Future War with (Red) China Hypotheticals/Theorycrafting

History Learner

Well-known member
Did you know the US loses war games more times out of ten then it wins them?
Because we have our adversaries in war games be really competent on the level of us and they generally always win so we can adapt.

The CSIS war game that assumes 90% of theater aerial assets are destroyed in the first 72 hours had as it's end result the U.S. defeating a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, so if war games are solely for us to adapt, why would they have their main recent wargame result in a victory?

Like how many times have our allies shot down a 22 in a war game? Just for the 22 to be weighed down, slow, and start with the ally right behind them?

Since that isn't true in practice and war games have consistently shown massive losses in F-22s and F-35s going back to 2008 now, could you cite some relevant examples?

And how is China going to destroy our entire bomber fleet when most are in America, and thw fact that I&W (indications and warnings) will override any chance of a surprise missile launch on an airfield is huge.

They don't have to, the only bombers capable of reaching China from America are Cold War relics like the B-52 and B1B Lancer, the B-2 Spirit lacks the range to reach China from American bases.

But you obviously don't understand what the US is capable of.

Very few really do on here.

Is that why we lost Iraq and Afghanistan in living memory, and an Iranian-backed militia has just closed the Red Sea to American shipping despite two CSGs in the region?

Those that served know better then you thiugh.
He'll damn near every American on this forum knows better then you

Americans believe a lot of things, 20% think Chocolate milk comes from Cows and 13% can't even read. Appeals to Majority fallacy are just that; wake me when you or anyone here actually is able to cite something to back up your beliefs.

History Learner

Well-known member
I think History Learner hasn't Learned about tofu dregs construction yet. I'm pretty sure a good chunk of the PLA navy is more likely to sink itself rather than an enemy if it ever tried to fire a weapon.

They've been deploying to Somalia to fight pirates since the 2000s, send battle groups up to Alaska and have been conducting continuous military exercises around Taiwan since 2022 without a single breakdown reported or observed. Observations by the ROC and U.S. of their carrier ops show they achieve a sortie rate just below that of a Nimitz Class carrier, which makes sense their smaller size and airframes.

If they have quality issues, there's no objective, mainstream source that's reported it and I don't see why the USN or Taiwan would refrain from doing that. 50% of total Global Shipbuilding is Chinese, they have more than enough experience in ship building to get that right:

In its global shipbuilding market review 2023, the research company noted global shipyard output rose by 10% on-year to 35m CGT and with China accounting for half of that output for the first time, ahead of South Korea at 26% and Japan at 14%.​
South Korea led in the production of LNG vessels, but China held the greatest market share for bulkers, tankers and containerships.​
Another 50% milestone was also reached in the Clarksons figures, with 50% of the orderbook by tonnage now alternatively-fuelled. Overall, the orderbook was 4% up on year at 1234m CGT with a value of $367bn.​
Steve Gordon, Managing Director of Clarksons Research, said: "2023 was a year of recovering output, increasing prices and a good flow of orders for the global shipbuilding industry. On a regional level, China produced 50% of yard output and also dominated ordering, while alternative fuels moved to nearly 50% of orderbook tonnage. And while the 2024 delivery profile is dominated by container and gas, the product mix of new orders tilted towards tankers and bulkers."​

To many people suffer desertstormitis and still live in the 90's, not in an era where China have 200 times the shipbuilding capacity, can manufacture its own microprocessors, possesses several times more engineers and can drown the USA in munitions and materiel.

It's the same mindset we saw the Germans have in 1944, where they assumed Napkinwaffe like the V-2 or the StG 44 would be enough to offset the immense disadvantages that existed at that point in material and manpower. People genuinely believe things like the F-35 are a cure all for things like the USAF having only a week of munitions on hand for a conflict with China and said munitions all being in range of Chinese missiles or too far away to be of use because the USN no longer has the logistics to get it into theater.

History Learner

Well-known member

Just gonna go ahead and park that here.

While the models the Chinese keep for themselves are probably better than their export hardware...

...US & allied gear is also definitely better than what Iran is using.

What radar systems does Pakistan have from China? Can you name them for us, and how many they have.


