Thursday, January 6, 2011

Grateful, PRC x 2, CRS study

AFA members, Congressional staff members, Civic leaders, DOCA members, welcome to 2011. I know we all wish 2011 will be a better year than 2010. In thinking about that, just before Christmas, I penned a short piece … to hopefully make us stop and be both thankful and grateful as … those who are defending us. You can find the piece at:

Secondly, there has been lots of news lately on China. In the first piece (see below), ADM Willard expresses concern over the PRC deployment of a ballistic missile designed to threaten US aircraft carriers. This is another reason why the nation needs a modern, long range strike capability.

Thirdly, as the Daily Report mentioned on Monday, the PRC has unveiled its 5th generation fighter. This is the same fighter cited by Sec Gates as not being deployed until 2020. Perhaps … we hope so. The best analysis of the aircraft … plus some great photos has been done by our friends at Airpower Australia. It can be found at: [Note: I don't endorse some of the comparisons between the J-20 and US aircraft.]

Finally - an AFA staff member sent me some stats from a Congressional Research Study report on Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs).

"Here are some stats from CRS. We've spent $34B on MRAPS from FY06-FY10 and are on track to acquire 16,000 for the Army and Marines. 8,000 are slated to be assigned to inactive status - most are less than 2yrs old. This is an "Interesting" amortization of an investment. How much would it have cost to acquire say … another lot of F-22s or a long-range bomber that would be in service for several decades? I know we don't want kids getting blown up, but perhaps a more prudent idea would be to invest in capabilities and strategies that don't rely on projecting vulnerability and attrition." [Highlighting is mine.]

The staff member makes a great point … when we focus on today, tomorrow gets neglected …

[To partially answer the staff members' question - a multi-year contract for 60 F-22s at 20/year would have cost approx $9B … and would have provided a hedge against risk (real or imagined) in the F-35 program.]

For your consideration.


Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association


Head of US Pacific Command says China moving toward deploying anti-carrier missile
By Associated Press

December 28, 2010, 12:15 a.m.

BEIJING (AP) — China is moving closer to deploying a ballistic missile designed to sink an aircraft carrier, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command said in newspaper interview published Tuesday.

Adm. Robert Willard told Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper that he believed the Chinese anti-ship ballistic missile program had achieved "initial operational capability," meaning that a workable design had been settled on and was being further developed.

Known among defense analysts as a "carrier killer," the Dong Feng 21D missile would be a game-changer in the Asian security environment, where U.S. Navy aircraft carrier battle groups have ruled the waves since the end of World War II.

The DF 21D's uniqueness is in its ability to hit a powerfully defended moving target with pinpoint precision — a capability U.S. naval planners are scrambling to deal with.

The system's component parts have likely been designed and tested, but U.S. sources have not detected an over-water test to see how well it can target a moving ship, Willard said.

Years of tests are probably still needed before the missile can be fully deployed, he said. The system requires state-of-the-art guidance systems, and some experts believe it will take China a decade or so to field a reliable threat.

The missile is considered a key component of China's strategy of denying U.S. planes and ships access to waters off its coast. The strategy includes overlapping layers of air defense systems, naval assets such as submarines, and advanced ballistic missile systems — all woven together with a network of satellites.

At its most capable, the DF 21D could be launched from land with enough accuracy to penetrate the defenses of even the most advanced moving aircraft carrier at a distance of more than 900 miles (1,500 kilometers).

That could seriously weaken Washington's ability to intervene in any potential conflict over Taiwan or North Korea, as well as deny U.S. ships safe access to international waters near China's 11,200-mile (18,000-kilometer) -long coastline.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu on Tuesday referred questions about Willard's comments to military departments, but reiterated China's insistence that its expanding military threatens no one.

"I can say that China pursues a defensive national policy. ... We pose no threat to other countries. We will always be a force in safeguarding regional peace and stability," Jiang told reporters at a regularly scheduled news conference.

While China's Defense Ministry never comments on new weapons before they become operational, the DF 21D — which would travel at 10 times the speed of sound and carry conventional payloads — has been much discussed by military buffs online.


Unknown said...

MIKE = Your moving & "SPOT ON" December 23rd 'year ender' was a "KEEPER"! ** As with your concerns, mine are echoed in the DoD short shrift on intelligence estimates re: the "J-20" PRC stealthy fighter recent public viewing of 'fast taxi tests'! NEXT = An appearnace at a near-term "Paris Air Show" for sales and marketing = perhaps, eh? ** FINALLY - The PIXEL RESOLDTION IS ASTOUNDING from the AUSSIE photos - compared with "Av Week" and "Wall Street Journal" articles publicly published earlier this week! -30-

Unknown said...

In the mid 80's I went before a board of review who were picking a senior NCO of the year. The last question was "What did I think of the world situation?" I said I was a student of the Bible and I was keeping my eye on the mid-East. Good answer, right?