outdated, they don't even have ERA protection, so they would be easy pickings for ATGM crews.


And it is easy pickings for modern CWS and AA systems, it can also be intercepted by fighters.

China can under favourable conditions capture Taiwan, but the cost to its armed forces and economy would terrible, so I believe they would continue the current strategy of diplomatic and economic pressure, one of the goals of military buildup is to force the Taiwan into raising their own budget to point un-sustainability. My reckoning is that barring unforeseeable crisis, the war will come decade or two from now, in the Xi twilight years, when he will seek to add a plum to his crown, before he shuffles his mortal coil.
Hearing US Subs in the deep oceans is extremely difficult. And China is not Russia. Their ASW is a joke in comparison. The only clue they would have that their ships are being attacked is when a few of them have their Keels broken.
 

History Learner

Well-known member
Google Maritime Strike Tomahawk Cruise Missile. It has a range of over 1,000 miles and can target ships.

Okay, so we have a subsonic missile. How many does Taiwan have, how do they have them (domestic production or import from the U.S.) and why do you see those as a kill shot automatically? What evidence leads you to conclude the mere existence of these missiles means the Chinese Navy is sunk? Google the Dong Feng missile, which is a hyper-sonic missile with ranges of over 5,000 miles and is meant to target ships.
 

History Learner

Well-known member
China can under favourable conditions capture Taiwan, but the cost to its armed forces and economy would terrible, so I believe they would continue the current strategy of diplomatic and economic pressure, one of the goals of military buildup is to force the Taiwan into raising their own budget to point un-sustainability. My reckoning is that barring unforeseeable crisis, the war will come decade or two from now, in the Xi twilight years, when he will seek to add a plum to his crown, before he shuffles his mortal coil.

It's basically this; my entire point in this thread has been that China does have the capability to take Taiwan if it wants to right now and this will only increase as the years go by. My problem with the other posters is that, if they consider China an actual threat, they need to act like it instead of assuming automatically we will any conflict because "American Fuck Yeah" basically.
 

Sailor.X

Cold War Veteran
Founder
Okay, so we have a subsonic missile. How many does Taiwan have, how do they have them (domestic production or import from the U.S.) and why do you see those as a kill shot automatically? What evidence leads you to conclude the mere existence of these missiles means the Chinese Navy is sunk? Google the Dong Feng missile, which is a hyper-sonic missile with ranges of over 5,000 miles and is meant to target ships.
Ahem.
Taiwan denies U.S. offered Tomahawk sale | Taiwan News | 2007-10-23 00:00:00 Aka they have them and don't want to say.
And that is only stuff talked about in the media.

On another note.

 
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JagerIV

Well-known member
Ahem.
Taiwan denies U.S. offered Tomahawk sale | Taiwan News | 2007-10-23 00:00:00 Aka they have them and don't want to say.
And that is only stuff talked about in the media.

On another note.



You realize the Harpoon is as slow, if not slower missile right? Whether the tiawenese have harpoon missiles or not, basically has zero effect on the earlier point.

All that means is the main ships can trade fire with the Chinese war Catamarans that can carry 8 Harpoon class weapons. Which then highlights how little damage a harpoon can potentially end up doing, since we have one example of a C-802 being fired on a warship, the corvette INS Hanit:

During the 2006 Lebanon War, the vessel was patrolling in Lebanese waters ten nautical miles off the coast of Beirut. It was damaged on 14 July 2006 on the waterline, under the aft superstructure[1][2] by a missile (likely a Chinese-designed C-802[3]) fired by Hezbollah that reportedly set the flight deck on fire and crippled the propulsion systems inside the hull.[4] However, INS Hanit stayed afloat, withdrew and made the rest of the journey back to Ashdod port for repairs under its own power.[5] Four crew members were killed during the attack: Staff Sergeant Tal Amgar, Corporal Shai Atas, Sergeant Yaniv Hershkovitz, and First Sergeant Dov Steinshuss.[6]

Keep in mind this is a 1,000 ton Corvette. So, while its always possible for a ship to get unlucky and die from a single hit, its also quite possible for ships to take 5-10 big hits and still limp back to port.
 
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Sailor.X

Cold War Veteran
Founder
You realize the Harpoon is as slow, if not slower missile right? Whether the tiawenese have harpoon missiles or not, basically has zero effect on the earlier point.

All that means is the main ships can trade fire with the Chinese war Catamarans that can carry 8 Harpoon class weapons. Which then highlights how little damage a harpoon can potentially end up doing, since we have one example of a C-802 being fired on a warship, the corvette INS Hanit:



Keep in mind this is a 1,000 ton Corvette. So, while its always possible for a ship to get unlucky and die from a single hit, its also quite possible for ships to take 5-10 big hits and still limp back to port.
Do you understand the concept of Sea Skimming. As in being just above the waves and difficult to detect. And this.....