The Army Life for me! The POG life for me!
Let's see, the IBIS-150 , Standard AS radar
SLC-2 pretty new system by the looks of it.
JY-27A and again pretty standard radar.
Kinda interesting these didn't pick it up.
Maybe it is the size of the drones but these as well should have picked dit up based on what I can find.


The Army Life for me! The POG life for me!
Because the radars China sent are newer then the rest on the list, and they most likely have them set up both in the east and west to watch for attacks from the west and India.

The fact is that they have radars that are supposed to be super new and advanced. To help them and yet....


Well-known member
Pakistan has also announced their ZBK03 AWACS aircraft will be retired, and the reason seems to be (paraphrased) 'incompatibility between the system and the other detection systems in use'. I wonder how much it has to do with the above-mentioned news.


Well-known member
All the kerfuffles you and many others bring up to talk down US capabilities ultimately come down to the war in questions being bound by political limits so strict that they would be unthinkable to the point of being target of satire in WW2 or earlier.

Land invasions of what? China has not enough bribe money to get USA to bring landing forces to it so that they can throw own army at them. Korea means fighting a war through the shit-tastic infrastructure and mountainous terrain of North Korea again.

Produce with what? It's not the 12th century when you just tell farmers to go back to the burned fields and plant new crops. Ukraine shows nicely how destructive warfare is to industry.
Most of the important factories would look like the Mariupol steel works by the time they are occupied. Nevermind getting the feedstock for it.

I'm not sure these are the issues you think they are, but we'd have to look at specifics, of course.

Yup. And there are ways to defend from that.

How much economic pain can China take? It's a question Chinese leadership does not want to get an empirical answer to.

I did not act surprised, i said it's not a new problem and it's not without counter-tactics.

Sure, and those ways of defending them aren't 100% accurate, and more directly significantly will generally serve to undermine US operational tempo. Meaning you don't get to just delete anything you want on call at arbitrary volume.

In all these cases, you are trying to supply modern troops through 3 areas (China's far west is their poverty ridden backyard with nasty terrain) characterized by crappy terrain and crappy infrastructure. 4k km from border, more like 7k if you include getting this stuff from China's economic centers rather than the western boonies of it. Of land transport in such conditions.
Let it sink in.
The Berlin-Moscow distance is about 1800km by road, and some of it was covered with German infrastructure, and we know what a logistical pain that was.

There are not enough trains and lines to do it in the whole region. Start worrying when Russia starts massively expanding their own railway in Far East, but China would have to explicitly sponsor that as long as Russia is heavily sanctioned by the West.
As things stand, Russia's rail links in that region are insufficient even for properly supplying own smaller efforts in Ukraine.
"Ambitions" to have a million TEU max capacity per year in the future, not accounting for sanctions, nevermind military action in case of WW3.
There are singular ports in Europe with many times that. There are singular ships that carry 20k TEU. A decently sized port in Europe, far from the biggest, does over 2 million TEU per year for comparison. You're not floating up Russia's economy, waging a massive war in ME and also supporting a Russian military contingent of Chinese troops on that on a million TEU, and certainly not all at the same time.

This shit is why sea trade is still king despite railways existing for well over 2 centuries now.

I don't think China is going to have to fight through Russia, so the German example is a bit of a mute.

Navy is certainly cheaper transport (though by train is apparently faster). That ports can move more however is irrelevant without reference to what you need to move. Airplanes for example are much more expensive than boats and trains, however for moving people the travel time is so much higher and the volume you need to move comparatively smaller that air travel captures a pretty high % of overall long distance travel.

For example, lets actually look at that air travel: China seems to average roughly 1 million aircraft passengers a day. I've seen other sources that suggest roughly 400 million passenger flights per year. Obviously, on the one hand a China under oil embargo civilian flights are going to approach zero. But, this also means that China has the air capacity to move at least 1 million people by air per day, admittedly over shorter distances. Even if that "only" meant you could move 100,000 people from China to the far corners of the front per day, 100,000 per day is still 36 million people per year.

So, even though aircraft transport capacity is small compared to other amounts, its still sufficient to move any arbitrary number of troops China might need in any particular front, and do it in a day's travel. So, already we see aircraft transport, not even train, truck, or boat, is not going to be a limiting factor for China moving however many troops it needs to into a theater. The ability of China to move troops around is not going to hit meaningful logistical limits there.

Lets look at trains then. Its current capacity is apparently 600,000 TEU. I've also heard an annual capacity of about 150 million tons, which seems like it might line up. That would be about 1,600 TEU's per day, which I think a standard train might go with 30 of them, so 50 ish trains a day, or 2 every hour. This strikes me as a plausible, and in fact might be able to accommodate much more surge capacity if you need more fast.

What does a formation need? Well, a Stryker combat brigade I believe has something like 1,500 vehicles. We might then reason an "average" brigade force might be, say, 2,000 TEU equivalent, taking about 60-70 trains. Russia apparently has about 20,000 trains, so this is using up some 0.5% of the transport capacity. As part of a 1 year build up of forces in Russia, say 10% of rail capacity goes to moving formations, 60,000 TEU suggest the capacity to move about 30 fairly well equipped Brigades into Russia on pretty light draw on the Russian logistical system. This would be about 150,000 well equipped frontline troops, which probably with standard tooth to tails would be something like 1 million Chinese troops overall, all of whom can be flown out as their equipment makes the 10-30 day trip from China to their deployment area. This is a force about the same size as the entire existing US army, which I believe is about 30 brigade combat teams, and probably more than China really has right now too.

But, until China does have 10s of millions of troops and hundreds of well equipped combat brigades, the train capacity really isn't going to bite: initially you'd be moving relatively light forces in quickly by plane to take on occupation and logistical tasks. Light infantry is, well, light, and with guided missiles, mortars, and shovels can create a force able to resist quite powerful attacks. And with airpower China can transport an effectively trivial number of them to a front in a day as necessary. More at least than they are likely to have spare at any one time.

Going on offenses will require more armor and trucks, probably at least several hundred thousand, maybe approaching a million. That will take a year+ of build up, both of the actual formations and moving things into the relevant areas.

Equipment wise I also believe that manufactured consumables of a heavily equipped brigade (so excluding things like water and oil) is about 100 tons per day. So, 1% of transport capacity of 150 million tons would be 4,000 tons per day. Suggesting a 1% commitment to supplying combat operations could support 40 mechanized brigades in active combat. Which likewise is more than China is likely to have available for the European front in anything grander than light infantry formations (who on the other hand would have even lower logistical draws) within the first 1-2 years of war anyways.

China is just not going to be maxing out the available transport capacity of the land, train, truck, and ship transport capacity available until we literally are talking about million+ man mechanized armies.

Helicopters are expensive and vulnerable to western airpower. Speedboats are short ranged and kinda useless if the ship has armed security.
Not having at least a few mg's on every ship of any importance is an artifact of modern ideological and legal climate around weapons combined with the generally safe environment, not a physical or economic limitation.
And then there is scuttling, a common practice in WW1 and WW2 capture attempts of civilian ships.

They can only succeed at that much if unopposed.

I mean, were talking about the short ranged, so we are not then talking about the useless then. Helicopters can be shot down by western air power, just as western airpower can also be shot down. Keep in mind when were talking about fishing boats, a lot of them are this sized vessel:


That's how you get a fleet of 70,000 ships for the South Korean Fishing fleet. Adding machine guns to the entire fleet would require some 100,000+ additional personnel on their boats. Which Korea would have the manpower to do, but its a big drain, and another source of attrition. The Korean boats have MGs, the Chinese boat has MGs, they spot and machine gun each other. After which either they both leave, or someone gets sunk or surrenders and gets boarded, their ship taken as a prize. Philippines would be much the same. Fishing boat challenges other fishing boat, maybe one has a dedicated marksmen on board who's a good enough shot to shoot people on another boat. Militias doing militia things.

They sure are loyal when big money come out of it and little to no risk of any punishment. But how many will stay loyal when the guns start speaking and the price of doing favors for CCP will be 20 years of prison or an expediated execution?

Well, your asking about their bravery here, not their loyalty. As far as I'm aware the guy who leaked all those F-35 documents did it out of a sense of patriotism, not money. I do agree most people are cowards who will keep their heads down and try not to be noticed. I agree most Chinese in WWIII will behave in similar ways that most Poles behaved in WWII and under the USSR. But, there are also 40 million overseas Chinese. If even 1% are patriotic enough to act, that's 400,000 anti Blue agents available. 50,000 in the US.