Your assertions are unfounded on the Harpoons kill potential.
 

Husky_Khan

The Dog Whistler... I mean Whisperer.
Founder
Sotnik
You realize the Harpoon is as slow, if not slower missile right? Whether the tiawenese have harpoon missiles or not, basically has zero effect on the earlier point.

All that means is the main ships can trade fire with the Chinese war Catamarans that can carry 8 Harpoon class weapons. Which then highlights how little damage a harpoon can potentially end up doing, since we have one example of a C-802 being fired on a warship, the corvette INS Hanit:

Keep in mind this is a 1,000 ton Corvette. So, while its always possible for a ship to get unlucky and die from a single hit, its also quite possible for ships to take 5-10 big hits and still limp back to port.

You know, there's probably a small enough number of incidents to show the effectiveness of anti-ship missiles with that size warhead or smaller striking naval vessels...

Aw fuck... I'll do it.

November 28th 1980: Iran-Iraq War
> Iranian Missile Boats launched three Harpoon missiles, sinking two Iraqi Osa-II Class Missile Boats (225 tons).

March 24th 1986: Gulf of Sidra Incident
> US Destroyer launches a single RGM-84 Harpoon Missile at a Libyan Patrol Boat, setting it ablaze. It is towed to port.
> US A-6E Intruders fire two AGM-84C Harpoon Missiles at a La Combattante II class Missile Boat, sinking it. (250 tons).
> USS Yorktown fires an RGM-84A and an RGM-84C at a La Combattante II class Missile Boat, sinking or damaging it (250 tons).
> US A-6 Intruder fires a single AGM-84C at a Nanuchka II-type missile corvette, sinking it (670 tons).

April 18th 1988: Operation Praying Mantis
> US Destroyer fired one RGM-84D Harpoon missile and four Standard SAM's at a La Combattante class Missile Boat, crippling it. It was later sunk by gunfire (265 tons).
> US A-6 Intruder fires an AGM-84D Harpoon at the Iranian frigate Sahand after she engaged US Navy warships in the Strait of Hormuz. She was hit aft by the Harpoon and amidships by an AGM-62 Walleye II glide bomb, and forward by an air-launched AGM-123 Skipper II laser-guided missile which crippled it. Another Harpoon missile and a cluster bomb were launched in a coordinated attack by another A-6 and a US Guided Missile Destroyer, sinking it (2500 tons).

Harpoons of the time had the 500lb warheads.

May 4th 1982: Falklands War
> Argentinian Super Etendard's fired two AM39 Exocet missiles at a British type 42 Destroyer. One hit, disabling the vessel. It later floundered and sunk under tow six days later (4200 tons).

May 25th 1982: Falklands War
> Argentine Super Etendard's hit the SS Atlantic Conveyer, a merchant naval ship, with two AM39 Exocet missiles. It was set ablaze due to ammunition aboard. It sank under tow three days later (15000 tons).

June 12th 1982: Falklands War
> Shore launched MM38 Exocet Missile struck a British County-class destroyer, damaging it. Ship was underway again after one day of damage control but too damaged to continue naval operations (6200 tons).

May 17th 1987: Iran-Iraq War
> Iraqi Jet fired two AM-39 Exocets at an OHP-class Frigate. Quick and rapid damage control prevented the Destroyer from sinking. Ship was later repaired and returned to service (4100 tons).

Exocet has a 365 lb warhead.

Sadly :p it seems the last naval battle with extensive antiship missile action was apparently the 1991 Gulf War.



Look at those little Sea Skua's racking up the kills in the <1000 ton ship class. Not really applicable to discussion here (except maybe after the Chinese navy runs out of surface to air missiles) but still a good watch. :p
 
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Sailor.X

Cold War Veteran
Founder
For those wondering about the yield of the warhead on antiship missiles used by the US. I am posting this video from a SinkEX operation I was a part of back in the early 90s. We were testing the new warhead for the Harpoon that is currently in service. It was a prototype back then.

 

paulobrito

Well-known member
The problem for Harpoon-like weapons, is that if the enemy has a AWACS covering his fleet, the SAM / anti-missile defenses have more than enough time to kill the Harpoons. This is not the 80's, and the PLAN fleet has under the cover of the land based air assets. Not easy to deal with that. Harpoons are too slow/very old tech.
 