Biggest issue would probably be in Taiwan of course. I believe by polling something like 1/3rd of their population is pro-mainland. That's a big potential 5th column.

Singapore without war damage and its logistical and economic links ruined by a sudden change of ownership produces maybe 10% of China's GDP. After being conquered, it might be 2%, 5% max, at least for few decades. How much does that help China's war effort, and how much of war effort it does consume to hold?

Oh, Singapore is a 100% strategic location, I don't know how you thought otherwise. If China holds Singapore then the South China Sea is unambiguously a Chinese Sea, you can push down to Australia which does have many useful resources, American ability to mess with Chinese shipping is immensely reduced, more oil is available from local oil in the area and shipments can be made from the middle east/India which much lighter US interference.

They will have to fight US SSNs.

Accidentally, I guess. Chinese doctrine does not seem to generally view its subs as, well, sub hunters. Preference for anti submarine warfare seems to be mines first, followed by aircraft.

Their biggest losses were early in the war.

That would be self-deception, because a smart opponent probably doesn't even attempt attacks that would knowingly fail.

As one would expect, so, what?

Are we saying then we have no way to know how good Ukrainian missiles vs Russian countermeasures actually are? But the continued survival of the Russian fleet for 2 years, in much less favorable conditions, is proof the US will destroy the Chinese fleet effortlessly in 2 weeks?

No, between WW2 and today the effective "engagement range" and detection range of warships has changed from low tens to high hundreds, even low thousands of nautical miles in few cases.
This is particularly notable with how small seas like Baltic are effectively turning into surface warship killzones with the increasing reach of land based AShMs and aviation, which was not true earlier.

On what basis do you figure the Baltic is a surface warship killzone, where the black sea is not?

What you have shown here is that airfield infrastructure is not a great choice of target in that situation. But one can focus targeting on the aircraft on the airfields too, and that will add up with the air warfare attrition. What good are airfields when you have no planes?
If we talk 6,000 Tomahawks, that means allocating one for every single Chinese combat jet that's about a third of that.

Which is why China's invested heavily in aircraft survivability. They seem to have several hundred hardened aircraft bunkers that we know about, at least 40 underground bases with predicted capacity of 1,500 aircraft, and many more hundreds of simply covered hangars. And in the lead up to war there can be even more dispersion, decoys, and other tricks. Plus of course China actually is a very big country, and they can actually just place aircraft far back enough that they're hard to strike, and feed them into the combat zone as needed. China does have something like 2,000 combat aircraft, but if you have 5,000 Tomahawks, you probably do want to keep some 2-3 thousand in reserve to respond to other Chinese activities.

China might then deploy only 500 planes into the full forward, which you might have 2,000 covered and hardened shelters, so without good intel launching at all known potential sites, if every single one gets a hit, would only have a 25% kill ratio. However, good intel takes time, and if those 500 planes in the forward deployed area are also in pretty constant motion, so intelligence on current plane location is also going to decay pretty quickly, as the planes would be moving every day just as part of carrying out their operations.

Tomahawks are also likely to have a much higher failure rate trying to attack deep into enemy territory: you're entering a very hostile area with less support than normal. High altitude Tomahawk's are probably venerable to radar, and would be subject to SAM, E warfare attacks, plane intercepts, and simple personnel response. An airbase early warning radar spotting the missiles coming in 50 km out would give the base 6 minutes of warning, during which a lot could be done which would lower expected casualties.

Firing a 100 Tomahawks against actually guarded targets, 10% actually hitting between inate failure rate, passive defense like decoys and repositioning equipment, and hardening of targets plus active countermeasures. In which case you might fire a 1,000 missiles and destroy 100 planes. Which would dramatically hinder Chinese margin they can risk on the offensive, but also exhaust a lot of the American's ability to launch offensives too, as protective reserves need to be maintained in case of Chinese attacks, and such missiles generally need to be husbanded for critical hard to hit targets, but that then limits American attacks to relatively safe and easy targets.

Russia sanctions show that it's possible to lawfare up such maneuvers. Particularly for a country as economically and militarily dependent on USA as SK.
I can't imagine USA not going "so, if you are going to sabotage our sanctions against China, why are we busying our valuable troops and aircraft with helping to protect you from China's ally when they could be bombing China instead?"
Again, many in SK understand this would be classic "feeding the crocodile in hope he will eat you the last". Which is what would happen in that scenario.

They don't have a choice, never had. A sufficiently dumb politician may delude himself that they do, but they don't.
Not singing up means a limited war of conquest that they will lose. So the choice boils down to the war of annihilation, or may aswell surrender to CCP right away while skipping the steps where they get bombed, invaded and conquered and only then enslaved, much cheaper that way. Though the recent vote shows they don't lean that way and understand their lack of choice.

Your analysis of the position of Taiwan, Japan and SK is worthless because it treats such a scenario of limited escalation as a singular event, a settling of the score, end of the matter.

The whole hoopla would be pointless from China's perspective if it was to be the last move, it only makes sense as the first move towards much greater ambitions, and evidence of such ambitions being realized.

But everyone knows it would be just the beginning, and of all the political establishments in the world, those 3 are some of the most able of thinking a few steps ahead. Backing down would simply mean that China, in the next month, year, or decade, will make another step against one of the three, now from a better strategic position than the last one. And another. And then another. If CCP get too many small wins, there will be no one to fight for them when CCP demands something they are willing to fight a full scale war over from them, and they know a CCP high on small victories will absolutely come and make rapidly expanding demands of all of the 3. Ending with destruction or some form of conquest of all 3.
Fight for effect from decent position at first opportunity, wait to be forced to fight from a bad one later?
And if you are going to fight from a bad position, why not surrender right away?
Well, everyone knows what being ruled by CCP implies, the story of HK and Uyghurs kinda screwed up the effectiveness of any potential Chinese regional PR offensives.

This does not match reality however. And completely ignores everything I've said about the logic of the event.

Somehow, the 1950s apparently did not happen, along with much of the cold war, which this is a repeat of.

In a limited Taiwan fight over a particular island is benifitical in many ways to Taiwan. This preserves the Taiwanese economy now (general sanctions with China is an immediate 30% economic hit) and lowers risk (if the fight is had and it turns out the Taiwanese military is completely incapable, you learn it in a low stakes fight rather than betting everything on one roll of the dice). Furthermore, Taiwan can sustain a long, limited war much better and at much lower pain than fighting a long, unlimited war.

In case of an unlimited war, your going to have 10,000s to millions of casualties from a general war, lose lots of ships, and if a blockade lasts more than a year suffer general starvation and the collapse of the economy from a lack of energy.

Meanwhile, a limited war preserves the economy, and even casualties of 10-20k per year, while not great, are sustainable even for a small state like Taiwan for multiple years. A lot can change over 5 or so years. If you believe someone like Peter Ziehan, China itself won't last 5 years, so Taiwan simply delaying general war would result in a net win for them.

I think you also overapply the situation of Poland as some sort of general rule of how this works when a small state negotiates with a big state. Finland also exists as an example. They fought a War with the USSR, lost, had to make some territory concessions, but then were able to exist in a neutral state for the next 60 years, and didn't seem to have to endure anything particularly intolerable. Yugoslavia and N. Korea are also states that were outright occupied by Stalin, yet somehow seemed to have been in a position to do their own thing to pretty fair degrees, and weren't just reduced to USSR boot lickers.

We also have the contemporary example of Vietnam. Vietnam is is a bit of subservient station to China, but they also aren't a Chinese bootlicker either. They can't explicitly go against China most likely, but have a wide range of things they can do. South Korea and Japan could probably maintain a relationship at least as strong as current day Vietnam, and could likely get something closer to Finland, especially in a situation where US power declines, but doesn't outright die. So US power isn't as much security as it used to be, so being outright aligned just puts a target on your back, but in a state of armed neutrality you can 1) maintain enough of your own military so bullying you isn't trivial, and 2) there's enough there there in other powers to balance out Chinese advantage if they did decide to majorly commit.

No, that is not my assumption. My assumption is that China would take major losses in its first rate equipment in first few weeks

Sure. Same as the US. Thus my assumption there's not going to be a decisive outcome in the first few weeks. At least a short term decisive outcome.