Zachowon

The Army Life for me! The POG life for me!
Founder
The problem for Harpoon-like weapons, is that if the enemy has a AWACS covering his fleet, the SAM / anti-missile defenses have more than enough time to kill the Harpoons. This is not the 80's, and the PLAN fleet has under the cover of the land based air assets. Not easy to deal with that. Harpoons are too slow/very old tech.
I mean, what SAMs are they going to use on a Harpoon and not focus on the bigger faster threats. Like the plane launching it?
The air assets would be to busy defending themselves from their own attack as well.

You seem to think it will be the whole of the PLA vs the US Navy, not a combined force of Air Force and Navy with Marine and Army support on theground
 

paulobrito

Well-known member
I mean, what SAMs are they going to use on a Harpoon and not focus on the bigger faster threats. Like the plane launching it?
The air assets would be to busy defending themselves from their own attack as well.

You seem to think it will be the whole of the PLA vs the US Navy, not a combined force of Air Force and Navy with Marine and Army support on theground
Depend of what you are talking about. I'm talking about the Taiwan forces launching Harpoon's at the PLAN, not PLAN v US.
And in the China v Taiwan scenario the PLAN is supported by the land air force - the distance is too short.
 

Zachowon

The Army Life for me! The POG life for me!
Founder
Depend of what you are talking about. I'm talking about the Taiwan forces launching Harpoon's at the PLAN, not PLAN v US.
And in the China v Taiwan scenario the PLAN is supported by the land air force - the distance is too short.
The Taiwanese will also be supported by an Air Force
 

JagerIV

Well-known member
You know, there's probably a small enough number of incidents to show the effectiveness of anti-ship missiles with that size warhead or smaller striking naval vessels...

Aw fuck... I'll do it.

November 28th 1980: Iran-Iraq War
> Iranian Missile Boats launched three Harpoon missiles, sinking two Iraqi Osa-II Class Missile Boats (225 tons).

March 24th 1986: Gulf of Sidra Incident
> US Destroyer launches a single RGM-84 Harpoon Missile at a Libyan Patrol Boat, setting it ablaze. It is towed to port.
> US A-6E Intruders fire two AGM-84C Harpoon Missiles at a La Combattante II class Missile Boat, sinking it. (250 tons).
> USS Yorktown fires an RGM-84A and an RGM-84C at a La Combattante II class Missile Boat, sinking or damaging it (250 tons).
> US A-6 Intruder fires a single AGM-84C at a Nanuchka II-type missile corvette, sinking it (670 tons).

April 18th 1988: Operation Praying Mantis
> US Destroyer fired one RGM-84D Harpoon missile and four Standard SAM's at a La Combattante class Missile Boat, crippling it. It was later sunk by gunfire (265 tons).
> US A-6 Intruder fires an AGM-84D Harpoon at the Iranian frigate Sahand after she engaged US Navy warships in the Strait of Hormuz. She was hit aft by the Harpoon and amidships by an AGM-62 Walleye II glide bomb, and forward by an air-launched AGM-123 Skipper II laser-guided missile which crippled it. Another Harpoon missile and a cluster bomb were launched in a coordinated attack by another A-6 and a US Guided Missile Destroyer, sinking it (2500 tons).

Harpoons of the time had the 500lb warheads.

May 4th 1982: Falklands War
> Argentinian Super Etendard's fired two AM39 Exocet missiles at a British type 42 Destroyer. One hit, disabling the vessel. It later floundered and sunk under tow six days later (4200 tons).

May 25th 1982: Falklands War
> Argentine Super Etendard's hit the SS Atlantic Conveyer, a merchant naval ship, with two AM39 Exocet missiles. It was set ablaze due to ammunition aboard. It sank under tow three days later (15000 tons).

June 12th 1982: Falklands War
> Shore launched MM38 Exocet Missile struck a British County-class destroyer, damaging it. Ship was underway again after one day of damage control but too damaged to continue naval operations (6200 tons).

May 17th 1987: Iran-Iraq War
> Iraqi Jet fired two AM-39 Exocets at an OHP-class Frigate. Quick and rapid damage control prevented the Destroyer from sinking. Ship was later repaired and returned to service (4100 tons).

Exocet has a 365 lb warhead.

Sadly :p it seems the last naval battle with extensive antiship missile action was apparently the 1991 Gulf War.



Look at those little Sea Skua's racking up the kills in the <1000 ton ship class. Not really applicable to discussion here (except maybe after the Chinese navy runs out of surface to air missiles) but still a good watch. :p


About what I expected: sub 1,000 tons a missile hit more or less guarantees a mission kill, 50/50 full kill more or less. Probably completeness you want 2 hits, just to be sure?