China is not Russia, its economy doesn't have a massive store of oil money floating around and growing since such a long time that it no longer raises all that much suspicion, yet even in case of Russia NATO knew of the war preparations for several months at minimum.
The mere attempt to reserve such a massive amount of money out of the economic cycle would create waves in world economy that may have unpredictable socioeconomic consequences back home, as in China could cause a massive economic crisis for itself merely trying to prepare for war this way.

Obviously. China would be rattling the sabers for a year+ in the lead up to this. You might attempt to be a bit sly about the specifics of what your doing. If your buying up every high end chip you can that's produced in the world to build your wartime stockpile, people in the industry are immediately going to realize something strange is going on in the industry, but doing your buy ups through fronts and social groups (say organizing so Chinese gamers buy the chips, and then hand them to the government) can delay how quickly the people at the top in Washington figure out something is going on, and complicate the attempt to counteract it as its a complicated multi front operation. If it delays meaningful reaction by weeks, let alone the likely months, quite likely worth it.

I'm not sure what the oil money makes it easier to spend. Hell, the fact that China is engaged in so much other trade would likely hide exactly what's happening more than oil. China increasing iron and beef orders from Australia by 10-20% is less red flags than 0-any purchases.

That's also the beauty of mobilization: your moving people into the war economy which provides some cushion, the knowledge of coming war adds meaning and justification to economic pain, and justifies relatively extreme actions to further stabilize and minimize sharp pain. For example, rationing of such things like fuel would likely start pre-war, so you can work out some of the kinks, maximize last minute building up of oil reserves, and start the war with people already partially adjusted to lower fuel consumption, so the stockpiles can last longer. And then you tighten the screws as things continue.

Secondly, the numbers you throw around... is insane.
100 million in uniform? Are you for real? It would mean the other 1.3 billion are starving in cold and darkness.

On what basis? 100 million is about 13% of Chinese labor force. Farmers are 100-200 million, depending how you count it, industry is another 100-200 million, leaving 200-300 million in services. You can technically pull the 100 million purely from services, without having to touch industry and agriculture if you absolutely wanted to, which you probably wouldn't.

The problem with China headhunting is that it's a great deal for people who can travel a safe and welcoming world with that money...
If it raises enough stink that you would need to live in China, well... It's not that safe to have money in China even in peacetime, as some billionaires found out. Imagine being a foreign millionaire in Xi's China during or after WW3. Sucker's deal. Either your money will end up being worth a small apartment in an impoverished, CCP run city at most... or you will be disappeared eventually.

"Some sort of peace" for Japan in this scenario "China will try again with us later, and we will be fighting alone then".

Well, yeah, obviously its to move to China. Mostly likely to be appealing to elitish people in Taiwan and S. Korea. Being richish in China may be better than starving to death in a siege of Taiwan, and if/when China conquers it, you've marked yourself as a regime friend and can be slotted into the new government.

S Korea has the same concerns, plus on top of it living in China is likely preferable to living under the new unified Korean government.

So far Chinese commitment to Russia seems very questionable.

EU's land forces are kept in Europe by not being very applicable to the war and logistics, Air forces, probably kept in Europe by politics better if they don't join the war directly, and naval forces, well if China is fighting a land war in the EU they have nothing better to do than join up with US forces in Pacific for they have nothing to do in Belarus or Ukraine.

Well, yes, that's what I've been saying from the start. European naval forces are a comparative rounding error, and probably would actually have stuff you'd want them doing in Europe/the middle east.

Having them doesn't mean their capacity is worth much, and even if it does, it doesn't mean it will remain so for long during WW3.
Pakistan has major ports btw.

Iran and Russia cannot supply current Russian forces with half the stuff they need in the quantity they need. So the choice for them is to their take from Russian conscript's stores, or China has to bring its own toys.

I'm not even sure what your suggesting here. Is the idea the problem Russia has is that it just doesn't have enough trains to move equipment to Ukraine? On the relatively light, minimal sacrifice from the civilian population war they seem to be running? Do you seriously believe general logistics, especially rear logistics, is greatly limiting Russia's war?