In the destroyer range, it looks like one hit never killed the ship outright, and in one case was able to move under its own power, but a single hit still seems to be a consistent mission kill, and it doesn't sound too much like its an overabundance of caution. The one largish ship killed outright the frigate Sahand took 5 hits to fully sink, though that's still a fairly low mass ship at 2,500 tons. Maybe roughly average 1 hits per 1,000 tons to definitely mission kill? So, I think someone said the Chinese fleet is now about 2.5 million tons, so by that rule you get that you need to achieve about 2,500 hits on the enemy fleet.

This probably overstates it a bit by assuming the 70,000 ton aircraft carriers need some 70 hits from harpoon scale weaponry to take out. Then again, the sinking of the Yamato, the only 70,000 ton ship I'm aware of to have been in active combat, did take 17 torpedo and bomb hits before going down. So, its not inconceivable that a big carrier might be able to take 70 odd smallish missiles to the superstructure, with good damage control, and still float. Though its capacity to do anything but float would be greatly in question.

So, 2,500 missile hits to destroy the Chinese navy isn't outside the realm of the possible or reasonable. Aircraft missiles and torpedoes would be part of that number. One the adjusts by how much one expects the non hit attrition rate would be, and the scale of the strike. If 1-10 actually hit, were looking at needing about 25,000 missiles.
 

Husky_Khan

The Dog Whistler... I mean Whisperer.
Founder
Sotnik
About what I expected: sub 1,000 tons a missile hit more or less guarantees a mission kill, 50/50 full kill more or less. Probably completeness you want 2 hits, just to be sure?

In the destroyer range, it looks like one hit never killed the ship outright, and in one case was able to move under its own power, but a single hit still seems to be a consistent mission kill, and it doesn't sound too much like its an overabundance of caution. The one largish ship killed outright the frigate Sahand took 5 hits to fully sink, though that's still a fairly low mass ship at 2,500 tons. Maybe roughly average 1 hits per 1,000 tons to definitely mission kill? So, I think someone said the Chinese fleet is now about 2.5 million tons, so by that rule you get that you need to achieve about 2,500 hits on the enemy fleet.

This probably overstates it a bit by assuming the 70,000 ton aircraft carriers need some 70 hits from harpoon scale weaponry to take out. Then again, the sinking of the Yamato, the only 70,000 ton ship I'm aware of to have been in active combat, did take 17 torpedo and bomb hits before going down. So, its not inconceivable that a big carrier might be able to take 70 odd smallish missiles to the superstructure, with good damage control, and still float. Though its capacity to do anything but float would be greatly in question.

So, 2,500 missile hits to destroy the Chinese navy isn't outside the realm of the possible or reasonable. Aircraft missiles and torpedoes would be part of that number. One the adjusts by how much one expects the non hit attrition rate would be, and the scale of the strike. If 1-10 actually hit, were looking at needing about 25,000 missiles.

Taiwan's Antiship Missiles/Torpedoes:

183 RGM/AGM-84L Harpoon Missiles
32 UGM-84L Harpoon Missiles (Submarine/Underwater)
250+ Hsiung-Feng II Anti-Ship Subsonic Missiles (All Three)
??? Hsiung-Feng III Anti-Ship Supersonic Missiles (All Three)
491 Mark 46 Lightweight Torpedoes
48 Mark 48 Heavyweight Torpedoes
200 SUT Torpedoes

Future:
400 RGM-84L Harpoon Block II Missiles w/ 100 Launchers
18 Mark 48 Heavyweight Torpedoes

Air to Ground or Surface to Surface Missiles:

500 AGM-65 Mavericks
56 AGM-154C JSOW Missiles
100+ Wan Chien Cruise Missiles
??? Yun Feng Cruise Missiles

Future:
135 AGM-84H SLAM-ER Missiles
64 MGM-168 ATACAMS Missiles

Surface/Air to Air Missiles (probable sea attack capabilities):

??? Sky Sword I Missiles
500+ Sky Sword II Missiles
500+ RIM-66 Standard Missiles
308 RIM-67 Standard Missiles
960 MICA Missiles

Looks more like 1700ish not including the SAM's. Plus about 750 torpedoes that for the most part are apparently ship launched I'm assuming, since Taiwan only has four submarines (plus indigenous models they're building). Plus they just rolled out the first rapid minelayers, which is shocking that they don't have a plethora of already. Doesn't seem to add up to 25,000 missiles... certainly not of the 500 warhead variety. :p Isn't Versus Match math fun.

Though I suppose when the landings occur, that'd offset things as well since all sorts of munitions can be brought to bear, especially if the Chinese Navy is providing naval gunfire support.
 
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