Lots of maybes here. I would not bet money on them, as they seem ridiculously favorable to cheap solutions to expensive weapons.
Even smoke launchers are not made equal. You can have cheap WW2 grade smoke launchers, or you can have fancy ones with automatic discharge, hooked up to various warning receivers, with infrared smoke and so on.
There are discussions on how much things like that are still worth and also modernization of them.
Those basic aircraft countermeasures also aren't equal, and on modern planes are used in combination with ever better EW suites.
This one gives fun figures, you can have 75$ flares similar to Cold War ones, or 3,000$ ones that may work against the more modern missiles. Cheapness has a price in those things, being that it probably won't work against the nice toys.

This is another one of those strange situations where you seem to repeat my argument as true, and then hold that up as proof its false.

WW2 radars were good if they were detecting WW2 aircraft and where they are going, that was their performance benchmark. Not low flying objects barely bigger than a large bird if that, while also not triggering a dozen alerts every time a flock of seagulls flies by.
So you are not trying to duplicate that, you are trying to duplicate a part of the performance of modern military radars and some of better cold war radars that can reliably discriminate drones and semi-stealthy ordnance from clutter and birds, and put it in a package that civilians can operate, and also expect it to be dirt cheap while at it.
Meanwhile even a Bayraktar TB2, which is considered a medium sized drone with reduced RCS, has a much lower radar return than a typical WW2 fighter, nevermind the smaller drones and ordnance, it's far from undetectable, but still can be a pain in the ass for poorly operated late Cold War air defenses.

Radar laid guns and radar proximity fuzes changed that a lot, even in late WW2, and later forced planes to use standoff weapons outside the range of guns.
Now it's all about EW, point defense, and killing the enemy before they launch, and these things are to some degree common with protection from land and surface combatants.
There are much better ways to spot, even mid cold war missiles with active radar homing could be fired in merely the general area the enemy ship is expected to be, and then the missile would look for something resembling it. Open ocean, prepared and geographically complex coastline and underwater are only places where detection can still be some challenge for those with resources of a major power.

I find the assertion that a 2,000 lb bomb heading straight at a boat is indestinquiable from a bird traveling at 1/4 the speed, questionable. I just don't find it convincing that radar computers haven't advanced since the 1950s. You keep talking about more complicated duties, and claiming they're identical to much simpler duties.

So, yes the dynamic that's been true since WWII - is still true regarding ships vs planes. Maybe I guess high end ships now that they have long range missiles might be slightly less vulnerable to aircraft than they were in WWII, but only slightly. Ships generally have been quite vulnerable to planes, as has been the case for a 100 years.

History Learner

Well-known member
90% of our aircraft get destroyed on the ground in the first 24-48 hours and then operations collapse in the first week as munitions and fuel goes empty.

We now have combat testing to back this up, as Iraqi militias using ballistic missiles successfully overloaded Patriot systems defending a U.S. base using swarm tactics:

Given China has a larger, more advanced and potent ballistic missile force than Iraqi militias, this portends very badly for U.S. defensive posture in the Pacific.


Well-known member
We now have combat testing to back this up, as Iraqi militias using ballistic missiles successfully overloaded Patriot systems defending a U.S. base using swarm tactics:

Given China has a larger, more advanced and potent ballistic missile force than Iraqi militias, this portends very badly for U.S. defensive posture in the Pacific.

reminds me of the chapter in Red Storm Rising where the Russians dealt with american aegis by overwhelming it with swarms of missiles.

The Whispering Monk

Well-known member
We now have combat testing to back this up, as Iraqi militias using ballistic missiles successfully overloaded Patriot systems defending a U.S. base using swarm tactics:

Given China has a larger, more advanced and potent ballistic missile force than Iraqi militias, this portends very badly for U.S. defensive posture in the Pacific.

Just a heads up. Iran did not overwhelm a Patriot battery. Impacts happened where Patriot coverage was NOT present.

History Learner

Well-known member
Just a heads up. Iran did not overwhelm a Patriot battery. Impacts happened where Patriot coverage was NOT present.

Directly contradicted by all reporting on the event. The defended range of a Patriot Battery is 50-100 square kilometers, all the missiles struck the base inside that envelope.
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History Learner

Well-known member
Overwhelming Aegis would mean more missiles launched then countries have launchers

No, it just means a handful of Ballistics Missiles. Or you just swarm it with drones or cruise missiles. The U.S. Destroyers fighting the Houthis have repeatedly had to leave the combat zone because their interceptors have been depleted.

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